19th Ranked Argos Take Down #9 Western - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

19th Ranked Argos Take Down #9 Western

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No. 19 Argo men take down No. 9 Montana Western

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Special things are happening at the McLaughlin Center, and the University of Great Falls fans have a front-row seat.

For the first time since basketball returned to the school in 2000 both the men's and women's teams are in the NAIA Division I top 25.

On Saturday night the ninth-ranked Montana Western men became the latest victims of first-year head coach Anthony Owens' No. 19 Argonauts, who handed the Bulldogs an 89-84 defeat before a nearly sold-out crowd in Frontier Conference action.

“We've been down, we've been up and they still find a way to fight and win games,” Owens said. “That's what I ask of them, and they did it again tonight.”

The Argos (5-1 conference, 16-4 overall) remained tied atop the Frontier standings with Montana Tech. Western, which also lost at MSU-Northern Friday, fell to 3-2 and 15-5.

Darren Lockett scored 25 points, TJ Harris added 22, and Marcus Hurn poured in 16 to pace the Argos.

UGF led by as many as 16 in the second half, but suffered a six-minute stretch without a field goal that saw the lead dwindle to 81-78 with 1:33 to play.

“We went on a big run and let them back into it and made it a game – just the way we drew it up,” Owens said with a smile.

Lockett converted a traditional three-point play, but Western's Stephen McCall hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to 86-84 with 15.8 seconds remaining.

Harris made three free throws in the final seconds to clinch the Argos' fourth straight victory.

“The composure of our team is awesome,” Harris said. “I think that comes from the guys that have been here. We all stay together and don't get flustered. When teams make a run we have to stand up and play defense.”

Facing a 41-41 tie at halftime, the Argos appeared to pull away in the second half.

Hurn hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Lockett drove coast-to-coast for a lay-up as the Argos stretched the lead 54-46 with 15:02 to play in the game.

A 3-pointer by Matthew Hurn, a backdoor cut for a layup from Harris and a jumper by Lockett pushed the advantage to 63-51 with 11:32 to play.

The lead swelled to 78-62 with 6:57 to go before the Bulldogs clawed their way back in.

“We had to switch it up with them,” Owens. “They were going to the basket, they were driving by our guys. They didn't make a whole lot of jump shots early. So we decided to go zone and make them make some jump shots.”

Dexter Williams Jr. and McCall each scored 18 to lead the Bulldogs. Quinn Smith scored 13 and Tim Lott added 10.

The Argos return to action next Saturday at home against MSU-Northern.

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