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    BHSU MBB: McInnis' trey clinches thrilling victory for Jackets over NMHU

    LAS VEGAS, N.M. - Makaleb McInnis hit a three-pointer with eight seconds remaining to give the Black Hills State University men's basketball team a win over New Mexico Highlands University, 66-65, on Saturday evening. The victory was the sixth straight for the Yellow Jackets, and put them in sole possession of third place in conference standings.

    Stefan Desnica led the way for the Yellow Jackets (13-8, 12-5 RMAC) with a double-double, tallying 18 points and 10 rebounds. Tyler Oliverhad 15, while Fraser Malcolm added 14 points.

    The Cowboys (16-7, 11-6 RMAC) held a two-point lead with 20 seconds remaining in the game. As the Yellow Jackets came down the court, Malcolm passed to McInnis, who nailed a three right in front of the visitor bench to put the Green and Gold up one with eight seconds remaining. NMHU could not break down the BHSU defense, and a last second shot by Gerad Davis did not fall, securing the victory, and a season sweep, for the Yellow Jackets. The two teams had entered the game in a tie for third place with identical conference records.

    The entire game was a back-and-forth affair. The largest margin in the first half was four points, which BHSU held at halftime. There were seven ties and four lead changes in the first 20 minutes, but the Yellow Jackets finished the period on a 7-0 run to lead, 33-29.

    The Yellow Jackets eventually built an 11-point lead, 51-40, with 9:37 left in the game. However, the Cowboys, who entered the game as the highest scoring offense in the league, would not go quietly. New Mexico Highlands eventually clawed back to tie the game, 59-59, with 3:29 remaining. A three by Adrian LaFleur, followed by a jumper by Davis, put the home squad up by five points with under three minutes to play. After McInnis made a trey, the two teams exchanged made free throws, and the scene was set, with the Green and Gold down two with under 20 seconds left in the game, before McInnis made his game-winning shot.

    BHSU shot 43.5 percent from the field (27-for-62), while NMHU was 46.4 percent from the floor (26-for-56). The Yellow Jackets were 9-for-25 (36.0 percent) from beyond the arc, while the Cowboys were 8-for-23 (34.8 percent) on three-pointers. BHSU was 3-for-8 (37.5 percent) from the charity stripe, and New Mexico Highlands was 5-for-10 (50.0 percent) from the free throw line. The Green and Gold edged NMHU in rebounding, 35-34.

    Davis led the Cowboys with 21 points, while LaFleur added 15.

    The Green and Gold will next be in action on February 15 at MSU Denver. BHSU will look to make it seven victories in a row, starting at 7:30 p.m.


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