After letting one slip away on the road Friday night, the Dawson Community College Buccaneers bounced back with a great defensive effort for forty minutes to beat the Lake Region State College Royals 69-46. It was a special night at the Toepke Center with Dawson honoring its first Athletic Hall of Fame Class just before tip-off. The Bucs put on a defensive performance for the DCC legends and the large crowd who came to honor them. Lake Region came into the game shooting 48% from the field, 36% from the 3-point line and turning it over 15 times a game. Dawson held them to 25% on the night from the field, 25% from the 3-point line and forced 24 turnovers. The Royals had a tough time all night long. The first half was a defensive struggle with both sides not letting the other get any easy shots. Cam’ron Dunfee got the scoring going for Dawson with a 3-pointer early on off an assist from Devin Collins. The only points Lake Region could muster in the opening five minutes were on a pair of free throws by Jordan Lynn. Dunfee hit two more baskets to put Dawson up 7-2. The Royals came back with back-to-back three pointers by Jayden Komrosky and Dalton Prouty. The game stayed pretty even for most of the first half with six lead changes. With three minutes to go, Beau Santistevan scored inside to put the Bucs up by three and then CJ Nelson made two free throws to extend it to 24-19. Lamar Wood made two free throws for Lake Region to cut the lead to three points, but Marcus Stephens closed the half with a crucial three-pointer to give the Bucs a 27-21 lead and the momentum going into the locker room. Neither team shot the ball particularly well in the first half and both also turned it over quite a bit. Lake Region had the advantage on the boards at 22-19.
In the second half, Dawson took control with a 9-0 run with 15 minutes remaining. Jaron Masis scored inside on an assist from Kolten Hitt. Then Man Man Baker scored on an assist from Santistevan and Nelson scored from long range on another assist by Hitt before Baker connected again on another assist by Santistevan. That run gave Dawson a 46-28 lead and they kept a double digit lead the rest of the way. Their biggest lead was 66-42 with a little under three minutes remaining. Lake Region’s previous low point total on the season was 58 points in their season opener. Dawson held them to only 46 points on Sunday. The Bucs outrebounded the visitors by 11 in the second half. Even though Dawson didn’t shoot great from the field, they did connect on 48% from the 3-point line, led by Stephens who made 4-7.
Bucs Coach Joe Peterson was pleased, “Our defense has really been excellent at times over the past few weeks. This game might have been the best effort we’ve had on the defensive end all season. Lake Region is a really solid team offensively and usually very efficient, but we didn’t let them have anything easy today. I think Prouty was the only one who exceeded his scoring average. Everyone else was held below what they normally score. We keep getting better every day and we are starting to put things together at the right time.”
Marcus Stephens had 15 points and CJ Nelson scored 13 to lead the Buccaneers in the scoring column. Man Man Baker and Cam Dunfee also got into double figures scoring 12 points and 10 points respectively, Baker also had 5 rebounds to go along with his points. Devin Collins made his presence felt on the boards grabbing a game high 13 rebounds. The Royals got 11 points from Dalton Prouty and 10 points from Jordan Lynn to lead them in scoring. Lamar Wood also had a solid 6 points and 8 rebounds for the game. The win gives DCC a 16-10 overall record and a 7-3 conference record, while the loss puts LRSC at 18-9 with a 6-4 conference record.
Dawson is now in sole possession of third place in the Mon-Dak Conference at 7-3. They are sitting one game behind NDSCS and two games behind first place Williston. The Bucs will travel to Williston to play the Tetons on Thursday night. Williston beat Dawson in Glendive on January 24th 79-69. The Bucs next home game will be on February 18th vs. Dakota College Bottineau.