Offensive Struggles Halt Men’s Hoops in NACC Opener

LISLE, Ill. – The Scarlet Hawks opened the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) schedule the evening of November 28, taking on the Eagles of Benedictine University (1-4, 1-1 NACC). Tech (2-3, 0-1 NACC) was defeated 52-51.

How it Happened

  • The Eagles defense held the Scarlet Hawks scoreless for the first 3:50 before an Ahmad Muhammad and-one ended a 6-0 Benedictine run. Tech’s five turnovers in the first 7:03 prompted Todd Kelly to use an early timeout with the Scarlet Hawks trailing 13-7.
  • Tech battled its offensive struggles with sound defense to keep the game close. Max Hisatake made some nice plays, converting a hook shot followed by a steal and fast break assist to Jake Digiorgio to bring Tech to within two at 20-18.
  • BenU would get its lead back up to seven at 27-20 before an Anthony Mosley Jr. leaping steal set up a great find in transition to Muhammad. On the last possession of the first half, Mosley Jr. hit a fadeaway to beat the buzzer, bringing the score to 27-24.
  • The Scarlet Hawks came out strong in the second half, thanks to some steady rebounding, jumping ahead early and taking a four-point (38-34) lead on a Jake Bruns three-pointer with 12:55 to play.
  • After the Scarlet Hawks moved ahead by seven with a Parker Joncus three-pointer, the Eagles were able to draw fouls and get to the bonus to reel Tech back within one. With 5:15 left and the shot clock at one, Digiorgio hit a leaning three-pointer to prompt a quick Eagles timeout.
  • With the Scarlet Hawks up two with 1:37 to play, Hisatake pulled down a big offensive rebound and hit two big free throws to make it a two-possession game. After Eric Grygo made a hook shot for the Eagles, BenU was able to get a stop and draw another foul, with Kenny Bogus hitting one of two.
  • The Scarlet Hawks ticked the clock down to 12.5 before missing a chance offensively and committing an over-the-back foul, as BenU’s Kyle Hornacek made both foul shots to give the Eagles the lead.
  • Tech had two looks at a basket late but was unable to convert both times as Benedictine held on in the final seconds.

Stats to Know

  • Fresh off being named the NACC’s Player of the Week, Digiorgio finished with 13 points and a game-high 20 rebounds.
  • Both teams shot season-lows, with Tech shooting 30.8% and BenU shooting 29.1%.
  • After the Eagles outdid the Scarlet Hawks on the glass in the first half, Tech turned the tables in that category in the second half and led 47-40 for the game.
  • The Scarlet Hawks committed 18 turnovers compared to BenU’s 14.