|MICHIGAN TECH at NORTHWOOD|
|Date||Friday-Saturday, January 15-16, 2021|
|Time||6:00 p.m. | 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)|
|Location||Riepma Arena | Midland, Michigan|
|Radio||Mix 93.5 FM WKMJ|
|Online Audio||Mix 93 WKMJ | Pasty.net|
|Video Stream||Friday | Saturday | Northwood Sports Network|
|Game Notes||Michigan Tech|
|Live Stats||Friday | Saturday|
|Tech's Record||1-1 | 1-1 GLIAC|
|Northwood's Record||2-0 | 2-0 GLIAC|
HOUGHTON, Mich. – Leading off a five-game road swing, the Michigan Tech men's basketball team will tip off with Northwood University (2-0) Friday, January 15 at 6 p.m., followed by a second game Saturday, January 16 at 3 p.m. After splitting with Purdue Northwest last weekend, the Huskies hope to insert junior guard Owen White into the lineup for the first time and build on their win on opening night.
LAST TIME OUT
Dawson Bilski scored 24 points to help the team grab a 68-59 win over Purdue Northwest last Saturday afternoon. The Huskies linked together a 17-0 run in the first half and used that momentum to hold off PNW's second half push. Trent Bell finished with 14 points, eight assists, and five rebounds. Eric Carl made it to double-figures with 11 points, four rebounds. MTU shot 40-percent.
Sunday, PNW used a strong second half to pull away from the Huskies 76-52. Carl had a strong outing with 14 points (one point shy of his career high) but Purdue Northwest won the rebound battle 44-32 and caused 14 Tech turnovers. The Huskies lost for the first time since February 13 (L, 76-71 Ferris State), ending an eight-game win streak which included three conference tournament victories.
OWEN WHITE RETURNS
Rhinelander, Wisconsin native Owen White is expected to return to the lineup this weekend and was a pre-season all-GLIAC selection along with Bilski. White is listed as a 6-foot-6-inch guard and was a member of the GLIAC all-defensive team in 2019-20, as well as the GLIAC all-tournament team. As a sophomore, he started all 31 games and posted 12.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per night.
He really shined in the post-season and averaged 19.0 points per game during Tech's memorable run to the conference championship. In the semifinal victory at Grand Valley State, White notched a new career high 27 points. He is also a capable rebounder and has nine rebounds to his name in two prior games. White was named Bill Gappy Most Improved Player and with two years of collegiate experience, he adds a veteran presence to the MTU lineup.
BILSKI STARTS OUT
Bilski was named All-GLIAC first team in 2019-20 and started all 31 games for Tech. He was second on the team in scoring thanks to a 14.6 points per game average. He also finished second in the conference in three-point shooting percentage (48.1-percent) and was tabbed North Division Player of the Week twice during the regular season.
Bilski played 58 minutes on opening weekend and shot 38-percent overall, 31-percent from beyond the arc. After leading the team in points Saturday, Bilski and the rest of the team struggled to score the following day and he finished just 3-for-10 in overall field goal tries.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
All six teams in the GLIAC North Division split games on opening weekend. Only Ferris State and Purdue Northwest had the luxury of playing non-conference games as a primer to the regular season. Walt Kelser (Ferris State) leads the conference with 25.3 points per game. His top performance came on December 30 with 38 points and 80-percent shooting in a 105-55 win over Olivet. Vincent Miszkiewicz (Purdue Northwest) had double-double efforts in both games against the Huskies last weekend. He holds the top spot in the GLIAC in rebounds per game at 12.5.
In the South Division, Northwood (2-0) and Grand Valley State (2-0) are the only remaining undefeated squads.
SCOUTING THE TIMBERWOLVES
Northwood is 2-0 this season. The Timberwolves defeated Davenport University two straight games on the road last week. The team announce a coaching change in April as Jeff Rekeweg stepped down and the University promoted Rekeweg's assistant coach for six seasons Lonnie Griffin to the position. Rekeweg had led the program for nine years, including last year's run to the GLIAC Championship, where they fell to Michigan Tech 68-57 in Allendale.
The Huskies will need to be aware of dangerous junior guard Jack Ammerman throughout the series. Ammerman had a breakout sophomore season that saw him average 12.3 points per game. He also averaged nearly 17 points over the final nine games of the year and set a school record for free throw percentage in a season (92.7-percent). In addition, Northwood returned senior Evan Lowden, who scored double-figures in five of the team's final 10 games last year.
Northwood is notably younger this season with newcomers including Jean Pierre Frederick, Richard Nunez, Quentin Richardson, La'Tavius Vaughter, and Chaz Woods. Of the above, Quentin Richardson was the most productive last week with 7.5 points per game and 25.5 minutes on the floor. The Timberwolves were tabbed to finish sixth in the 2020-21 GLIAC pre-season coaches' poll.
PRE-SEASON GLIAC POLLS
Tech was selected second in the GLIAC North Division Coaches' Poll with 50 votes and one first place vote. The Huskies finished the 2019-20 season with a 23-8 record, 14-6 in the conference. MTU went 13-2 at home, 7-6 away, and 3-0 at neutral sites. Ferris State (60) took the top spot in the division. The Huskies were the only team in the conference to have two pre-season all-GLIAC selections (Bilski and White). Jake VanTubbergen (Grand Valley State) was pre-season player of the year.
Adam Hobson (Stoughton, Michigan) played 37 minutes in his debut weekend and scored nine points with six rebounds, one steal, and two assists. Brad Simonsen (Houghton, Michigan) marked six minutes on the hardwood and grabbed one rebound. Jason Waterman (Negaunee, Michigan), Matt Ojala (Mohawk, Michigan), and Pete Calcaterra (Boyne City, Michigan) also made brief appearances.
Michigan Tech earned the No. 3 seed in the GLIAC tournament and won its quarterfinal game against Saginaw Valley State 75-56. They followed with a road victory at Grand Valley State 69-53 in the semifinals, then defeated Northwood in Allendale, Michigan 68-57 in the championship. The season was scrapped prior to the NCAA Midwest Regional, in which the Huskies would have played Bellarmine on March 14.
Kyle Monroe was named the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Division II Men's Player of the Year. He also earned All-American honors by the NABC and the D2CCA. He was the D2CCA Midwest Region Player of the Year and First Team NABC All-Midwest Region. Monroe was the GLIAC Player of the Year while also receiving All-GLIAC First Team honors, the GLIAC Tournament MVP, and the GLIAC Player of the Week eight times in 2019-20
The Huskies have won eight conference titles and made 10 NCAA tournament appearances in program history.
Kevin Luke, the winningest coach in Michigan Tech basketball history begins his 27th season leading the Huskies in 2020-21. 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 nine NCAA Tournament berths and won his 400th game in an 83-72 victory over Northwood on January 19, 2017.
Luke has forged a reputation as a dedicated worker with an intense, competitive drive in all facets of life. In addition to his basketball responsibilities, Luke serves as Michigan Tech's associate athletic director, a post to which he was named in May of 2005.
Josh Buettner was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2020-21 season after serving the last 13 seasons as assistant coach. He has recruited four All-Americans and numerous All-GLIAC first team selections since his appointment. Buettner graduated from Tech in 2005 and played professionally in Europe for three years.