Rocky Mountain gets hot, drives past Dickinson State
The Rocky Mountain men’s basketball team only needed one run to spark its offense.
A fire Dickinson State couldn’t put out.
The Bears went on a 13-point run in the first and half and continued their strong offensive performance in the second half en route to a 90-57 Frontier Conference win over DSU on Monday at Scott Gymnasium.
“The guys did a nice job,” Rocky head coach Bill Dreikosen said. “We came out a little slow and Ty’s (Orton) played with a lot of energy. They always do. They never quit. We didn’t get a couple things to go early, then we found our groove and we scored in bunches. Once you get a little bit of a lead, you can’t relax, but you aren’t as tense in shooting and doing other offensive things. We started to settle into our offense and we got some good transition buckets.”
At halftime, Rocky held a 39-26 lead. The lead quickly spread from 13 to 30 after the first 11 minutes of the second half. The spark which ignited the flame was Rocky junior guard Tyree Anderson, who finished with a game-high 23 points and went 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
Though Anderson started the spark, each player on Rocky’s roster followed suit. In the first half, the Bears were 13 of 33 (39 percent) from the field and 5 of 12 (42 percent) from beyond the arch. Joel Barndt posted 22 points and 19 rebounds.
The Bears had five players in double figures. The other three players were Malachi Roberts with 17, Matt Stickland added 10 and Lane Sian supplied 10.
“That’s the real good thing about our team is that we don’t have just one scorer, our whole team can score in any position on the court,” Anderson said. “It’s really hard to guard us. Our main goal is play defense and once we get defensive stops, it moves over to the offense and we start clicking.”
The shooting percent for Rocky was even better in the second half. The Bears went 15 of 33 (46 percent) from the field including 9 of 16 (56 percent) from 3-point range.
DSU — on the other hand — was 8 of 34 (24 percent) from the field and 2 of 13 from 3-point range. The Blue Hawks’ two 3-pointers came from senior guard Brock Boos, who knocked them down within the first four minutes of the game. For the game, DSU was 16 of 67 (24 percent).
“We didn’t hit shots,” DSU head coach Ty Orton said. “We had great shots and great looks. We missed bunnies and we missed wide open 3’s. We aren’t a very confident team right now. We’re down. We aren’t a very good team right now. We aren’t playing to our ability. We need some time off right now and we need to figure out what our character is. We need to figure out which direction we are going to head. We need to get tougher and strong. I’m not talking physically this is mentally. The guys will get it and the guys will figure it out.”
Leading the way for the Blue Hawks was DeSean Atkins coming off the bench with 14 points, while Tevin Russell supplied 10 points and five rebounds.
In the first half, DSU and Rocky were jostling back-and-forth for position as each team held a substantial lead. The Blue Hawks’ biggest lead of the game was nine twice — the first was 13-4 after Mackenson Odenier knocked in a pair of free throws and the second was 15-6 on a Tevin Russell layup.
“I’m disappointed in the way we played,” said DSU senior guard Ty Ackelson, who had five points and six rebounds. “Our effort wasn’t there. The first seven minutes or so we jumped out to a lead and from then on we couldn’t buy a shot.”
However, after the nine-point lead the Bears started battling back to go on a nine-point run to tie up the game 15-15. The run was punctuated on a Lane 3-pointer.
The Blue Hawks managed to take one more lead, 16-15, as Juston Goodwin hit one of two from the free throw line.
After the lone Goodwin free throw, Rocky went on a tear to close out the first half which began on a Malachi Roberts 3-pointer. Robert’s trey started a 13-point run, which lasted nearly three minutes.
The Bears held a 28-16 lead and DSU never regained the lead in the first half. In fact, the Blue Hawks only came within eight points twice. Both times DSU came with eight points, Atkins knocked in fourth straight shots from the charity stripe. To close out of the final three minutes of the first half, Rocky went on a brief 9-4 run as Matt Strickland closed out the opening 20 minutes with a layup.
DSU has 11 days before hosting University of Jamestown at 7 p.m. on Dec. 12. Orton said the team can benefit from having time off.
“These are signs of character,” Orton said. “They say when people get money they show their true character. The character is always in there, but when they get money the true character is always shown. When losses come and adversity hits, true character is shown. How are we going to handle this? Are we going to get knocked down and get back up? Or are we going to stay down? I know this coaching staff and these kids are going to get back up. We will rise stronger than we have been.”
Ackelson added: “There’s no way that we are going to give up. We are going to keep fighting. We’re a lot better than what we showed tonight.”
ROCKY MOUNTAIN (RECORD): Joel Barndt 8-16 3-4 22, Danny Little 1-3 0-0 2, Sian Lane 3-10 2-2 10, Tyree Anderson 8-12 3-4 23, Malachi Roberts 4-9 6-10 17, Collin Moriarty 0-1 0-0 0, Matt Strickland 3-7 2-2 10, Derek Graves 1-4 2-3 4, Rob Nyby 0-2 0-0 0, Ben Moerkerke 0-2 2-2 2. Totals: 28-66 20-27 90.
DICKINSON STATE (RECORD): Ty Ackleson 1-7 3-4 5, Robbie Morey 1-3 0-1 3, Brock Boos 2-8 0-0 6, Tevin Russell 3-12 4-4 10, Mackenson Odenier 2-7 2-4 6, Jeremy Beehler 1-3 0-0 3, Josh Torgerson 0-1 0-0 0, Juston Goodwin 1-5 4-6 6, DeSean Atkins 3-6 8-10 14, Isiah Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, Phillip Johnson 1-2 0-0 2, Marko Potkonjak 0-2 0-0 0, Jacob Volk 0-5 0-0 0, Sean Kelly 1-5 0-0 2. Totals: 16-67 21-29 57.
Halftime: RMC 39-26. Total fouls: RMC 23, DSU 21. Fouled out: RMC Rob Nyby. 3-point goals: RMC 14-28 (Anderson 4-5, Roberts 3-6, Barndt 3-7, Lane 2-3, Strickland 2-2, Graves 0-2, Nyby 0-2, Moriarty 0-1), DSU 4-23 (Boos 2-7, Morey 1-2, Beehler 1-2, Ackleson 0-3, Russell 0-3, Atkins 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Potkonjak 0-2, Volk 0-2). Rebounds: RMC 55 (Barndt 19), DSU 39 (Ackleson 3). Assists: RMC 10 (Strickland 4), DSU 6 (Atkins 2). Steals: RMC 11 (five with one), DSU 11 (Goodwin 3). Blocks: RMC 3 (Barndt 2), DSU 4 (Kelly 2). Turnovers: RMC 15 (Anderson 4), DSU 13 (Russell 3, Atkins 3).