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Montana Tech downs Blue Hawks

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson State sophomore TaRicka Linzy, left, dribbles against Montana Tech defender Callee Remsen during a Frontier Conference game on Saturday at Scott Gymnasium.

With the end of the season drawing near and a playoff spot on the line, the Dickinson State women’s basketball team played without a sense of urgency.

DSU head coach Mark Graupe said this has been a consistent problem for his team since Jan. 2, after they defeated University of Great Falls 77-71.

The problems continued as Montana Tech rolled over the Blue Hawks 75-59 in a Frontier Conference game on Saturday at Scott Gymnasium.

“Whenever I coached, my kids played with passion and energy and they don’t quit,” Graupe said. “And these girls when things don’t go right it just snowballs and they hang their heads, they pout and quit. Not all of them, but there’s too much of it and that’s not how my teams have always played.”

DSU (13-10, 3-5 Frontier) struggled in the first half scoring 16 points. Junior forward Ja’Lisa Gatlin hit a 3-pointer 12 seconds into the game for the quick 3-0 lead, which was the team’s biggest lead of the half. Scoring was sparse in the first 10 minutes as the Orediggers (7-7, 3-5 Conference) built up a 14-6 lead.

DSU attempted to keep up and hit back-to-back layups by senior guard Mariah Duran and sophomore guard TaRicka Linzy to get within four. That was the closest the Blue Hawks came for the remainder of the game.

Tech scored 14 unanswered points and DSU couldn’t find an answer until senior Jess Bygate hit a jumper with 47 seconds left in the half. The Orediggers held a 35-16 lead at halftime.

“As a team we did really good,” said Mandy Machinal, who led the Orediggers with 17 points and added four rebounds and two assists. “We came together and our shots were falling and gave the ball to everybody. Everybody was a scorer today.”

DSU went 7 for 26 (27 percent) from the field and made only one of its 10 3-point shots in the first half.

However, offense wasn’t the biggest problem for DSU. It was a lack of intensity and self-awareness. At the 12:37 mark in the second half, Tech freshman guard Hattie Thatcher drove the ball down court, untouched, for the breakaway layup.

“It was just embarrassing to see a girl drive the whole length of the court,” Graupe said. “Nobody seemed to care to stop her and that’s when I told them, the fans should get a refund. I felt bad for them coming out and wanting to support us today and that’s all the effort we’re going to show. They deserve our full effort.”

DSU slightly outscored Tech 43-40 in the second half, but the damage from the first half couldn’t be repaired. Linzy and Bygate were the only Blue Hawks to finish in double digits with 18 and 11 points, respectively.

“Throughout the game we had spurts of brilliance and spurts of what we’re capable of,” Bygate said. “It’s just getting consistency and everyone consistency and the combinations we have on the court and really coming together every time we do have an opportunity, which is every Saturday, every Thursday.”

The Orediggers made half its shots (28 for 56), 11 of 27 from beyond the arc and made 8 of 12 free throws.

As of last week, Lindsie Wilson took over as head coach for Tech and Saturday marked her first official win.

“It’s been going well,” Wilson said of her transition to head coach. “The first game we found out right before so I think it was a little mental for the girls but tonight we just tried to push the ball, run and transition and they did a really good job executing that.”

In its last seven games, DSU faces five ranked opponents starting with No. 3 Westminster College (Utah) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Scott Gymnasium.

“We all know what we’re capable of,” Bygate said. “We know how we started off the season which is pretty well, but we dug ourselves this little hole and we got to fight back from it and it’s got to be over the next four weeks we got left to see what we’re made of and fight back.”

MONTANA TECH (7-7, 3-5 Conference): Kabri Emerson 1-2 0-0 2, Kelsey DeWit 3-6 2-4 8, Hattie Thatcher 2-6 0-0 5, Mandy Machinal 6-11 2-2 17, Shayla Mack 1-4 0-0 3, Bryn Hasquet 3-4 2-2 10, Rachel Farris 0-0 2-2 2, Martha Dembek 2-4 0-0 4, Sophia Baetz 5-11 0-2 13, Callie Remsen 5-8 0-0 11. Totals: 28-56 8-12 75.

DICKINSON STATE (13-10, 3-5 Conference): Ja’Lisa Gatlin 3-9 1-2 8, Jess Bygate 3-5 5-6 11, Dawne Degel 2-5 0-0 4, Mariah Duran 2-11 1-2 4, TaRicka Linzy 6-11 2-2 18, JaiDah Richardson 0-1 0-0 0, Keshawnee Alley 3-8 2-4 8, Rachael McDonough 0-1 0-0 0, Hannah Beede 2-2 0-0 5, Porsha Wadsworth 0-1 0-0 0, Jalyn Klauzer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 21-55 11-16 59.

Halftime: MT 35-16. Total fouls: MT 15, DSU 14. 3-point goals: MT 11-27 (Emerson 0-1, Thatcher 1-3, Machinal 3-6, Mack 1-3, Hasquet 2-3, Baetz 3-9, Remsen 1-2), DSU 6-16 (Gatlin 1-3, Degel 0-1, Duran 0-4, Linzy 4-7, Beede 1-1). Rebounds: MT 37 (DeWit, Thatcher 6), DSU 27 (Gatlin 6). Assists: MT 15 (Thatcher 8), DSU 7 (Bygate 3). Steals: MT 17 (Thatcher 5), DSU 14 (Gatlin 5). Blocks: MT 1 (Remsen), DSU 1 (Alley). Turnovers: MT 17 (Dembek 3), DSU 21 (Bygate 5).

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.