Beavers edge DSU in thriller
Neither Dickinson State nor Minot State wanted its season to end Wednesday night at Scott Gymnasium.
But, when their Dakota Athletic Conference tournament semifinal game went into overtime, Minot State had more in the tank and outlasted an exhausted Dickinson State men's basketball team 84-73.
The Beavers forced overtime on a wild last-second play shortly after DSU sophomore guard Nathan Lebsock sent the home crowd into a frenzy when he knocked down a 3-pointer from the left corner that put DSU ahead 70-68 with 5 seconds left.
After time outs by each team, Minot State guard Ricky Martinez drove the length of the court and alley ooped a pass to Shaun Johnson, who tipped in a shot just before time expired.
The Beavers (20-10), seeded third in the tournament, thrived in the final minutes of the extra period, hitting their free throws and a pair of huge shots to end DSU's season at 17-13.
"You go from the highest you could think of to the lowest in 10 minutes," said Lebsock, who scored a game-high 21 points. "That's the game of basketball."
Lebsock's 3-pointer looked like it would stamp a happy ending on a stellar DSU comeback.
The Blue Hawks, the second seed in the tournament, rallied from a 38-26 halftime deficit to take their first lead, 47-45, with 12:31 remaining on a pair of free throws by Lebsock, who had been intentionally fouled by Minot State's Stan Schauer.
The game was close from that point on.
"The guys stepped up in the second half and did exactly what they needed to," DSU coach Ty Orton said.
With the Blue Hawks in need of some kind of life, senior forward Tomaul Hawkins made sure his season didn't end with a whimper.
Hawkins scored the first eight points of the second half, all on shots in the lane, and quickly cut Minot State's halftime lead into a four-point game and sparked a 15-2 run in the first 5 minutes of the second half.
"I think that's what helped everybody," Orton said.
Hawkins' one and only season at DSU ended on a sad note, however.
With a less than 2½ minutes left in overtime, Hawkins came down awkwardly on his left foot and never got back on his feet. Afterward, he was taken the emergency room for a possible Achilles' tendon injury.
After Hawkins went down, the Blue Hawks had a hard time recovering.
Johnson had a putback on a miss and Mister Carney buried a 3-pointer from the right wing with 1 minute left to put Minot State ahead 78-72.
Carney's 3-pointer effectively silenced DSU's rowdy student section, most of whom were wearing some version of a white T-shirt - or in a few cases, a toga - and created a hostile environment when the Beavers moved to their end of the gymnasium in the second half.
"Our guys like that stuff," said Minot State coach Mike Hultz, whose team will visit fifth-ranked Black Hills State in the DAC championship game on Sunday. "Our guys enjoy being on the road and playing in front of a lot of people."
Senior center Fred Scheltinga got the crowd going with a pair of electrifying dunks in the second half.
The 7-footer from Brazil scored a career-high 16 points in his final game as a Blue Hawk and finished with seven rebounds.
"He caused the most problems for them," Orton said. "They don't like the height. But the biggest thing is Freddy came in and rebounded, finished and shot free throws. He was a team leader on the floor."
Senior guard Sean Burnham scored 13 points and had five assists and four steals in his final game at DSU.
"I'm really impressed with the way these seniors finished out their year," Orton said.
There were shaky moments, however, and some of them played a part in Minot State's comeback.
In a span of 1:23 late in the second half, DSU's 65-60 advantage fell apart after four consecutive turnovers.
They held onto a 66-64 lead, but watched the Beavers retake the lead 68-66 after Scheltinga and Johnson tipped a loose ball into Minot State's basket and Burnham fouled Martinez on a 3-pointer. Martinez made two out of three free throws to set up Lebsock's final shot of regulation.
In overtime, it was more of the same as miscues kept DSU from taking control.
"The big key to the last few minutes of the game is we got a lot of stops," Hultz said.
MINOT STATE (20-10): Mister Carney 5-9 6-8 18, Aaron Patterson 3-13 7-8 14, CJ DeWitty 4-11 2-2 12, Shaun Johnson 6-9 0-2 12, Ricky Martinez 1-3 9-11, Stan Schauer 4-6 0-0 11, Bojan Janjic 1-2 0-0 3, Demetrius Malone 0-3 3-6 3, Kenneth McCoy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-56 27-37 84.
DICKINSON STATE (17-13): Nathan Lebsock 7-17 4-4 21, Fred Scheltinga 6-9 4-6 16, Tomaul Hawkins 5-15 4-6 14, Sean Burnham 2-5 9-12 13, Josh Walker 2-5 3-4 7, Derek Pauley 1-1 0-2 2, Nick Martinez 0-2 0-0 0, Mark Versen 0-1 0-0 0, Branden Thomas 0-1 0-2 0, Jeremy Mallard 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 23-57 24-36 73.
Halftime: MSU 38-26. Total fouls: MSU 28, DSU 27. Fouled out: McCoy, Burnham, DeWitty, N. Lebsock. 3-point goals: MSU 9-27 (Schauer 3-4, Carney 2-3, Patterson 1-8, DeWitty 2-7, Janjic 1-2, Martinez 0-1, Malone 0-2), DSU 3-13 (N. Lebsock 3-8, Hawkins 0-2, Mallard 0-1, Martinez 0-2). Rebounds: MSU 32 (Johnson 7), DSU 42 (Hawkins 10). Assists: MSU 13 (two with 3), DSU 11 (Burnham 5). Steals: MSU 13 (Carney 8), DSU 8 (Burnham 4). Blocks: MSU 6 (Johnson 4), DSU 3 (Hawkins 3). Turnovers: MSU 19 (two with 6), DSU 27 (Hawkins 8).