Huskies sizzle the nets, beat Bemidji

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Coach Kevin Luke’s vision has come to life.

The Michigan Tech men’s basketball team reeled off their third straight win to start the season, handing Bemidji State an 81-74 loss on the Beavers home floor in yet another Husky offensive clinic.

Tech shot 13-of-19 from three, hit 18-of-21 free throws and collected assists on 19 of 25 made field goals – good for an exceptional 1.23 points per possession. The post-Ali Haidar period has been nothing but smooth sailing with Tech averaging 81.6 points per contest to start the season.

It was guards Austin Armga and Ben Stelzer leading the way once again, this time with the roles flipped from Saturday’s victory over Southwest Minnesota State.

Stelzer set a new career high, filling it up for 29 points on 9-of-19 shooting (6-of-10 from three) while Armga played the world’s most efficient second-banana, pouring in 23 points on 6-of-12 shooting with a 9-for-9 mark from the free throw line.

“As a group we were a little bit sluggish tonight and (Stelzer) certainly stepped up,” Luke said. “He shot as many as we want him shooting every night. He took it upon himself to get open, and we really needed it tonight.”

It was all Armga and Stelzer down the stretch too, with the pair scoring every point for Tech over the last 10-plus minutes of the game, save a pair of Alex Culy free throws to clinch the win in the final seconds.

Twice Bemidji got as close as one point in the final seven minutes, but never managed to retake the small lead they held early in the second half.

“Those two clearly stepped up tonight,” Luke said. “We were a step slow defensively and needed everyone of the shots those guys gave us. Just another good effort.”

The Beavers had a chance to tie the game with under a minute to play, but a three-point attempt from D.J. Hervy missed and Culy was there to gather the clinching-rebound.

“I feel very fortunate to come out of there with a ‘W,'” Luke said. “We were off the charts from three, but Bemidji played great on their home gym.”