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All Lights, no Thunder; MSU-N hosts Argos

 

January 2, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Anthony Harper, right, drives to the basket during a game against Concordia-Edmonton Friday night in the Armory Gymnasium. The Lights swept the Thunder in two games in the Duck Inn Corporate Classic and will host Providence tonight at 8 in the Armory.

In their final tune-up before the start of Frontier Conference play, the Montana State University-Northern Lights hosted the University of Concordia-Edmonton Thunder both Friday and Saturday inside the Armory Gymnasium.

The Thunder, who also played Montana Tech twice while in the United States, dropped both games to the Lights, who were just shy of 100 points each night during the Duck Inn Corporate Classic. Northern won Friday's contest 98-71, followed by a 99-63 win Saturday. MSU-N is now 11-3 on the season and 1-1 in the Frontier. University of Providence will invade the Armory tonight.

"I was pleased," Northern head coach Shawn Huse said. "That is a preseason top-7 team at their level in Canada and they have a very good team. This is probably the best team they have ever had. They went down to Tech and played them tough. That's a good basketball team, although the score might not show that."

In the first game between the Thunder and Lights Friday, Concordia kept it competitive early and trailed just 18-13 early in the first half. Yet that was right about when Adam Huse caught fire from deep. He connected on three 3-pointers in a matter of minutes, and suddenly, MSU-N led 30-16. And old-fashioned 3-point play by Ryan Reeves helped extend the leader further and at halftime, Northern led 55-32.

In the second half, the two teams played evenly, but another trey from Huse in the second half put the Lights up 30. And when Charles Porter hit from deep in the final minutes of the second half, the lead was 87-52, the biggest of the game. Devin Bray also had a big night for the Lights, scoring 25 points and knocking down five triples. Huse added 21, while Gabe Porter had 23. Northern made a total of 14 3-pointers. Reeves also contributed with 15 points, seven rebounds and five blocks. Brett Jakubec scored 13 to pace Concordia.

Saturday, the Lights came out firing again. Gabe Porter knocked down a couple early treys to help build an 11-2 lead. Huse then connected on back-to-back 3-pointers and at that point, Northern led 23-9 with 13:28 left in the opening half. A late triple from Charles Porter and another from Gabe Porter, gave MSU-N a 52-30 lead at intermission.

In the second half, Northern was never threatened and cruised to a 36-point victory. Reeves was the top scorer for MSU-N, throwing down a few dunks on his way to 21 points, 16 rebounds and four assists. He also had one block. Gabe Porter added 18 points, thanks to five makes from deep, and Charles Porter added 15. Huse pitched in with 13. TrayVon Lackey led the Thunder with 15 points.

"I like where we are at," Huse said. "We just gotta get ready for each game and take them one at a time now. We were able to get some kids some minutes that some might not have gotten them, so I think they are ready to go now. We are seeing really good teamwork and at the end of the day. No matter what scheme everyone comes up with, it comes down to things like teamwork, toughness, heart and character."

The Lights will have a short turnaround before a critical home game Tuesday against Providence. Northern has already played two home games in conference and after splitting those, MSU-N can't afford to drop another.

"These home games are huge in conference play," Huse said. "They say if you can win your home games and split on the road, you can be conference champs. So from that respect and looking at national tournament hopes, it's huge. You only get so many home games and you want to capitalize on them."

Northern and Providence will meet tonight at 8 inside the Armory Gymnasium.

Lights 98, Concordia of Edmonton 71

CE - Brett Jakubec 4-7 5-7 13, Ronald Bacon Jr 3-11 2-4 11, Mike Malin 3-7 0-0 8, Ryan McLaren 3-6 0-0 8, Lucas Turchet 1-2 1-2 3, TrayVon Lackey 5-8 0-0 11, Chad Oviatt 3-5 0-2 7, Darrelle Bacon 3-7 0-0 6, Liam Harrison 1-1 0=1 2, Keaton Souster 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 26-60 11-22

MSU-N - Devin Bray 6-11 8-9 25, Gabe Porter 4-11 10-12 21, Ryan Reeves 6-7 3-3 15, Charles Porter 3-5 1-1 8, Anthony Harper 0-4 0-2 0, Adam Huse 7-13 5-6 23, Caulin Bakalarski 2-4 1-1 8, Cayeveoon Jones 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 28-59 28-34.

3-PT FG: Northern 14-32 (Devin Bray 5-9, Gabe Porter 3-10, Charles Porter 1-1, Adam Huse 4-8, Caulin Bakalarski 1-3). Concordia 8-21 (Brett Jakubec 0-1, Ronald Bacon Jr 2-7, Mike Malin 1-3, Ryan McLaren 2-4, TrayVon Lackey 1-1, Chad Oviatt 1-1, Darrelle Bacon 0-3, Liam Harrison 1-1). Rebounds: MSU-N 37 (Bakalarski 8), Concordia 29 (Bacon Jr 5). Fouls: Concordia 27, Northern 20. Fouled out -- Keenan Souster.

Lights 99, Concordia of Edmonton 63

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Adam Huse takes a shot during Friday night's game in the Armory.

CE - Ronald Bacon Jr 3-10 2-2 9, Ryan McLaren 3-10 3-3 9, Brett Jakubec 2-7 4-5 8, Mike Malin 2-6 0-0 6, Lucas Turchet 1-3 0-0 2, TrayVon Lackey 6-10 1-1 15, Julien McFadden 3-3 0-0 6, Chad Oviatt 2-4 1-2 3. Totals: 23-57 11-15.

MSU-N - Ryan Reeves 7-11 7-8 21, Gabe Porter 6-11 1-2 18, Charles Porter 4-4 6-9 15, Anthony Harper 4-8 3-5 9, Devin Bray 2-8 2-2 6, Adam Huse 5-6 0-1 13, Cayeveoon Jones 3-4 2-3 8, Caulin Bakalarski 2-3 0-0 6, JAmes Fry 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 34-58

3-PT FG - MSU-N 13-24 (Gabe Porter 5-7, Charles Porter 1-1, Anthony Harper 1-3, Devin Bray 0-4, Adam Huse 3-4, Caulin Bakalarski 2-2, James Fry 1-3), Concordia (Ronald Bacon Jr 1-7, Ryan McLaren 0-4, Mike Malin 2-5, Lucas Turchet 0-1, Trayvon Lackey 2-2, Chad Oviatt 0-1, Darrelle Bacon 1-3). Rebounds: Northern 40 (Reeves 16) Concordia 22 (McLaren 4). Fouls: Concordia 22,Northern 15. Fouled out -- none.

 

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