Hawks beat back BisonMost college basketball teams try and set up an easy game for their season opener.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Most college basketball teams try and set up an easy game for their season opener.
The Dickinson State men’s basketball team got into a barnburner — one it was actually expecting — and head coach Ty Orton believes the Blue Hawks emerged a better team because of it.
DSU used a 32-13 run in the final 9½ minutes of the first half to establish a lead and brushed back the University of Manitoba several times in the second half to hang on for an 83-79 victory Wednesday night in their first game of the 2012-13 season at Scott Gymnasium.
“It’s what we needed for our first game,” Orton said. “We needed to step up and we needed make sure we played through adversity. We had highs, we had lows.”
It took the Blue Hawks a while to get into an offensive rhythm, but they eventually picked things up and managed to shoot 29 of 56 (52 percent) from the field.
Johnie Sanders, a senior transfer forward, scored 20 points and had six rebounds. Senior forward Matt Lee had 13 points and a team-high 12 rebounds, finishing just one point shy of the 1,000-point milestone for his career.
“We’ve got athletes, we’ve got playmakers,” Lee said. “Once we got into a rhythm, it was pretty obvious. Once we got everything going on the right track, we would just feed off of each other and we could get it going. We filled it up when we needed to.”
Trailing 22-11, DSU began to turn the tide on the first of senior Jarek Hansen’s four 3-pointers with 9:34 left in the first half.
They took their first lead, 27-26, on Tevin Russell’s 3-pointer from the left corner with 5:26 remaining in the first half and went ahead for good, 34-32, on a Ty Ackelson trey from the wing at the 2:35 mark. Russell banked in a 3 as time expired in the first half to put DSU ahead 43-35 at the half.
“When we were able to run, I thought we were in control of the game,” Manitoba head coach Kirby Schepp said. “When they made it more of a half-court game, I thought they were in control of the game. I thought that was the difference in the game. That was the ballgame right there.”
DSU built a 54-40 lead after back-to-back jumpers by John Hanstad early in the second half.
The Bison (4-2) started crawling back just as Orton, trying to gauge DSU’s depth, went to a second-string platoon.
“I was impressed with our platoons in the first half, so I went back to it in the second half,” Orton said. “The second platoon was not ready. They were not ready. They looked at the score. I don’t think we played possession by possession. I think that’s the sign of a new team.”
Manitoba point guard Stephan Walton led much of his team’s offensive efforts, scoring 21 points while dishing out 11 assists and leading his team back from the brink of a blowout numerous times in the second half.
A 13-2 Bison run made it 60-59 before a jumper from Sanders and another Hansen 3-pointer widened the gap.
“My teammates just found me,” said Hansen, who had 18 points. “I wasn’t hitting that difficult of shots. They were open shots and my teammates were finding me.”
DSU built another lead, going up 76-64 on a Sanders 3, before watching the Bison chip away once more.
But again, the Blue Hawks didn’t let the game slip away — even when Manitoba got it back within two, 81-79, with 19.1 seconds remaining.
Again, the Blue Hawks didn’t panic. They worked the ball and forced Manitoba to foul Hanstad.
Hanstad, who struggled all night — he was just 3 of 12 from the field and only missed 3-pointers — came up with a pair of game-clinching free throws with 12.7 seconds remaining to seal the win.
Lee blocked a Manitoba shot into the stands with 6.8 seconds left to put the stamp on the victory.
“When adversity hit, we didn’t crumble,” Orton said. “We didn’t have sweat on our brow and showing that we were freaking out. That shows the leadership of these guys. That shows how hard they were working. That shows their dedication because Manitoba is good.”
Notes: DSU junior Brock Boos did not play. He is still recovering from a knee injury that ended his sophomore season after 10 games and just started practicing last Friday. … The Blue Hawks’ next game is at home against Black Hills State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA (4-2): Stephan Walton 6-11 9-11 21, Caleb Noel 6-9 0-0 12, Davidson Joseph 4-9 0-1 8, Kevin Oliver 3-12 1-2 10, Braydon Speer 1-2 2-2 4, Xavier Smith 3-5 0-0 6, Amar Basi 0-1 0-0 0, Amir Ali 0-1 2-2 2, Wyatt Anders 5-7 3-7 13, Brett Jewell 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 29-56 17-25 79.
DICKINSON STATE (1-0): Johnie Sanders 8-15 2-3 20, James Hayden 2-4 0-0 4, Philip Johnson 2-4 0-0 4, Matt Lee 6-9 1-2 13, John Hanstad 3-12 2-2 8, Ryan Sullivan 0-0 0-0 0, Robbie Morey 0-4 0-0 0, Jarek Hansen 6-12 2-3 18, Tevin Russell 2-6 0-0 6, Anthony Hodges 1-4 0-0 2, Ty Ackelson 3-5 1-2 8. Totals 33-72 8-12 83.
Halftime: DSU 43-35. 3-point goals: Manitoba 4-15 (Walton 1-4, Joseph 0-1, Oliver 3-9, Ali 0-1), DSU 9-26 (Sanders 2-2, Hayden 0-2, Hanstad 0-9, Morey 0-1, Russell 2-4, Hansen 4-5, Hodges 0-1, Ackelson 0-1). Rebounds: Manitoba 30 (Oliver 5, Noel 5, Anders 5, Smith 5), DSU 30 (Lee 12). Assists: Manitoba 18 (Walton 11), DSU 18 (Russell 5). Steals: Manitoba 7 (Walton 2, Smith 2), DSU (Lee 2, Hanstad 2). Turnovers: Manitoba 19 (Walton 4), DSU 18 (Sanders 5).