FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Indiana Tech men’s basketball team closed out the Northern Lakes Insurance Tournament with their second upset in as many days as they defeated their crosstown rivals and No. 3-ranked University of Saint Francis, 69-65, on Saturday evening at Hutzell Athletic Center.
All five of the Warrior starters would finish the night in double figures with Darren Groves leading all scorers with 17 points and four rebounds, while Dylan Phair finished his night with 14 points of his own. Nic Williams contributed 11 while Joel Wincowski and Scott Schwieterman both recorded 10 points.
After defeating the 2017 NAIA Division II champions, Union College, the previous day, Tech followed up their performance against yet another top-five ranked opponent with another strong showing. The Warriors would find themselves with a double-digit lead early, after allowing their opponents only three points through about six minutes of play, earning the 15-3 advantage. The Orange and Black would maintain their lead through much of the first half with a jumper from Groves in the paint providing the 30-25 advantage with just under three minutes left in the opening half.
The Cougars would not stay silent, taking the one point lead, 31-30, on a shot from Stephen Turner with just over a minute remaining. Saint Francis would hold their one point lead as both teams headed into the break leading 33-32.
Heading into the second half, the Cougars set the offensive pace early, growing their one-point lead to a five-point one after two free throws from Bryce Lienhoop. It wouldn’t be until five minutes into half number two that the Warriors would regain their lead at 41-39. The next five minutes would showcase a back-and-forth battle between the two squads as they each took shares of the lead before Tech took control 50-48 on two made free throws from Groves.
As the half went on, the Warriors would continue to grow their lead, getting out to a seven-point advantage with just under four minutes in regulation. Their lead would hold the remainder of the contest, leading way to their 69-65 victory over the Cougars.
Tech (2-0) will be back in action Wednesday, as they head to Notre Dame, Indiana to take on Holy Cross College in a 7 p.m. match-up at McKenna Arena.