After going 2-6 in the month of January, the Dragons (15-5 overall, 11-5 in the NSIC) got off to a strong start in February, defeating Northern State University, Aberdeen, S.D., 66-60 on Friday before beating the University of Mary, Bismarck, N.D., 67-66 on Saturday.
The Dragons struggled out of the gate shooting just over 30 percent from the field. The Wolves, on the other hand, shot just under 60 percent and went into halftime with a 12-point lead.
The second half was a different story. The Dragons, led by junior forward Alex Novak and senior guard D.J. Hamilton, found their shooting touch, tying the game at 44 with 10 minutes left.
The two teams would exchange leads until the final minute when Novak threw down a dunk to put the Dragons up by one. He had another dunk with 16 seconds left, and the Dragons hit their free throws to seal the victory.
The Dragons were led in scoring by senior guards Charlie Chapman and D.J. Hamilton, who each scored 16 points. Novak chipped in 15 of his own and pulled in 10 rebounds.
Saturday’s game remained incredibly close, as neither team led by double digits throughout the game.
The Dragons’ salvation came in the form of senior guard Xavier Reed, who — with his team down by one point — hit a mid-range jumpshot with just over a minute left to give the Dragons the lead. He then blocked a shot and pulled in a defensive rebound seconds later to seal the victory.
Chapman led the Dragons on Saturday night with 17 points, and Novak had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the second night in a row.
The Dragons will join the women’s team on the road, heading to the University of Minnesota-Duluth on Friday before playing Bemidji (Minn.) State University on Saturday.
BY DANNY DETERMAN