Some losses are harder to swallow than others.
That’s probably the case with Bismarck State College in the wake of Monday’s 110-106 men’s basketball loss at the hands of visiting Dawson Community College of Glendive, Mont.
Dawson had to play catch-up for over 14 minutes in the second half before finally taking the lead 106-105 on Brent Finn’s perimeter two-pointer with 1:08 to play.
A free throw by BSC’s Austin Slaughter tied things at 106 with :48 on the BSC Armory clock, but that deadlock lasted just 18 seconds. Tyrell Harper’s layup put the visiting Bucs ahead to stay 108-106 with 30 seconds to play.
Two free throws by Taylan Barrett with 14 seconds on the clock proved to be the final points of the night.
A Dawson blowout appeared in the offing in the early going as the Bucs jumped off to a 10-0 lead.
BSC quickly righted the ship, however, and led 46-38 before Dawson eked out a 55-54 halftime lead with a 13-4 run.
The Mystics carved out three 10-point leads in the second half at 81-71, 83-73 and 87-77 before Dawson fought back.
A 19-11 run enabled Dawson to cut the deficit to 98-96 on a 15-footer by Barrett.
From that point on, BSC scored on just four of 10 possessions, while Dawson made good on seven of 10 possessions.
Finn, a 6-foot sophomore guard who finished with 23 points, said the intense run down the stretch is what players work day-in and day-out to prepare for.
“Those intense moments are what you like. Those are the moments you work for,” he said. “Those are the moments you dream about.”
Finn said the Bucs never lost sight of the goal during the long second-half chase to track down the Mystics.
“Our team is close. We keep working. We know what we have to do to come out with a win,” he said.
The game was an offensive delight with Dawson shooting 55 percent and BSC connecting at 52 percent. There were only 26 turnovers all night.
Simon Falokun, 6-9 freshman, paced Dawson with 30 points and nine rebounds. Finn was next in line with his 23.
Austin Slaughter, BSC’s 6-9 freshman, scored 33 points and pulled down a dozen rebounds. Brody Nieuwsma added 24 points and tracked down eight rebounds.
The two schools ended up with a split on the evening. The BSC women prevailed 80-65 in the first game.
BSC returns to action Thursday, playing host to Lake Region.
BSC 80, Dawson CC 65
Bismarck State College built a substantial lead early and led most of the game en route to its fourth Mon-Dak Conference victory.
The winning Mystics had Dawson Community College playing catch-up most of the first half. The third and final deadlock was broken by Jaycee Walter, whose three-point play put BSC on top 29-26.
The Mystics led the rest of the way, opening a 40-30 halftime cushion.
Dawson’s final surge was a 12-2 run that cut the Buc deficit to 47-42 with 3:07 remaining in the third quarter.
BSC responded with a 16-5 burst that made it 63-47 with 7:09 left in the game.
The Mystics had trouble with a full-court press the Bucs slapped on with five minutes to play, but Dawson was unable to parlay seven BSC fourth-quarter turnovers into a meaningful run. Dawson drew no closer than 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Walter, a 5-foot-8 sophomore, said the win, Bismarck’s third in a row, was encouraging as BSC closed the first round of conference play at 4-2.
“They were on a four-game winning streak, so this was good for our confidence,” Walter said. “We start the second round with Lake Region on Thursday.”
Walter, who scored a team-high 23 points, said the offensive burst was a bit out of character. She said she’s normally on the floor for her defensive expertise.
On Monday, however, the offensive opportunity was there.
“I’m more of a get-the-ball-to-the-rim type of player, and they gave me that lane,” she said. “… On offense we’ve been working really hard on reversing the ball and shifting the defense. That creates lanes to get to the basket.”
Hannah Hanson, a 5-11 sophomore, and Syann Golus, a 5-4 sophomore guard, added 15 points apiece. Faith Dionne, a 6-2 freshman post, added 13 points. Hanson (11), Golus (7) and Dionne (6) led BSC to a 48-42 advantage on the boards.
Alexius Foster, a 5-7 freshman, tallied 25 points for Dawson. Five-foot-10 sophomore Emily Harwood added 14 points and Sarah Anderson scored 10.
Anderson and Harwood swiped the ball five times apiece as the Bucs forced 27 turnovers.