HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team fell in overtime 101-99 to Davenport University in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest Saturday afternoon in the SDC Gym. The Huskies played their fourth consecutive overtime game, tying an NCAA Division II record that's also held by Barton which was set in 2007. Junior Kyle Monroe also made history on Saturday, tying a Tech single season scoring record for most points at 743. The other Husky to do it was Ali Haidar during the 2012-13 campaign.
"I thought we played our hearts out and Davenport did as well," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "Their ability to penetrate to the basket got to us at the end. We played hard and battled all the way to the end, but just came up short.
"For Kyle to score over 700 points is an amazing accomplishment and to tie the record that Haidar had at 743 for a single season is unbelievable. Kyle has been able to tie it and is going to break it and he deserves to have the record."
Michigan Tech (14-13, 11-9 GLIAC) established an early lead Saturday afternoon over Davenport (13-15, 7-13 GLIAC) thanks to a 9-3 scoring run. Trailing 4-2 with 16:57 on the first half clock, the Huskies knocked down a trio of three-point buckets to go up 11-7. Monroe dropped in a pair trey's followed by senior Dillon Gordon finding the bottom of the night with 14:15 to play in the half.
The Huskies maintained the lead for the remainder of the half, but for the majority of the minutes the separation was just one to two possessions. With 9:33 to go in the first half, junior Byran Heath got to the rim for a layup to make it 23-16 in favor of Tech and then six minutes later Heath drove the lane for another layup to give the Huskies their first double digit lead of the afternoon at 33-23.
The Panthers drew to within six points at 37-31 with just under a minute to play in the half on a Wes Webbert layup, but a two additional field goals by Monroe and senior A.J. Grazulis gave the Huskies a 41-33 advantage at the intermission. Grazulis' bucket was a tip-in off an offensive rebound right before the buzzer sounded.
The Huskies opened up a double digit lead at 43-33 in the first minute of the second half thanks to a pair of free throws from Monroe. Heath then gave Tech an 11-point edge at 46-35 with another triple at the 18:16 mark, which at the time was the largest gap of the night.
The Panthers then climbed back to within two points at 54-52 when Webbert sank a three pointer with 13:45 to play in regulation. However, the Huskies would answer with a 14-2 scoring burst on their way to what would be the largest lead of the afternoon at 68-54. Freshman Isaac Appleby, Heath, and Monroe were all contributors for the offense during that stretch of time that ended with just over 10 minutes to play.
The Panthers slowly chipped away at their deficit during the next nine minutes and eventually slipped in front 84-82 on another Webbert three-point basket with 1:08 to go. Heath pulled the Huskies even again on a layup at 84-84 with 44 seconds left, but Davenport pulled in front again 88-85 with just 16 seconds remaining. Tech then called timeout and with time winding down, Heath drilled the game tying triple from the right wing with eight seconds to play. A jumper by Janeau Joubert fell off target as the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime.
The game seesawed back and forth throughout the majority of overtime as both sides traded basket for basket. The Panthers eventually established a 101-98 lead with 11 seconds to go on a free throw by Delano Smith, but Tech would have another opportunity on the offensive end of the floor. Heath cut the deficit to two points at 101-99 on a free throw and then an offensive rebound by Monroe off a missed free throw attempt gave the Huskies one last shot. Unfortunately, a triple from the right side of the floor was just off the mark as the horn sounded.
Monroe powered the Huskies with 38 points, connecting on 11 of 22 shots from the field, including 6 of 9 from behind the three-point line. He also grabbed six rebounds and had a pair of steals. Monroe tied Haidar's single season scoring record at 743 points and elevated his career points total to 1,770 going into the postseason.
Heath followed with a career high 29 points followed by freshman Dawson Bilski who rounded out the double digit scorers with 12 points. Heath's previous career high was 28 points, which he reached earlier this season against Concordia St. Paul. Grazulis was Tech's top rebounder with seven boards while Appleby dished out seven assists.
As a team, the Huskies connected on 33 of 66 shots from the field (50.0%), were 11 of 22 from three-point range (50,0%), and 22 of 31 at the free throw line (71.0%). Tech's defense forced 16 turnovers which led to 17 points.
Webbert had 22 points off the bench to guide the Panthers followed by Joubert with 19 points, Delano Smith with 17 points, and John McCloud Jr. with 16 points. McCloud Jr. and Orlando Little shared the lead with six rebounds and Joubert closed the game with nine assists. The Panthers found the target on 33 of 58 shots from the field (56.9%), were 12 of 24 from three-point range (50.0%), and 23 of 26 at the free throw line (88.5%).
The Huskies will open the postseason on Wednesday when they travel to Wayne State for the GLIAC Quarterfinals. The tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.