MIDLAND, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team rallied for a 75-70 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win at Northwood University on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies trailed by as a many as 12 points in the contest before taking the lead for good in the final two minutes of the game.
"I'm happy for our team that we were able to bounce back and get the win this afternoon on the road," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "We had a little bit of a lull from Thursday to start the game, but I thought our team really responded well and we played a great second half to comeback. We played well enough to get caught up, they made a run, but then we were able to make the final run of the day to win it. It was a good team effort all the way around. We are excited to get back home for a couple of big games next week against Ferris State and Lake Superior State."
Michigan Tech (13-10, 10-6 GLIAC) got the upper hand early with five of the game's first seven points. Freshman Dawson Bilksi filled up a triple to make it 3-2 with just over a minute gone by. Freshman Isaac Appleby then found senior A.J. Grazulis for a jumper in the paint with 17:55 to go to make it 5-2. However, Northwood (9-15, 5-11 GLIAC) would control the majority of the remainder of the half.
The Timberwolves eventually created a 12-point gap at 28-16 on a Nick Spitzley three-point bucket with 7:07 to go in the first half. Tech was able to chop the deficit down to 31-29 courtesy of a Bryan Heath trey with 2:11 to go until the break, but David Jelinek and Trey McBride combined for the final four points to give Northwood a 35-29 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
Junior Kyle Monroe then brought the Huskies to within one at 37-36 on a triple early in the second half. Northwood responded though and built their advantage back to nine points at 51-42 on an Alex Marty three-pointer with just over 12 minutes remaining. The Huskies then fought all the way back to take a 56-55 lead five minutes later on a Monroe layup, but five consecutive points from the Timberwolves kept Tech at bay at least for the time being.
Trailing 64-60 with under four minutes left, the Huskies engineered a 6-0 run, culminating on an Appleby layup at the 1:52 mark. The teams then traded baskets during the next minute and with the score tied at 68-68, Appleby stepped up to hit one of the key shots in the contest.
Monroe drove the lane and then fired the ball into the right corner where Appleby lined up the go ahead three-point shot. Monroe then came up with a steal which led to two free throws. Grazulis proceeded to seal the win with a pair of successful attempts at the charity stripe with five seconds showing on the clock.
Heath powered the Michigan Tech offense with 19 points, going 7 of 11 from the field and 3 for 5 behind the three-point arc. Monroe followed with 18 points and made three steals on the defensive end of the floor. Grazulis added 12 points and Appleby chipped in 11 points while leading the team with six assists. Sophomore Ryan Schuller tossed in eight points and Bilski collected a team high four rebounds.
The Huskies were on target with 27 of their 51 shots from the field (52.9%), were 7 of 16 from three-point range (43.8%), and 14-15 at the free throw line (93.3%). Each shot at the charity stripe came in the second half and helped Tech rally for the win.
Northwood was guided by Jelinek who poured in 17 points followed by McBride with 14 points. Spitzley finished the afternoon with 11 points and Demitri Martin rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 points. Brad Schaub pulled down a team high seven rebounds while dishing out four assists. The Timberwolves connected on 28 of 58 shots from the floor (48.3%), were 6 of 20 from outside the arc (30.0%), and 8 of 10 at the free throw line (80.0%).
The Huskies return home on Thursday to begin a four game home stand against Ferris State in the SDC Gym. Tech will then battle Lake Superior State on Saturday before hosting Wayne State and Davenport during the final week of the regular season. Thursday's tip-off against the Bulldogs is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.