Thunderbirds improve to 19-8 on the season with 87-75 win
Coming in to Sunday's game the Dawson Community College Buccaneers had won 7 straight and were the hottest team in the Mon Dak Conference. During the streak they snapped North Dakota State College of Sciences 30 game conference win streak and nearly 3 year dominance of the conference. The United Tribes Technical College Thunderbirds were able to withstand a late rally and come away with the 87-75 win over the second place Buccaneers. The Thunderbirds forced 15 first half turnovers and led by as many as 12 points in the half, but Taylan Barrett's basket at the buzzer closed the gap 39-32. For the Thunderbirds, Rob McClain had a big first half with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals.
During their streak the Bucs made a habit of coming out of the locker room strong in the 2nd half and once again mounted a comeback. They went inside to Tyrell Harper and Simon Falokun and they quickly closed the gap to a one-possession game. The teams went back and forth with 7 lead changes and 4 ties. Robert Beaulieu put together 8 points in a row for the home team by hitting two 3-pointers and getting to the free throw line to connect on a pair. His efforts put the Thunderbirds up by 5 points with 10 minutes remaining. Steven Redfox Jr. also made a clutch 3-pointer as the shot clock expired on the next possession. Dawson answered with long-range shots from Taylan Barrett and Tate Savoie. Then Falokun and Harper each got inside baskets to pull within two points, but Sam Pendleton made some big plays down the stretch for the Thunderbirds. In the next sequence he drove the lane and connected on a turnaround jumper on one end and then got a big steal on the other end which led to a lay-up and pushed the lead back to a comfortable six points at 75-69 with less than three minutes remaining. Dawson could never get closer than that. United Tribes iced the game at the foul line by going 22-26 in second half.
McClain had another monster night with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 5 steals. Sam Pendleton finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 9 steals. Also reaching double figures were Shayden Keplin with 14, Redfox Jr. with 11, and Beaulieu with 10. Tyrel Harper led DCC with 16 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Thunderbirds return to action across town against Bismarck State College on Thurday night at 7:30 pm.