HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team won for the fourth consecutive time Saturday afternoon, powering by Northwood University 93-59 in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference showdown at the SDC Gym. Senior Kyle Monroe also eclipsed 2,000 career points, becoming only the fourth player in Tech history to accomplish that feat.
"We have a really good team and when we execute, make good decisions, and share the basketball good things happen," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "Right now, we are beginning to get some traction and our guys have played hard all season. We are better defensively and we have to continue to be strong in that area of the game. Our offense is beginning to be a little more fluid and that was evident today. Today was a big day for our confidence and I thought there was some exceptional play all the way around.
"A huge milestone is 1,000 points and for Kyle [Monroe] to double that at 2,000 points is outstanding. Kyle is very knowledgeable and has a great basketball IQ that allows him to create scoring opportunities for other players on the floor as well. We are really proud of what Kyle has been able to accomplish and the nice thing is he is not done yet."
Michigan Tech (6-2, 2-0 GLIAC) struck first on Saturday when junior Trent Bell delivered a triple in the first minute of the contest. Northwood (5-3, 1-1 GLIAC) recorded the next four points on a layup from David Jelinek and a dunk courtesy of Danny Kolp to make it 4-2 with 18:19 to play in the first half. The two sides then traded points over the next few minutes, resulting in three ties and eight lead changes.
With the score tied 13-13 with 13:17 to play in the half, the Huskies were able to begin shifting the momentum to their favor. Sophomore Owen White cashed in a layup off an assist from junior Isaac Appleby followed by a layup from senior Kyle Monroe. The Huskies eventually bumped the lead to double digits for the first time at 24-14 with 8:34 to play on another triple by Bell.
Northwood closed the gap back to single digits again at 30-23 on a trey from Jack Ammerman, but the remainder of the half would be dominated by the Huskies. Tech outscored the Timberwolves 17-2 in the final six minutes of the opening frame to secure a commanding 47-25 advantage at the intermission.
Monroe got the final charge of the first half going with a layup and from there the points continued to roll in. Senior Ryan Schuller and senior Tommy Lucca capped the scoring burst with layups on ensuing possessions. The Huskies continued to pull further and further away as the second half progressed. Tech's largest lead of the afternoon occurred at the 5:26 mark when Bell dialed in another triple to make it 84-47. Tech went on to surpass the 90-point threshold for the first time since a 91-87 overtime victory over Grand Valley State on January 17th, 2019 in Houghton.
Monroe guided the Huskies' attack with 22 points and seven rebounds on his way to 2,004 career points going into Wednesday's non-conference game against Finlandia. 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.
Junior Dawson 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, ending the weekend with 13 assists and zero turnovers combined in the two games.
As a team, the Huskies found the target on 41 of 64 shots from the field (64.1%), were 7 of 15 from three-point range (46.7%), and 4 of 6 at the free throw line (66.7%). Tech out-rebounded Northwood 33-30 and forced 15 Timberwolves turnovers while committing only five miscues. The Huskies had solid success in the paint with 58 points coming on high percentage shots.
Ammerman had a team high 12 points for the Timberwolves followed by nine points from Kelvin Calhoun. Northwood connected on just 23 of 60 attempts from the floor (38.3%), were 4 of 19 from three-point range (81.8%), and 9 of 11 at the free throw line (81.8%).
The Huskies will be back in action on Wednesday night when they host Finlandia University in a non-conference game at the SDC Gym. The tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. eastern time.