By Adam White
This Saturday the Saints opened up conference play in the NSAA against Dickinson State University. In the NSAA preseason poll, the coaches voted and picked Presentation to finish last in the conference. The Saints are on a mission to prove otherwise.
Presentation came out on fire. They climbed to a 9-point lead within the first 5 minutes of the first half. Mychal Deas led this surge with 3 makes from beyond the arc. This trend continued throughout the first half, with the Saints controlling the game. They pushed the lead to as much as 15. Dickinson State was able to keep it within striking distance, though. Late into the half they knocked down a big 3 pointer to keep it relatively close. The Saints would head into halftime with a comfortable 46-32.
The second half was much more of a fight for the Saints. Dickinson State came out of halftime firing and quickly stated to cut into the deficit. They would take their first lead of the half with just under 7 minutes left to play, the score reading 69-67 in favor of Dickinson. They would try to extend this lead, but the Saints stayed with them. Eventually Presentation was able to tie it up with under 2 minutes to play. The Saints went up by 1 after a bucket from Ange-Michel Kuo found the bottom of the net. The Blue Hawks came down with the ball and Mychal Deas stepped in to take a massive charge.
It looked like Presentation had the game sealed up with only 11 seconds to go. The Saints inbounded the ball and Deas was fouled, sending him to the free throw line. Usually automatic from the line, Deas missed the front end of a 1 and 1. The Blue Hawks rebounded the ball and came flying down the court. Melvin Collins got it low in the post and was fouled by Kuo on the shot. This was his 5th personal foul and he had to come out of the game.In subbed Elijah Coleman, a 6’4” junior guard from Aurora Colorado. Collins would hit both free throws to put Dickinson up by 1.
The Saints had 3.5 seconds to get the ball the length of the court and hit a shot. Jalen Guidry, 6’2” junior guard from Denver, CO, was able to lose his man and get the ball with a running start down the court. Another player from DSU had to come up and stop Guidry, who passed it to a wide-open Elijah Coleman. Coleman caught and shot the ball from well beyond 3-point range. Halfway through the flight of the ball the buzzer went off. A moment later the ball found nothing but net. The Strode erupted as the Saints took the victory 80-78 and are now 1-0 in conference play and 7-5 on the season.
Leading the way in scoring for Presentation was Mychal Deas who tallied a career high 26 points. He was followed closely by fellow senior and captain Quadre Lollis, who added 24. Ange-Michel Kuo and Elijah Coleman both added 11 points as well. The Saints shot 51.7% from the floor and 43.8% from beyond the arc. Kuo led the Saints in rebounding with 6, followed closely by Deas and Lollis with 5 apiece. Jalen Guidry dished out a game high 7 assists with only a single turnover. The Saints as a whole took very good care of the ball, only giving up 5 turnovers all night.