On the first day of the Milanovich Classic for the Dakota State Men’s Basketball team, Rocky Mountain never trailed in the game, as they rolled past Dakota State 81-71 in the first-ever all-time series meeting.
After a scoreless first minute of the game, Jesse Owens opened with a basket inside the paint to give RMC a 2-0 lead with 18:46 on the clock. Trailing 14-8, the Trojans went on a 6-0 scoring run to record the second tie of the game at 14-14 capped by a basket by DeShawn Kelly with 11:40 to go before halftime.
After the fourth tie at 19-19, Owens scored six points during Rocky Mountain’s 8-0 scoring run to balloon their lead to 27-19 with 6:24 left in the first half. The Battlin’ Bears would end the first half with a 21-7 scoring outburst.
RMC led as many as 17 points in the first half, at 38-21 with less than a minute to go and 40-23 with less than 15 seconds to go in the first.
The Battlin’ Bears maintained their double-digit lead for the rest of the game, posting their biggest lead of the game by 22 points, even though DSU outscored RMC 45-41 in the final twenty minutes of the game.
Rocky Mountain went on to win 81-71.
Kelly led Dakota State with 18 points and two blocks off the bench. He grabbed five rebounds and registered two assists. Sam Muller added 12 points (6-of-10 field goals) and grabbed eight rebounds. Ronnie Latting tallied 11 points.
Ethan Damerum posted a double-double of 10 points and pulled down a season-high 14 rebounds for DSU, and also contributed six assists. Taylor Edwards had four points, five rebounds, and two assists.
Owens poured in 24 points on his 9-of-17 field goals and 3-of-6 free-throws for Rocky Mountain
Rocky Mountain shot 46.3 percent overall from the field (31-of-67 field goals) compared to Dakota State 45.5 percent (30-of-66 field goals). The Battlin’ Bears also hit 8-of-22 3-pointers and held the Trojans to 3-of-19 3-pointers
The Trojans fell to 2-3 overall record. The Battlin’ Bears lifted their overall record to 5-1.
Dakota State wraps up the two-day tournament Saturday evening against Montana Western, who is coached by former Trojan athlete and assistant coach Mike Larsen. Tip-off is set for 6pm.