CHICAGO—A four-game win streak was at stake for the Illinois Institute of Technology men's basketball team, who welcomed Wisconsin Lutheran College to the Keating Sports Center for a Tuesday-night affair. Reigning NACC Men's Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week Max Hisatake posted his ninth double double of the 2019-20 season with 19 points and 13 boards, but it wasn't enough to propel the Scarlet Hawks in a 75-59 loss to Wisconsin Lutheran.
"Very disappointing to lose a conference game after generating some momentum having won three in a row," said IIT head men's basketball coach Todd Kelly. "Wisconsin Lutheran is a solid team as they were 5-1 coming into today, but obviously the injuries hurt us with having Curry and Reale out. We just didn't have enough guys step up, especially on defense. We won't win many games giving up 75 points like that."
The Scarlet Hawks fall to 4-8, 2-5 NACC while WLC improves to 9-3, 6-1 NACC.
Hisatake was clutch from start-to-finish as he converted a game-tying dunk with 11:09 left in the first to make the score 13-13 after IIT trailed the entire game until that point. Calvin Schmitz, who finished the game with 11 points and a game-high four assists, gave Illinois Tech their first lead off a three-pointer with 9:47 left in the first to make the score 16-13. Both teams traded the lead once more after Hisatake's layup gave his team a 18-17 edge with 8:08 left in the first, but the Warriors grabbed the lead for good thereafter.
IIT got within a two-point 52-50 deficit as late as the 12:02 mark of the second, but couldn't get over the hump in a 75-59 loss.
Hisatake and Milos Dugalic, who tallied eight boards and nine points, accounted for 21-of-26 IIT rebounds on the night. Ahmad Muhammad registered 17 points off five three-point baskets for the Scarlet Hawks. Five Warriors finished in double figures, led by Andrew Bruggink's 23 points.
IIT will finish a three-game home swing on Saturday, January 11 against Lakeland College at 2:00 p.m.