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No. 22 MSU-Northern hangs on to beat DSU men

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HAVRE, Mont. -- Dickinson State pushed the No. 22-ranked team in NAIA Division I as much as it could Thursday night.

Montana State-Northern pushed right back.

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Trailing by seven in the first half and down two after a DSU surge to start the second half, the Lights rallied and staved off the Blue Hawks late en route to a 72-65 Frontier Conference victory at the Armory Gymnasium.

"We played a tremendous game," DSU head coach Ty Orton said. "The guys stepped up, the played hard, they played aggressive and they played smart. A couple plays, we didn't do things right."

Alfie Miller and Devin Jackson sealed the win with a third 3-pointer and a back-door layup in the final 2 minutes giving the Lights a 66-57 lead, their largest of the game.

Jackson scored a game-high 16 points while Miller finished with 13.

MSUN went on an 8-2 run in the final 80 seconds of the first half to take a 32-30 halftime lead.

"We didn't finish strong going into half," Orton said. "We saw halftime coming and we let up."

But DSU seized a bit of momentum early in the second half and reclaimed the lead, 41-39. That prompted a MSUN time out with 16:10 remaining. It didn't take long for the Lights to regroup as they tore off an 11-4 run over the next 5 minutes to take a 52-43 lead.

The Blue Hawks (6-10, 0-2 Frontier) led by as much as seven in the first half and outrebounded the Lights 41-30.

"If we play like that, we're going to beat some teams," Orton said.

Johnie Sanders had 11 points and six rebounds to lead DSU, but shot just 3 of 15 from the field.

Brock Boos and Phillip Johnson Jr. each added 10 points. Johnson had a game-high eight boards.

Will Perry had 12 points and seven rebounds for MSUN (14-2, 2-0 Frontier) while Corbin Pearson added 10 points. The Lights shot 26 of 50 (52 percent) from the field.

DSU continues its Frontier road swing, visiting Carroll College (1-13, 0-2 Frontier) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

DICKINSON STATE (6-10, 0-2 Frontier): Ty Ackelson 2-8 0-3 6, Anthony Hodges 4-5 1-2 9, Ryan Sulilvan 0-0 2-2 2, Johnie Sanders 3-15 5-6 11, Robbie Morey 1-4 4-4 6, James Hayden 0-1 2-3 2, Brock Boos 4-4 0-0 10, Isiah Thomas 3-3 0-0 6, Phillip Johnson Jr. 5-10 0-2 10, Jarek Hansen 0-3 1-2 1, John Hanstad 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 23-58 15-25 65.

MONTANA STATE-NORTHERN (14-2, 2-0 Frontier): Roshawn West 2-4 0-0 6, Devin Jackson 6-12 3-7 16, Corbin Pearson 5-7 0-2 10, Dontae Clark 0-0 0-0 0, Savion Udeh 2-2 2-4 7, Alan Brown 0-0 0-2 2, Mike LaValley 1-1 0-0 3, Will Perry 6-11 0-0 12, Jesse Vaughan 1-4 3-4 6, Alfie Miller 3-9 4-4 13. Totals 26-50 12-23 72.

Halftime: MSUN 32-30. Total fouls: DSU 19, MSUN 19. Technical fouls: MSUN, bench. Fouled out: MSUN, Perry. 3-point goals: DSU 4-13 (Ackelson 1-3, Hodges 0-1, Sanders 0-1, Hayden 0-1, Boos 2-2, Johnson 0-1, Hansen 0-1, Hanstad 1-2), MSUN 8-23 (West 2-4, Jackson 1-6, Udeh 1-1, LaValley 1-1, Vaughan 3-9). Rebounds: DSU 41 (Johnson 8), MSUN 30 (Perry 7). Assists: DSU 5 (Hayden 2), MSUN 12 (West 5). Steals: DSU 4, MSUN 7. Blocks: DSU 2, MSUN 1. Turnovers: DSU 14, MSUN 10.

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