First-half lapse costs Huskies on road

ALLENDALE – One slip in an otherwise even game left the Michigan Tech men’s basketball team winless on a crucial early GLIAC North Division road trip.

The Huskies fell 70-65 at Grand Valley State Saturday in large part due to a scoreless drought that stretched six minutes in the first half, helping the Lakers take a 12-point lead at intermission.

Efforts to battle back in the second half just fell short, as Tech cut the deficit to three with less than two minutes to go before a steal-and-layup sealed the victory for good for Grand Valley (11-3, 8-2 GLIAC).

Where head coach Kevin Luke was, ahem, displeased with his team’s showing on Thursday in the loss to Ferris State, Luke could swallow this loss a bit easier.

“I feel like this year so far, this was the first time somebody beat us. We beat ourselves for the other three,” Luke said. “There are nights where the other team can be better than you. And Grand Valley played well and shot well (Saturday). But let me tell you, we can still beat them when they come up here.”

Tech was led by Ali Haidar’s 25 points (9-of-16 shooting) and sophomore guard Ben Stelzer’s electric 21 points on seven-of-nine threes.

Even with the long scoreless stretch, the team shot 52 percent from the field and 53 percent from three.

“It really was just almost that seven-minute stretch where we went dry,” Luke said. “There were a couple of good looks missed and we had a couple turnovers in there. Just an unfortunate stretch.”

Grand Valley shot 56 percent for the game and hit 8-of-19 threes.

“We know if we are going to give up something it is going to be a three,” Luke said. “They made us pay. We thought coming in they were capable shooters but they proved they were good shooters.”