By BRIAN LESTER
The 2014 final four of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament features two seasoned postseason teams in the University of Findlay and Michigan Tech, who have combined for 12 tournament championships, and two first-year tournament participants in Walsh and Malone.
Below is a look at the other three teams who will be in Findlay this weekend for the tournament.
GLIAC Tourney Titles: Five
How They Got Here: The Huskies edged North Division rival Grand Valley State 78-72 behind a career-high 34 points from Ben Stelzer. Stelzer scored his 1,000th career point in the win. Austin Armga added 14 points while Jason Hawke scored 10. The Huskies shot 48.1 percent from the field and made 10 3-pointers as they won their second consecutive game.
Star Power: Armga, a senior guard, is averaging 23.4 points per game, ranking eighth in the nation in scoring. He has scored 1,463 points in his career, which puts him at 10th all-time in program history.
All-GLIAC: Armga is a first-team All-GLIAC selection. Stelzer, a junior guard, is a second-team pick and senior guard Alex Culy is on the All-GLIAC defensive team.
Notable: Huskies lead the nation in free-throw percentage at 80.2 percent … Tech is 11th in the country in scoring defense, allowing only 65.1 points per game … head coach Kevin Luke is the winningest coach in program history with 359 wins in his career … Huskies are averaging 74 points per outing”¦.Tech has turned ball over 10 times or less 13 times this season.
GLIAC Tourney Titles: None
How They Got Here: The eighth-seeded Pioneers stunned top-seeded Lake Superior State 73-65 on Wednesday and are the only road team to win in the quarterfinal round. Malone never trailed the No. 21 Lakers and went into halftime with a commanding 41-23 advantage. Daniel Wise came off the bench to score a career-high 23 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Isiah Elliott scored 18 points and became the 15th player in program history to score 1,500 points in a career. The Pioneers shot 48.2 percent from the field as they snapped a two-game losing streak.
Star Power: Elliott, a senior guard, is averaging 18.4 points per outing and has knocked down 39 3-pointers. He has 1,511 points in his career and is the 17th player in program history to reach the 1,500-point milestone. He has dished out 124 assists and leads the team in steals with 45.
All-GLIAC: Elliott is a first-team selection while senior forward Che Richardson was named to the league’s all-defensive team.
Notable: Pioneers are in the postseason for the first time since 2008 when they defeated Mount Vernon Nazarene 101-98 in an American Mideast Conference tournament semifinal … Richardson is sixth all-time in blocks with 66 and is second on the team in steals with 35 … MU is averaging 78.5 points per game and is second in the league in free-throw percentage at 79 percent”¦.MU is allowing 75.6 points per outing.
GLIAC Tourney Titles: None
How They Got Here: The Cavaliers held off Northwood 84-76 on Wednesday in the quarterfinal round behind 26 points from Jesse Hardin. Hardin also grabbed 11 rebounds as he recorded a double-double. Hrvoje Vucic finished with 20 points and Jeff Copeland scored 16. Brad DuPont added 12 points. WU shot 48 percent from the floor and only turned the ball over seven times.
Star Power: Hardin, a sophomore guard, leads the team in scoring at 15.5 points per outing. He has knocked down 65 3-pointers and is averaging 4.8 rebounds as well. He has dished out 48 assists and has tallied 24 steals.
All-GLIAC: Hardin earned first-team all-conference honors while DuPont, a senior guard, and Vucic, a senior forward, were both named second-team selections.
Notable: Cavaliers have won their last three games … The win over the Timberwolves was the first for WU in postseason play at the NCAA level … Cavaliers average 83.3 points per outing and allow 68.7 … WU shared the GLIAC South Division title with the University of Findlay … Cavaliers are in postseason for first time since the 2011-12 season when they won the Ohio Independent Championship tournament with a 78-77 overtime win against Cedarville.
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