Thunderbirds drop back and forth road contest 76-73
United Tribes lost a hard fought battle on the road at Dawson Community College on Monday night. The game stayed close for the opening ten minutes until DCC built a lead on a 3-pointer that put the Bucs up by 10 at 28-18. The Thunderbirds answered back with a 10-0 run on a basket by Sam Pendleton and two straight 3's by Montel Carlow. Robert Beaulieu tied the game with a driving lay-up. After more back and forth, up and down action, United Tribes closed the half with two free-throws by Bearpaw Mosely to draw within two points at 38-36. The first half included 4 ties and 2 lead changes and both teams turned it over 11 times. The shooting percentages for both teams were similar, but the Bucs controlled the boards 30-20, including a 13-6 advantage on the offensive glass.
The Thunderbirds turned their 2 point half-time deficit into a 7 point lead and it only took them a little over five minutes to do it. Instead of scoring from the outside like they did in the first half, they did their damage inside the arc and from the free throw line to start the 2nd half. Dawson chipped away and tied it up at the 11:22 mark with a 3-pointer. The lead changed hands 6 times in the 2nd half though the Buccaneers took the lead for good with 4 minutes remaining off another offensive rebound put back for a 69-68 lead. With the Bucs clinging to a 3 point lead and less than a minute left, they ran the shot-clock down and drove for a lay-up to make it a 2 possession game. Tribes answered back quickly with a 3-pointer from Ernest Grant seven seconds later to cut the lead to 75-73. On the next possesion Dawson's Brent Finn was fouled and made one of two to push thier lead to 76-73 with 13 seconds left. Tribes was able to get off a three pointer as time expired, but it bounced off.
The biggest difference in the game was a rebound differential of 16 in favor of Dawson, including a difference of 10 on the offensive glass which gave the home team a 20-3 advantage in 2nd chance points. Dawson's bench also outscored UTTC 33-16. Simon Falokun and Tyrel Harper led the way. Falokun finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Harper had 14 points, 13 rebounds and 6 steals. Finn also finished in double digits, scoring 11 points. For the Thunderbirds, Shayden Keplin scored 16, Rob McClain scored 12 and had 9 rebounds. Pendleton and Robert Beaulieau also reached double figues with 11 and 10 points.
The loss moves United Tribes to 16-5 on the season. United Tribes returns to action on Monday night as they host Bismarck State College at 7:30.