NDSCS Men’s Basketball went 2-1 last weekend at the Mon-Dak Conference Preseason Tournament in New Town. The Wildcats claimed third place in the event.
Entering at the No. 2 seed, NDSCS opened with a 76-65 win over Bismarck State in the first round. The Cats played 15 different players, nine of which scored points. NDSCS led 48-28 at the break, behind 19 first-half points from sophomore Noble Cooper. He finished with 21 points on just 13 field goal attempts. Classmate Damien Gordon added 11 points off the bench. The Cats were also +14 on the glass.
In the semifinals against Dawson, NDSCS trailed by 21 points in the first half (35-14) and as much as 11 in the second half before staging a furious rally. The Cats grabbed its first lead of the game at the six-minute mark and led again, 74-73, with 4:01 remaining but couldn’t finish. In the game’s final moments, NDSCS had two looks from 3-point range to tie the game but came up empty. Cooper finished with a game-high 34 points. Freshman Khari Broadway added 16 points and six rebounds, while Gordon chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds in just 19 minutes of action off the bench. NDSCS knocked down 13 3-point FG as a team.
Sophomore Mohamed Kone also had the play of the tournament, an and-one dunk over Dawson 7-footer Charles Lampten. The play was selected by the NJCAA as a Top 10 Play of the Week.
�� Check out this week's #NJCAATopPlays featuring the biggest moment from early postseason action!— NJCAA (@NJCAA) November 6, 2019
5️⃣➖1️⃣ ⬇ pic.twitter.com/tQLtWTOtXS
NDSCS led nearly wire-to-wire in an 85-70 win over Lake Region State in the third-place game. The Cats were an impressive 22-for-24 from the foul line and +17 on the glass with just 10 total turnovers. Cooper again led the way with 26 points and seven rebounds. Broadway added 20 points and six rebounds. Newcomer Rayquan Moore came off the bench and added nine points, three rebounds and three assists.
Cooper finished the weekend with 81 points in three games, making in the nation’s overall scoring leader. The Idaho State commit is currently averaging 27 PPG.
The Cats will have nearly two full weeks off before hosting Leech Lake on Nov. 15.