Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
Thurs. Dec. 6 • 7:30 p.m. vs Parkside • Sat. Dec. 8 • 3 p.m. vs Purdue Northwest
Michigan Tech (4-3, 1-1 GLIAC) vs Parkside (2-3, 1-1 GLIAC) and Purdue Northwest (3-5, 0-2 GLIAC)
Radio: WKMJ (Mitch Lake)
Video Stream: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/mtu/
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
Live Stats: http://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/wbkb/2018-19/schedule
WEEK FOUR IN REVIEW
Michigan Tech split a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games in the opening week of league competition. The Huskies held off Saginaw Valley State on the road Thursday night 61-56 before falling at Northwood on Saturday 75-70. In the victory over the Cardinals, the Huskies held an opponent to under 70 points for the fifth time in six games and limited the Cardinals success rate on field goals to 36.2 percent. It was the fourth time the Huskies have kept an opposing offense to under a 40 percent shooting clip from the field to begin the year. Senior Bryan Heath and freshman Owen White paced the Huskies in the points column with 11 apiece in Thursday night's win at Saginaw Valley State. Freshman Kyle Clow grabbed a team best 10 rebounds while sophomore Isaac Appleby hauled down seven boards and dished out four assists.
Against Northwood, the Huskies battled for 40 minutes and climbed back into the game late after falling behind by 14-points near the 11-minute mark of the second half. Senior Bryan Heath cut the deficit to three points with 20 seconds to play, but a layup and free throws in the final seconds enabled the Timberwolves to escape with the win. Clow had a season high 16 points off the bench, knocking down 7 of 12 shots from the field in Saturday afternoon's game. He also guided the Huskies on the glass with seven rebounds. The Huskies fired in a season best 51.8 percent of their field goals Saturday against the Timberwolves.
One of the many exciting things about this year's team has been the balance and contributions from multiple players through the first seven contests. In last week's games, the Huskies had nine players post points in the win at Saginaw Valley State and then eight players got on to the stat sheet with points at Northwood. It's not just the starting five who are producing points as Tech's reserve players outscored the SVSU bench 22-8 Thursday night. On Saturday, the Huskies bench outpaced Northwood's reserves 31-11. The Huskies had 10 players log minutes at SVSU and 11 saw action in the contest against the Timberwolves.
Michigan Tech is 4-3 overall to open the 2018-19 campaign and in each win they have held an opponent under 70 points. The Huskies have limited the opposing offense to less than 70 points in five total games this year and teams have failed to reach 60 points twice. Tech limited Gannon University to a season low 43 points in a 50-43 victory on the road November 24th. It was just two points shy of a single game school record for fewest points allowed, which stands at 41. The most recent 41 point output by an opponent occurred against Saginaw Valley State on December 10th, 2005. It also happened on December 29th, 1976 against Brandon and December 10th, 1959 against Northland. The Huskies lead the GLIAC in fewest points allowed per game at 63.6 and are second defensively when it comes to limiting opposing shooters to just a 41.1 percent success rate from the floor.
GLIAC STATISTICAL RANKINGS
Seven games into the season, the Huskies are near the top of the GLIAC statistical rankings in a few different categories. The Huskies have traditionally been a solid free throw shooting team and through seven contests, Tech is third in the conference in free throw percentage at 75.0. The Huskies are second in the conference in blocked shots per game (4.4) while leading the GLIAC in points allowed per game (63.6), up one spot from last week. The Huskies are fourth in defensive rebounds per contest at 26.0 and second in the league at holding opponents combined field goal percentage to 41.1. Senior Bryan Heath is 12th in the GLIAC in scoring at 15.9 points per game, sophomore Isaac Appleby is 13th in the conference in rebounds per game (5.9), and is third in all of the GLIAC with a 5.4 assists per game average. Freshman Jake Witt is tied for fourth in the GLIAC in blocks per game average (1.4).
SERIES HISTORY VS PARKSIDE & PURDUE NORTHWEST
Michigan Tech is 10-6 against Parkside in the all-time series which began in 1993. The Huskies won last year's game in the SDC 82-57 as a part of the GLVC/GLIAC challenge. Thursday's showdown will be the first conference matchup between the two clubs. Parkside joined the GLIAC beginning this season. The Huskies battled Purdue Northwest for the first time in program history in 2017-18. Tech won both contests 75-66 on the road and 72-46 at home.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Parkside enters Thursday's game with an overall record of 2-3 and 1-1 in the GLIAC. The Rangers had lost three straight prior to a 76-70 conference victory over Davenport at home this past Saturday. Parkside's other win this year was a 97-59 decision against Clarke in the season opener on November 15th. The Rangers conference loss was to Grand Valley State 88-77 November 29th. The Rangers boast one of the better defenses in the conference, allowing the fourth fewest points per game at 70.8. They also pace the GLIAC in blocked shots per contest with an average of 4.6 each time they take the floor. The Rangers have three players averaging 10 or more points per game, led by Chavares Flanigan and Adam Bonk at 10.6. Brandon Hau is the top rebounder on the club on the strength of a 7.4 boards per game average. As a team, Parkside is scoring at a 72.6 points per game clip through the first five games this season.
Purdue Northwest is 3-5 overall and still searching for win number one in the GLIAC going into a Thursday showdown at Northern Michigan. The Pride claimed a 113-45 non-conference win at home over Moody Bible College Tuesday night to tip-off what will be a three game week. The Pride's other two wins came against Lincoln Christian 113-81 and Urbana 110-104. The defense leads the GLIAC in steals per game (10.6) and the offense has a conference best 89.1 points per game scoring average. Dean Tate paces the Pride in scoring at 13.6 points per game followed closely by Durante Lee with a 12.1 points per game scoring average. Anthony Barnard hauls down a team best 5.6 rebounds each time he takes the floor. The Purdue Northwest defense allows a league most 86.8 points per game.
Kevin Luke, the winningest coach in Michigan Tech basketball history begins his 25th season leading the Huskies in 2018-19. He has earned a plethora of accolades since his appointment as the program's 11th head coach in May of 1994. Luke has guided the Huskies to five Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles, earned eight NCAA Tournament berths and won his 300th game in a 74-72 victory over Grand Valley State on March 2, 2011. He reached the 400 win mark on January 19th, 2017 with an 83-72 win over Northwood at home. He owns an impressive 422-270 overall record, including a 283-182 mark in conference play. His winning percentage of .610 ranks as the best in Husky hoop annals.
The Huskies will host the University of Wisconsin-Stout in a non-conference game next Saturday in the SDC Gym at 6 p.m. The Blue Devils are currently 4-3 and play Crown College Friday before facing UW-Green Bay in an exhibition game and then Finlandia.