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Hesseldal, Hanstad lead Blue Hawks over Montana Western

Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson State senior forward Casper Hesseldal throws down a dunk his teammates and players from Montana Western watch on Saturday afternoon in a men's basketball game during the Sam Milanovich Classic at Scott Gymnasium. Hesseldal had 30 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Blue Hawks to an 81-64 win.1 / 2
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson State senior Tevin Hurd goes in for a layup against a Montana Western player on Saturday afternoon in a men's basketball game during the Sam Milanovich Classic at Scott Gymnasium.2 / 2

Dickinson State junior John Hanstad could not find the basket on Friday night.

Less than a day later, the shooting specialist rediscovered his touch.

Hanstad caught fire from 3-point range and scored 25 points, backing up Casper Hesseldal's game highs of 30 points and 16 rebounds, as the Blue Hawk men's basketball team rolled to an 81-64 victory over Montana Western on Saturday afternoon during the Sam Milanovich Classic at Scott Gymnasium.

"I took better advantage of the opportunities I had," Hanstad said. "Last night I was a little hesitant. Today, I came out not thinking about it really."

Hanstad and Hesseldal helped DSU finally get the best of Western, a future Frontier Conference foe that had already defeated the Blue Hawks twice this season -- including a 75-71 battle of a game on Friday.

"Our guys are coming together as a team and that's impressive," DSU head coach Ty Orton said.

The Blue Hawks, who shot 54 percent from the field, took a 32-24 halftime lead and led by as much as 20 in the second half.

Hanstad hit six 3-pointers and was 9 of 16 from the field after scoring just three points on Friday.

Hesseldal scored 15 in each half and had six points during the Blue Hawks' 11-0 surge that put them ahead 29-22 with 3 minutes left in the first half.

"Hesseldal, we could not contain at all," Western head coach Steve Keller said. "They shot the ball much better tonight and we didn't shoot the ball."

DSU broke free with a 15-2 run in the first 5 minutes of the second half to build a 47-28 lead.

The Blue Hawks (5-6) maintained that double-digit lead until late in the half when Cedric Claringtown led a Western comeback and cut DSU's lead to 67-59 with 3:32 left.

That was as close as the Bulldogs (7-3) could get though.

Hanstad hit a pair of 3-pointers to push DSU's lead back to double digits down the stretch.

"We really needed this win against a good team to keep momentum going," Hanstad said. "We hadn't been really able to put two good games together."

The Blue Hawks were able to keep Western senior guard Brandon Brown in check for the most part. Brown scored 19 points a day after putting up 35.

Western shot 37 percent from the field and was just 6 of 25 from 3-point range.

"I was kind of proud of my guys I brought off the bench and got us back in the game a little bit," Keller said. "It's hard to win on the road. I don't like to lose, but I'm happy with the split. You've got to give them (the Blue Hawks) all the credit. They played extremely well on both ends of the floor tonight, defensively and especially offensively."

DSU's bench scored just one point, a free throw by Ryan Kittleson, but that didn't matter at the rate its starters were scoring.

Jarek Hanson had 11 points and Tevin Hurd added 10.

The Blue Hawks even got by with a junior forward Matt Lee scoring just four points. He had 10 rebounds and six assists though.

"We hold Matt Lee to four points. We should win when we do that," Keller said.

MONTANA-WESTERN (7-3): Tyler Hurley 1-3 2-4 5, Kyle Erickson 1-8 2-2 4, Jakes Owsley 1-4 0-0 2, Brandon Brown 8-18 1-2 19, Cedric Clarington 5-12 7-9 17, Tyler Miller 2-6 0-0 5, Kyle Perry 2-3 0-1 4, J.C. Isakson 1-1 0-0 3, Gabe Rucker 1-2 0-0 3, Jordan Overstreet 1-4 0-0 2, Bridger Chambers 0-1 0-0 0, Jacob Proctor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-62 12-18 64.

DICKINSON STATE (5-6): Casper Hesseldal 11-15 7-10 30, Tevin Hurd 4-12 0-1 10, Matthew Lee 2-3 0-1 4, Jarek Hansen 4-8 1-2 11, John Hanstad 9-16 1-2 25, Ryan Kittleson 0-0 1-2 1, Donavyn Persley 0-1 0-0 0, Isiah Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Destry Sterkel 0-1 0-0 0, Robbie Morey 0-1 0-0 0, Connor Cunningham 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 30-56 10-18 81.

Halftime: DSU 32-24. Total fouls: UMW 21, DSU 21. Fouled out: Hurd. 3-point goals: UMW 6-25 (Brown 2-8, Miller 1-4, Rucker 1-2, Hurley 1-2, Isakson 1-1, Erickson 0-4, Overstreet 0-1, Chambers 0-1), DSU 11-24 (Hanstad 6-11, Hurd 2-5, Hansen 2-4, Hesseldal 1-3, Morey 0-1). Rebounds: UMW 31 (Erickson 8), DSU 46 (Hesseldal 16). Assists: UMW 8 (Clarington, Rucker 3), DSU 22 (Hesseldal, Lee 6). Steals: UMW 8 (Clarington 4), DSU 4 (Lee 2). Blocks: UMW 0, DSU 0. Turnovers: UMW 12 (Brown 6), DSU 20 (Hesseldal 5).

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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