By Rob Everingham
DILLON -- The MSU-Northern Lights broke the century mark on Saturday night against Western and pushed the game into overtime, but it was not enough, as the Bulldogs came out with a 113-104 win.
Northern was at Dillon playing in the Touch America Classic. Along with Northern and host Western, were Carroll College and Westminster. The Lights played Carroll on Friday night and came up short, 91-78.
In the game against Western, the Bulldogs led by two at the break, 39-37. The two teams played to a 95-95 tie at the end of regulation. During the overtime, Western dominated, outscoring the Lights 18-9.
Powell Becker led the way for the Lights with 19 points. Also in double figures for Northern were Dustin Endsley and Keith Carothers with 17 each. Mel Stubblefield and Krste Serafimoski each had 13. Becker and Endsley were both 3-for-4 from 3-point range.
Northern head coach Tim Walker said the game against Western was a good one. Walker said they just did not do enough to get the Bulldogs' shooting percentage down. Other than that, Walker said, it was a good outing.
"We outrebounded them and shot well and played pretty good," Walker said.
Walker stated that the Lights had their opportunities in overtime, but just did not capitalize on them.
On Friday night against Carroll, the Lights came out dismally and Carroll seized the opportunity and built a 46-33 halftime lead. Both teams scored 45 points in the second half.
Becker again led the Lights with 19 points. Northern put three other players in double figures. Stubblefield had 14, Michael Claxton had 12 and Russell Keller had 10.
Walker said they did not do a good enough job shutting down Kelly Darragh who finished with 21 points for Carroll.
The Lights did not execute well in the first half, Walker said. He also said they had their chances, but just didn't make the buckets they needed in the final 10 minutes of the game to stay close.
This was the first the Lights have seen of Carroll, but did play Western earlier in the year and lost 95-89 at Havre at the Townhouse Invitational.
Walker said the conference is up for grabs with any number of teams being able to step to the forefront. Walker said the Lights just need to learn to play in, and win, tight games.
"They need to do the things to put themselves in a position to win," Walker said.
Walker said he feels they've got a shot at the conference crown.
"The conference is wide open and I feel we're right there," Walker said.
The Lights are off this weekend for Christmas, but then head to sunny Southern California. On Dec. 28. the Lights will take on Point Loma Nazarene in San Diego and then travel to Los Angles to take on Southern California Community College on Dec. 30.