HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team gave third ranked Ferris State all it could handle Thursday night, but fell short 89-84 in overtime in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference battle at the SDC Gym. The Huskies rallied from a 10-point first half deficit and held a 75-72 lead with four seconds to go in regulation, but a Noah King three-point basket from the right corner tied the game with 0.4 seconds left, enabling the Bulldogs to have a chance in the extra frame.
"I feel bad for our players," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "We played well for 39 minutes and 56 seconds and something our players should learn from this is that games aren't over until 40 minutes are up. We needed to get one rebound to win the game and unfortunately we weren't able to come up with it. Ferris State is a great club and give credit to them for battling back and getting the shot to fall at the end of regulation. We have to pay attention to detail all the way to end of games and it's critical that we bounce back on Saturday."
Ferris State (26-1, 16-1 GLIAC) jumped in front out of the gate Thursday night with a 9-2 run in the opening three minutes of the game. King capped it with a layup which was setup by a steal his was able to create on his own. Michigan Tech (13-11, 10-7 GLIAC) proceeded to limit the Bulldogs to just three points over the next three minutes which enabled the offense to get into a bit of a rhythm. A free throw by junior Kyle Monroe eventually drew Tech to within one at 12-11 with 14:14 on the clock.
With 12:06 to go until the break, Monroe gave the Huskies their first lead of the night at 18-16 on a conventional three-point play. Unfortunately, the advantage would be short lived as the Bulldogs countered with a 14-2 scoring burst during the next three minutes of play. D'angelo Hughes kicked it off with a triple and then a second Hughes trey wrapped it up at the 9:33 mark of the first half, giving Ferris State a 30-20 advantage.
The Huskies' defense put the brakes on the Bulldogs' offense again and kept the gap from expanding any further. Tech's offense then began to chip away at the deficit point by point, drawing to within three again at 32-29 after a pair of free throws by sophomore Ryan Schuller. Still trailing by three points with 2:07 to play in the half, Schuller converted two free throws and followed up with a layup to knot the score at 40-40.
Junior Bryan Heath sank two attempts at the charity stripe to move the Huskies back in front and then in the final 30 seconds freshman Isaac Appleby found the target on a mid-range jumper, resulting in a 44-40 Tech lead at the intermission. Heath started what would eventually be the 10-0 run to close the half with a field goal at the 3:18 mark.
The Huskies largest lead of the night was six points at 48-42 and it occurred after a layup by Monroe with just over two minutes gone by in the second half. The Bulldogs rallied back to grab the lead again at 56-54 on a Jaylin McFadden layup at the 13:42 juncture and from there the advantage seesawed back and forth for the remainder of regulation. The second half alone had eight lead changes and four instances where the game was tied.
Down 72-69 with 2:27 left, the Huskies put together a quick scoring run of 6-0 to slip back in front 75-72 in the final seconds. Monroe accounted for four of the points with successful attempts at the free throw while senior A.J. Grazulis got open in the paint for a crucial layup. Monroe's second pair of free throws occurred with just under seven seconds left in the contest.
Leading by 75-72, the Huskies chose to foul DeShaun Thrower out top with four seconds to go in order to put him at the free throw line for a one and one and prevent a three-point attempt. Thrower's free throw bounced off the rim, but the Huskies were unable to secure the rebound. Zach Hankins was there for the Bulldogs instead and made a quick pass to the right corner where King fired in the game tying trey with 0.4 seconds left. Ferris State went on to outscore the Huskies 14-9 in the extra frame and led for the majority of that five-minute span.
Monroe guided the Huskies with 35 points and 10 rebounds on the way to his seventh double-double of the season. Monroe made 10 of 15 shots from the floor and dished out three assists. It's also the ninth time Monroe has recorded 31 or more points in a game this season. Appleby followed with 14 points, Heath added 11 points, and Schuller chipped in 10 points off the bench to round out the double digit scorers.
As a team, the Huskies knocked down 28 of 52 shots from the field (53.8%), were 7 of 13 from three-point range (53.8%), and 21 of 25 at the free throw line (84.0%).
King closed the night with 20 points and three assists, trailed closely by Drew Cushingberry with 19 points for Ferris State. Hankins tossed in 13 points while hauling down a game high 14 rebounds. Hughes provided a spark off the bench with 12 points for the Bulldogs. Ferris State made 35 of 68 field goal tries (51.5%), were 11 of 21 from three-point land (52.4%), and 8 for 15 at the charity stripe (53.3%). The Bulldogs ended the contest with a 38-28 advantage in rebounds.
The Huskies will look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon when they host Lake Superior State in the SDC. The Lakers outlasted Northern Michigan Thursday night in Marquette 80-68. Saturday's tip-off is slated for 3 p.m.