Men’s Hoops Beats NACC Leaders in Overtime

CHICAGO–Keating Sports Center had one if its best crowds of the 2018–19 season on Wednesday night to watch the Illinois Tech men’s basketball team oppose Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference-leading Milwaukee School of Engineering. Behind a spirited performance, Tech (10-6, 7-4 NACC) defeated the Raiders (14-2, 9-2 NACC) in overtime 70-68.

How It Happened

  • The Scarlet Hawks controlled the first half, with MSOE leading just once at 3-2. Tech jumped out to a 13-5 advantage behind an up-tempo offense, working through Max Hisatake (14 first-half points) in the post.
  • Making the first start of his collegiate career, Otis Reale impressed in the first half. The Italian native scored 10 times in the first half and hit two three-pointers, hitting bank shots and floaters in the process.
  • The Scarlet Hawks would reach a lead as high as 11 in the first half on an Ahmad Muhammad three-pointer. MSOE would cut the lead down to eight at halftime as Tech led 36-28.
  • In the second half, the Raiders would slowly chip away at the Tech lead after it reached 13 on a Jake Digiorgio lay-up with 17:54 left.
  • With 5:26 remaining, a Gabe Wear three-pointer brought the Raiders within one possession (56-54) for the first time in the second half. Wear would come in the clutch once again with one minute left, hitting a three to put the Raiders up 60-58. It was MSOE’s first advantage since 3-2.
  • Reale followed the Raider score with another running lay-up. It ended up being the last score of the first half, as each team made stops on the final possessions. Digiorgio grabbed an offensive rebound and missed a fade-away as time expired.
  • Both teams exchanged baskets and free throws down the stretch of overtime until Digiorgio came up with a big play with 1:04 remaining. With the Scarlet Hawks up two, the senior co-captian secured a tough offensive rebound and drew a foul, hitting both free throws to put Tech up 70-66.
  • After a Michael Pitrof lay-up for the Raiders, MSOE stopped Tech on the other end to earn one last chance. However, Tech would not even allow a shot attempt, tying up a driving Matthew Kirmse on the final possession to keep the score at 70-68.

Scarlet Hawk Standouts

  • Hisatake came up with one of his best nights of the year when the team needed it most. The junior center had 21 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks, shooting 8-of-13 from the floor.
  • Reale dazzled in his first starting appearance, scoring 18 points and dishing out five assists.
  • Digiorgio had another double-double of 13 points and 18 rebounds. He also had four assists.

Stats to Know

  • Tech took nine more field goal attempts than the Raiders (65-56), but outshot the Scarlet Hawks 48.2% to 43.1%.
  • The Scarlet Hawks outrebounded 38-33.

Up Next

  • The Scarlet Hawks will play at Edgewood College on 4:15 p.m. on Saturday in another NACC matchup.