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Lights silence Concordia Thunder

 

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George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor [email protected]

It will be a short but sweet Christmas break for the Montana State University-Northern men's basketball team. On Tuesday night, the Lights closed out a two-game home stand with a resounding 75-57 win over Concordia of Alberta at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse. The win gave the Lights an 8-4 record with just four games remaining before Frontier Conference play begins in January. “It's good news, bad news,” MSU-N head coach Shawn Huse said. “The bad news is, the kids don't have much time off. I like for them to have more time off for the Holiday's but that's just not how our schedule worked out this year. The good news is, we don't have much time off. We are playing well right now, we've made a lot of progress towards getting ready for our conference schedule. So the short break will mean we won't have as much time to lose our rhythm or get out of game shape.” The Lights certainly looked in shape on Tuesday night. In the first 20 minutes, MSU-N got out in transition and opened up a big lead on the Thunder. A 3-pointer by Eric Tisby started the scoring and an ally-oop dunk by Andrew Sellars, who scored a game-high 22 points, ignited the Lights on runs of 14-2 and 14-4 in the first 20 minutes. Only a half-court 3-pointer from Concordia's Andan Hajdarevecic at the first half buzzer stopped MSU-N from having a really big lead. Still, the Lights led the Thunder 43-24 at intermission. “We got of to a much better start tonight,” Huse said. “A lot of it had to do with how we played on defense. We really got after it early and that kind of defense always gets your offense going. We ended up shooting the ball a lot better tonight too. And for the second night in a row, we established a big lead and played well with it.” Although the Thunder had their moments in the second half, the Lights were able to cruise to an 18-point win. Northern's biggest lead of the game came early in the second half when Tisby knocked down a shot to put the Lights ahead by 24 points. Concordia didn't go away, but the Lights were too far ahead for the Thunder to ever realistically catch up. “We didn't finish as well as I would have liked,” Huse said. “But credit Concordia. That's a good team we beat tonight. They won their league championship in Canada last year, they came in here off a win over Great Falls last night. They are athletic, the shoot the ball well, they are big and physical, they are a solid team who could compete with teams in our league. So I'm proud of the way we played and I'm proud of this win.” Sellars had a big night for the Lights. He had four assists and two blocks to go along with his 22 points, which included his dunk and two three's. Northern also got a solid outing from point guard Eric Tisby, who scored 14 points, had five assist and two steals. The Light's bigs also got into the action. Brian Santiago had his second straight solid outing, scori8ng 12 points and grabbing four offensive rebounds, while Walynn Burgess chipped in with 10 points, Justin Dennis had nine and Clay Greenland added six boards. The Lights will be off until they head to Edmonton, Alberta for back-toback games against The King's College Dec. 28-29. MSU-N then closes out its nonconference season with the AmericInn Classic Jan. 1-2 in Havre. “I like where we're at,” Huse said. “We did a lot of good things tonight. We got a good game from our point guard and guys like Brian Santiago are really elevating their game. Tonight was a good team effort. We've got four nonconference games to go, and hopefully those will all help us prepare for our conference schedule.”

 

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