Pride carries Blue Hawks past ArgosThe Dickinson State men’s basketball team knows it is out of the running for the Frontier Conference Tournament.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson State men’s basketball team knows it is out of the running for the Frontier Conference Tournament.
So, with three days left in the 2012-13 season, the Blue Hawks decided to play for some pride Thursday night against the University of Great Falls (Mont.).
“We know it’s coming to an end,” DSU senior Johnie Sanders said. “We had to do everything right. It’s not like that we have that many games left so we just have to go out fighting. We all had fun.”
Sanders scored 10 of his 14 points on jump shots in a 3½-minute span as the Blue Hawks turned a seven-point deficit into a seven-point lead before holding on for a 66-63 Frontier victory over the Argonauts at Scott Gymnasium.
Trailing 47-40 with less than 9 minutes to play, Sanders hit a shot in the post and Ty Ackleson stole the ensuing in-bounds pass for a layup.
Just like that, DSU had momentum.
Robbie Morey made an up-and-under layup. Sanders then hit three consecutive jumpers from the free-throw line, the third of which gave DSU a 52-51 lead.
However, it was Ackelson’s 3-pointer from the left corner with 5:50 remaining that gave the Blue Hawks the edge.
“Ty’s shot was huge,” DSU head coach Ty Orton said. “We were worried we couldn’t get over the hump.”
Sanders followed it with a jumper and a steal and another jumper and, in a matter of 5 minutes, the Blue Hawks (11-18, 4-10 Frontier) had built a 59-52 lead.
“Coach told me, when I sat on the bench, ‘You’ve got to be more aggressive, start shooting,’ because in the beginning I kept passing it,” said Sanders, who added a team-high seven rebounds. “… That was my confidence right there.”
Great Falls (17-12, 8-8 Frontier), which appears as if it will make the Frontier postseason tournament regardless if it wins or loses Saturday at Rocky Mountain College, was shooting the ball with confidence.
The Argos shot 45 percent from the field and hit 10 3-pointers. They just couldn’t connect from arguably the easiest place on the court.
Great Falls shot 9-for-22 from the free-throw line, including a 0-for-5 performance from junior guard Marcel Towns, the Frontier’s leading scorer with 19.1 points per game who was held to just nine.
“If you would have told me we’d hit 10 3’s, I’d feel pretty good,” Great Falls head coach Steve Silsby said. “But when you go 9-for-22 from the line, you probably don’t deserve to win.”
Sophomore T.J. Harris wouldn’t let Great Falls wouldn’t go away though.
He hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final 15.3 seconds to force the Blue Hawks to win the game at the free-throw line, which they did.
Jarek Hansen hit one of two to make it a four-point game with 9.9 seconds left. After Harris cut it to 64-63 on his final 3-pointer, Ackelson was fouled on an in-bounds and made both of his free throws with 2.9 remaining to give DSU three-point victory.
Ackelson and Hansen each scored 16 points off the bench to lead DSU.
“We had some guys come in off the bench that played pretty well,” Orton said.
Harris finished with 20 points and was 6 of 10 from 3-point range. Naren Maynard added 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Great Falls threw away two in-bounds chances to the hands of DSU defenders in the final 3 seconds.
“Our defense kept us in the game the whole time,” Orton said.
The game was tight throughout with seven lead changes. DSU held a 15-7 lead early in the first half but a dry spell of more than 6 minutes allowed Great Falls to take a 28-25 halftime advantage.
DSU senior John Hanstad scored 11 points and hit three 3-pointers, passing Mike Lynch for second on the school’s all-time 3-point chart.
Hanstad, from Dickinson, now has 174 career 3-pointers and trails only career leader Nathan Lebsock (182).
DSU will try to close out its season with two home wins when it hosts Montana State-Northern at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
“It’d be great for the seniors, it’d be great for those guys to end their career on a high note and walk away with a win,” Orton said. “… I’m really proud of the guys. They did everything to win this game and they deserve to win. The kids did it tonight. They did a good job.”
GREAT FALLS (17-12, 8-8 Frontier): Shawn Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Miguel Bocachica 1-5 2-2 5, James Holmes 3-6 2-5 8, Naren Maynard 5-13 3-5 14, Marcel Towns 4-10 0-5 9, T.J. Harris 7-10 0-1 20, Reid Tramelli 0-0 0-0 0, David Udadigbo 1-4 1-2 4, Maleek Singleton 1-1 1-2 3, Daniel Arcau 0-0 0-0 0, Eric Taylor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-49 9-22 63.
DICKINSON STATE (11-18, 4-10 Frontier): Johnie Sanders 6-9 2-5 14, Phillip Johnson Jr. 1-5 0-0 2, Ty Ackelson 5-9 4-5 16, James Hayden 0-1 0-0 0, John Hanstad 3-13 2-2 11, Anthony Hodges 0-1 0-0 0, Ryan Sullivan 0-2 0-0 0, Robbie Morey 1-1 0-1 2, Brock Boos 1-2 0-0 3, Isiah Thomas 1-1 0-0 2, Jarek Hansen 6-13 2-3 16. Totals 24-56 10-16 66.
Halftime: UGF 28-25. Total fouls: UGF 18, DSU 19. 3-point goals: UGF 10-22 (Bocachica 1-5, Maynard 1-2, Towns 1-5, Harris 6-8, Udadigbo 1-2), DSU 8-29 (Sanders 0-2, Ackelson 2-6, Hanstad 3-12, Boos 1-2, Hansen 2-7). Rebounds: UGF 34 (Maynard 11), DSU 35 (Sanders 7). Assists: UGF 11 (five with 2), DSU 16 (Morey 5). Steals: UGF 5 (Harris 2, Maynard 2), DSU 7 (Sanders 2, Ackelson 2). Blocks: UGF 2 (Bocachica 2), DSU 1 (Hansen). Turnovers: UGF 15 (Holmes 6), DSU 14 (five with 2).