Bison trample Bulldogs with second-half surge
PABLO — Playing their fourth game in four nights, the Salish Kootenai College Bison still found enough energy to pull away from the University of Montana-Western Junior Varsity in the second half for a 98-87 victory.
A night after they let a late lead slip away from them, Bison forward Marvin Lewis made sure it didn’t happen again. The 6-foot-4 Mount Vernon, Wash., transplant, scored 18 of his game-high 28 points in the second half to help the Bison salvage of doubleheader against the Bulldogs at the Joe McDonald Health and Fitness center Saturday.
“When he attacks he’ll find out that no player can handle him one-on-one and that’s what he was doing Saturday,” SKC coach Zachary Conko-Camel said of Lewis.
Conditioning is the key to winning the AIHEC title, according to Conko-Camel, and as a winner of five of the last six national titles who’s going to question him, so to see his team turn a 2-point halftime lead into a 11-point victory in their fourth game in four nights so early in the season was very comforting.
“The ability to play hard in the fourth game in four days this early in the season shows me we’re heading in the right direction,” Conko-Camel said.
Dennis Sangrey added 17 points, with 11 of those coming in the second half. The sharp shooter from Rocky Boy knocked down three 3-pointers in the second half, with two of them coming on back-to-back trips down the court to stretch the Bison lead to 73-59 with a little more than 10 minutes to play.
Jason Enright added 15 points on 60 percent shooting from the floor. Joe Chartraw was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and finished with 13 points. Sonny Eppinette and Ralston Moore each added seven.
In their home opener Friday night, the Bison also had a 2-point lead at halftime on the Dawgs and held the lead until late in the game until a late scoring drought cost them in a 79-74 loss.
“We didn’t score on 16 straight possessions. You can’t win doing that, you’re not going to beat anybody doing that,” Conko-Camel said.
Conko-Camel said they were running their offense and getting good looks, but the shots just weren’t falling. He said maybe it was fatigue, the Bison didn’t get home from playing in Great Falls the night before until early Friday morning.
“They weren’t playing with the same energy that they usually do,” Conko-Camel said, adding that it taught his team a valuable lesson in the young season. “You just can’t show up and expect to win, you still need to bring a lot of energy every night.”
Eppinette led the balanced Bison attack with 17 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Lewis added 16 points. Chartraw pitched in with 14 and Sangrey finished with 13.
After hosting North Idaho College Tuesday, the Bison (6-5), will get some much-needed rest. They don’t play again until Dec. 3, when they take on Colorado Northwestern.
UM-W Dawgs 79, SKC Bison 74
UM-W 30 49–79
SKC 32 42–74
SKC - Josh Finn 2, Dennis Sangrey 13, Sonny Eppinette 17, Jason Enright 5, Marvin Lewis 16, Ralston Moore 7, Joe Chartraw 14.
SKC Bison 98, UM-W Dawgs 87
UM-W 41 46–87
SKC 43 56–98
SKC - Josh Finn 4, Dennis Sangrey 17, Sonny Eppinette 7, Jason Enright 15, Michael Williams 3, Marvin Lewis 28, Ralston Moore 7, Joe Chartraw 14, Charles Walking Child 2.