SPEARFISH — Black Hills State University defeated Colorado Mesa 87-79 in overtime of a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference men’s basketball game played Saturday night at the Young Center, in Spearfish.
“I thought as the game wore on, we kind of imposed our will. We had a lot of guys who just showed a lot of heart,” said Yellow Jackets’ head coach Ryan Thompson, whose team claimed a 19-11 scoring edge in the extra session. He added the team did not play a clean game and was off to start.
Sava Dukic’s 3-point field goal gave Black Hills State a 7-6 lead. His steal and layup capped a 5-2 run that extended the Yellow Jacket advantage to 12-8.
Colorado Mesa took a 16-14 lead on a Jared Small 3-point field goal. Antonio Capley and Tyler Oliver scored from close range as Black Hills State went ahead 18-16.
The Mavericks went on a 7-2 run. Tommy Nuno’s jump shot gave Colorado Mesa a 23-20 edge.
Trey Whitley’s jump shot and Dukic’s three free throws pushed Black Hills State ahead 25-23.
Black Hills State recorded a 4-2 run, with Stefan Desnica’s basket giving the Yellow Jackets a 29-25 edge.
Nuno netted two free throws to end a 7-2 run and put Colorado Mesa ahead 32-31. Oliver’s three-point play gave the Yellow Jackets a 34-32 edge, but Small’s 3-point field goal gave the Mavericks a 35-34 halftime lead.
Oliver converted a layup to keep the Yellow Jackets within 37-36 early in the second half. Kolton Peterson and Nuno connected from 3-point range as Colorado Mesa moved ahead 43-36.
The Mavericks maintained a 52-46 lead on Georgie Dancer’s 3-point field goal. Desnica’s 3-point field goal capped a 9-4 run that brought Black Hills State within 56-55.
Joel Scott’s basket put the Yellow Jackets up 57-56. Four lead changes followed, with a Dukic jump shot giving Black Hills State a 64-63 edge.
Colorado Mesa scored four straight points, taking a 67-64 lead on Nuno’s short-range shot with 1 minute 7 seconds remaining.
The Yellow Jackets trailed 67-66 with 30 seconds to go. Nuno made one of two free throw attempts 17 seconds later as Colorado Mesa stayed ahead 68-66.
Scott scored from inside with 4.7 seconds left to bring Black Hills State into a 68-68 tie. A last-ditch Mavericks’ shot missed the mark, forcing the five-minute overtime session.
Antonio Capley’s dunk gave the Yellow Jackets a 70-68 edge. After a Colorado Mesa free throw, Capley and Whitley scored to extend the Black Hills State lead to 74-69.
Colorado Mesa sliced the margin to 76-75 on a Michael Skinner 3-point field goal. A 7-0 run capped by Dukic’s 3-point field goal kept the Yellow Jackets ahead 83-75 with 47 seconds left. The Mavericks got no closer than six points the rest of the way.
Black Hills State placed four players in double figures, led by Oliver and his 21 points. Dukic (20 points), Scott (18), and Capley (12) followed. The Yellow Jackets are 5-2 in the conference and 8-5 overall following their fifth straight win.
The Mavericks received a game-high 36 points from Nuno. Dancer (14 points), Skinner (11), and Small (11) also finished in double figures for Colorado Mesa.
Thompson said Oliver gave the team a huge defensive boost in the second half, with Scott and Dukic also excelling.
Capley excelled in overtime, according to Thompson. “We don’t do that without him,” Thompson said of the victory.
“He (Capley) did a great job protecting the rim, and it felt like we just went through him,” Thompson added. Capley netted six points during the extra session.
Black Hills State will visit Colorado Christian on Friday, Jan. 10.
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