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