Article by Chris Harris, Devils Lake Journal Sports, February 1st, 2019
Lake Region State College hasn't lost three consecutive games all of the 2018-19 season and when it was getting close to that reality, the Royals began to make things happen — especially TJ Mickelson.
The freshman Washington State transfer scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half and led the Royals to a comeback win over Dakota College at Bottineau 70-65 Thursday night from the Sports Center. The win snapped LRSC's a two-game losing streak.
"We found a way, for sure," said Royals head coach Jared Marshall. "There were a lot of different guys to step up, especially TJ there at the end. They couldn't guard him."
Mickelson scored 10 points over the final 7 minutes, 30 seconds of the game, each one coming at crucial moments. His basket at 7:30 cut the Royals (17-7, 5-2 MonDak) deficit to four at 56-52. Another basket at 3:46 had LRSC down to 61-60. And then with 22.5 seconds remaining, Mickelson completed a 3-point play that gave the Royals a four point lead. He added a free throw in the closing seconds.
Mickelson also led the team with seven assists.
"And the big thing as well is that we kept going to the hoop and kept getting fouled. We were 14-of-17 from the free-throw line and three turnovers in the second half while limiting them to one offensive rebound. So doing those three things, you're going to win a lot of games," Marshall said.
The Royals made nine of their final 10 free throws, finishing 17 for 22 for the game and out rebounded the Lumberjacks 40-31.
"I'm not happy with our overall effort. That needs to improve but it's just nice to get off the slide and remember what winning feels like," said Marshall.
The Lumberjacks (6-17, 0-7) led from the 8:57 mark of the first half until the final minute of the game, building their largest lead of the game, a 10 point advantage in the second half, after Jackson Johnson's 3-pointer with 12:36 remaining. However, Lake Region State's 8-0 run got the Royals to within two with 9:33 left. The Lumberjacks pushed their advantage to six but wasn't able to hold on.
Jordan Lynn and LaMarr Wood each finished with 13 points. Wood also had eight rebounds.
Tyriek Johnson scored a game-high 27 points on 10-of-14 from the field for the Lumberjacks. He also had seven rebounds and four assists. Rodrigo Majarin finished with 11 points.