CHICAGO, Ill. - The Illinois Tech men's basketball team hosted ninth-ranked North Park University on Saturday, marking the first time in the history of the program Tech took on a ranked NCAA Division III opponent. Illinois Tech built an early lead and withstood a strong Viking second half, holding for an 81-77 victory.
How it Happened
- North Park scored the first five points of the contest before Illinois Tech went on an 8-0 run to take its first lead.
- A Colin Lake three-pointer tied the score at eight, but that would be the last time North Park would be even with the Hawks in the first half. With consistent play on both ends of the floor, the Scarlet Hawks managed to build a lead as high as 16 in the first haf at 34-18 with 4:06 to go before intermission.
- North Park pulled to within six just before halftime, but Parker Joncus nailed a three with 31 seconds to go to give Tech a 39-30 advantage going into the second half.
- After holding North Park's two preseason All-Americans, Juwan Henry and Jordan Robinson, to a combined two points in the first half, NPU's two stars came to life. The scoring of the two players, along with sharpshooting from T.J Coobs, allowed North Park to build a 51-47 lead with 14:28 to go.
- The Scarlet Hawks re-took the lead after Anthony Mosley Jr. hit a pair of free throws after a technical foul. Two straight three-point field goals from Malik Howze allowed Tech to open the lead back up to seven with 12:24 to go.
- Tech's lead reached as high as 10 the rest of the way, but North Park would not go down quietly. The Vikings slowly chipped at the Tech lead, tying the score at 73-73 on a Henry basket with 2:23 to play.
- Down the stretch, the Scarlet Hawks did a teriffic job of running clock and drawing contact. Tech made six straight free throws to extend the lead to five at 80-75 with 11 seconds to go.
- Henry hit a jumper with eight seconds left to pull Tech back to within threem but Howze split a pair of free throws after a successful inbounds pass to make it a two possession game once again. Max Hisitake blocked a last-second heave from Robinson to bring us to our final.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts
- Samuel Rarick was dominant in the first half, scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. He finished with a game-high 23 points to go along with nine rebounds, two steals, and three blocked shots.
- Howze scored 22 points and was 9-of-10 from the foul line.
- Mosley Jr. scored 12 points, dishing out eight assists and five rebounds.
- Hisitake scored nine points and corraled 12 rebounds to lead the Scarlet Hawks.
Stats to Know
- North Park attempted 10 more shots from the floor and 10 more three-point attempts, but the Scarlet Hawks took 11 more free throws.
- Tech outrebounded the Vikings 41-39.
- After both teams turned the ball over frequently early on, Tech turned the ball over just 13 times while NPU committed 12 giveaways.
- Tech will travel to Moody Bible Institute on Tuesday. Gametime is set for 7:00 p.m.