Miles Community College women improve to 21-0, men lose heart-breaker

Miles Community College MCC Pioneers logo
Posted at 6:29 PM, Mar 23, 2021

(Editor's note: Miles Community College media releases)

DEVIL'S LAKE, N.D. -- The Miles Community College men's and women's basketball team split a doubleheader at Lake Region State College on Monday. The MCC men lost a 76-75 heart-breaker, while the MCC women used a strong second half en route to an 86-70 win.

Lake Region State College men 76, Miles Community College 75

A back-and-forth game that had a wild ending finished with Lake Region State College walking away with a 76-75 win over the Miles Community College Pioneers on Monday night in Devil's Lake, N.D.

The Pioneers rallied from a four-point deficit with less than 30 seconds to go and had the ball with a chance to win, but a layup at the buzzer rolled out. MCC led by nine points late in the first half, but a few sloppy possessions saw the Royals cut the lead to five at halftime. A 3-point field goal by Favour Chukwukelu gave the Pioneers an eight-point lead, but the Royals clawed back and the game went back and forth until the final buzzer. The lead changed hands 10 times and there were five ties in the contest.

Chukwukelu led the Pioneers with 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Pioneers held a 39-37 rebounding advantage. Eli Habighorst had a hot hand, scoring 17 points for the Pioneers, and Dylan Hushaw was the only other player in double figures with 12 points and seven rebounds. The Pioneers had 18 turnovers for the game, including 14 in the second half.

Ben Hoverson led the Royals with 18 points, Beijan Newbern added 15, Brody Kriesel had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Trace Evans went for 14 points for Lake Region State. Carson Henningsgard had eight assists.

The Pioneers head to Williston State on Thursday with a home playoff game at stake. Tip time is 6:30 p.m.

Miles Community College women 86, Lake Region State 70

The undefeated and 23rd-ranked Pioneers withstood a sluggish first half and some hot shooting by Lake Region State to remain unbeaten with a 86-70 win over Lake Region State College. The win ran the Pioneers to 21-0 and a chance at a second unbeaten regular season in the last three campaigns.

MCC missed multiple layups and 10 free throws in the first half and saw the Royals hit 7 of 13 from the 3-point line as MCC led only 37-34 at half. The Pioneers turned up the defense in the second half and outscored LRSC 33-18 in the third quarter by forcing 28 turnovers for the game and scoring 29 points off of those turnovers.

Lili Long spent most of the evening at the free throw line, connecting on 13 of 17 attempts and scoring 24 points to lead the Pioneers' offensive charge. Olyvia Pacheco hit three 3s and finished with 17 points. The nation's leading scorer, Rebekah Dallinger, had a rough shooting night (4 of 16, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range) but still finished with 13 points and 10 assists. Jana Conejero scored 12 points and had six rebounds. Kate Tanner led the Pioneers with eight rebounds.

The Pioneers can cap a perfect regular season with a win Thursday night in Williston, N.D. Tip time is 4:30 p.m.