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Lights bury Orediggers in the Armory

Northern men snap three-game slide with an impressive win over Montana Tech

 

January 22, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Justin Dunsmore, right, drives past a Montana Tech defender during Saturday night's Northern victory over the Orediggers in the Armory Gymnasium.

The Montana State University-Northern Lights were just three days removed from one of their worst shooting nights in a long, long time. But three days was plenty for the Lights to put the past well behind them.

On Saturday night, the Lights snapped a three-game Frontier Conference losing streak with a resounding 75-55 win over Montana Tech inside the Armory Gymnasium. Northern shot 49 percent from the floor as opposed to just 29 percent last Wednesday night in Great Falls in a loss to the University of Providence. And the result was a much-needed and well-earned victory over the Orediggers.

"I'm really happy for our guys," Northern head coach Shawn Huse said. "I'm proud of the way they bounced back after three really tough losses. I'm really happy that they were able to come out and play well tonight, especially on their home floor. It was a good win for us."

The win didn't come easy however. Montana Tech led 6-4 early on after a pair of 3-pointers, but the Lights, who lead the NAIA in 3-point shooting, didn't take much longer to heat up, as Adam Huse and Gabe Porter went back-to-back from distance, giving MSU-N a 14-8 lead with 12:14 left in the first half.

From there, MSU-N would never trail again. Paco Jones hit a triple later in the half, and back-to-back layups by Charles Porter capped a 9-0 run which put the Lights in front 30-16. And for good measure, Caulin Bakalarski added a 65-foot running shot as the first-half buzzer sounded, sending the Lights into halftime leading the Orediggers 38-27.

"I thought Tech came out and played really tough pressure defense," Huse said. "Credit them because when they're defending like that, it's really hard to put a big run together. So while we did hit some big shots in the first half, I really thought it was our defense that set the tone. I thought we really defended well right from the start of the game."

Northern did play stout defense, holding Tech to just 55 points and 31 percent shooting. The Diggers would go just 4-of-16 from beyond the arc, while MSU-N won the battle of the boards 29-26.

And while the Lights played good defense throughout the contest, their offense was also alive and well. Gabe Porter opened the second stanza with a three, and Adam Huse added one later that would push the Lights all the way out to a 60-39 lead. Northern would then cruise home from there, improving to 4-4 in the Frontier after three tough losses on the road.

"I think our offense kind of fed off our defense tonight," coach Huse said. "We got stops and got the ball moving on the other end. We shared it really well, and the shots started to go down."

Northern, which made nine treys on the night, was also balanced. Charles Porter finished with a game-high 16 points, while Gabe Porter hit four threes and scored 14. Ryan Reeves had 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while Adam Huse scored 10 points and Bakalarski chipped in with seven. Chris O'Neill was the only Oredigger to reach double figures, as the senior finished with 14 points.

"We had a lot of guys make important plays for us tonight, on both ends," coach Huse said. "It was a really good team win, and I'm happy for these guys because those last few games on the road, they were tough. We felt like we played well enough to win those games, so I'm proud of them for coming home and getting a big one tonight."

The Lights (14-6) get to stay at home for two more as well. Northern takes on nationally ranked Lewis-Clark State Friday night, and UM-Western Saturday night, with both games tipping at 8 p.m. in the Armory Gymnasium.

Lights are 4-4 in Frontier, 14-6 overall; Next Up: vs LCSC Friday

Lights 75, Montana Tech 55

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

MSU-N's Anthony Harper goes up for a shot during Saturday night's game against Montana Tech.

MT - John Chapman 2-5 0-0 5, Carson Dummer 2-4 0-0 4, Kale Guldseth 1-3 1-2 4, Chris O'Neill 5-13 4-4 14, Dylan Pannabecker 0-7 4-4 4, Trent Molesworth 2-4 0-0 5, Gavin McPherson 1-1 0-0 2, Derrius Collins 0-1 4-4 4, Iman Chatman 1-5 2-2 4, Jake Miles 2-10 0-0 5, Taylor England 1-2 2-4 4. Totals 17-55 17-20 55.

MSU-N - Adam Huse 3-5 2-2 10, Caulin Bakalarski 2-7 2-2 7, Anthony Harper 2-3 0-0 4, Devin Bray 0-5 0-0 0, James Fry 0-3 0-0 0, Justin Dunsmore 1-6 4-4 6, Charles Porter 7-8 1-6 16, Cayeveoon Jones 2-2 0-0 5, Ryan Reeves 4-6 5-6 13, Gabe Porter 4-7 2-2 14. Totals 25-52 16-22 75.

Halftime: Northern 38-27. 3-pt FG:Montana Tech 4-16 (Chapman 1-2, Guldseth 1-2, O'Neill 0-2, Pannabecker 0-1, Molesworth 1-3, Chatman 0-1, Miles 1-4, England 0-1), Montana State-Northern 9-24 (Huse 2-3, Bakalarski 1-4, Bray 0-4, Fry 0-2, Dunsmore 0-2, Porter 1-2, Jones 1-1, Porter 4-6). Rebounds: Montana Tech 26 (England 7), Montana State-Northern 38 (Reeves 8). Fouls Montana Tech 18, Montana State-Northern 17. Fouled out: none. Technical: Miles.

 

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