HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team came up empty in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest against Ashland 73-62 Thursday night in the SDC Gym. The Huskies went up by as many as nine points in the first half, but the Eagles battled back with a strong second half to prevail.
"I'm terribly disappointed in how the game turned out tonight," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "We still need to become more tough as a team and we have a long way to go. I don't want to take anything away from Ashland because they are a very good club, but we missed some open shots and didn't execute like we needed to. We need to get back to work and try and bounce back Saturday against Tiffin."
Michigan Tech (7-6, 4-2 GLIAC) and Ashland (11-3, 4-2 GLIAC) traded baskets during the first six minutes of the game. The Huskies found themselves behind 11-9 after a layup by Teddy Metzen with 13:58 on the first half clock. Tech then strung together eight straight points to go up 17-11 with just over 12 minutes left in the half. Junior Bryan Heath knocked down a triple, junior Kyle Monroe sank two free throws, and then Heath added another trey to cap the scoring run.
The Huskies bumped their lead to 28-19 on a conventional three-point play by Monroe only to see the Eagles storm back to regain the advantage in the final three minutes of the half. Wendell Davis sank a pair of shots at the charity stripe to push Ashland ahead 30-28 and then a triple by Joey Zahn made it a 35-30 advantage for Ashland with 1:09 to go until the break. A layup by Heath and successful free throw attempt after being fouled in the act of shooting drew the Huskies to within two at 35-33 before the buzzer sounded.
Ashland changed the complexion of the game with a 10-2 scoring burst to open the second half. Ben Haraway sank the triple that made it a 48-35 score with 16:33 to go in the contest. The Huskies climbed to within seven points on two occasions near the midway point of the second period and were within striking distance at nine points at 59-50 following a layup by sophomore Tommy Lucca at the 6:31 mark. Unfortunately, back to back field goals by the Eagles would grant them a double digit lead the rest of the way.
Monroe guided the Huskies with a team high 21 points and nine rebounds followed by Heath with 13 points in Thursday's game. Freshman Isaac Appleby had a team high four assists in addition to four points and four rebounds. Lucca saw action in his first game since the season opener and chipped in seven points. Senior Dillon Gordon contributed eight points, with six coming from behind the arc. As a team, the Huskies were 24 of 61 from the field (39.3%), 8 of 25 from three-point range (32.0%), and 6 of 8 from the free throw line (75.0%).
Davis powered Ashland and led all scorers with a game high 26 points and 11 rebounds. Marsalis Hamilton fired in 14 points while Drew Noble collected nine points and 10 rebounds. The Eagles found the target on 29 of 59 shots from the field (49.2%), were 8 of 24 from three-point range (33.3%), and 7 of 10 from the free throw line (70.0%). The Eagles also had a sizeable advantage in rebounding at 40-30.
The Huskies will look to regroup on Saturday when they host Tiffin University in another GLIAC contest at the SDC Gym. The tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.