Bulldogs rally in 2nd half to beat Dickinson State
When two even strength teams meet, the outcome can be unpredictable.
The Bulldogs found a second wind of strength and beat the Blue Hawks 73-60.
“The biggest struggle with our team is we’re very up and down,” DSU senior guard Mariah Duran said. “Sometimes we’re into the game and we’re going all out and other times we take plays of and stuff.
“(It) I know there’s not many games left but I have a feeling at the end of the year, we’re going to get it. We’re going to get a full 40 minutes of playing hard.”
Western (10-9, 4-5 Frontier) was off to a good start, putting DSU (13-11, 3-6 Frontier) into a 7-0 deficit in the first three minutes of the game. The Blue Hawks committed seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes and turned the ball over on their first three possessions of the game.
DSU head coach Mark Graupe called a timeout to try and set his team straight.
“After I chewed them out, we only had one turnover, we had eight in the first half,” Graupe said. I shouldn’t have to go and scream and yell at them. Why should I have to go bonkers on them for them to play hard?”
Graupe’s speech worked and once junior guard Keshawnee Alley hit the first shot of the game, DSU’s shots began falling. The Blue Hawks got within five, 9-4, before the Bulldogs began pulling away and had their biggest lead of the half, 20-12. But the pendulum swung back again in favor of DSU. Alley hit her jumper and foul shot, sparking an 11-point run by the Blue Hawks to keep them competitive and maintain a lead going into the locker room.
Western started the game hot, but cooled quickly and finished the half shooting 24 percent (7 for 29). But the speed picked up after halftime and in the first 5 minutes, the Bulldogs outscored the Blue Hawks 17-8 and never relinquished its lead. The Blue Hawks weren’t able to come closer than seven points for the remainder of the game.
“We attacked the basket well and got a chance to get to the line and knock them down so overall I was really happy and when get two wins on the road you take them,” Western head coach Lindsay Wooley said.
Western’s biggest advantage over DSU was its chances and accuracy at the free-throw line. The Bulldogs went 23 for 37 (62 percent) as Jenna Banks made 11 of her 16. Banks had a team-high 18 points and added five steals and assists, and four rebounds.
Junior forward Ja’Lisa Gatlin and Alley each finished with double-doubles. Gatlin had 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Alley finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Blue Hawks went 22 for 68 from the floor, 15 of 22 from the free-throw line but struggled beyond the arc, making 1 of 19 3-pointers.
DSU travels on the road next week for a repeat of its previous two games. The Blue Hawks play at Westminster College (Utah) 5:30 p.m. Thursday and at Montana Western 2 p.m. Saturday.
“We go into games unconfident in the results when we need to go in no matter what,” Duran said. “I know we’re not the highest ranked team, but we can beat a lot of the teams we’ve been losing to. I think we go into the game without a winning mentality and we need to start being we can play with every team in this conference.”
MONTANA WESTERN (10-9, 4-5 Frontier): Sammi Bignell 3-12 1-5 8, McCall Hasquet 5-9 0-1 14, Kaci Matthies 1-4 3-4 5, Roxy Thurman 2-7 5-6 10, Jenna Banks 3-5 11-16 18, Kelsey Callaghan 2-2 0-0 6, Melody McCloud 3-5 3-5 9, Baylie Smith 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 20-47 23-37 73.
DICKINSON STATE (13-11, 3-6 Frontier): Jess Bygate 3-7 2-3 8, Dawne Degel 0-2 2-2 2, Mariah Duran 2-12 2-2 7, Keshawnee Alley 5-12 3-5 13, Rachael McDonough 0-0 2-2 2, Ja’Lisa Gatlin 9-22 1-4 19, TaRicka Linzy 2-12 3-4 7, Jalyn Klauzer 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 22-68 15-22 60.
Halftime: 28-27. Total fouls: Visitor 19, Home 25. Fouled out: Names MW Matthies, McCloud; DSU, Linzy, Degel. 3-point goals: Visitor 10-21 (Bignell 1-3, Hasquet 4-6, Matthies 0-1, Thurman 1-4, Banks 1-2, Callaghan 2-2, McCloud 0-2, Smith 1-1), Home 1-19 (Degel 0-1, Duran 1-9, Gatlin 0-4, Linzy 0-5). Rebounds: Visitor 43 (Matthies 9), Home 42 (Alley 13). Assists: Visitor 11 (Banks 5), Home 9 (Linzy 5). Steals: Visitor 14 (Banks 5), Home 16 (Degel 2). Blocks: Visitor none, Home none. Turnovers: Visitor 16 (Thurman 6), Home 17 (Linzy 5).