HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team suffered a tough 86-68 loss to Tiffin University on Saturday in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup at the SDC Gym. A quick start and hot shooting from the field by the Dragons made things difficult for the Huskies throughout the course of the game.
"It feels terrible to lose at home and it was clearly a disappointing outcome," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "I didn't feel like we were ready to go at the beginning of the game and struggled just like we did Thursday night. We had some trouble shooting the basketball while Tiffin shot the ball extremely well.
"We have a lot of work to do and we have to get through this adversity together. We are going to worry about ourselves and get to work on our offense and defense and not worry too much about results right now. We are going to concentrate on getting better and fixing the things that are broken. We will be ok and be ready to compete hard next week at Ferris State and Lake Superior State."
Tiffin (5-9, 2-6 GLIAC) jumped out to a 5-0 lead when Justin Miller knocked down a trey followed by a layup from Shane Waldon with 18:19 left in the first half. The Dragons increased the gap to eight points at 11-3 on another Miller triple with 15:47 on the clock, but Michigan Tech (7-7, 4-3 GLIAC) would quickly counter with a 9-4 scoring run to draw within three points at 15-12. Senior Dillon Gordon opened it with a triple followed by consecutive treys from junior Kyle Monroe with 11:39 to play until the break.
Unfortunately, about three minutes later the Dragons created a double digit separation for the first time in the contest. Austin Adams converted a pair of shots at the charity stripe to make it a 25-15 score with 8:52 on the first half clock. Sophomore Ryan Schuller drew the Huskies to within single digits again at 29-22 when he grabbed an offensive rebounded and converted on two points with a layup.
Schuller's bucket occurred at the 6:26 mark and the Huskies would be limited to just five points the rest of the half. Meanwhile, Tiffin closed the first period strong by going on a 10-0 run after the field goal by Schuller to make it a 39-22 score with just under three minutes to go until the intermission. The Dragons would eventually carry a 42-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Tech was unable to gain any ground in the second half and with 6:24 left in the game, the Dragons constructed their largest lead of the night at 73-51 on a free throw by Alex Brown. The Huskies kept battling though and trimmed eight points off the deficit with just under a minute to play. Monroe connected on his fifth three-pointer of the game to make it an 82-68 score, but it was too little too late.
Monroe led the Huskies with 20 points and seven rebounds followed by freshman Trent Bell who poured in a season/career high 15 points thanks to a strong second half. Bell was 4 of 6 from the field and 7 of 9 at the free throw line while adding three rebounds. Sophomore Tommy Lucca dished out a team best seven assists and chipped in with seven points.
As a team, the Huskies connected on 24 of 52 shots from the field (46.2%), were 12 of 30 from three-point range (40.0%), and 8 of 11 at the free throw line (72.7%).
All five of Tiffin's starters had 10 points or more Saturday afternoon, led by Brown with 20 points and eight rebounds. Adams followed with 19 points, nine rebounds, and five assists while Miller contributed 16 points. Waldon and Austin Schaub capped the contest with 10 points each.
The Dragons were successful on 31 of 51 shots from the field (60.8%), were 9 of 23 from three-point land (39.1%), and 15 of 18 at the free throw line (83.3%). Tiffin out-rebounded the Huskies 30-23 and forced 13 turnovers.
Michigan Tech will travel to Ferris State on Thursday and Lake Superior State on Saturday for two more GLIAC contests. The tip-off at Ferris State is slated for 5:30 p.m. with a 3 p.m. start time scheduled for Saturday.