Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
Fri. Nov. 29 • 11:30 PM at Alaska Anchorage • Sat. Nov. 30 • 9:15 PM vs Alaska Fairbanks
Michigan Tech (2-2) at Alaska Anchorage (5-1) and Alaska Fairbanks (1-5)
Video Stream: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/gnac/
Audio Stream: https://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/mbkb/2019-20/schedule
Live Stats: https://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/mbkb/2019-20/schedule
2019-20 WEEK THREE IN REVIEW
Michigan Tech faced the University of Minnesota Duluth in the 2019-20 home opener at the SDC Gym and fell just short 85-80 Saturday afternoon. The Huskies rallied from a couple of double-digit deficits to get within striking distance, but the Bulldogs were able to hold off the late Tech charge.
Senior Tommy Lucca led all scorers on Saturday with 34 points by knocking down 12 of 19 attempts from the floor while going a perfect 7 for 7 at the free throw line. In addition to his points total, Lucca grabbed seven rebounds and dished out eight assists. Bilski followed with 12 points and six rebounds while White rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points and five rebounds. Bell chipped in nine points for Tech and Monroe wrapped up the contest with seven points.
As a team, the Huskies connected on 31 of 67 shots from the field (46.3%), were 7 for 22 from three-point range (31.8%), and 11 of 12 at the charity stripe (91.7%). Tech posted 38 points in the paint and forced 14 Minnesota Duluth turnovers which turned into 15 points on the offensive end of the floor.
LUCCA NAMED GLIAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior guard Tommy Lucca was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division Player of the Week on Monday. It was the second time this season that Tech has had a player of the week. Senior forward Kyle Monroe was chosen as the player of the week on November 12.
Lucca, who hails from Kingston, Illinois, poured in a career high 34 points against the Bulldogs on Saturday. Lucca's previous single game career high was 29 points, set at Lake Superior State on February 4, 2017. Lucca connected on 12 of 19 attempts from the field (63.2%), went 3 for 6 from behind the three-point arc (50.0%) and was a perfect 7 for 7 at the free throw line (100.0%). The last time Tech had a player score 30 points or more was Monroe who fired in 45 points at Wayne State on February 28, 2018. Lucca also had big numbers in terms of rebounds with seven and had eight assists to go along with a pair of steals. His rebounds total also matched a single game career high. Lucca is averaging 15.3 points per game this season while contributing 5.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists each time he takes the floor.
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 four 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 (82.4%) and is sixth in the GLIAC in three-point baskets made per game at 8.5. The defense is second in fewest points allowed per game at 68.5 and are third in steals at 8.0 each time the team takes the floor. Kyle Monroe leads the GLIAC in scoring at 21.8 points per game, is tied for fourth in rebounding at 7.8 boards per contest and tied for second in free throw shooting percentage (87.0%) while Lucca is second the GLIAC in steals per game (2.5) and is fourth in assists per game (4.5).
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
The Huskies will battle Alaska Anchorage Friday night to begin the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic. The Seawolves are 5-1 overall and have won two in a row coming into the tournament, defeating San Francisco State 81-69 and Sonoma State 81-69. Their only loss of the season was at the hands of Chaminade 85-56 on November 10. Niko Bevens leads the Alaska Anchorage offense with a 13.3 points per game scoring average followed by Tobin Karlberg at 13.2 points per contest. Tyrus Hosely hauls down 4.7 rebounds per game while DeAndre Osuigwe has dished out a team best 25 assists through six games of the 2019-20 campaign. The Seawolves are averaging 77.0 points per game and allowing opponents just 65.1 points per night. Alaska Anchorage has a slight overall edge in rebounding this year at 35.8-35.4 boards per contest. Friday's contest will be the first ever meeting between the two programs.
Alaska Fairbanks is struggling a bit record wise coming into the Thanksgiving Classic at 1-5. The Nanooks will face Northern Michigan Friday night before meeting the Huskies on Saturday evening. The Nanooks lone win so far was a 75-73 decision over Hawaii Pacific University on November 10. Alaska Fairbanks has dropped four straight games coming into the weekend. Shadeed Shabazz is the top scorer on the club thanks to a 19.7 points per game scoring average. Spencer Sweet follows by pouring in 13.5 points per game each time he takes the floor. Mawich Kachjaani is Fairbank's top rebounder on the strength of an 8.5 boards per game average. Koby Huerta chips in 8.8 points per game and has a team high 15 assists in 2019-20. As a team, the Nanooks are averaging 72.7 points per game but surrender 87.7 points per night to opponents. Saturday's showdown will also be the first ever battle between the two programs.
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 return home to begin the 2019-20 GLIAC portion of the schedule Thursday December 5 and Saturday December 7 against Saginaw Valley State and Northwood. Saginaw Valley State is currently 3-2 on the season while Northwood stands at 4-2. Thursday's game is slated for 7:30 p.m. followed by a 2 p.m. eastern time tip-off for Saturday.