Lights dominate the Centurions to start doubleheader
Last updated 11/12/2021 at 9:53am
With a month before its first Frontier Conference game, the Montana State University-Northern men's basketball team is looking to find its stride before then. After a solid road trip in Michigan last weekend, the Lights were looking to build on that in their game against Yellowstone Christian College at Armory Gymnasium Thursday night.
The Lights wasted little time taking advantage as they jumped to a 47-27 lead at halftime. When the clock ran out at the end of the game, the Lights pulled out the 99-57 victory. While his team had control the entire night, MSU-N head coach Shawn Huse thought they could have played better in the first half.
"We played well after we shook off some rust," Huse said. "I didn't think we were doing all the little things that we normally do there in the first half, and I challenged them a little bit and they came out and really answered the bell and did all the little things that we like to do."
While they could have played better to start the night, the Lights still took an early advantage over the Centurions. Jesse Keltner got the Lights on the board with a jump shot less than a minute into the game. A pair of 3-pointers from David Harris and Mascio McCadney pushed the Lights' lead to 8-0 less than two minutes into the game. However, Huse believed they could have played better defense to start the game.
"I didn't think we necessarily did things to get the stops, it was more of them shooting themselves in the foot there a couple times early," Huse said. "We really took a step forward last weekend in Michigan and really played well in every facet of the game and I thought we came out of the gates maybe not quite playing to that level."
The Centurions finally got the scoreboard to cut their deficit to 8-3. However, McCadney went on a personal 5-0 run for the Lights to make the lead 13-3. The Centurions tried to get back in the game, but the Lights responded with a pair of 3-pointers from TJ Reynolds to make the lead 22-8.
Through the rest of the first half, the Lights used their 3-point shooting to keep the Centurions at bay. The Lights finished the first half shooting 11-22 from beyond the arc to go into halftime with a 47-27 lead.
"That goes back to practice and workouts," Huse said about the 3-point shooting. "We put the time in our workouts and I think that's where it comes from. You got to put that time in to get those reps."
The Lights did not cool down from three in the second half. McCadney hit another pair of threes in the opening minutes of the half and Harris hit a three from the corner to make the lead 62-34 less than three minutes into the half. From that point, the Lights cruised to a 99-57 victory to improve to 4-1 early in non-conference play.
The Lights finished the game shooting 48.7 percent from the 3-point line and 50 percent from the field. They held the Centurions to 21.7 percent from the 3-point line and 33.3 percent from the field. Devin Session led the Centurions with 16 points on 6-for-13 shooting.
McCadney led the Lights with 24 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field and 5-for-9 shooting from three. Reynolds shot 4-for-6 from three for 18 points while also grabbing nine rebounds for the Lights. Harris led the team with six assists while going 5-for-10 from three for 15 points.
While he was happy to pick up the win, Huse believes they did not improve on their recent performances and instead plateaued. If the Lights are going to start trending upward again, Huse believes they just need to stick to their style of basketball and clean up the little things.
"We just need to continue to play our basketball as we head forward throughout the whole season," Huse said. "I wouldn't say we need to adjust a lot for (YCC) but we need to continue to play our style and do the little things that we do on defense."
The Lights will play YCC again tonight at 6 p.m. at the Armory Gymnasium.
MSU-N 99, Yellowstone Christian College 57
YCC - 27 30 - 57
MSU-N - 47 52 - 99
YCC - Devin Session 16, Doug Merida 14, Christian Beeke 10, Kyle Morris 9, William Thigpen 6, Anthony White 2.
MSU-N - Mascio McCadney 24, TJ Reynolds 18, David Harris 15, CJ Nelson 10, Immanuel Anderson 9, Jesse Keltner 6, Zyara Ruffin 6, Tanner McCliment-Call 4, Anthony Braggs Jr. 3, William Burns 2, Micaiah Hauser 2.