(Editor's note: DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE - Phoenix College held double digit leads in both halves then had to hold off a late Dawson Community College rally to survive at home 86-83.
Both teams pressed for forty minutes and forced 20 turnovers each. The difference between the two teams was on the glass where the Bears from PC held the advantage 51-43.
Dawson got off to a good start early in the game and threatened to blow it open. CJ Nelson connected on three 3-pointers in the first half. The Bears fought back with good shooting of their own from long range. Beau Santistevan scored at the half-time buzzer to give Dawson a slim 49-47 lead. The Bucs again threatened to blow it up in the second half, but PC kept making runs of their own to keep it close.
Dawson missed three critical free throws in the final three minutes and found themselves down by three points with twenty seconds left. They failed to get a shot up and turned it over with eight seconds remaining. On the ensuing inbounds they fouled Treyvon McCray. McCray gave Dawson hope by missing both free throw attempts. The Bucs Man Man Baker pushed it up the floor and got the ball to Santistevan. Santistevan couldn't duplicate his first half buzzer heroics though as his 3-point attempt hit the back of the rim and bounced out.
The loss dropped Dawson to 10-6 on the season and Phoenix College improved to 9-5. Dawson posted four guys in double figures, led by 14 points from Camron Dunfee to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Nelson had 13 points while Baker and Devin Collins had 10 points and 6 rebounds each.
Phoenix College was led by Tre Mitchell with 22 points; Treyvon McCray with 16 points and Shemar Wilson with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Dawson Coach Joe Peterson talked about the game, "It was a really fun game to play and coach in. Both teams played similar styles. Our guys competed hard and stayed together throughout. We had chances to put it away, but we allowed them to get back into it. Our lack of rebounding in the first half and poor shooting in the second half really hurt us. These kinds of games will make us better and get us ready for a tough conference schedule in January and February. We are really excited to get started with our Mon-Dak games."
Dawson will play at Briercrest in Canada on January 6 and then open up conference play at home on January 9.