HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team suffered a tough 84-69 loss at the hands of Minnesota Duluth Wednesday night in the SDC Gymnasium. The Huskies got the upper hand early, but trailed by eight points at the break and were unable to get any closer the rest of the way.
"Have to give Minnesota Duluth credit because they came in and shot the basketball very well," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "They executed their game plan and deserved to win the game tonight. We really struggled tonight both offensively and defensively and have to get some things corrected. We'll get back it and continue to work to get better."
Minnesota Duluth (2-2) set the tone for the night 15 seconds after the opening tip-off by connecting on the first of 12 three-point buckets Wednesday. Jake Wilson caught a feed from Logan Rohrscheib and put the Bulldogs in front 3-0. Minnesota Duluth then went up 5-0 on a Brandon Myer layup with just over a minute gone by in the first half.
Michigan Tech (2-3) bounced back with a 14-2 scoring run, generating the only lead of the night. Junior Kyle Monroe found the mark from long distance and then tied the game at 5-5 on a layup at the 17:41 mark. The Bulldogs briefly went back on top 7-5 following a Sean Burns layup, but the next nine points would belong to the Huskies.
Monroe deadlocked the game again on a couple of free throws followed by back to back layups courtesy of sophomore Ryan Schuller. Monroe capped the scoring burst with a triple to make it a 14-7 contest with 13:33 remaining in the opening half.
Unfortunately, the advantage would be short lived. The Bulldogs came roaring back with a 16-0 run that swung the pendulum in their favor. Luke Harris gave Minnesota Duluth a 15-14 edge with a three-point bucket at the 11:50 mark and with 7:08 to play until the break, Rohrscheib made it a 23-14 score on another trey. Wilson then gave the Bulldogs their first double digit lead of the evening at 26-16 on a triple with 6:31 on the clock.
Michigan Tech faced a 40-32 deficit at halftime and by the 12:40 mark of the second half the Bulldogs extended the gap to 58-43. The Huskies made one final run to get to within single digits again at 58-49 on a pair of three-point shots by junior Bryan Heath and Monroe. However, Brandon Myer connected on a jumper and two free throws from Mamadou Ngom gave the Bulldogs a double digit lead for good at 62-49 with just over 11 minutes to play.
Monroe paced the Huskies with 27 points and nine rebounds Wednesday night. He was successful on 8 of 13 field goals, including 4 of 5 from three-point range. He also converted all seven of his free throw attempts. Freshman Isaac Appleby followed with 11 points and Schuller just missed double digits with a career high nine points. Senior Tanner Uren dished out a team high five assists.
As a team, the Huskies were 23 of 52 from the field (44.2%), 10 of 21 from behind the three-point line (47.6%), and 13 of 14 at the free throw line (92.9%).
The Bulldogs had five players score 12 or more points, led by Wilson who notched 20 on a 7 for 8 shooting night from the field. Wilson also grabbed a team best five rebounds and came up with one steal. Myer followed with 15 points, Rohrscheib tacked on 13 points, and Trevor Entwisle along with Harris chipped in 12 points each.
Minnesota Duluth was on target with 26 of 47 shots from the floor (55.3%), were 12 of 21 from behind the arc (57.1%), and 20 of 24 at the free throw line (83.3%). The Bulldogs also had a 30-22 edge in rebounds and combined for 18 assists as a team.
The Huskies will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host Concordia St. Paul in a non-conference game at 4 p.m. in the SDC.