In a back and forth game that included 7 ties and 16 lead changes, Dawson held an 8 point advantage and seemed in control of the game after Taylan Barrett scored on an offensive rebound and put back. But helped by 2 DCC turnovers along with 5 straight points by Ismail Soumare, the visitors got right back into the game. Melvin Newbern scored 4 straight free-throws to tie the game with 4:07 remaining. For the Bucs, Tate Savoie made a free-throw and Brent Finn made a 3-pointer to give them a four point lead with under 3 minutes left. Marquis Holloman answered with a 3-pointer of his own. Savoie answered back with a lay-up with 1:30 left. That was the last field goal the Bucs would make. Melvin Newbern hit a bucket inside and then followed it up with a couple of free throws on the next possession to put the Wildcats up by 1. Down the stretch they made every free throw and closed it out for a 7 point victory 81-74.
The first half was a tense affair with both teams battling hard. Baker scored 13 in the opening half to get NDSCS off to a good start. Finn was hot for the home team with 13 points. The visitors built an 8 point lead at 31-23, but Dawson fought back in the final five minutes and eventually claimed a lead with 38 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by Finn. Newbern scored with 16 seconds remaining to put them back up, but Tyrel Harper hit a runner with 2 seconds remaining in the half to give the Bucs a lead going into the locker room at 42-41.
The Bucs built on their lead in the second half behind the scoring of Finn and Harper before the Wildcats came roaring back to win it. The stats show a very even game in rebounding (36-35), assists (10-10), and shooting percentages (44%-42%), but the difference in the game was the 25 turnovers the Bucs committed compared to 18 for NDSCS.
Finn finished with 23 points including 5 from long range. Harper contributed 17 points and 6 rebounds. Melvin Newbern led the visitors with 22 points and Sam Baker had 20. The loss drops DCC to 14-5 on the season and 1-1 in the conference race. The defending conference champion Wildcats are now 14-4 and 2-0 in the conference.
DCC will go on the road to face Lake Region State College on Sunday before returning home next Thursday night.