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DSU extends its win streak to 5 with victory over Vikings

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DSU extends its win streak to 5 with victory over Vikings
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VALLEY CITY — After six-straight home games, and on a four-game win streak, the Dickinson State women’s basketball team proved it can contend on the road as well.

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The Blue Hawks walked over Valley City State 73-58 and extended their win streak to five games Tuesday night. DSU head coach Mark Graupe said he was very pleased with his team’s performance on the road, especially against a future opponent when his team joins the North Star Athletic Association next season.

For the beginning of the game, the Blue Hawks played a man-to-man defense scheme. But Graupe switched to a zone defense which they haven’t practiced a lot but worked out well in the end.

“We haven’t played it that much, we put it in because of our depth,” Graupe said. “We have so many problems with injuries and we put it in sooner than I wanted, but it’s something we played almost the whole game tonight and I thought it was very effective.”

DSU was able to get plenty of deflections with its defense and caused VCSU to commit 26 turnovers. The Blue Hawks led 40-27 at halftime and increased its lead to 25 points after senior Mariah Duran sank a 3-pointer. Duran was one of four players to finish with double-digit points with 10. Sophomore guard TaRicka Linzy led DSU with 18, followed by senior forward Jess Bygate with 17 and junior forward Ja’Lisa Gatlin with 16.

Graupe said he was very impressed with Gatlin’s performance and her improvement over the last two weeks. The two sat down and talked earlier in the week and are on the same page for what the team overall needs to do. Gatlin went 7 of 9 from inside the arch. She also made both of her free throws.

“She’s a great player, she’s just bought in,” he said. “The thing about Ja’Lisa is she’s hit some 3-pointers this year, but she also plays inside where she can play with her back to the basket and she got some nifty moves there.”

Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Blue Hawks had 10 days off to prepare for their first road games. All 10 days were used to prepare specifically for VCSU which paid off, but left no time for today’s game against No. 10 University of Jamestown. Graupe said he isn’t worried about the lack of prep time and the past 10 days was time well spent and if they split the two games on the road, it’s not a problem.

“It’s one of those games where they’re ranked No. 10 in the nation … and they were here scouting and they saw us play zone for most of the game,” Graupe said. “So then I’m sure they’re going to prepare for a zone. You know what we may try and go a lot of man to man and then instead play more bodies and see what happens. If they beat us then so be it, because we’ll get them a week later at VCSU.”

DICKINSON STATE (6-1): Jess Bygate 7-11 3-7 17, Porsha Wadsworth 0-1 1-2 1, Dawne Degel 4-7 0-0 8, Mariah duran 4-13, 0-0 10, TaRicka Linzy 6-10 2-2 18, Alyssa Hildebrand 0-1, 0-0 0, JaiDah Richardson 0-1 0-0 0, Ja’Lisa Gatlin 7-11 2-2 16, Rachel McDonough 1-1 1-2 3, Hannah Beede 0-1, 0-0 0, Jalyn Klauzer 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 29-59 9-15 73.

VALLEY CITY STATE (2-6): Kelsey Hunter 2-4 2-2 6, Brittany Lehner 5-6 4-4 14, Sierra Even 3-14 0-0 7, Sadiqah Jihad 0-1 0-0 0, Stephanie Pedersen 2-8 4-5 9, Tarah Cleveland 0-2 0-0 0, Erika Ettl 0-4 0-0 0, Britni Hart 0-3 0-0 0, Courtney Greiner 0-1 0-0 0, Megan Trautman 3-10, 5-6 14, Courtney Dixon 3-6 1-2 8. Totals: 18-59 16-19 58.

Halftime: 40-27. Total fouls: DSU 17, VCSU 10. 3-point goals: DSU 6-17 (Degel 0-2, Duran 2-10, Linzy 4-5), VCSU 6-29 (Even 1-7, Jihad 0-1, Pedersen 1-5, Cleveland 0-2, Ettl 0-4, Hart 0-2, Trautman 3-7, Dixon 1-1). Rebounds: DSU 36 (Degel 9), VCSU 39 (Lehner 9). Assists: DSU 13 (Duran 5), VCSU 10 (Jihad 3). Steals: DSU 15 (Degel 5), VCSU 11 (Trautman, Boehmlehner, Dixon 2). Blocks: DSU 3 (Wadsworth, Degel, Klauzer 1), VCSU 2 (Even, Jihad 1). Turnovers: DSU 25 (Bygate 7), VCSU 26 (Pedersen, Trautman 5).

Meaghan MacDonald
Meaghan is the sports reporter for the Dickinson Press, focusing primarily on Dickinson State athletics and rodeo. 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.