The Dawson Community College Buccaneers started the season off right in the Mon-Dak Conference Preseason Tournament at the 4-Bears Event Center in New Town, North Dakota against rival Miles Community College Pioneers winning 82-73. The Bucs got off to a good start in the 1st half with their pressure defense and attacking on the offensive end scoring 22 of their 39 points in the first half in the paint. They were also able to get the foul line going 6 of 6 in the first half. Although the Bucs started off well, the Pioneers were able to make a push to keep the game close with Favour Chuwukelu making a 3-pointer at the half-time buzzer to pull Miles within 8 points, 39-31. Dawson outrebounded them by 6 in the first half which led to an 11-0 advantage in second chance points. They also forced 11 turnovers and scored 12 points off those turnovers. Devin Collins and Man Man Baker scored nine each and Camron Dunfee had eight in the opening half.
Dawson came out strong again in the second half continuing to score from the inside, but it wasn't all positive for the Bucs in the second half, as they turned the ball over 9 times and gave up 17 points in transition. Miles took a 2 point lead at the 12 minute mark behind more good shooting from Favour Chuwukelu and Akeemis Williams. The Buccaneers and Pioneers continued to trade leads, but Dawson was not shaken by Miles's run. Pioneer's big man, Gedeon Buzzungu, fouled out with nine minutes remaining. Dawson continued to attack the rim and pour on the defensive pressure scoring 29 points off of 26 forced turnovers for the game. The Bucs also won the rebound battle by 12. Beau Santistevan played strong inside in the second half against the Pioneer zone and Charles Lampten had a couple of big offensive rebounds and putbacks in the final four minutes. Dawson was able to seal the win behind Baker's 22 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals. Santistevan finished with 14 points. Dunfee's chipped in 12 points and Devin Collins had 9 points and a team high 8 rebounds. Chuwukelu led Miles with 16 points and Issac Abergut had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Dawson outscored Miles 29-9 off turnovers, 40-22 in the paint, 22-2 in second chance points and their bench scored 55 points to the Pioneers 27.
Bucs Head Coach Joe Peterson spoke after the game, “It’s nice to get a win in the first game. We did some things really well like rebounding and forcing turnovers, but we didn’t shoot the ball very well and allowed some of their good shooters to get open looks. Miles is a tough, hard-nosed, well-coached team. They had a lot of things go against them, but they kept fighting. I was proud of how we held our composure and finished out the game.”
Dawson will be looking for its second win of the season Saturday night at 8:45 pm CST against North Dakota State College of Science in the semifinals. The winner will advance to the championship game on Sunday.