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Northern hoops back in the Armory tonight

Skylights, Lights host AmericInn Classic games against Yellowstone Christian


November 29, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Kenya Lorton, right, drives to the hoops during the Skylight's last home game against Corban College. The Skylights and Lights are home tonight, to host the AmericInn Thanksgiving Classic. The Skylights play Yellowstone Christian tonight at 6, followed by the Lights against the Centurions at 8.

The college basketball season continues, and the Montana State University-Northern teams are hoping to make it a happy Thanksgiving weekend.

The Montana State University-Northern men's and women's basketball teams are off to a great start this season. The Lights and Skylights both currently boast undefeated records, with their next challenge right around the corner, the AmericInn Classic tonight in the Armory Gymnasium against Yellowstone Christian College. The Skylights play at 6 followed by the Lights around 8.

The pair of games will look to be another test to see if Northern can stay consistent moving forward, especially since the teams have turned some heads already this year.

The Skylights will get the opening bout against the Lady Centurions and MSU-N head coach Chris Mouat is looking forward to the matchup.

"Yellowstone has some kids that can shoot it," said Mouat. "If you let them get going, they can get hot offensively. I think in their last game, every single kid on the team shot at least one 3-pointer. They'll definitely put it up from deep and we're going to have to contest the three-point line and limit it to one shot."

Northern carries a lot of exciting talent that has helped the team succeed so far in the early season. Sydney Hovde and Hailey Nicholson will be key in the rebound game against the Lady Centurions' three-point skills. Hovde and Nicholson combined for 15 rebounds in last week's game against the Northwest University of Washington.

The Skylights have a powerful offensive front, as well. Against Dickinson State last week, the team racked up 26 field goals and three successful shots from the arc. Northern has a lot of big players that make some noise out on the court.

On top of that, MSU-N will be hosting the game against the Lady Centurions, which is always a helpful boost for the team. When it comes to playing for a great home crowd in the Armory, it cannot be beat. Fans will still be hungry for a big win at home, even after all the Thanksgiving festivities.

But, Yellowstone Christian has a good group of talent on their team, too. The Lady Centurions boast three Montana players, including Mashaya Alden, who was a standout athlete from Hardin High and is quite familiar with giving Havre teams some trouble on the court.

Mouat credits another Montana player on the Lady Centurions, too, former Lewistown High player Hannah Hayes, an athlete that Mouat sees as a tough competitor on the court.

"Hannah Hayes can really go off for big points if you allow her to," Mouat said. "She's a decent-sized kid and can step out and shoot, step out on the block and is pretty complete offensively."

It will be a tough task for the Skylights tonight and Yellowstone Christian will be a good challenge for the team. Fans can look forward to a game where an offensive powerhouse is pitted against a long-distance threat in the Armory.

After that, the Lights will step on the court against the Centurions. The men's squad has had a stellar start to their early season and is ready for some more. On top of that, coming off of two-straight wins last week against Northwest and Dickinson State in Great Falls is a nice confidence boost, too.

The game against the Blue Hawks was arguably the best performance the team has had so far this year, as the Lights put up 103-points against their opponent. Northern made 40 field goals and 13 threes that day, capping off an exciting weekend in Great Falls.

Mascio McCadney led the Lights with three shots made from the arc, followed by Kavon Bey, one 3-pointer. Adam Huse racked up five field goals and four threes. Needless to say, the Lights put in some impressive work against Dickinson State. Northern even beat the tough Northwest Eagles team, showing that the boys can face a lot of adversity and still come out on top.

Now, the Lights will take on another challenge in Yellowstone Christian. The Centurions have a big player in Chris Pendley, a six-foot-seven senior guard that will have a major height advantage on the court. The team has quite a few other players over six-foot, with capabilities that can make for an interesting combination.

But, Yellowstone Christian is looking for its first win of the season and against Northern, the underdog factor will only fuel the team's hunger to pull off an upset and disrupt the Lights' early-season swagger. Anything can happen in the Armory tonight and Northern will look to prepare for the Centurions.

The AmericInn Classic in the Armory Gymnasium tonight kicks off with the Skylights (6-0) against the Lady Centurions (0-5) at 6 followed by the 19th-ranked Lights (4-0) versus Yellowstone Christian (0-7-1) at 8 in the Armory. The Lights were also set to play Salish Kootenai College Saturday, but that game has been canceled. MSU-N opens Frontier Conference play next weekend.


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