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Lights cruise to season-opening wins in Canada

It certainly wasn't an easy season-opening road trip, but at times, the Montana State University-Northern men's basketball team made it look that way.

Northern swept Concordia of Alberta and King's College on its two-game trip to Edmonton this past weekend, and the Lights did it in a variety of ways.

On Friday night, Northern put on a defensive clinic against Concordia in a 69-45 win. MSU-N held Concordia to less than 30 percent shooting on the night, and the Lights used the 3-point-line to spark their offense. Northern went 12-of-22 from three as Savion Udeh hit five triples and scored 15 points to lead the Lights. Alfie Miller added four three's and scored 12 and Devin Jackson chipped in with 10 points in the win.

Defesnively the Lights limited Concordia to just four three's and held them under 30 percent from beyond the arc. Northern also forced 21 turnovers in its first game of the season. Northern head coach Shawn Huse said coming in, Concordia had been playing very well offensively.

"We got a really nice effort in that game," Huse said. "They (Concordia) are a very solid Canadian team this year coming off two big wins. Our defense showed signs of where we left off last year and we got a well-balanced attack on offense."

The Lights also rolled on Saturday night, crushing King's College 90-44. MSU-N again knocked down 12 three's, while holding King's to just 29 percent shooting for the game. Northern also out-rebounded King's 36-24.

Playing Fiba rules and four quarters, the Lights used a 27-8 spurt in the second quarter to lead 43-19 at the half. Northern then outscored King's 45-22 the rest of the way.

Jackson scored a game-high 16 points and went 4-of-5 from three, while Nilson Santana added 15 points. Miller hit four three's and scored 12 points, while Jesse Vaughan and Roshawn West added 11 apiece. West also knocked down three triples as the Lights are now off to a 2-0 start to the season.

"You never know how the first game is going to go," Huse said. "We're still a very young team with a long ways to go, but I was very pleased."

The Lights return to Canada this weekend for three more nonconference games. MSU-N opens its home schedule Oct. 26 against the University of Lethbridge. Northern also has a home game on Nov. 2 against Cascade Conference powerhouse Warner Pacific.

Lights 69, Concordia 45

MSU-N – Devin Jackson 5-14 0-0 10, Corbin Pearson 1-1 0-0 2, Savion Udeh 5-14 0-0 15, Mike LaValley 2-2 0-0 6, Roshawn West 1-1 0-0 3, Dontae Clark 1-1 0-0 2, Allan Brown 1-4 2-3 4, Nilson Santana 1-6 0-0 2, Will Perry 3-3 0-0 6, Jesse Vaughan 3-5 1-1 7, Alfie Miller 4-4 0-0 12. Totals: 27-56 3-4 69.

3-point field goals: MSU-N 12-22 (Udeh 5-12, LaValley 2-2, West 1-1, Miller 4-4). Rebounds: MSU-N 31 (Three with 4); Fouls: MSU-N 22, Concordia 11. Fouled out: Santana.

Lights 90, King's 44

MSU-N – Nilson Santana 7-14 1-6 15, Jesse Vaughan 4-8 3-3 11, Dontae Clark 1-5 0-0 3, Devin Jackson 6-7 0-0 16, Savion Udeh 2-5 3-3 7, Alfie Miller 4-9 0-0 12, Pat Jensen 1-2 0-0 2, Corbin Pearson 2-4 3-4 7, Will Perry 3-3 0-0 6, Roshawn West 4-9 0-0 11. Totals 34-71 10-19 90.

3-point field goals: MSU-N 12-32 (Clark 1-4, Jackson 4-5, Miller 4-7, West 3-8). Rebounds: MSU-N 36 (Miller 6). Fouls: MSU-N 15, Concordia 19. Fouled out: None.


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