Injuries to Lee, Mullock hinder Blue HawksBlue Hawk basketball is broken. Literally. Injuries have stricken the Dickinson State men’s and women’s basketball teams like have a plague this season and no day was worse than last Friday when the Blue Hawks visited the University of Great Falls (Mont.).
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Blue Hawk basketball is broken.
Injuries have stricken the Dickinson State men’s and women’s basketball teams like have a plague this season and no day was worse than last Friday when the Blue Hawks visited the University of Great Falls (Mont.).
During a doubleheader, the men lost NAIA All-America junior Matt Lee for the season with what is likely a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and the women lost senior center Mandy Mullock for at least two weeks to a dislocated right pinky finger.
This comes on the heels of both teams already nursing some injuries that have limited each’s depth.
“It just shows these guys, you never know when it’s going to be taken away,” said Ty Orton, DSU’s head men’s basketball coach. “They’ve got to play as hard as they can all the time, then they’ve got to step up. Now adversity hits and you’ve got to play through adversity.”
The men have already lost sophomore guard Brock Boos to the season with a knee injury, but having Lee taken away is a stinging loss.
The 6-foot-6 junior center was averaging 12.7 points and team highs of 9.2 rebounds and 3 assists a game. He also had a team-best six double-doubles.
“With losing Matty, we’re non-existent at the post right now,” Orton said.
Orton he hopes to have 6-foot-7 junior center Carl Dynneson, who has been nursing a back injury lingering from football season, return Thursday when the Blue Hawks host the University of Winnipeg (Manitoba) at 6 p.m. The women open the doubleheader at 4 p.m.
Senior point guard Jeff Hurd, who is also coming off a knee injury, is back in the mix too. He averaged 13 minutes a game in losses to Montana State-Northern and Great Falls.
“The first night he was a little stagnant, a little slow, the game looked very fast for him,” Orton said. “The second night, against Great Falls — who was much more athletic — he played very well.”
The Blue Hawks (6-9) are also awaiting senior Pierce Brooks, a 6-foot-6 forward who transferred from Texas A&M-Kingsville. The NAIA has deemed him ineligible to play until the spring semester.
Orton expects Brooks to play his first game when DSU visits Rocky Mountain College for games against the Bears and Carroll College on Dec. 28 and 29.
The women, meanwhile, will also try and figure out their post situation without Mullock. She is out until Christmas after tearing tendons and breaking the skin in her finger.
Another starter, junior forward Dawne Degel, has been out since Thanksgiving with a stress fracture in her left foot. Her return date is up in the air, but women’s head coach Andre Goldberg said Degel’s injury will be re-evaluated after this week.
The Blue Hawk women have a 4-10 record and are 1-7 since Thanksgiving.
Goldberg said injuries aren’t the reason for that though.
“We’re not going to use it as a crutch and it’s not something we’re going to make excuses for,” he said. “We’ve got fully capable people to come in and help off the bench. We just need some people to step up. Hopefully we can keep things reasonable until those others get back. Then we can be back full force and ready to go.”