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Lighting Up the Armory

Lights break records during Thanksgiving Classic sweep


November 27, 2017

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Ryan Reeves, left, looks to score during Friday night's AmericInn Thanksgiving Classic game against Salish Kootenai College in the Armory Gymnasium. The Lights scored a single-game record 145 points against the Bison, and, won both of their games during the two-day tournament.

The Montana State University-Northern Lights have nine straight games scheduled for inside the Armory Gymnasium. And they started the home stand off in record-setting fashion.

The Lights were home this weekend for the AmericInn Thanksgiving Classic and were glad to be, after a tough road trip to Oregon last week. Northern took advantage of the Armory atmosphere in a big way.

On Friday night, the Lights set a new Northern single-game scoring record with a 145-46 win over Salish Kootenai College. The previous record by a Northern team was 142 points, which had happened twice. MSU-N then followed that up with a shutdown performance against NAIA foe Valley City State Saturday night, to improve to 5-2 ahead of the start of Frontier Conference play.

"We played well," Northern head coach Shawn Huse said. "I thought we learned a lot from the two games we lost in Oregon. We felt like we let both of those games get away, and this weekend, I thought we did a great job of being focused, and being able to close games out strong."

Northern didn't need to worry about closing out the Bison Friday night. MSU-N ripped off a 19-1 run in the first half and drilled nine 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes on its way to a 67-26 halftime lead. And in the second half, the Bison could do little to slow the Lights down, as they knocked in 14 more threes and raced down the single-game scoring record in the final two minutes.

For the game, the Lights shot a scorching 51 percent from beyond the arc and 50 percent for the game, as well as seeing eight players reach double figures. Ryan Reeves scored a game-high 28 points, to go with 16 rebounds and four blocks. Gabe Porter and Caulin Bakalarski each made five triples and both scored 20 points, while Justin Dunsmore buried five bombs and finished with 15 points. Charles Porter and Anthony Harper added 14 points apiece, while Adam Huse had 13 and Devin Bray scored 11.

"Sometimes, it's harder to play your style when you're a heavy favorite," Huse said. "But, our guys just played really well from tip to finish. I thought we were really unselfish, we shared the ball, made all the right passes, and the shots were going in for us. It was just that kind of night."

Northern also played incredible defense against the Bison, and that carried over into Saturday night's much tougher matchup against Valley City, a solid team from the Northstar Athletic Conference.

Right from the start of the game, the Lights showed a defensive prowess, as Reeves blocked several shots, and held the Bison without a field for a nine-minute stretch. On the other side, Reeves was strong in the paint, while Dunsmore hit two threes, and Bray added one at the buzzer to push the Lights to a 40-18 halftime advantage.

And, playing stifling defense, the Lights cruised home to victory. Defensively, the Lights held the Vikings to just 41 percent from the floor and a dismal 27 percent from three. Northern was also dominant on the boards, as was Reeves, who recorded his second straight double-double, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Dunsmore had a big night, scoring 21 points on four triples, while also pulling down eight rebounds. Bray also hit five of Northern's 12 threes on his way to 15 points.

"I thought we came out and took them (Vikings) out of everything they wanted to do offensively," Huse said. "And our offense kind of flowed out of that. I'm proud of our guys for their focus tonight because coming off a game like the one we had on Friday, it might have been easy to relax a little. But our guys know conference play is right around the corner now, and they came out very focused and determined tonight. I was really proud of the way they played."

Frontier Conference play isn't just around the corner for the Lights now, it comes this Friday when they host Rocky Mountain College in the league-opener for both teams. Northern is also home to play nationally ranked Carroll College Saturday night. MSU-N then returns to non-conference action Dec. 7 against Yellowstone Christian.

Lights 145, SKC 46

SKC - Jeremiah North Piegon 5-14 0-0 10, Jaydon Bautista 10-19 2-2 24, Tyson Shambo 2-8 0-2 4, Jalen Croff 1-10 0-0 3, Alex Pakootas 0-3 0-0 0, Tristen Redhorn 0-5 0-0 0, Zachary Mills 2-8 1-1 5, Koby Redhorn 0-1 0-0 0, Koby Morigeau 0-9 0-0 0. Totals 20-77 3-5 46.

MSU-N - Adam Huse 5-7 0-0 13, Caulin Bakalarski 6-9 3-4 20, Anthony Harper 5-9 3-3 14, Devin Bray 4-15 2-2 11, James Fry 2-3 2-2 8, Justin Dunsmore 5-9 1-2 15, Charles Porter 5-7 2-4 14, Cayeveoon Jones 1-5 0-0 2, Ryan Reeves 11-16 6-8 28, Gabe PORTER 6-10 3-5 20. Totals 50-90 22-30 145.

Halftime: Northern 67-26. 3-pt FG:Salish Kootenai College 3-34 (North Piegon 0-1, Bautista 2-6, Shambo 0-1, Croff 1-7, Pakootas 0-3, Redhorn 0-3, Mills 0-3, Redhorn 0-1, Morigeau 0-9), MSU-Northern 23-45 (Huse 3-5, Bakalarski 5-6, Harper 1-3, Bray 1-10, Fry 2-3, Dunsmore 4-7, Porter 2-2, Jones 0-1, PORTER 5-8). Rebounds: Salish Kootenai College 32 (Bautista 7), MSU-Northern 69 (Reeves 16). Fouls Salish Kootenai College 17, MSU-Northern 5. Fouled out: Morigeau.

Lights 77, Valley City 54

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

MSU-Northern's Gabe Porter drives to the basket during Saturday night's game against Valley City State in the Armory Gymnasium. The Lights topped the Vikings, 77-54.

VCS - Justyn Galloway 3-6 2-2 8, Jake Skelly 0-2 0-0 0, Chase Carpenter 1-1 0-0 2, Rashad Satahoo 4-10 1-2 11, Jayden Ferguson 4-12 3-3 12, Alex Quist 0-1 0-0 0, Hunter McCalla 0-1 0-0 0, Logan Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Denzel Kennedy 1-1 0-1 2, Austin Dunbar 7-15 5-7 19. Totals 20-50 11-15 54.

MSU-N - Adam Huse 1-5 0-0 2, Caulin Bakalarski 3-8 0-0 7, Anthony Harper 3-4 1-1 7, Devin Bray 5-8 0-0 15, James Fry 0-2 0-0 0, Justin Dunsmore 5-10 7-7 21, Charles Porter 2-6 0-0 5, Cayeveoon Jones 1-3 0-0 2, Ryan Reeves 6-11 0-0 12, Gabe Porter 2-7 1-2 6. Totals 28-64 9-10 77.

Halftime: Northern 40-18. 3-pt FG:Valley City State 3-11 (Skelly 0-1, Satahoo 2-6, Ferguson 1-2, Quist 0-1, Dunbar 0-1), MSU-Northern 12-33 (Huse 0-3, Bakalarski 1-3, Harper 0-1, Bray 5-8, Fry 0-2, Dunsmore 4-8, Porter 1-3, Jones 0-1, Porter 1-4). Rebounds: Valley City State 30 (Dunbar 8), MSU-Northern 38 (Reeves 10). Fouls Valley City State 12, MSU-Northern 17. Fouled out: Harper.


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