Victorious opening weekend for men’s basketball

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mjsteger

Senior guard Dillon Gordon

The Michigan Tech men’s basketball team started the season with a victory against the University of Wisconsin Parkside. The Huskies won 82-57 against the Rangers in a non-conference match played on Saturday played at the SDC. The Huskies got off to an early lead which the Rangers never overcame, despite getting close around the half.

“Overall I thought it was a good game for us and was pleased with our defense at the start,” Michigan Tech head coach Kevin Luke said. “Parkside was a little unsettled in the beginning, but got really good late in the first half and made us look pretty bad. Overall I’m happy, but for us to be a top-notch GLIAC team we have to keep our concentration and get a little better on defense. I was pleased with our rebounding and our shooting percentages and overall it was a good performance.”

UW-Parkside had the first possession of the game but the Huskies defense was quick to regain control with the help of junior Bryan Heath. Junior Kyle Monroe delivered two triples off an assist by senior A.J. Grazulis giving Tech a 3-0 lead. This was followed by sophomore Tommy Lucca scored his first field goal of the season after a layup from Grazulis. Monroe’s second three-pointer gave the Huskies a 10-0 edge four minutes into the first half.

Three-pointers scored by Uren Tanner, Dillon Gordon and Lucca along with a couple of free throws from Lucca gave Tech a 33-17 lead at the end of first half. However, UW-Parkside gained the momentum and began to reduce the gap the Huskies had created. Adam Bonk from the Rangers scored a three-pointer trimming the advantage to 33-25. Then another Bonk three-pointer made it a five-point contest at 35-30, the smallest the gap would get. A layup from Lucca was the final scoring of the half, ending with the Huskies leading 37-30.

The Rangers managed to maintain their momentum until about the 15-minute mark of the second half when Tech pulled away for good. Sophomore Isaac Appleby connected on a mid-range jumper, Uren filled up a triple and a Gordon layup helped the Huskies reach the 50-point threshold. Two Gordon triples and a Monroe layup gave the Huskies their largest lead of the night.

Gordon finished with a game-high 20 points off the bench for Tech. Gordon was seven for nine from the field and six for eight from behind the three-point arc. Monroe followed with 18 points thanks to sinking eight of 11 attempts from the field and he also led the team in rebounding with nine boards. Lucca tacked on 14 points and Uren finished with 10 points and five assists. Appleby scored eight points and six rebounds in the victory.

“I was really excited and proud of Dillon (Gordon) and how he stepped up,” Luke said. “He took advantage of his opportunity tonight and was outstanding. It’s really nice to see when a player is called upon that he’s ready to go and that’s a big key going forward for our team.”

Joe Borcia with 11 points and Bonk with 10 points were the only Rangers with double figures. Borcia was also UW-Parkside’s top rebounder with six boards which were all on the defensive end of the floor. Linwood Lee and Jonah Matulle each scored nine points for the Rangers Saturday night.

The Huskies won a close match against the Lewis Flyers on Sunday, Nov. 12 with a final score of 87-80. The Huskies play away at Southwest Minnesota State and Minnesota Moorhead next weekend.