DSU rallies, lets Carroll catch up before closing out Frontier victory
There have been several ups and downs for the Dickinson State men's basketball team this season.
Much of that was encapsulated in 40 minutes against Carroll College on Saturday night.
The Blue Hawks fell behind early, led by as much as 13 in the second half and gave the one-win Saints a chance to tie the game in the final seconds before wrapping up a 66-61 Frontier Conference victory at Scott Gymnasium.
"It's good to be able to come out with the win, despite those things," DSU senior forward Jarek Hansen said. "We're definitely going to have to be able to get better on those things to be able to win some bigger conference games."
Hansen, who had a game-high 20 points, hit three first-half 3-pointers and sealed the game on a pair of free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining.
It was an erratic night for the Blue Hawks (9-10, 2-2 Frontier).
Hansen came off the bench and hit three 3-pointers for nine of the team's first 12 points, including back-to-back treys that tied the game at 12 and swung the momentum in DSU's favor.
"That's what we need," DSU head coach Ty Orton said. "That's what I was telling the guys. Our bench is vital. I think our bench is what's going to separate us from teams and keep us in contention to win some games in this conference."
The Blue Hawks led 24-16 after a sloppy, quickly played first half and went ahead 31-18 after Robbie Morey's 3-pointer just 1:22 into the second half.
But the Saints (1-15, 0-5 Frontier) kept pace, matching the Blue Hawks shot for shot over the next 10 minutes and cutting DSU's lead to two, 51-49, after scoring eight unanswered over a 33-second span shortly after the half's media time out.
Three-pointers by Chris McGrath and Nick Jones bookended Jake Hollifield's fast-break layup -- he was fouled on the play but missed the free throw -- which put the Blue Hawks on their heels and threw a wrench into their plans.
However, the Saints never got any closer.
"We play well in spurts and can compete with some really good teams for long stretches," Carroll head coach Brandon Veltri said. "Then we have periods of one to two minutes where we have mental breakdowns and we make a couple untimely mistakes on our part. Good teams are going to capitalize on those."
DSU sure did.
They responded by getting to the free-throw line and scoring six unanswered points over a three-minute stretch, punctuated by Hansen's put-back layup with 5:50 remaining, to go ahead 61-52.
DSU shot 15 of 19 from the free-throw line, but couldn't shut the door on the Saints.
Carroll chipped away over the final minutes and cut it to 64-61 on Riley King's jumper with 18.1 seconds remaining.
DSU senior Johnie Sanders threw away the ensuing in-bounds pass, giving the Saints a chance to tie it. But, King was only able to muster an airballed 3-pointer from the right wing.
Sanders finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Ty Ackelson added nine points and Morey had eight points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Jones led Carroll's balanced scoring effort with 13 points. Dennis Mikelonis added 12 points, King had 10 points and nine rebounds and Hollifield scored 11.
"It just seems like there's one thing every night where we're not quite crisp enough," Veltri said. "It's something different each and every night. We haven't been able to put it all together."
CARROLL COLLEGE (1-15, 0-5 Frontier): Brent Ball 2-7 0-0 4, Riley King 3-12 3-4 10, Dennis Mikelonis 4-9 4-6 12, Chris McGrath 1-1 2-2 5, Nick Jones 4-8 3-4 13, Noah Kone-Nelson 2-3 0-0 4, Jake Hollifield 5-7 0-1 11, Everett Johnston 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Williams 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 22-50 12-17 61.
DICKINSON STATE (9-10, 2-2 Frontier): Johnie Sanders 7-16 1-3 15, Phillip Johnson Jr. 2-4 0-0 4, Ty Ackelson 2-5 5-7 9, Robbie Morey 3-4 0-0 8, John Hanstad 1-5 2-2 4, Anthony Hodges 0-1 0-0 0, Ryan Sullivan 0-0 0-0 0, James Hayden 1-4 2-2 4, Brock Boos 1-2 0-0 2, Isiah Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Jarek Hansen 6-12 5-5 20. Totals 23-53 15-19 66.
Halftime: DSU 24-16. Total fouls: CC 21, DSU 15. 3-point goals: CC 5-16 (King 1-5, Mikelonis 0-3, McGrath 1-1, Jones 2-5, Hollifield 1-1, Williams 0-1), DSU 5-16 (Sanders 0-2, Ackelson 0-1, Morey 2-3, Hanstad 0-4, Hayden 0-1, Boos 0-1, Hansen 3-4). Rebounds: CC 31 (King 9), DSU 32 (Sanders 7, Morey 7). Assists: CC 9 (McGrath 3, Williams 3), DSU 11 (Morey 4). Steals: CC 3 (three with 1), DSU 6 (Hansen 2, Morey 2). Blocks: CC 2 (Ball, Williams), DSU 0. Turnovers: CC 11, DSU 8.