HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team extended the postseason run with a 92-84 win over Wayne State University in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinals Tuesday night at the SDC Wood Gym. The Huskies fired in over 60 percent of their shots from the field and held off a late charge by the Warriors to secure the victory. In addition, sophomore forward Kyle Monroe eclipsed 1,000 career points in the contest.
"It was a tough game and I have a ton of respect for Wayne State and their coaching staff because they do a great job," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "They played hard to the end and they never went away. Offensively, I was happy for Jordan (Chartier) because he got into a rhythm, Kyle (Monroe) got off to a good start, and overall everybody had an outstanding game tonight. This was a typical quarterfinal game in the GLIAC Tournament were you have to play for 40 minutes and we did that. For Kyle to reach 1,000 points in two years is unbelievable and when he gets in rhythm he is a handful."
Monroe set the tone in the first 40 seconds for Michigan Tech (16-13) Tuesday night by draining a triple for a quick 3-0 lead. Marcus Moore notched Wayne State's (16-10) first two points of the game on a layup with just over a minute gone by in the first half. Monroe followed with another trey to make it 6-2 and after a Clark Bishop three-pointer, Monroe banked in a layup to give the Huskies an 8-5 edge with 16:53 on the first half clock.
The Warriors enjoyed their only leads during about a one-minute stretch in the first half. Moore put Wayne State ahead for the first time at 10-8 on a jumper with 14:10 left in the first half. Senior Jordan Chartier dialed in a trey a few seconds later to put Tech in front again at 11-10 before a Moore three-pointer tilted the scales in the Warriors favor at 13-11. The Huskies were able to answer with a 10-0 scoring burst, kicked off by a long distance jumper from sophomore Bryan Heath. Monroe tacked on a conventional three-point play while junior A.J. Grazulis converted two free throws and a layup to extend the gap to 21-13 in favor of the Huskies with 8:38 left in the opening 20 minutes.
Wayne State remained on Tech's heels throughout the remainder of the first half, closing to within four points five times and three points once with just over a minute to play on the clock. Bishop's triple sliced the lead for MTU down to 36-33, but a Heath layup gave the Huskies a 38-33 edge at the break.
Monroe increased the Tech lead to seven points at 40-33 to begin the second half, but within a minute Chuck Key had trimmed it to a one possession score again at 42-39 on two free throws. Leading 46-43 with 16:18 to go in the second half, the Huskies were able to create some separation with a 10-0 run during the next three minutes. Chartier kick started it with a triple followed by a layup and three-point bucket courtesy of freshman Tommy Lucca. Chartier then wrapped it up with a layup, making it a 56-43 score with 13:07 to go in the contest.
The Huskies enjoyed their largest lead of the night at the 8:27 mark when Lucca drove to the basket for a layup to make it a 72-53 score. However, the game was far from over. Tech was able to keep a fair distance from the Warriors until the final two minutes when they made it a little too close for comfort.
A 9-0 Wayne State run cut was once a 15-point MTU lead down to six points at 85-79 with 1:04 to play. Ronald Booth started it with a rare four-point play and Moore got inside the paint for a layup to close it off. Forced to foul at that point, the Warriors had to hope the Huskies would miss multiple free throws. Fortunately, that wouldn't prove to be the case as Chartier and senior Jason Hawke combined for seven free throws in the final 44 seconds to seal the win for Tech.
All five starters for Michigan Tech had 13 or more points in the game, led by Monroe with a game high 27 points on a 10 of 16 shooting night from the floor. Chartier followed with 20 points thanks to a 6 for 8 effort, including five baskets that were successful behind the three-point line. Grazulis and Lucca tacked on 14 points each with Heath chipping in 13 points of his own. Monroe paced the Huskies on the glass with four rebounds and Lucca distributed seven assists in the win over the Warriors. Chartier also dealt out six assists and as a team Tech recorded 18 total handouts Tuesday evening.
The Huskies closed the game by converting 21 of 51 shots from the field (60.8%), they were 12 of 20 from three-point range (60.0%), and 18 of 20 at the charity stripe (90.0%). Tech scored 38 points in the paint and 16 of the total points were the result of Wayne State turnovers.
Booth powered the Warriors with 22 points followed by Moore with 18 points and Michael Lewis contributed 19 points Tuesday night. Moore picked up a team high six rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Wayne State made 29 of 56 attempts from the field (51.8%), they were 13 of 22 from behind the three-point line (59.1%), and 13 for 13 at the free throw stripe (100%). The Warriors had a slight edge in rebounding 26-22.
The Huskies will travel to face the No. 1 seed Ferris State on Saturday afternoon in the GLIAC Semifinals. The tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.