Lights aim to build some momentum on the road


February 6, 2020

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana State University-Northern's Cedric Crutchfield left, puts up a shot during a Frontier Conference game against Montana Western back in December. The Lights have a rematch with the Bulldogs tonight in Dillon. The game starts a two-week, four-game road trip for the Lights, who are trying to climb back into the Frontier Conference title hunt.

One thing that has eluded the Montana State University-Northern Lights this season is consistency. The Lights just haven't been able to build any forward momentum.

But after an exciting win over Montana Tech last Saturday night, that's what the Lights (3-7, 13-9) are trying for when they travel to Montana Western (3-7, 10-11) tonight and Rocky Mountain College (1-9, 6-13) on Saturday night.

The road doubleheader pits the Lights against the two teams they stand in front of in the Frontier standings, and a pair of wins would thrust Northern back into the heart of the Frontier chase. However, Northern head coach Shawn Huse knows that the Western and Rocky squads the Lights saw all the way back in December have only grown since the split in the Armory Gymnasium.

"This weekend poses new, arduous challenges as we prepare and execute our travel and game plans versus two more tough conference opponents," Huse said. "Both teams have shown they can get things going at the rim and from the perimeter, while playing hard on D."

Though the records don't reflect it, both of Northern's road opponents are very good.

The Lights beat Western in a close battle back in early December, but the Dawgs are one of the top-scoring teams in the Frontier and boast a talented scoring tandem in James Jones and Cedric Boone, who combined to average over 30 points per game.

Meanwhile, Rocky's only win in conference play came by way of an overtime thriller against the Lights back in December. The Battlin' Bears have since lost nine straight games, but, they still have plenty of firepower, including former Box Elder star Brandon The Boy. RMC also has five players averaging in double figures.

But as good as both teams are, the Lights will also focus on themselves, and what they need to do. Veterans Kavon Bey, Mascio McCadney and Adam Huse all average in double figures, while Cedric Crutchfield has been stellar defensively. And defense has been where the Lights have made big strides of late, and Huse hopes that his offense can find more rhythm to match the stingy defense on the road this weekend.

"We need to execute well and shoot a percentage on offense, while remaining solid with our own defense if we are going to have road success," Huse said. "I like how we are playing right now, and just need to stay ready for anything these two throw at us as the conference season moves into its later stages."

The Lights are starting a four-game road swing with tonight's game in Dillon, which tips off at 7:30. Northern's game at RMC also starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night in Billings. MSU-N travels to Lewis-Clark State and Montana Tech next weekend.


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