(Editor's note: DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE - In their first true road game of the season, Dawson Community College started strong but couldn't hold off a late charge by the Gillette College Pronghorns falling 82-80.
Kolten Hitt got the Bucs on the board before the opening tip by knocking down a free throw after a pre-game technical foul. Dawson won the opening tip and Man Man Baker scored on a drive. Bradley Akhile answered for the Pronghorns with a 3-pointer to tie the game. Gillette took the lead on the next possession, but it didn't last long. Dawson took charge by asserting themselves defensively.
The visitors also shot well in the first half, connecting on 53% from the field, 45% from 3 point range and 100% from the free throw line, though they only got to the line three times. Gillette on the other hand stayed in the game by getting to the free throw line 13 times in the first half and by getting 13 offensive rebounds. Dawson built up an 11 point lead late in the half, but Gillette's Gary Solomon scored at the half-time buzzer to pull them within 9 points at 40-31. Camron Dunfee led all scorers in the first half with 13 points on 5-7 shooting overall and 3-4 from long range.
Dawson outscored Gillette by six in the opening five minutes of the second half to take a commanding 15 point lead.
Over the next ten minutes though, the home team turned that 15 point deficit into an 8 point led. They did their damage by getting to the free throw line often, shooting 17-24 in the second half; far above their 58% average on the year. They also shot better from deep by going 6-14 during the final twenty minutes. The Bucs answered when Baker hit a crucial three-pointer, CJ Nelson scored on a drive and Beau Santistevan hauled in an offensive rebound and converted it into two points to tie the game up with two minutes to go. But Mason Archambault made some clutch free throws down the stretch and sealed the win for the Pronghorns. They finished with advantages in turnovers (22-11) and free throws (37-14).
Archambault paced five Pronghorns in double figures with 17 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Baker and Dunfree led Dawson in scoring with 18 points each. The loss drops the Bucs to 4-2 on the season.
They'll play Colorado Northwestern Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the Gillette Pronghorn First Interstate Bank and Coach USA Classic.