The DCC Buccaneers looked sluggish and out of sync for most of the night, but managed to close out the game on an 18-0 run to steal a victory on the road in their conference opener against Williston State College. The Bucs jumped out to a 7-2 start, but after that, Williston had the upper hand for most of the night. The Tetons held DCC to 25 points in the first half on 28% shooting from the field. Seven-foot center Charlie Imiger controlled the paint, blocking six shots and altering several more. The home team went into half-time with an 11 point lead 36-25.
The visitors came out of the locker room after the break with a little inspiration and scored the first 9 points of the second half and tied the game with 14 minutes to go. Williston gradually regained control and built a double digit lead. DCC was still down 60-52 with four minutes remaining. After a timeout, they got a defensive stop and went down scoring on a lay-up by Tyrell Harper . After another stop, Simon Falokun scored inside to bring the Bucs within four. They kept getting stops and started executing better on offense. Brent Finn hit a pull-up jumper, Falokun scored inside again. Harper hit a driving lay-up inside to finally regain the lead. Finn and Taylan Barrett knocked down free throws in the final minute to steal the win for Dawson. Dawson held Williston without a field goal in the final 5:34 and without a point for the final 4:08. On top of that, Dawson held the home team to 28% shooting in the 2nd half and outrebounded them 28-12 in the final twenty minutes. The Bucs shot 50% in the 2nd half and made 12-16 from the free throw line on the night.
Three Buccaneers posted double-doubles on the night. Harper led the way with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Falokun contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds. Barrett came off the bench to also post a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Tate Savoie also collected 9 rebounds. The four players combined for 45 of the Bucs 56 rebounds.
DCC Coach Joe Peterson expressed relief, “We did not have our A game tonight. This was our first game in 3 weeks and we looked rusty. I don’t think we deserved to win, but we showed a lot of toughness and determination to dig in for those final five minutes and get the stops when we needed them. Good teams can get stops and come up with the rebounds when they need them most.”
Dawson moves to 1-0 in Mon-Dak Conference play while Williston falls to 0-1. The Bucs will be back in action at home on Thursday night against the three-time reigning conference champions, North Dakota State College of Science.