CHICAGO – The MSOE men's basketball team overcame a 13-point, second-half deficit to force overtime but came up short in the extra period in a 70-68 loss to Illinois Tech Wednesday at the Keating Center.
The Raiders (14-2, 9-2 NACC) lost for just the second time this season and saw their eight-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Scarlet Hawks (10-6, 7-4 NACC).
Freshman Michael Pitrof led the team with 18 points, on 7-of-10 shooting, and six rebounds off the bench. Senior Gabe Wear hit all four of his three-point attempts on the way to 14 points. Sophomore Josh Herzog chipped in eight points.
Max Hisatake led all scorers with 21 points to go with 10 rebounds. Jake Digiorgio also posted a double-double with 13 points and 18 rebounds while Otis Reale finished with 18 points.
MSOE trailed by eight points at halftime and IIT was able to build its lead as high as 13 at 41-28 with 17:54 to play in the game. That's when the Raiders went to work whittling away at the deficit. Over the next 16-plus minutes, the Red & White pulled within one point before a Wear three-pointer with 1:00 on the clock gave his team its first lead since the early moments.
However, the Scarlet Hawks would tie the game on their next possession to force overtime.
In the extra period, it was back and forth with senior Jason Palesse giving MSOE the lead at 66:65 with 3:09 to play. IIT scored the next five points to open a 70-66 advantage. Pitrof would halve that deficit with a layup inside the final minute and grab a decisive defensive rebound seconds later.
The Raiders saw their first attempt at a go-ahead three go off the mark but Wear gave them a second chance with the rebound. Unfortunately, MSOE was unable to get a shot off before the final horn.
The Red & White shot a solid 48.2 percent from the field and hit on 6-of-17 three-point attempts. The Raiders did have a rough night at the free throw line with an 8-for-14 clip. Illinois Tech shot just 43.1 percent but was able to generate nine more field goal attempts on the night. The home team made 5-of-15 from three-point range and 9-for-12 at the free throw line.
MSOE will look to embark on a new winning streak starting Saturday vs. Concordia Chicago. The Raiders host the Cougars at Hotchkin Arena beginning at 4:15 p.m.