CHICAGO, Ill. - The Illinois Tech men's basketball team increased its win streak in impressive fashion on Thursday night in the Keating Sports Center. Leading for 39:53 of the contest, the Scarlet Hawks rolled Lincoln Christian University 89-56.
How it Happened
- Tech never trailed after a Max Hisatake basket 53 seconds into the contest, but the Red Lions were able to hang around in the game's early portions. A Garrett Aeilts three-pointer (one of his six on the night) pulled LCU to within two at 13-11 with 13:36 left to play in the first half.
- The Aeilts three-pointer was the closest the Red Lions would draw for the remainder of the game. Jake Bruns made three-pointers on consecutive possessions to push the lead to double-digits (23-13).
- A few minutes later, Tech went on a 13-0 run from the 5:29 mark through the 2:16 mark. After a Keaton Doty free throw for LCU, the Scarlet Hawks closed out the half with another 10-0 run over the final 2:16. Parker Joncus hit two shots from beyond the arc over the final five minutes, while Malik Howze scored eight points of his own. Tech led 52-20 at halftime.
- The Scarlet Hawks opened the second half in similar fashion, scoring on nine of the team's first 12 possessions to built the largest lead of the night of 37 points (71-34) at the 12:56 mark. Jake Digiorgio scored eight points over the half's first seven minutes
- LCU was able to heat up a bit from the field for the rest of the contest, but was unable to slow down Tech's offense. After a drought of nearly three minutes, the Scarlet Hawks scored on five straight possessions to push the lead back to 81-48 with 7:16 left to play.
- Defense prevailed for both teams down the stretch, as the squads combined for just 16 points over the final seven minutes of action. A free throw from Akena Latigo, jumper by Brinden Carlson, and a coast-to-coast lay-up by Brett Ott in the game's final two minutes closed the door on the Scarlet Hawk victory.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts
- Malik Howze recorded an impressive double-double of 16 points and a career-high 14 assists. The 14 assists are the most in a single-game by any Tech player this season. Nine of his 14 assists came in the first half. He also added six rebounds, two steals, and shot 50% from the floor (5-of-10).
- Samuel Rarick continued his strong play with a game-high 22 points, 11-of-16 shooting (68.8%), five rebounds, and three blocked shots.
- Max Hisatake recorded a double-double of his own with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting (85.7%) and 13 rebounds. He also had two blocks.
- Parker Joncus (12) and Jake Bruns (9) combined for 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc.
Stats to Know
- Illinois Tech shot its highest percentage of the season for a full game (57.1%) and a single half (63.6% in the first half). The first half numbers were also impressive on the defensive end, as the Red Lions shot just 22.6% and made just seven field goals. LCU shot 31.1% for the game.
- The Scarlet Hawks dominated the glass, outrebounding the Red Lions 43-33.
- Tech assisted on 21 made baskets (season-best) and recorded just eight turnovers (tying a season-best).
- Tech's next contest will take place at home on Tuesday, February 21 at 8:00 p.m. against Maranatha Baptist University. Live audio, video, and stats will be available, with the live audio powered by Illinois Media School.
- On Monday at 3:00 p.m. central time, the USCAA will reveal its eight-team Championship field. Illinois Tech, currently ranked sixth in the latest USCAA Coaches' Poll, will learn whether or not the team will make the trip to Pennsylvania from February 28 through March 4. Illinoistechathletics.com will post an update as soon as the news breaks on Monday.