Tech men lifted by Stelzer’s 10 threes

HILLSDALE, Mich. – The Michigan Tech men’s basketball team does not stay down for long.

Losers of two straight at home to Walsh and on the road against perennial GLIAC power Findlay, the Huskies rebounded in style Saturday with an 84-81 win at Hillsdale.

Staring at an 18-3 deficit in the first half, junior guard Ben Stelzer took over, firing in 10-of-13 three-pointers to finish with 32 points overall in a shooting performance Tech coach Kevin Luke said he has rarely seen the likes of.

The 10 triples set a new Husky record for most threes made in a game.

“Ben put on a shooting exhibition today,” Luke said in a phone interview. “(Hillsdale) was guarding him. They made a point of emphasis to try and guard him, but we did a nice job screening to get him open and then he did his thing.

“He is very deserving of having the school record. He put everything for the team first in front of himself. Today we needed him to shoot though, and that’s what he did.”

Still, even with Stelzer’s explosion, Tech needed another vintage performance from Austin Armga to seal the win.

The senior guard poured in eight points in the final two minutes, scoring on four straight possessions – twice while Tech trailed – and hit the final two free throws to send Tech back on the long bus ride smiling.

“Ben had them all stretched out – they were playing a box and one on him – and then Armga went to work inside off the dribble. Those two are dynamic together.”

The Huskies needed every bucket from the pair as they once again struggled to guard a talented forward with size.

Hillsdale’s Tim Dezelski led all scorers with 35 points, making 13-of-17 shots from the floor.

The 6-foot-6 senior perfectly fits the mold of a stretch shooter the Huskies have trouble defending.

“This is going to sound crazy, but we did a heck of a job guarding him. And he still had 35,” Luke said. “But we were defending his shots.

“The key was, only one other guy had double figures for them – that is critical for us.”