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Home on the Hardwood: Lights, Skylights play weekend matinees

 

November 10, 2017

Colin Thompson

Devin Bray and the Montana State University-Northern Lights play their second home game of the season Saturday when they take on SAGU American Indian College.

It will be a weekend at home for the Montana State University-Northern basketball teams, as both the Lights and Skylights return to the Armory Gymnasium.

The action starts Saturday afternoon when the Lights (2-0) host SAGU American Indian College. Northern returns to Havre following last week's thrilling exhibition game at Montana State, and a blowout victory at Salish Kootenai College.

And while the Lights are averaging over 90 points per game so far on the young season, getting over 20 points per night from sophomore Adam Huse, as well as double figures from Gabe Porter, Ryan Reeves, Justin Dunsmore and Caulin Bakalarski, Northern head coach Shawn Huse says SAGU will be a formidable foe.

"This program (SAGU) has done a very nice job finding versatile athletic guys that can make plays," Huse said. "From everything we have seen and heard, this group can really shoot, drive, attack in transition and the half-court ... and can just simply put a great deal of pressure on a defense. They put up 89 points, at NAIA power Arizona Christian the other night, in a close loss ... which I think says enough right there. We need to be on our toes defensively and sharp on offense if we expect to have a good afternoon come Saturday."

And the Lights aren't the only team that needs to be on their toes this weekend. The No. 21 Skylights also have two tough games on the slate.

Northern, which is off to a 3-1 start after winning at Dickinson State Monday night, will start its weekend Saturday night in Great Falls when it takes on Cascade Conference rival Northwest University. The Skylights then come home for a Sunday matinee with Golden State Athletic Conference power San Diego Christian.

"San Diego Christian is a game we're really excited about," MSU-N head coach Chris Mouat said earlier this fall. "Anytime you have a GSAC team come into your gym, it's a big game. That is one of the premier conferences in NAIA basketball, so it will be an exciting game for us.

"Northwest is a game that I think will be a good test for us as well," Mouat said. "We've played them several times over the years and they're always talented, athletic and well coached."

Northwest is off to a 1-2 start and is making a three-game road trip through Montana this week. The Eagles played at Carroll College Thursday night and will play the University of Providence tonight, before taking on the Skylights Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the McLaughlin Center.

Colin Thompson

Jessica Curl and the Montana State University-Northern Skylights host GSAC power San Diego Christian on Sunday afternoon in the Armory Gymnasium. The Skylights begin the weekend with a game against Northwest University Saturday in Great Falls.

After that game, the Skylights will come back to Havre and get ready for a quick turn around against the Eagles of San Diego Christian. The Eagles are 2-1 on the season and will play Providence Monday night in Great Falls. Senior guard Anessa Wolfblack and senior point guard Danna Robles are ones to watch for on the Eagles team.

On the other side, Northern is really starting to pick up steam. Former Havre Blue Ponies Peyton Filius and Brandy Lambourne combined for 33 points in the win at DSU, while Jacy Thompson and Shiloh McCormick both average in double figures, and Jessica Curl is leading the Frontier Conference in rebounding early on.

This weekend also marks a busy stretch for the Skylights, who will head to Utah for a pair of NCAA DII exhibition games next weekend, and then travel to Jackson, Tennessee, over Thanksgiving for the prestigious Rotary Classic. The Lights also go on the road for three games in Oregon next week, including a huge showdown with Cascade Conference power Southern Oregon.

Saturday's game between the Lights and SAGU tips off at 3 p.m. in the Armory Gymnasium. Sunday's game between the Skylights and San Diego Christian is set for 4 p.m. in the Armory.

 

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