DeKALB, Ill. – The Illinois Tech men's basketball team showed a lot of promise on Saturday at Northern Illinois, taking on the NCAA Division I school in an exhibition. Cutting a 14-point halftime deficit down to five late in the contest, the Scarlet Hawks came within seconds away from defeating the Huskies, falling 73-66.
How it Happened
- The Scarlet Hawks made it a point to attack early, drawing three fouls in the first 1:13 of action. Despite the aggressiveness, Tech was 1-5 from the floor up until the game's first media timeout with 15:47 left, falling behind 8-3.
- Anthony Mosley Jr. went on a 5-0 run of his own to tie the score, as Tech's defensive pressure led the Huskies scoreless for the next 3:45.
- NIU began to push the ball on the fast break to build a lead, going on a 9-0 run before the Scarlet Hawks reached the bonus with 9:06 left.
- The lead reached double-digits, but Mosley Jr. and Max Hisatake began to work a two-man game to bring the Scarlet Hawks back to within seven. The duo assisted each other on three straight scores for the Scarlet Hawks down the stretch of the first half.
- Turnovers proved to be costly, however, as nine of them in the half allowed the Huskies to remain in control and take a 37-23 lead into the break. A Eugene German three-pointer just before the buzzer increased the advantage.
- The Scarlet Hawks kept things even through the first media timeout. Out of the break, Tech ran its offense through Hisatake in the high post, who scored six points in the second half's seven minutes.
- With 10:20 to go, the two Jakes put together a big energy play for the Scarlet Hawks. Jake Digiorgio secured an offensive rebound, who kicked it out to Jake Bruns for a three-pointer and a four-point play after a shooting foul. The score brought Tech back to within single digits at 49-40. Tech built off the momentum with two baskets from Hisatake and Digiorgio to put the game within five.
- NIU's Dante Thorpe and Eugene German ignited a run to put the Huskies back up 15 with 5:30 to play. However, the Scarlet Hawks were undeterred. Digiorgio, Bruns, and Milos Dugalic all his key three-pointers, and Mosley Jr. made a spinning lay-up to bring the score back to 65-57 with 2:11 to go.
- Digiorgio continued to energize the Hawks with an offensive rebound putback to pull Tech within six. After the Huskies split a pair at the line and then scored on a fastbreak, Mosley hit a lay-up to make things 68-61. Mosley then responded once again, making a three-pointer after another Huskie free throw split to bring the score to 69-64 with 29 seconds to play.
- The Huskies would convert several free throws down the stretch, hanging on to defeat the Scarlet Hawks 73-66.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts
- Hisatake with an efficient 18 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists.
- Mosley Jr. led all scorers with 20 points and shot 7-of-14 (50%) from the floor. He also had six assists.
- Digiorgio, after a slow start, came to life in the second half to finish with nine points and 13 rebounds.
- Bruns hit three key three-pointers, finishing with 10 points.
Stats to Know
- The Scarlet Hawks outrebounded the Division I Huskies 26-25 and held the hosts to just 18.8% (3-of-16) from three-point range.
- Turnovers proved to be Tech's biggest obstacle today, committing 17 compared to NIU's 11.
- The Scarlet Hawks assisted on 14 of 24 made baskets.
- Tech resumes the regular-season schedule on Wednesday night at Knox College at 7:00 p.m.