(Editor's note: DCC Athletics release)
GLENDIVE - It was about two months ago when Dawson Community College basketball women played their second game of the season in the early Mon-Dak Conference Tournament. They lost to United Tribes Technical College by 22 points.
This time Dawson returned the favor defeating the Lady Thunderbirds 84-58 in the first Mon-Dak conference game of the season.
United Tribes never led the game as the Lady Bucs would pour on full court pressure and convert in transition. Dawson scored 36 points off of 28 turnovers forced. Dawson would also get huge points from the bench, making 32 points to the Lady T-Birds 7. Second chance points would favor Dawson 17-7. The Lady Bucs shot mediocre from the perimeter, making 38% from the field, 32% from the 3-point range and a solid 77% from the charity stripe. Total rebounding edge went to Dawson 50-45. Dawson also had a total of 16 steals.
Kitawna Little Light went 3-7 from beyond the arc to lead the game with 17 points, while having 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Haley Olson also made 3 from the arc, scoring 15 points, adding 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Tamiya Francis and Ashya Klopfenstein would score 12 apiece, while Francis chipped in with 5 assists and 6 steals and Klopfenstein added 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. After sitting out a few weeks due to the flu, Megan Lindbo came off the bench scoring 10 points and grabbing 4 rebounds. Ashley Orozco had a game high 6 assists and no turnovers while having 9 points and 6 rebounds.
"We are a young team, but we are a hungry team," said DCC head coach Romeo Lagmay, Jr. "Playing a tough non-conference schedule will pay off. The attitude of these young ladies is striving for the top spot. That's how we practice and that is what was displayed tonight. I was pleased with how we took care of the ball, with our point guards, Francis and Orozco, only having one. That is major improvement for two very talented point guards. One down and now we are ready for another payback on Sunday."
The Lady Bucs will return to action at home again on Sunday, January 12 at 2:00 p.m. against Lake Region State College.
Despite dismal shooting in their Mon-Dak Conference opener, DCC's men beat United Tribes 71-62 by forcing 30 turnovers and dominating the boards 56-40. The rebounding advantage also led to outscoring Tribes on second-chance points 17-0.
Dawson's defense was stifling from the start. UTTC was averaging 93.3 points per game in their first 13 games of the season, but only managed to score 5 points in the first 11 minutes of this one. Those five points came in the first 2:30 on a field goal by Tate Bear and a 3-pointer by Cecilio Montgomery. That put them up 5-0. They went scoreless for the next eight minutes. Unfortunately for Dawson, they couldn't take advantage of it because they were struggling with their shooting. They only managed 14 points in the first 10 minutes to lead 14-5.
Nike Jiles made a 3-pointer with 9:17 to go in the half to make it 14-8. The scoring picked up for both teams after that. Beau Santistevan connected on two straight possessions and then Man Man Baker made a bucket to put Dawson up 29-20 in the closing minutes of the half, but Tribes ended the half with a 3-pointer by Lane Johnson. Dawson forced 16 turnovers and held the T-Birds to 34% shooting, but didn't build much of a lead because they shot 29% from the field and 11% from the 3-point line in the opening twenty minutes. Nobody for either team was in double figures in the half.
In the second half the offenses picked up. Tribes cut the deficit to 1 point in the opening two minutes, but Dawson responded with an 11-0 run on a Camron Dunfee 3-pointer, Roulervee Van's driving lay-up, and two straight 3's from Kell Schwers. Despite the T-Birds being down all game, they came back to take the lead 55-54 with 3:46 left on a basket by Tate Bear. Dawson scored the next 9 points in a row with a bucket by Baker, a free throw by Santistevan, and other field goals by Baker, Santistevan and Baker again. They were in control 62-54 with two minutes remaining. After a couple of free throws by Jiles, Kolten Hitt connected from long range, got a lay-up in transition and made four free throws to ice the game. Dawson outscored UTTC 18-8 in the last four minutes of the game and 42-39 in the second half.
Dawson's percentages improved slightly in the second half, shooting 38% from the field and 25% from 3, but it wasn't their offense that was the story. It was their defense and rebounding that dominated the game. They held UTTC to 34% shooting from the field and forced 30 turnovers. Dawson's bench outscored Tribes 42-11 and they had 20 points in the paint compared to 6 for United Tribes. The T-Birds scored 42 points from the 3-point line, 8 from the free throw line and only 12 from 2-point range.
On a cold shooting night, only two Bucs were in double figures led by Baker's 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists. Santistevan contributed 11 points and 8 rebounds. UTTC was led by 18 points from Cecilio Montgomery. All of his points came from long range. Nick Jiles had 16 points and 8 rebounds.
"Good teams find ways to win even when they don't shoot well," said Bucs' head coach Joe Peterson. "We couldn't hit the broadside of a barn tonight, but we played exceptional defense all night long and controlled the boards. We held them 30 points below their scoring average by forcing 30 turnovers and not letting them score in the paint. Man Man and Beau were huge late in the first half and late in the game and Kolten really came alive in the final two minutes to keep it out of reach."
Dawson moves to 12-6 on the year and 1-0 in the conference. United Tribes is now 8-6 and 0-1. DCC plays again at home on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. vs. Lake Region State College.