Senior guard Andrew Sellers led a 3-point first-half barrage and then scored seven points during a critical time in the second half to help Montana State University-Northern defeat Lewis-Clark State College 68-51 in Frontier Conference play at the LCSC Activity Center on Saturday night.
Sellers, a lanky 6-foot-4 shooting guard, buried his first four 3-pointers and helped the Lights hit 9-of-13 3-point shots in the first half for a big 44-26 advantage.
In the second half, LCSC rallied to cut the margin to 10 at 55-45 with a little more than eight minutes left, but Sellers scored the next seven points for the Lights as he hit a pair of jumpers and then scored a convention three-point play to help MSU-Northern push the lead to 62-47 with 5:38 left.
Sellers finished with a game-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, including 4-of-7 at the 3-point line. He also added five rebounds, three blocked shots, two steals and an assist.
Sellers’ performance help MSU-Northern earn a split on the opening weekend of conference play. The Lights are now 13-5 overall and 1-1 in conference play, while LCSC falls to 10-6 and 1-1.
The contest was fairly tight early as LCSC junior guard Jared Giammona hit a 3-point to give the Warriors a 10-8 lead at the 13:38 mark. That, however, would be the Warriors’ final lead as the Lights answered with a 19-4 run. Twelve points during the run came on 3-pointers, including three from Sellers.
Justin Dennis, Devin Jackson, and Eric Tisby all hit 3-pointers during the final four minutes of the first half as Northern used a 13-5 run to push the margin at halftime to 18.
In the second half, the Warriors were able to adjust defensively and held MSU-Northern to 0-for-5 from the 3-point line. LCSC actually outscored the Lights 25-24, but never could really get things going on offense.
LCSC played the game short-handed as starting guard Daniel Williams did not play because of a hamstring injury and starting point guard Terrell Wallace played limited minutes because of an ankle injury. That left the Warriors with only seven healthy bodies.
Markus Monroe again led the Warriors in scoring with 15 points. He also had four assists, three rebounds, a block and a steal. Derek Gianukakis, a 6-4 junior forward, led all players with a season-high 11 rebounds, while Giammona added 12 points and three assists.
MSU-Northern, which shot 63 percent from the field in the first half, finished the game 26-of-44 for 59.1 percent and 9-of-18 at the 3-point line. LCSC was 18-of58 from the field, 31 percent, and 3-of-12 at the 3-point line, 25 percent. The Warriors did have a 33-26 rebounding edge thanks to a 17-4 advantage in offensive rebounds.
LCSC is back in action next weekend as it hits the road to play Montana-Western in Dillon on Friday and then Montana Tech in Butte on Saturday. Both games start at 6:30 p.m.