Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
Wed. Dec. 11 • 6 p.m. vs Finlandia • Sun. Dec. 15 • 3 p.m. vs Northern Michigan
Michigan Tech (6-2, 2-0 GLIAC) vs Finlandia (0-9) and Northern Michigan (3-5, 0-2 GLIAC)
(NMU Game) GRIT TV WLUC-DT3 (Mark Evans and Dave Ellis)
Radio: Mix93 FM WKMJ (Mitch Lake)
Video Stream: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/mtu/
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
Live Stats: https://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/mbkb/2019-20/schedule
2019-20 WEEK FIVE IN REVIEW
Michigan Tech recorded two solid Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference wins over Saginaw Valley State 79-57 and Northwood 93-59. On Thursday against the Cardinals, the Huskies grabbed the lead early and never looked back, outscoring Saginaw Valley State 41-27 in the first half to establish the foothold. Tech came out strong in the first half once again on Saturday versus the Timberwolves to take control of the contest. Tech outscored Northwood 17-2 in the final six minutes of the opening frame to secure a commanding 47-25 advantage at the intermission.
Monroe guided the Huskies' offense Thursday with 24 points and four assists while securing 11 rebounds and a pair of steals. Junior Dawson Bilski followed with 13 points, junior Trent Bell tossed in 12 points, and sophomore Owen White rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points. Junior Isaac Appleby chipped in eight points and hauled down nine rebounds while senior Tommy Lucca ended the game with seven assists.
In Saturday's victory over Northwood, Monroe powered the Huskies' attack with 22 points and seven rebounds. Bilski had a solid game for Tech Saturday, adding 17 points followed by White with 14 points and Bell with 11 points. In total, 13 different players notched at least two points in the victory. Lucca ended the game with two points, but added six more assists, closing the weekend with 13 assists and zero turnovers combined in the two games.
MONROE SURPASSES 2,000
On Saturday against Northwood, senior forward Kyle Monroe surpassed 2,000 career points to become only the fourth player in Michigan Tech history to accomplish that feat. Monroe poured in 22 points against the Timberwolves in the Huskies 93-59 victory. Monroe joins assistant coach Josh Buettner (2,061 points - 2001-05), Jeff Boinski (2,089 points - 1995-99), and Larry Grimes (2,360 points - 1968-72) as the only players in Tech history to record 2,000 or more points in their careers. Monroe's career total stands at 2,004 points going into Wednesday's non-conference game against Finlandia.
GLIAC PRESEASON POLL
Michigan Tech was picked to finish third in the GLIAC North Division for the third consecutive year, pulling in 45 points and one first place vote in the Preseason Coaches' Poll announced Wednesday by the conference office. Ferris State once again sits atop the North Division with 55 points and six first place votes. Parkside checks in just behind the Bulldogs with 51 points and five first place nods. Lake Superior State is slated to finish fourth with 33 points, Purdue Northwest fifth with 17 points, and Northern Michigan sixth with 15 points.
Over in the South Division, defending GLIAC Champion Davenport University is penciled in to the No. 1 spot with 61 points and 11 of the 12 first place votes. Ashland University is second with 50 points and one first place vote while Grand Valley State holds down the No. 3 position with 39 points. Northwood is fourth with 26 points, Saginaw Valley State is fifth with 24 points, and Wayne State is sixth with 16 points to round out the bottom three teams in the poll.
GLIAC STATISTICAL RANKINGS
Through the first eight games of the season, the Huskies are ranked near the top of the GLIAC statistical rankings in a number of categories. Tech leads the conference in free throw shooting percentage (81.9%) and is third in the GLIAC in three-point baskets made per game at 9.1. The Huskies are also second in the GLIAC in overall field goal percentage at 47.6% and first in three-point shooting percentage (39.2%). The defense is second in fewest points allowed per game at 65.9 and are sixth in steals at 5.9 each time the team takes the floor. Kyle Monroe leads the GLIAC in scoring at 21.8 points per game, is sixth in rebounding at 7.4 boards per contest and first in free throw shooting percentage (91.2%) while Lucca is tops in the GLIAC in assists per game (6.0).
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Finlandia University is 0-9 coming into Wednesday's game with the Huskies at the SDC Gym. The Lions have not played since November 26th, when they fell to St. Scholastica in overtime 92-85. The last time the two teams met was in an exhibition game on November 11th, 2015. Tech notched a 79-51 victory that night in the SDC Gym. Monroe competed that evening for the Huskies as a freshman, firing in nine points while grabbing 14 rebounds. Dylan Underwood is the leading scorer for Finlandia thanks to a 17.7 points per game average in nine games played. Joe Heinonen follows with a 10.7 points per game scoring average while Kaleb Kirksey is the top rebounder on the club with 7.2 boards each time he takes the floor. As a team, the Lions are averaging 74.8 points per night, but allowing 108.1 points per contest to opponents.
Northern Michigan is 3-5 overall and 0-2 in the GLIAC entering Sunday's rivalry game against the Huskies. The Wildcats are coming off a pair of GLIAC losses to Northwood 53-50 and Saginaw Valley State 64-58 this past week. Northern Michigan swept the season series with Tech a year ago and owns a 125-79 advantage in the all-time series. Northern Michigan has a new coaching staff led by Matt Majkrzak who arrived in Marquette from Bryant & Stratton College-Wisconsin where he was the head coach of the NJCAA Division II program. He also spent four seasons as the top assistant at Bemidji State University.
On the floor, Sam Taylor and Marcus Matelski share the team lead in scoring at 10.8 points per game. Myles Howard is the top rebounder on the club on the strength of a 5.3 boards per game average. As a team, the Wildcats are recording 66.9 points per contest, but only allowing 65.6 points per game to their opponents which ranks them first in that category in the GLIAC. They are also limiting opposing offenses to 32.4% shooting percentage from long distance, third best in the conference.
Kevin Luke, the winningest coach in Michigan Tech basketball history is in his 26th season leading the Huskies in 2019-20. He has earned a plethora of accolades since his appointment as the program's 11th head coach in May of 1994. Luke has guided the Huskies to five Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles, earned eight NCAA Tournament berths and won his 300th game in a 74-72 victory over Grand Valley State on March 2, 2011. He reached the 400 win mark on January 19th, 2017 with an 83-72 win over Northwood at home. He owns an impressive 433-286 overall record, including a 289-196 mark in conference play. His winning percentage of .602 ranks as the best in Husky hoop annals.
The Huskies continue their seven game home stand next Saturday when they host Algoma University from Ontario. Algoma is 2-9 overall coming into the game and hasn't played since November 30th when they traveled to the University of Waterloo. Algoma is located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The Thunderbirds have faced one other GLIAC team this season and that was Lake Superior State. They fell to the Lakers 95-72 on November 26th. The tip-off for that game is slated for 1 p.m. eastern time.