HOLLAND, MICH.—The first win streak of 2019-20 was at stake for the Illinois Institute of Technology men's basketball team in their Saturday-afternoon showdown at Hope College. The Scarlet Hawks prevailed with a 72-58 victory over the Flying Dutchmen to finish the Hope College Russ DeVette Holiday Classic with a 2-0 record.
IIT improves to 3-7 on the season while Hope falls to 7-4.
Milos Dugalic was dynamite for IIT with 18 points along with a game-high four assists, but it was the Scarlet Hawks defense that held true to their NACC-leading .405 field goal percentage defense as Hope notched a dismal 18-56 (.321) mark in the contest. The Flying Dutchmen only managed a 4-14 (.286) figure from the three-point line, but it was their 18-20 (.900) free throw percentage that kept things within striking distance despite trailing the entire game.
The opening 14:00 of the contest resulted in an atrocious 3-21 shooting mark for the Flying Dutchmen, which helped propel IIT to a 25-16 lead with 6:00 remaining in the opening half after they kicked-off the game with a 7-0 run. Hope registered 14 points from the charity stripe throughout the opening half, which included a pair of makes from Evan Thomas at the buzzer that closed their deficit to 33-25 at halftime.
The tables turned in the second half as IIT converted all 11 of their free throw attempts within the final 20:00, where they held onto a 72-58 victory.
Max Hisatake chipped in 12 points and 12 boards while Ahmad Muhammad was a spark plug off the bench with 13 points over 30 minutes of action for IIT. Miles Curry contributed 13 points and a game-high four assists to round out the double-figure Scarlet Hawks scorers. Matt Zandstra registered a team-leading 12 points for Hope.
Illinois Tech has completed their 2019-20 non-conference schedule and will begin a three-game home stand on Saturday, January 4 against Concordia (Wis.) at 2:00 p.m.
2019-20 Hope College Russ DeVette Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team