Basketball (M)

Pioneers Take 3OT Thriller in Glendive, MT

Box Score

(Miles City, MT) The Miles Community College hit the road to Glendive, MT to take on the Dawson Buccaneers on Monday night in a non-conference matchup.

MCC is coming into Monday’s matchup after a loss against Gillette College on Saturday, but the Pioneers have seen a streak of great play after wins against Little Big Horn and Northwest College, and a tough last second road loss to Sheridan on February 11th. The Pioneers lost their first matchup of the season to the Bucs back in December but have a chance to even the season series with their in-state rival.

The Pioneers rallied from a 17 point halftime deficit, survived a game tying DCC layup that forced a first overtime and then connected on buzzer beating 3’s to force both 2nd and 3rd overtimes. In one of the most exciting, entertaining games of the college basketball season that was filled with big shot after big shot, the Pioneers finally took control in the third overtime by scoring the first 9 points, outscoring DCC 23-14 in the extra stanza and going on to win 118-109 in 3 OT.

It didn’t look like the Pioneers would need extra time as they went up by two with 4 seconds to go in regulation on free-throws by Adoum Mbang. Down 76-74, the Bucs threw the inbounds pass to Brent Finn who took it length of the court for a lay-up as time expired. In the first overtime, the Bucs took control but the Pioneers battled back again. DCC still clung to a 3-point lead with 4.5 seconds remaining when Pioneers guard Montenia Nelson drove down and pitched it back to Kameron Rauch who sank a 23 footer over two defenders to send the game into a 2nd overtime. Rauch’s shot was reminiscent of the one he sank last season in Region IX tournament action to propel MCC to the quarterfinals The 2nd overtime was a mirror of the first and the Bucs once again held a three point lead with only 3 seconds remaining. This time Mbang caught a pass at the top of the key and drilled a contested turnaround triple that sent the game into the third overtime. Miles dominated the third overtime by scoring 23 points in the five minute period and building a 13 point lead.

Victory for the Pioneers looked bleak early on as Dawson jumped out to a 28-7 lead early on behind strong play from Daniel Shedden, Brent Finn and Brendon Chevannes. The DCC bench outscored MCC 15-0 in the opening half and DCC outshot Miles 45% to 31% from the field. MCC turned the ball over early and often as 10 1st half turnovers led to 17 DCC points. Shedden finished the half with 13 points and Nelson scored 14 for Miles. Miles went into the locker room trailing 47-30.

Miles came out strong in the 2nd half and cut the deficit right away by shooting 51% from the field and 50% from the 3-point line in the 2nd half. Dawson’s bench continued to dominate with 53 points for the game, but Montenia Nelson kept the Pioneers in the game all night long by hitting tough shots whenever they needed one. Nelson finished with 47 points on 14-35 shooting from the field. Pioneer front line mates Adoum Mbang and Ugi Portic each had double doubles as Mbang contributed 25 points and 12 rebounds while Portic had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Perion Little had some big 2nd half baskets while scoring 18 points and Kameron Rauch nearly messed around and got a triple double as he netted 15 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 8 assists. The Bucs received balanced scoring by getting 26 points and 12 rebounds from Stefan Stubbs, 26 points and 9 rebounds from Kolton Wall, 16 points from Brent Finn and Shedden’s 13.

It was about as evenly matched of a game as you could have. Both teams shot 77% from the free-throw line and 38% from the 3-point line. Dawson had 12 steals and Miles had 11. Dawson had a 1 rebound advantage. There were 9 ties and 10 lead changes through the night. The fans got their money’s worth in this one with an entertaining, wild basketball game.

Coach Tait had this to say, “I am just really proud of this basketball team. They have shown tremendous resiliency all season while battling a barrage of injuries. We have had different line-ups on a nightly basis but we are really playing our best basketball in February. We are on a nice 7 game run right now and hope to finish conference play this weekend at home on a high note. These guys are competing and have been tough in coming back from big first half deficits lately. I think we are peaking at the right time.”

Next up for the Neers:

The Pioneers are at home for the final 2 regular season games hosting Casper Wednesday night at 7:30 and Little Big Horn for sophomore day Saturday at 4 PM. The Pioneers can build some momentum through the week before traveling for their Region IX playoff game next week on March 4th.

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