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Back on track: Blue Hawks win big at home after tough loss

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson State senior forward Jess Bygate, left, goes up for the jumpshot against Presentation College junior foward Jackie Miller (33) in Monday night’s game at the Scott Gymnasium.

After Oct. 20’s one-point loss to the University of Manitoba, the Dickinson State women’s basketball team vowed to never lose at home again.

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The Blue Hawks are back on track and were fired up as they ran over Presentation College 79-61 in a nonconference game Monday night in the Scott Gymnasium.

“We wanted to come back and defend our home court because we lost Sunday,” sophomore guard TaRicka Linzy said. “We were just defending our home and everyone came out with energy and we weren’t going to lose today.”

The Blue Hawks came out with intensity, perhaps a little too much at times. They committed 26 fouls, 14 of them in the first half. While head coach Mark Graupe encouraged his team to play and practice physical, he admitted it did get them into a little trouble against the Saints who were near perfect with foul shots.

Presentation’s biggest strength was at the free-throw line. The Saints made 25 of 29, which accounted for more than a third of their total points.

“The biggest gripe I have tonight is the fouling,” Graupe said. “Especially what I would call cheap ones, where now we’re putting them to the line rather than making them score over our hand and go up and contest a shot.”

Senior guard Mariah Duran added: “We need to drop our numbers in fouls because we were in double-bonus with 6 minutes left in the first half and a lot of (Presentation’s) points came off free throws, and just knowing how to be aggressive without fouling.”

In the first half, Duran started the scoring off with a layup and the Hawks never gave up their lead. Presentation started off slow, missing its first four shots.

But as the half progressed, so did both teams’ energy and scoring, with DSU taking a 42-35 halftime lead.

Duran led her team with 20 points and Linzy added 15 points, seven rebounds a block and a steal.

Besides fouling, the biggest problem DSU had against the Saints was trying to contain senior guard Hannah Phillips.

At the half, she had 16 points. She finished with a game-high 25. Phillips was aggressive, sprinted on the court, beat DSU to the ball and drew several fouls. She was 9 of 10 on free-throw attempts.

“(Phillips) for them had a really nice first half. She had 16 points at the half, so we tried to make some adjustments at halftime,” Graupe said. “I said to them, ‘Whoever is guarding (her), you don’t help. You just stay on her like glue.’ Because between the free throws and (Phillips), those were the main things we tried to concentrate on.”

With a week to prepare, Graupe and his players worked a lot on varying its defense.

“We learned a different defense this week, so we were able to switch it up instead of playing five the whole time,” Duran said. “We got to switch it up and go zone and I think that helps us out a lot because the (other) team has to adjust to our defense.”

The Blue Hawks are back in action Friday night, hosting South Dakota Mines in exhibition at 5:30 p.m. Mines, a former Dakota Athletic Conference rival now in NCAA Division II, which could be seen as daunting challenge early in the season. But Graupe is eager for the matchup and ready to take them on.

“We’ll obviously have a pretty good challenge on our hands there, but I think that’s great and looking forward to it to see how we, as a measuring stick, where we’re at,” Graupe said. “That’s what I’m excited about: a quality opponent and where we stand.”

PRESENTATION (0-1): Hannah Phillips 8-24 9-10 25. Kaylee Voorhees 1-2 0-0 2. Abbie Geraci 0-6 2-2 2. Rachel Fuhrmann 4-11 4-4 12. Jackie Miller 3-8 4-5 11. Caitlin Robinson 1-2 0-0 3. Shelby Elsen 0-1 2-2 2. Sydney Larsen 0-0 4-6 4.Totals: 17-54 25-29 61.

DICKINSON STATE (2-1): Ashley Kennedy 2-7 2-2 6. Jess Bygate 4-10 2-4 10. Dawne Degel 4-10 0-0 9. Mariah Duran 8-18 0-0 20. TaRicka Linzy 6-13 0-0 15. Ja’Lisa Gatlin 3-6 0-1 7. Rachael McDonough 1-5 0-0 2. Hannah Beede 1-3 0-0 2. Prsha Wadsworth 1-6 0-0 2. Jalyn Klauzer 3-6 0-2 6. Totals: 33-84 4-9 79.

Halftime: 42-35. Total fouls: PRESENTATION 12, DICKINSON STATE 26. 3-point goals: PRESENTATION 2-16 (Phillips 0-8, Geraci 0-4, Fuhrmann 0-1, Miller 1-1, Robinson 1-2.), DICKINSON STATE 9-30 (Degel 1-6, Duran 4-12, Linzy 3-7, Gatlin 1-3, McDonough 0-2). Rebounds: PRESENTATION 35 (Fuhrmann 6), DICKINSON STATE 58 (Bygate, Degel, Wadsworth 4). Assists: PRESENTATION 7 (Geraci 4), DICKSINSON STATE 19 (McDonough 4). Steals: PRESENTATION 13 (Phillips 5), DICKINSON STATE 12 (Kennedy 2). Blocks: PRESENTATION none, DICKINSON STATE 5 (Bygate 2). Turnovers: PRESENTATION 17 (Fuhrmann, Robinson 5), DICKINSON STATE 20 (Bygate, Duran 4).

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.