The United Tribes Men’s basketball team opened the season with three games at the Mon Dak Conference Tournament this past weekend.
Thunderbirds went 2-1 on the weekend to earn third place. Thunderbirds opened the tournament with a 105-79 victory over the Mystics of Bismarck State and then fell to the defending Mon Dak Conference Champions North Dakota State College of Science 84-76 in the semifinal. That set up the third-place clash with Dawson Community College on Sunday afternoon.
Tribes raced out to an early 29-16 lead in the first half led by Rob McClain Jr’s 21 first-half points. Dawson clawed their way back into the game and trailed by only one point heading into the second half.
Dawson rode that momentum into the second half and led by as many as 12 points before the Thunderbirds grinded their way back into the game.
Joe Sazue III caught fire and connected on 5 three-pointers including a deep three with 13 seconds remaining that tied the game at 76 all and sent it to overtime.
In the overtime period, Montel Carlow iced the game at the line with 4 straight free throws and the Thunderbirds went home with the 87-83 victory.
Rob McClain Jr. led United Tribes with a career-high 33 points. He added 10 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 blocks, and 3 assists. Carlow finished with 11 points and Chayton York finished with a game-high 9 assists.
With the win, the Thunderbirds improve to 2-1 on the season and return home for the Alumni Game on November 6th.