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Lights get what they needed at Montana Tech

 

Last updated 2/22/2021 at 7:49am

In order to host a home playoff game, the Montana State University-Northern Lights were in need of wins at Montana Tech on the final weekend of the regular season. The Orediggers, however, tried hard to stop that from happening.

Saturday night Tech hit a game-winning shot with :35 left to upend the Lights 65-64 in a heartbreaker. On the strength of five 3-pointers, the Lights had built a 31-27 halftime lead, and in a back-and-forth second stanza, they led 64-63 with under a minute to play. But Tech hit a big shot and Northern couldn’t connect on its own game-winning try in the final seconds. In the tight game, both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field, with the Lights getting 18 points from C.J. Nelson and 14 more from Mascio McCadney.

However, as gut-wrenching as the loss was Saturday, the Lights got it all back Sunday with dominant, 61-49 win over the Orediggers. MSU-N led 28-21 at halftime, and only did more to pull away in the second stanza and, in the process, earn a home playoff game with Montana Western this Thursday.

“I am just really proud of our guys tonight against a good Tech squad,” Northern head coach Shawn Huse said Sunday. “We have been through an extremely tough stretch of tough losses. The amount of late-game gut punches we have gone through has certainly felt extreme. It just shows the character of these guys to keep prepping and keep fighting. We know how close we are to a much better record, but it still takes a great attitude and diligence to keep working.”

Mascio McCadney had a monster outing for the Lights with 23 points and three triples, while David Harris added 13, as the Lights shot 44 percent from the field but, more importantly, clamped down on Tech, which shot just 29 percent and committed 19 turnovers.

The win gave the Lights a 6-11 record in the Frontier Conference, and a fourth-place finish over Western by a half a game. The Bulldogs lost twice at Carroll this weekend, finishing at 6-12. Northern will now host Western Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Armory Gymnasium in the first round of the Frontier playoffs.

Montana Tech 65, Lights 64

MSU-N - Mascio McCadney 6-11 0-0 14, Jesse Keltner 3-5 0-0 6, David Harris 2-7 3-4 7, Zyare Ruffin 0-1 0-0 0, Allen Sims 1-2 2-6 5, Aaron Collins 1-1 0-0 3, Jomel Boyd 4-7 0-0 8, CJ Nelson 7-9 1-2 18, Nakyel Shelton 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 25-45 6-12 64.

MT - Sindou Diallo 8-18 3-3 19, Nate Ward 1-2 0-0 2, Markieth Brown Jr 2-5 2-3 6, Cody Liles 1-2 3-3 5, Taylor England 2-4 1-3 5, Bridger Larson 0-1 1-2 1, Drew Huse 4-6 5-5 13, Derrius Collins 4-6 0-0 8, Cody Baumstarck 3-3 0-0 6. Totals 25-47 15-19 65.

Halftime: Northern 31-27. 3-pt FG:Montana State-Northern 8-17 (McCadney 2-3, Harris 0-5, Ruffin 0-1, Sims 1-1, Collins 1-1, Nelson 3-4, Shelton 1-2), Montana Tech 0-7 (Diallo 0-2, Brown Jr 0-2, England 0-1, Collins 0-2). Rebounds: Montana State-Northern 22 (Boyd 5), Montana Tech 25 (Baumstarck 7). Fouls Montana State-Northern 19, Montana Tech 15. Fouled out: none.

Lights 61, Montana Tech 49

MSU-N - Mascio McCadney 10-17 0-0 23, TJ Reynolds 2-3 0-0 4, Jesse Keltner 1-3 0-0 2, David Harris 6-12 1-2 13, Zyare Ruffin 0-0 0-0 0, Allen Sims 1-4 2-2 4, Aaron Collins 2-5 0-0 5, Jomel Boyd 3-10 0-0 6, CJ Nelson 1-5 0-0 2, Nakyel Shelton 1-2 0-0 2, Micaiah Hauser 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-61 3-4 61.

MT - Sindou Diallo 6-13 6-8 19, Nate Ward 0-3 0-0 0, Markieth Brown Jr 3-8 4-4 12, Christian Jones 0-1 2-2 2, Cody Liles 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor England 2-7 2-2 6, John Dhuol 1-2 0-0 3, Drew Huse 0-4 2-2 2, Derrius Collins 2-8 1-1 5, Cody Baumstarck 0-0 0-0 0, William Mytty 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-47 17-19 49.

Halftime: 3-pt FG:Montana State-Northern 4-13 (McCadney 3-5, Reynolds 0-1, Harris 0-3, Collins 1-2, Nelson 0-1, Shelton 0-1), Montana Tech 4-16 (Diallo 1-3, Brown Jr 2-5, England 0-1, Dhuol 1-2, Huse 0-1, Collins 0-4). Rebounds: Montana State-Northern 38 (Keltner 8), Montana Tech 31 (England 8). Fouls Montana State-Northern 15, Montana Tech 10. Fouled out: none.

 
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