The Dickinson State men’s basketball team had a battle against its second ranked team this season, Dordt University. The game went down to the wire, but only one team would be the winner.
In the final minutes of play, the No. 25 Defenders’ highest lead of the night was 73-65, and threatened to break the game away from the Blue Hawks. The team continued to fight and tied the game at 83, again at 85, and once more at 87 with 1:50 remaining in the contest.
With 62 seconds left to play, senior guard Kenny Jackson attempted to fire a 3-pointer, which he drained in his previous attempt, but was blocked by senior guard Chad Barkema and rebounded by junior forward Garett Franken.
After bringing the ball up the floor, the Defenders bodied the Blue Hawks and despite missing five straight shots, the team recorded five consecutive offensive boards. Barkema ended the shooting drought with a close-up bucket in the paint to give the team a 89-87 lead with 27 seconds left to play.
After the bucket the Blue Hawks looked to tie the game up, like it had numerous times throughout the night and in the late minutes. Sadly, a turnover with 14 seconds on the clock quickly made the game a free-throw shooting, clock-stopping match.
With the score at 91-87 and six seconds remaining, Blue Hawks guard Montel Carlow splashed a corner 3-pointer, his eighth of the game, and brought the score to 91-90. After two made free-throws by senior guard Chandler Brunsting, the Blue Hawks were forced to walk off the court with a 93-90 loss.
“We played really good offense, but defensively we just couldn’t consistently get stops,” head coach Josh Vaughan said. “They’re a good team but I don’t think we were able to string more than one stop together.”
The team fought hard throughout the entire game. Despite shooting 48% from the field, compared to the Defenders’ 53%, the team overall connected very well from 3-point range with 62% compared to Dordt’s nearly 38%.
Carlow led the team with 24 points and four rebounds in just over 32 minutes of court time. Carlow shot 8-10 from 3-point range, leading the team from deep and continued to keep the game close. Even in the first half, helping the team tie the game at 29 and again at 32 before going into the half trailing 41-37. Dickinson State nearly outscored them in the second half 53-52.
With the large scoring deficit, the Blue Hawks have officially given up over 90 points per game this season.
“That game wasn’t really lost at that (late turnover), it was lost earlier (in the game), when we gave up 52 in the second half, we scored 53 in the second half, we just gave up way too many points,” Vaughan said.
Despite the narrow loss, the team will be able to have a crack at redemption with a game against Northwestern College at 12 p.m. MST.