Blue Hawks lose to Manitoba Sunday
Scott Gymnasium was stunned on Sunday afternoon.
With five seconds remaining, the University of Manitoba's Morgan Cross hit the game-winning jumper to defeat Dickinson State 64-63.
In the second half, the Blue Hawks led by 11 points before Bisons' forward Samantha Pyke scored to get her team within single digits, 52-43.
The momentum switched to Manitoba which went on a 19-7 run to take a lead 62-59. DSU junior forward Ashley Kennedy answered with hit two crucial shots, bringing DSU within one and the recapturing the lead 63-62 with under a minute to go.
"I thought that was a turning point when we had that point lead," DSU head coach Marc Graupe said. "We were hoping to score and get a stop ... and what happened was it went just the other way. And people could look at the end and that was a blown defense assignment and we talked about that and next time we do this certain defense drill ... because it could be the difference."
With 30 seconds left in the first half and playing tough defense, Manitoba was just down by two. But DSU senior guard Mariah Duran drilled a 3-pointer before the buzzer as her team took a 37-32 lead into halftime.
DSU's defense wasn't as strong Sunday as it was Saturday, giving up 23 more points. Duran, who had 17 points, three assists and two steals, said the team started off better Sunday, but had trouble keeping their game and energy level consistent --especially in the middle of the game.
"We were off and on with energy," Duran said. "Sometimes we would have bursts of energy and sometimes we were just dead. I think that's when they went on their runs and that's what killed us, we lost energy at some points of the game."
Senior forward Jess Bygate added: "We didn't capitalize. Every team is going to have a run and going to be hot and come off that run and we didn't pounce on them."
Bygate had a game-high 10 rebounds, while sophomore guard TaRicka Linzy supplied 13 points. The team overall had 47 rebounds and shot 42.6 percent from the floor.
After folding to DSU's physicality, Manitoba learned how to fight back and turn on the pressure. The Blue Hawks committed 26 turnovers, which is four more than Saturday. The Bisons had 18 for the game.
"That's too many, it just comes down to taking care of the basketball," Graupe said. "Their press is just a man-to-man but they did some trapping out of it and stuff. That's one of the few things we do have in, how to break that we just didn't do a very good job."
The Blue Hawks have a week off until their next game against Presentation College on Oct. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at home. The weekend series against Manitoba proved the team had some things it can build off of and still need to work on.
Graupe runs what he calls "motion," giving his team the freedom to call plays in a huddle. But with the season just underway, the team is still trying to figure things out and may have to reevaluate its take on offense.
"I know we have a lot of freedom right now to do what we want, but I don't think a lot of us our used to that," Bygate said. "It's ... all about reading each other and playing together but also having some form of structure would be good."
Graupe added: "At practice, they do a nice job, but now we have to convert that into a game to me that is a big key. Just converting from practice into a game."