By Ryan Divish
It wasn't exactly what Montana State University-Northern men's basketball coach Shawn Huse was looking for from his team's first road trip. After dropping a tough game to Minot State on Saturday, the Lights fell again to Dickinson State University 74-51 Sunday night at Scott Gymnasium on the DSU campus.
Northern, 5-2 on the season, shot an icy 30% from the field, turned the ball over 21 times and gave up 19 offensive rebounds in the loss.
"We made a lot of silly mistakes," Huse said. "We charted the video with the team and we came up with about 20 passes that were either deflected or stolen. And the shots that we did get against Dickinson didn't fall."
Northern, who was playing with only eight healthy players, played at a slower, more deliberate pace than earlier in the season. They had a one point lead with about five minutes remaining in the first half. However, some key offensive boards in those final five minutes propelled DSU to a 34-20 lead at the half.
"They got 11 offensive rebounds in the first half," Huse said. "And I think at least half of those came right at the end of the first half. They were a little deeper up front and they were able to keep fresh bodies in there pounding the glass."
Northern's cold shooting in the first half turned even chillier in the second half. The Lights shot 4 of 21 from three point range in the second half as the Blue Hawks pulled away.
Dickinson had three players finish in double figures led by Robbie Bybee's 16 points. Blue Hawk posts Konrad Tota and James Johnson combined for 28 points and 13 rebounds.
Northern was led by Charlie Ereaux's 21 point and 10 rebound effort. The Lights also got 13 points from Larry Morinia and 10 from Zach McLean.
"Minot and Dickinson both played well," Huse said. "They've definitely improved since the first time we played them."
As far as his team's performance, Huse was diplomatic. The effort and attitude were there, but all the little mistakes definitely took their toll when you put them all together.
We played hard for forty minutes," Huse said. "I don't know that we played smart for forty minutes."
The Lights players will volunteer at Thursday's St. Jude's Thanksgiving meal before hitting the road to Lewiston, Idaho for a pair of games in the Lewis-Clark State tournament starting Friday night.