Tech men grind out win over Warriors
DETROIT – The Michigan Tech men’s basketball team picked up a 52-50 win at Wayne State on Thursday to move to 12-3 overall and 8-3 in the GLIAC. The Warriors had three shots in the final 12 seconds to tie or take the lead but all three rimmed out as the Huskies overcame a three-point halftime deficit from the Matthaei Center.
Austin Armga finished with a game-high 16 points, all in the second half. Ben Stelzer added 12 for the Huskies, making four 3-pointers. Jason Hawke tallied eight while Jordan Chartier chipped in with five points, five rebounds and quality defense on Wayne State’s top player.
Tech held a five-point lead with 4:20 remaining after an Armga jumper. Gavin Toma and Chene Phillips buried 3-pointers on the next two Wayne State possessions to give the home team a 49-48 lead with 3:34 on the clock.
Tech head coach Kevin Luke called a timeout, and on the ensuing possession Armga buried a jumper to give the Huskies their lead back.
Tech’s defense then forced the Warriors into two shot clock violations and the home team was forced to foul. Armga buried two free throws – the only attempts at the line for Tech – to give the visitors a 52-49 lead with 27 ticks on the clock.
Philips was fouled on the Warriors’ next possession and made 1-of-2 from the line. Tech then turned the ball over to give the home team a chance for the win.
Bryan Coleman missed a jumper, got his own rebound and fired a wild 3-pointer that rattled out. Luke Heller was whistled for a foul on the rebound but Coleman’s last-second three from the top of the key rimmed out to give Tech the win.
“What a tough game and good win,” Luke said. “It was two teams that battled until the end. Give our guys credit. We didn’t quit after a rough first half.”
Tech made 46.7 percent (21-for-45) from the field after making only seven first-half field goals. The Huskies also made 8-for-19 from three.
“Jordan played great defense tonight and we hit some huge shots late,” added Luke. “At the end we lucked out with a few missed shots from Coleman.”
Tech trailed 21-18 at halftime after committing 11 turnovers. Stelzer kept the Huskies in it making three 3-pointers.
Wayne State (7-6, 5-5 GLIAC) shot 36.5 percent (19-for-52) from the field and 6-for-19 (31.6 percent) from beyond the arc. The Warriors held a 30-27 rebounding advantage that included 10 offensive boards.
Toma led the home team with 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Coleman was also in double figures for with 10.
Tech wraps up the weekend at Saginaw Valley State on Saturday.