HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men's basketball team came up short 69-56 in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game Thursday night at Parkside. The Huskies got off to a quick start, but the Rangers settled in over the course of the game and made things difficult for Tech on both ends of the floor.
"Give credit to Parkside because they executed their game plan much better than we did tonight," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kevin Luke said. "We weren't able to get much going inside tonight and unfortunately we struggled shooting the ball outside as well. A bright spot for us was Owen White who came to play and did some great things both offensively and defensively. We have to see where we are at and try to bounce back against another tough team in Purdue Northwest Saturday."
Both offenses struggled at the outset in Thursday night's game with neither side getting on the board for the first minute of the contest. Michigan Tech (10-4, 4-2 GLIAC) struck first though when junior Dawson Bilski connected on a baseline jumper to make it a 2-0 score with 18:55 on the clock. Just over a minute later, junior Tommy Lucca dialed in a triple and then sophomore Owen White cashed in a layup to boost it to 7-0 with 17:03 to play in the first half.
Vinson Sigmon, Jr posted the first points of the evening for Parkside (7-7, 3-3 GLIAC) on a three-point bucket with just over 16 minutes to go until the intermission. The Huskies countered with four straight points to elevate their advantage to 11-3 at the 14:19 mark. Junior Isaac Appleby accounted for all four points thanks to a mid-range jumper and layup. However, it would prove to be the largest lead of the night for Tech.
The Rangers battled back with a 12-2 scoring run to slip in front for the first time 15-13 at the mid-way juncture of the first frame. Jonathan Morrobel gave the Rangers their first lead on the strength of a conventional three-point play. The Huskies then bounced back with five consecutive points courtesy of junior Trent Bell, resulting in an 18-15 edge for Tech with 8:46 left in the first half. The Huskies continued to maintain a 21-17 lead with 6:35 to go in the first following a trey from sophomore Owen White, but the Rangers began to swing the momentum in their favor with an 11-0 scoring run during the ensuing three minutes.
Brandon Trimble recorded another conventional three-point play at the 3:32 mark of the first half and that made it a 28-21 score in favor of Parkside. The Huskies got back on track a bit right before the intermission, outscoring the Rangers 7-2 in the final minutes of period to close the gap back to two points at 30-28. Senior Kyle Monroe banked in a shot from the post for the final basket of the half.
The Huskies went right to work at the beginning of the second half with Bilski knotting the score at 30 apiece 13 seconds into the action. Unfortunately, Parkside countered with the next four points to create a 34-30 edge with 18:22 left. The Huskies stayed within striking distance, but couldn't put a good run together to overtake the Rangers and establish a foothold on the scoreboard.
The Rangers increased the lead to 49-40 on a Morrobel layup midway through the second frame and then Trimble generated a 56-46 advantage for Parkside at the free throw line with 5:38 on the clock. The Huskies pulled to within eight points twice down the stretch, but that's as close as they would get the rest of the way. Parkside eventually opened up a 14-point lead with 1:48 remaining, their largest of the contest.
White powered the Huskies with 20 points by connecting on 8 of 13 shots from the field, including 4 of 7 chances from behind the arc. White also dished out three assists and grabbed three rebounds in Thursday's game. Lucca followed with 10 points and six assists while Bell tacked on nine points and had seven rebounds. Monroe chipped in eight points and reeled in a team high nine rebounds. As a team, the Huskies made 23 of 66 shots from the field (34.8%), were 6 of 29 from three-point range (20.7%), and 4 for 5 at the free throw line (80.0%).
Trimble had 21 points off the bench to lead the Rangers attack in Thursday's game. Ramar Evans recorded 14 points and three assists while Brandon Hau produced six points and a team high seven rebounds. Parkside found the target on 27 of 57 looks from the field (47.4%), were 5 of 18 from long distance (27.8%), and 10 for 16 at the free throw line (62.5%). The Rangers had the edge in rebounding 38-35.
The Huskies will look to regroup Saturday when they travel to Purdue Northwest for another GLIAC battle. The tip-off is slated for 4 p.m. eastern time.