CHICAGO, Ill. – The Illinois Tech men's basketball team kicked-off the 2017-18 season on Friday at the North Park Tournament against Gustavus Adolphus. Despite a sluggish first ten minutes, the Scarlet Hawks overcame a large early deficit and later hung on to win in overtime 70-66.
How it Happened
- Tech started slow offensively, failing to score until a Jake Digiorgio bucket three minutes in. Kelsey Thomas hit a few threes for the Gusties to help build an 11-4 Tech deficit.
- The Gusties lead continued to build, reaching as high as 15 (25-10) at the 9:00 mark behind great outside shooting.
- Anthony Mosley Jr. and the Scarlet Hawks would increase the tempo, helping to sway the momentum back in Tech's favor. The run was highlighted by a Mosley spin through two defenders and an off-hand finish on the fast break.
- Thanks to some increased intensity on the defensive end as well, the Scarlet Hawks were able to tie it up with 1:19 left in the half on a Digiorgio and-one. The Scarlet Hawks would claim the lead thanks to four straight Mosley Jr. points before the break, taking a 36-32 halftime lead.
- The Scarlet Hawks looked to involve Max Hisatake early in the second half, as the sophomore scored six quick points to build Tech's lead to 11 (47-36) at the 14 minute mark. His burst included a fast break dunk from a Mosley Jr assist.
- Gustavus Adolphus proceeded to make a run, cutting the lead to three with 10:00 left at 47-44. After a mini-run from Tech, the Gusties would bring the advantage back to two at 53-51 just three minutes later.
- With Tech up by five with 2:00 left, a Vannis Smith three for the Gusties made the score 60-58. After a missed three by Tech, the Gusties tied it up for the first time since late in the first half on a Riley Sharbono basket with 55 seconds left.
- Another empty possession put the Scarlet Hawks in a must-stop position with 22 seconds left. The Scarlet Hawks forced a fadeway missed jumper to send it to overtime.
- After some traded baskets to start overtime, the Scarlet Hawks took a 68-66 lead with a minute left behind the play of Digiorgio, who scored two straight times down the court to give Tech the lead.
- Tech would get a defensive stop, forcing GA to foul. After Digiorgio a pair of free throws, the Scarlet Hawks played tough defense on the ensuing inbound, forcing a turnover. The Gusties would foul Mosley Jr., who split a pair himself. Digorgio grabbed a rebound after a late three-point attempt from the Gusties to earn a win.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts
- Mosley Jr. tallied 12 points and three steals in the first half. He finished with 17 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and five steals.
- Digiorgio was the leading scorer, dropping 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting with eight rebounds.
- Howze chipped in 15 points thanks to 8-of-10 shooting from the foul line.
- Hisatake came on strong in the second half, grabbing five rebounds and scoring nine points after halftime.
Stats to Know
- The foul line was a huge reason for the win, as the Scarlet Hawks attempted 28 free throws compared to just eight for the Gusties.
- Tech had just 11 turnovers compared to 16 for GA.
- Friday was the first time the Hawks have won the season-opener in the Todd Kelly era.
- Illinois Tech will take on host North Park University tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. NPU will provide live video for the event.