SPEARFISH, S.D. — Montana State Billings men's basketball's bid to make a statement against a top-10 opponent backfired dramatically in a stunning 97-38 loss at Black Hills State on Wednesday night — the Yellowjackets' largest defeat in 15 years.
MSUB entered the game having received a vote in the latest NCAA Division II Coaches' Top 25 poll released this week after an unbeaten start to the year, while BHSU entered the game ranked No. 6 after making the D-II Final Four this past season.
But despite MSUB's pregame hopes for an upset, the host Yellow Jackets put on a stunning show to give the visiting Yellowjackets one of their most lopsided losses in their history.
The 59-point loss was MSUB's largest since a 113-56 defeat at Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 24, 2007.
Black Hills State (5-0) led wire to wire and shot a white-hot 63.8% from the field, including 17 for 29 (58.6%) from 3-point range. Thirteen of those triples were knocked down in a blistering first half that saw the Yellow Jackets up 58-20 at the break and hold as large as a 61-point cushion late in the second half.
MSUB's (4-1) night on offense, meanwhile, was miserable. The Yellowjackets went 14-for-68 (20.6%) shooting with a 3 for 20 (15%) clip from 3, with BHSU outnumbering MSUB on assists by a 24-1 margin. The Yellow Jackets dominated the glass, as well, winning the rebounding battle 49-29.
Yellow Jackets graduate guard Sava Dukic led all scorers with 26 points, knocking down six 3-pointers while also chipping in six assists and four rebounds. Senior guard Matthew Ragsdale added 20 points, while All-American senior forward Joel Scott was a board shy of a double-double with 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists to his name.
Senior MSUB forward Bilal Shabazz was the only Yellowjacket to make more than two shots from the field on the night, going 3-for-10 shooting to finish with eight points. Senior guard Abdul Bah led the Yellowjackets overall with nine points.
MSUB will attempt to regroup quickly as it takes on South Dakota Mines at 6 p.m. Friday in Rapid City, South Dakota.