The Dawson Buccaneers forced 36 turnovers and held the Miles Community College Pioneers to 35% shooting to capture the victory 80-57. Their defense was suffocating all night long as Miles struggled to beat their pressure and get quality shots on their end. In the first nine minutes of the game, the only points the Pioneers scored was a field goal by Isaac Abergut that tied the game at two. The Bucs weren’t much better offensively. Two jump shots by Devin Collins and another by Reece Green gave Dawson a 6-2 lead. Joey Lodine scored a 3-pointer at the 10:42 mark to bring Miles within one at 6-5. Miles took the lead on their next possession with a shot by Daquazemarr Wyche. That would be their last lead of the game. The home team went on a 23-5 run to take a commanding 17 point lead over the next 6 minutes. Marcus Stephens scored seven points and Collins scored five to start the run and then Eric Jackson added eight points at the end of the run. Evan Harrell concluded the first half with a jump shot to pull Miles within 15 points at 35-20 going into the break. Dawson forced 18 turnovers in the opening half and held Miles to 25% from the field and 14% from the 3-point line. Stephens finished with 12 points and Collins with 10 points in the half.
The margin didn’t change much in the first five minutes of the second half until Miles went on a 10-0 run to get the deficit within single digits. That was the closest they would get the rest of the way as Dawson countered with a 13-2 run to go up by twenty with a little over ten minutes remaining. The run was capped by a 3-pointer in the corner from Kolten Hitt followed by a steal and strong drive by Hitt, who drew a foul and connected on his two free throws. The largest lead of the night came on another 3-pointer by Jackson with 2:00 to go to give the Bucs a 23 point victory over their rivals.
The Bucs didn’t shoot particularly well, but with the way they defended, they came away with the blowout win. They held the leading scorer for Miles, Gedeon Buzangu, to two points, shooting 0-1 from the field and 2-2 from the free throw line. They also forced Daquazemarr Wyche into 10 turnovers. Dawson scored 32 points off of the 36 turnovers they forced on the night.
Marcus Stephens led the way with 22 points and Devin Collins contributed 14 points and 7 rebounds. Man Man Baker scored 7 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Wyche finished with 16 points for the Pioneers.
Bucs Coach Joe Peterson was very pleased, “Our defense seems to keep getting better every day. We held one of the best players in the conference to two points and only one shot on the night. Our big guys really defended well inside. We struggled to hit shots tonight, but when you defend like that, you will always have a chance. Eric Jackson came off the bench and gave us a big lift. Our pressure frustrated them and our offense finally started clicking. I thought we were the aggressors tonight and it showed.”
Dawson moves to 4-2 in the Mon-Dak Conference and Miles drops to 2-4. The Bucs will host United Tribes Technical College on Thursday night. UTTC defeated Dawson in overtime in the pre-season tournament and Dawson got revenge a couple of weeks ago with a win in Bismarck. The Thunderbirds have the two top scorers in the conference in Rob McClain Jr and Montel Carlow. McClain is second in the league with 23.0 points per game and leading the league in rebounding with 11.0. He’s also third in field goal percentage and third in 3-point percentage. Carlow is leading the league in scoring with 23.3 and forth in 3-point percentage. The teams will tip-off at the conclusion of the women’s game at approximately 7:30 pm Thursday night. It is the Bucs annual Barefoot Coaching Night. Fans are encouraged to bring a new pair of shoes or money to donate to help children in the U.S. and internationally who are in need of shoes.