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Lights bury the Diggers in the Armory

Northern men snap Tech's winning streak with great defense

 

February 3, 2020

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Kavon Bey rises over the Montana Tech defense for a shot during Saturday night's Frontier Conference men's game in the Armory Gymnasium. Northern's defense stifled Tech in a 57-50 victory.

Just like last week, the Montana State University-Northern Lights really needed a win. And just like last week, the Lights delivered.

Saturday night in the Armory Gymnasium, the Lights snapped Montana Tech's four-game Frontier Conference winning streak with a 57-50 win. The victory was Northern's third in league play and came on the heels of another gutty defensive effort.

"Just can't say enough about these guys," MSU-N head coach Shawn Huse said. "They have been through so much, so many times, things just haven't gone their way. And still, they come back to work, they keep getting after it, they keep fighting. So for them to get a win tonight, against a very good Montana Tech team, that says so much about the character of this team."

It was an impressive step for the resilient Lights, especially considering the fact that Tech stormed out of the gates to take a 9-2 lead. The Orediggers' momentum would be short lived, however.

Devin Bray splashed a pair of early 3-pointers, then David Harris hit from downtown to give the Lights the lead. Northern would cap a 9-0 run with a bucket from Kavon Bey, while Mascio McCadney sank a triple to send the Lights into the locker room with a 32-23 edge.

Of course, Huse knew full well his team couldn't let up considering the Lights fell to Tech just two weeks ago. And again, it was Northern's defense that won the day.

The Lights held Tech to just 41 percent shooting, two made threes and a 66 percent clip from the foul line, and while the Diggers made a couple of charges via scores from Derrius Collins and Dylan Pannabecker, Northern had the answers, as Jesse Keltner nailed a key trey, while McCadney and Bey made big shots down the stretch.

"I was just really proud of the way our guys fought," Huse said. "Tech came in here playing so well, but I thought our guys were ready, and they played hard and executed when we needed it."

The Lights should be proud, because Tech came into Havre playing as well as anyone in the Frontier, including beating Providence just one night earlier. But the Northern defense held Tech stars Sindou Diallo and Taylor England to well below their scoring averages, while also forcing 10 second-half turnovers. MSU-N also dominated on the glass, and got 17 points from Bey, and 13 each from McCadney and Harris.

"I thought we were really solid defensively," Huse said. "I thought our guys were really locked in again tonight. It was a great team effort tool. Everybody stepped up and played well tonight. I'm just happy for our guys."

LC wins one last time in Havre

Time is starting to tick away on the Frontier Conference men's basketball season, and the Montana State University-Northern Lights need wins. But inside the Armory Gymnasium, it wasn't meant to be Friday night as No. 12 Lewis-Clark State beat the Lights 56-45.

The Warriors, playing in the Armory for the final time, got off to a blazing start, withstood one big Northern run, then pulled away for what was their 11th straight win and their 20th of the season.

"Everybody said it all year, they can really guard," Northern head coach Shawn Huse said. "Say what you want about the fact that they (Warriors) average 12 made threes per game, but I just think they are really tough defensively, We made a lot of mistakes offensively, and we just didn't shoot the ball very well, again. But at the end of the day, they really deserve a ton of credit for the way they defend. They're very tough."

The Warriors are really good, but the Lights battled hard, especially after LC State rattled off 14 unanswered points, and an 18-2 run that saw them lead 23-9 halfway through the first half. From there, though, Northern rebounded with Adam Huse,. Jesse Keltner and Kavon Bey all hitting t3-pointers on consecutive trips down the floor. The run was aided by Gio Jackson's steal and dunk, and Keltner hit another shot to cap a 13-2 spurt by the Lights, who trailed just 27-22 at halftime.

"I was really impressed with the way we defended tonight," coach Huse said. "To hold LC State to 56 points, it says a lot about the way our guys were locked in and how hard they played. And I can never say enough about the fight in our guys. They just continue to battle, and I'm proud of them for that.

It was a strong showing defensively, but in the end, it wasn't enough. A Keltner three early in the second half had the Lights within three points at 30-27, but eventually the Warriors went on a 12-0 run to put their lead back to double digits, and while Northern held LC to nearly 40 points below their season average, with an excellent defensive effort, it still wasn't enough.

The Lights shot 35 percent and made six threes and got 15 points from Mascio McCadney and another 10 by Keltner, who also grabbed seven boards. Defensively, the Lights held LCSC to just 38 percent shooting, while Travis Yenor and Jake Albright led LC with 13 points each, as the Warriors improved to 20-1, and have a firm grip on first place in the league standings.

Meanwhile, after a home split, the Lights (3-7, 13-9) head back out on the road for the next two weeks, including a trip to Montana Western Thursday night and Rocky Mountain College Saturday night.

Lights are 3-7 in Frontier, 13-9 overall; Next Up: at Western Thursday

LC State 56, Lights 45

LCSC - Josiah Westbrook 4-9 1-1 10, Khalil Stevenson 1-2 0-1 2, Jaxon Hughes 2-3 0-0 6, Hodges Bailey 1-8 0-0 3, Damek Mitchell 1-6 1-3 4, Travis Yenor 4-11 2-2 12, Trystan Bradley 3-10 0-0 6, Jake Albright 5-6 3-5 13. Totals 21-55 7-12 56.

MSU-N - Gio Jackson 1-1 0-0 2, David Harris 2-7 0-0 4, Mascio McCadney 6-14 1-1 15, Adam Huse 4-8 0-0 9, Jesse Keltner 4-8 0-0 10, Kavon Bey 2-13 0-0 5, Devin Bray 0-3 0-0 0, TJ Reynolds 0-0 0-0 0, Cedric Crutchfield 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-54 1-1 45.

Halftime: LCSC 27-22. 3-pt FG:Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 7-21 (Westbrook 1-2, Hughes 2-3, Bailey 1-5, Mitchell 1-2, Yenor 2-6, Bradley 0-3), Montana State University- 6-17 (Harris 0-2, McCadney 2-5, Huse 1-2, Keltner 2-4, Bey 1-3, Bray 0-1). Rebounds: Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 33 (Bradley 9), Montana State University- 29 (Keltner 7). Fouls Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 11, Montana State University- 15. Fouled out: none.

Lights 57, Montana Tech 50

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Mascio McCadney drives during Saturday night's game against Montana Tech in Havre.

MT - Sindou Diallo 5-11 0-2 10, Connor Kieckbusch 0-1 0-0 0, Troy Owens Jr. 1-9 2-3 4, Christian Jones 1-1 0-0 2, Dylan Pannabecker 4-8 1-1 9, Taylor England 4-8 5-6 13, Drew Huse 1-3 0-0 2, Derrius Collins 4-6 0-0 10, Cody Baumstarck 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-48 8-12 50.

MSU-N - Gio Jackson 0-0 1-2 1, David Harris 6-12 0-0 13, Mascio McCadney 4-7 4-5 13, Adam Huse 0-4 2-2 2, Jesse Keltner 1-3 2-2 5, Kavon Bey 6-16 5-7 17, Devin Bray 2-7 0-0 6, Cedric Crutchfield 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-50 14-18 57

Halftime: Northern 32-23. 3-pt FG:Montana Tech 2-8 (Kieckbusch 0-1, Owens Jr. 0-5, Collins 2-2), Montana State University- 5-19 (Harris 1-4, McCadney 1-2, Huse 0-1, Keltner 1-3, Bey 0-3, Bray 2-6). Rebounds: Montana Tech 24 (England 12), Montana State University- 33 (Harris 10). Fouls Montana Tech 17, Montana State University- 14. Fouled out: Keltner.

 

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