After blowing the doors off the Great Falls Argos last Thursday night, the MSU-Northern men's basketball team knew it was going to have its hands full in Friday night's rematch at the Armory Gymnasium in Havre. And true to form, the No. 15 Lights and the Argos waged a greta battle in front of a raucous home crowd which include U.S. Senator Jon Tester. And ironically, it was a Big Sandy native who carried the Lights home as Corbin Pearson scored seven key points in the final five minutes to lift the Lights to a 58-54 victory.
The season sweep of UGF didn't come easy. Other than the first five minutes, in which Northern's Will Perry out-scored UGF 8-3, the Lights struggled on the offensive end of the floor. The Argos meanwhile, played smothering defense and closed out the first half on a 19-7 run, giving them a 29-28 lead. UGF stayed in front for much of a hard-fought second half, but big 3-pointer's by Mike LaValley and Jesse Vaughan kept the Lights close. Then, with :54 left, Pearson made the play of the night by driving right to the hoop, scoring the basket and making a clutch free throw to push the Lights in front 55-54. Northern would also get to big stops on defense, while Roshawn West added three key foul shots in the final seconds to seal the victory.
Pearson finished the night with 10 big points and one huge rebound late in the game. Perry led all Northern scorers with 14 points, while West scored 12 and Devin Jackson added 10. Marcel Towns scored 18 for the Argos but missed tow three's in the final minute.
The win moved Northern to 7-3 in the Frontier Conference and 19-5 overall with key road games at Montana Tech and Carroll College coming up next weekend.
For full coverage, see Monday's Havre Daily News.