By Rob Everingham
Chris Clark scored 34 points to lift Rocky Mountain College to a 97-84 victory over Montana State-Northern in a Frontier Conference men's basketball game Thursday.
The Bears (11-12 overall, 5-4 league) opened up a quick 6-0 lead on the Lights and then pushed to lead 14-10 off a Clark basket.
Northern (15-10, 3-4) battled back to lead 17-14 off a Mel Stubblefield 3-pointer.
The game was tied at 19-19 until Nate Greenig hit a bucket to give Rocky a 21-19 lead. The Bears then did not lose the lead in the first half.
Rocky took a 30-21 lead on a 3-pointer by Michael Tilzey with 6:30 left in the first half, and held on to a 41-35 halftime lead.
To start the second half, the Lights battled back to within one point at 38-47, but a Clark 3-pointer put the Bears further ahead.
Northern battled back to tie the score at 54-all on a three-point play by Michael Claxton with 14:27 remaining.
But Rocky answered with a basket by Bryan Severin with 13:23 remaining and never trailed again.
Rocky's biggest lead was the final margin, which came on a pair of free throws by Severin with 6.3 seconds remaining.
Also in double figures for Rocky was Kevin McMann with 18 points and Scott Malloy with 15.
The Lights were led by Powell Becker and Claxton with 17 points each, followed by Mel Stubblefield with 16 points, Russell Keller with 12, and Keith Carothers with 11.
Northern head coach Tim Walker said Clark had his way with the Lights.
"When he's on, he's on," Walker said.
Walker said Clark got a lot of open looks because he moved well when he did not have the ball.
"That is the best I've seen them (Rocky) play," Walker said.
Walker said Becker, Claxton, and Stubblefield all had good games, but others weren't ready to play.
"Some people just did not bring their lunch boxes," Walker said.
The Lights have not been practicing well. Walker said they have not shown the intensity they need in the last couple of days and did not come out with any intensity in last night's game.
Now the test for Northern is to see if they can rebound off the loss against league leading Lewis-Clark State this weekend.
The Lights and Warriors meet on Saturday night in Lewiston, Idaho.
Walker said his team will have to play with much more intensity then they did last night.
The Lights cannot turn the ball over and they have to make the open shots.
"We have to play with intensity and make the shots to give ourselves a chance to win," Walker said.
After the L-C game Saturday night, the Lights return home for their only televised game of the season on Monday night against the Orediggers of Montana Tech.
Rocky Mountain (5-3, 11-12) Kevin McMann 4-8 8-10 18; Scott Malloy 5-10 5-6 15; Nate Greenig 2-5 0-0 5; Michael Tilzey 2-4 0-0 6; Bryan Severin 3-5 3-3 9; Kris Kesterke 0-1 0-0 0; Chris Clark 9-15 10-10 34; Eli Meccage 5-7 0-0 10; Marr Prinkki 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 30-57 26-29 97.
MSU-Northern (3-4, 15-10) Russell Keller 6-7 0-0 12; Michael Claxton 6-11 3-3 17; Mel Stubblefield 6-14 0-1 16; Dustin Endsley 0-2 2-2 2; Powell Becker 6-12 4-7 17; Kelly Caverley 2-5 0-0 4; Keith Carothers 3-13 4-7 11; Chad Meyer 2-7 0-0 5. Totals: 31-71 13-20 84.
Halftime: Rocky 41, Northern 35. Three-pointers: Rocky 11-20 (McMann 2-4, Greenig 1-2, Tizey 2-4, Clark 6-9, Meccage 0-1); Northern 9-29 (Claxton 2-7, Stubblefield 4-9, Becker 1-1, Caverley 0-2, Carothers 1-6, Meyer 1-4). Rebounds: Rocky 33 (Severin 7); Northern 40 (Stubblefield 8); Assists: Rocky 14 (Malloy 5); Northern 19 (Becker 4); Steals: Rocky 8 (Clark 3); Northern 9 (Stubblefield 4); Turnovers: Rocky 14, Northern 17. Total fouls: Rocky 20 (Fouled out: none); Northern 24 (Fouled out: none); Tech. fouls: None; Att 1,300.