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Dickinson State prevail over Presentation College in overtime

Friday night's contest at Scott Gymnasium went down to the wire.

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Dickinson State senior center Jalon Tinnin.
Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press
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Positioned atop the North Star Athletic Association standings, the Dickinson State men’s basketball team hosted the bottom team in the standings, Presentation College, Friday night. But the way the game played at Scott Gymnasium, it didn’t feel like they held the worst record in the conference.

Tied at 81 in overtime with under 30 seconds to play, DSU senior forward Ajdin Toskic put up a long two-pointer that missed, and sophomore guard Trey Hladky committed the loose ball foul to send the Saints to the line at the other end.

Presentation junior guard Dwight Felton Felton made one of two free throws for an 82-81 lead.

The Blue Hawks didn’t call timeout and raced up the floor with the clock winding down. Looking for a good look, Toskic redeemed himself with a baseline jumper with 0.4 left for an 83-82 lead. Without any timeouts, Presentation inbounded the ball for one last heave, but the DSU bench and faithful in attendance were already celebrating the Blue Hawks’ win.

It was a fitting finish to a closely fought battle. Outside of the opening minutes of the game, the largest lead held by either team was six. Otherwise, no team held a clear advantage at any point in the game.

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Four players for the Saints left the game early, either due to foul trouble, or in the case of senior forward Denzel McDuffey, picking up multiple technical fouls.

Down 72-70 with under a minute to play in regulation, DSU senior guard Travon Hamilton drove to the basket, tying the game at 72 with 39.4 seconds left.

Presentation missed their shot on the next possession, sending both teams into a mad scramble for the ball. It wound up being a jump ball with the arrow favoring the Blue Hawks with 8.6 seconds left.

DSU (5-1, 8-12) called a timeout to set up their final play and inbounded the ball on the opposing baseline. Hladky received the initial pass and motioned to the ref to call timeout, but the ref did not give it to him. Instead, Hladky had to rush up the court to fire off a desperate 3-point attempt for the win. It was off target and the game was sent to overtime. DSU head coach Derek Selvig and the rest of the Blue Hawks’ bench were notably upset, with good reason.

It seemed like early on DSU would be on their way to a big lead.

Freshman guard John Evans and sophomore forward Cole Begger both knocked down a 3-pointer in the opening minutes, with Begger getting fouled on his attempt, converting the four-point play.

He found the bottom of the net from distance again a couple minutes later to extend their lead 12-2.

From there DSU fell into a dry spell, missing their next five shots. They went roughly five minutes without scoring, allowing Presentation College (1-5, 8-11) to catch up and retake the lead. A layup from Blue Hawks senior forward Adjin Toskic ended their drought for a 14-13 lead.

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There were a couple heated moments in the first half. McDuffey was whistled for a technical foul after arguing a call, which was his third personal. He made two free throws before being subbed out, much to his dislike. He waved off the substitution as first, but eventually gave way, being visibly frustrated when coming back to the bench.

This would prove to be costly later in the game when he picked up another technical foul for arguing a call.

Later in the half, when DSU senior guard Aushanti Potts-Woods got fouled on a drive to the hoop, he exchanged some words with a number of Presentation players, but nothing came of it.

In all of this, it remained a one or two possession game throughout the remainder of the half. Sophomore center Josiah Haaland tipped in the final basket of the half for the Blue Hawks to make it 35-34.

Begger had ten points in the first half with three 3-pointers. Senior guard Bryce Knox had just two points.

The Saints and Blue Hawks kept trading baskets to begin the second half.

McDuffey’s frustrations would get the best of him six minutes into the second half, picking up his second technical, ending his night early. He finished with eight points.

DSU were up 49-43 but Presentation maintained their composure. It was a common theme throughout, DSU pulling ahead by multiple possessions with the Saints responding with a few field goals to tie or take a slim lead.

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The Saints were putting up more shots (75) than DSU (59), but sent the Blue Hawks to the line 37 times in the game.

Presentation junior guard Dwight Felton picked up another technical foul, the team's third of the night, midway through the second half. DSU held a 58-56 lead after the free throws.

The Saints threw their punch back at the Blue Hawks, taking a 65-62 lead. Evans followed with a 3-pointer, but a 3-point play by Presentation freshman guard Lavell Brown gave them another three-point lead.

Evans finished with a team-high 17 points, making all three of his three-point attempts. Felton came off the bench for the Saints and had 26 points on 10-16 shooting. The discrepancy at the free-throw line (DSU 27-37, Presentation 15-22) proved to be a big difference.

The Blue Hawks shot 40 perfect from both the field (24-59) and three-point range (8-20). Four players reached double figures.

It was the third time this season DSU found themselves in overtime, splitting the two games prior. For Presentation it was their second, losing to Waldorf on their last occasion.

The Blue Hawks will be back on their home court on Saturday, taking on Mayville State (2-4, 9-7).

Race Archibald is a Green Bay, Wisconsin native and graduate of Eastern Illinois University. From a young age he loved watching, competing and talking about sports — a passion that lead him to participate in nearly every sport available growing up. Swimming would be his bread and butter, and Archibald continued his athletic career at the Division I level where he earned a degree in journalism. Today he leads a team focused on providing the very best coverage of southwest North Dakota sports.
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