George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
For the second straight night in North Dakota, the Montana State University- Northern men's basketball team fell victim to a team looking for a little payback. Just one week after the Lights thoroughly handled Dickinson State in Havre, the Blue Hawks handed the Lights a 78-69 setback Monday night in Dickinson, N.D. The Blue Hawks forced MSU-N into foul trouble in the second half, as the Lights lost starters Travis Noble and Clinton Shelton to personal fouls. Northern also didn't have an answer for DSU forward Joshua Walker, who scored a game-high 32 points, grabbed five rebounds and corralled a ridiculous seven steals. Walker's seven steals were part of a 20 turnover night by the Lights. Northern fought valiantly despite its foul problems. DSU shot nine more free throws than MSU-N, but the Lights rallied from a 42-32 halftime deficit to make a game of it in the second half. However, foul trouble hampered the Lights on both ends of the floor late in the game, and the Blue Hawks were eventually able to put the Lights away. Senior Chris Johnson paced the Lights with 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting, while Noble poured in 17 points despite being sidelined with foul trouble. Shaun Tatarka came off the bench to give MSU-N nine points and four assists. Tatarka also hit a pair of 3-pointers. Meanwhile, DSU's offense came from Walker, but Branden Thomas did add 11 points and four rebounds, and Saajid Yazeed gave the Blue Hawks nine points off the bench. The loss at DSU was Northern's third straight on the road. But because Friday night's game in Utah was an exhibition game, the Lights stand at 6-2 on the season. The Lights will head to Butte for a tournament at Montana Tech this weekend. Northern plays Warner Pacific on Friday night and Fresno Pacific on Saturday night.