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(Luke Hagen/Republic) Our Savior New American's Michael Nzei goes up for a layup during a game against The Rock during the third annual Mike Miller Classic Thursday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

Our Savior New American beats The Rock 72-61

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The Daily Republic
Our Savior New American beats The Rock 72-61
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

The evenly distributed scoring was a pleasant surprise for Our Savior New American coach Ron Stelzer.

His team, based in Centereach, N.Y., had five players score in double figures to beat The Rock 72-61 Thursday in the first game of the Third Annual Mike Miller Classic, held at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

"We got good guard production and we got less from the big guys than we normally get because of the foul situation," said Stelzer, whose team had one player foul out and two other players in foul trouble late.

Cheick Sy-Savane and Djibril Diallo each had 15 points for Our Savior New American, which trailed for most of the first half.

The Rock, of Gainesville, Fla., led by as many as six points early. But Our Savior New American went on an 11-0 run, highlighted by three 3-pointers, before the break for a 35-29 lead.

Kevin Little hit two threes in the last two minutes, and he finished with 13 points and four assists. Michael Nzei had 11 points and Cheick Diallo had 10 points and seven rebounds.

"Fast-break baskets are easy baskets if you can just beat them down the court," Stelzer said. "We were beating them down the court and getting some shots and that made a difference."

The Rock, led by Kansas signee Joel Embiid's game-high 27 points and nine rebounds, pulled within six with 2:26 to play. But Our Savior New American knocked down enough free throws to seal its fifth win of the year. The Rock is 13-2 on the season.

Our Savior New American, which plays DeLaSalle (Minn.) at 5:30 p.m. today, shot 55 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle 38-30. The Rock, which shot 38 percent from the field, plays Coronado at 7 p.m. today in its next game of the classic.

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