Nadeau, Hawks claw back to beat Great FallsAfter playing just 7 minutes and 30 seconds, the Dickinson State women’s basketball team was saddled with a 16-point deficit.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
After playing just 7 minutes and 30 seconds, the Dickinson State women’s basketball team was saddled with a 16-point deficit.
The Blue Hawks didn’t push the panic button or back down though. Over the next 16 minutes, DSU outscored the University of Great Falls (Mont.) 39-23 to tie up the game at 43 early in the second half.
With the added momentum and confidence, the Blue Hawks continued to rally and sank free throws down the stretch to take an 85-78 Frontier Conference win over the Argos on Thursday at Scott Gymnasium.
“We’ve been in this position all year,” DSU senior Yianna Nadeau said. “It’s been comebacks, comebacks, but we haven’t quite capitalized on them. Tonight, we didn’t give up and we didn’t back down.”
DSU head coach Caleb Harrison puts much of blame on himself for the slow start where the Argos jumped out to a 20-4 lead.
“The first seven minutes were my fault,” Harrison said. “It probably wasn’t a smart move to run zone against a team that has lethal shooters. We went to man-to-man and that helped. That’s a credit to our players. We didn’t work on man-to-man this week. We were practicing zone and we were planning to play zone the entire game. Our players just adjusted.”
However, Great Falls head coach Bill Himmelberg said his team was knocking down shots with nearly every opportunity. The Argos shot 33 of 66 from the field.
“We came out strong and the girls were shooting the ball well,” he said. “We shot the ball well all night. I thought we got tentative for about a five-minute period.”
The Blue Hawks (8-19, 3-10 Frontier) slowly chipped away at the Argos lead to trail 39-32 at halftime. Nadeau led the Blue Hawks’ charge in the final 10 minutes with nine points. She finished with a team-high 19, while going 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
Harrison said the team had confidence going into halftime. That confidence showed quickly in the second half.
After back-to-back 3-pointers from Ashley Jelly and Mariah Duran, the Blue Hawks were within one point, 39-38. The team would eventually tie the game at 43 with Jelly’s second 3-pointer of the half. Jelly finished with 15 points and three assists, while Duran supplied 16 points, six assists and four rebounds.
“Nadeau and Jelly took a lot of gutsy shots,” Harrison said. “You make them and it can change a game. You miss them and it can cost you the game.”
Great Falls (14-15, 4-11 Frontier) responded with a 21-11 run to take a 64-54 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining after Kindra Jones supplied two of her 14 points. Lindsey Abrahamson led the team with 17 points, while Taylor Statton added 13 and Darah Huertas-Vining had 10.
The double-digit lead didn’t bother the Blue Hawks as they’d played catch up before. Nadeau said they felt comfortable storming back.
DSU did a majority of its damage from the free-throw line. The Blue Hawks shot 22 of 25 from the stripe in the second half. In fact, all eight players DSU put on the floor scored at least three points or more.
“We’re so much better when we have everybody scoring and we don’t have one player scoring all our points,” Harrison said.
After Nadeau drained a 3-pointer, drew the foul and sank the ensuring free throw, the Blue Hawks were in the game to stay.
DSU took its first lead 71-67, after back-to-back layups from Moore, who had 15 points and seven rebounds. The Blue Hawks never let the Argos regain the lead.
In the final three minutes, Nadeau hit her fifth and final 3-pointer and the Blue Hawks put the nail in the coffin, going 9 of 10 from the free-throw line down the stretch.
“If you can get to line, stop the clock and get the other team in foul trouble, it gets in their head,” Nadeau said. “It helps with chipping away and coming back.”
DSU hosts its season finale is against Montana State-Northern at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Nadeau said it’s going to be bittersweet stepping foot in Scott Gymnasium for her final game as a Blue Hawk.
“This is probably the best team I’ve ever been on and I don’t want to leave it,” Nadeau said. “But it’s the best thing to leave with a team like this.”
Notes: DSU freshman point guard Lorna Shepherd was out of the game after spraining her knee during practice on Wednesday. Harrison said he’s hopeful she’ll be able to play on Saturday.
GREAT FALLS (14-15, 4-11 Frontier): Lindsey Abrahamson 8-13 1-2 17, Kindra Jones 6-8 2-4 14, Sydnee Burke 3-11 0-0 9, Taylor Statton 6-11 0-0 13, Erin Legel 3-9 1-4 8, Donica Chrest 1-1 0-0 2, Darah Huertas-Vining 4-9 2-2 10, Raina O’Leary 0-0 0-0 0, Mary Wilmore 2-4 1-1 5. Totals: 33-66 7-13 78.
DICKINSON STATE (8-19, 3-10 Frontier): Janae Moore 6-12 3-4 15, Jess Bygate 1-2 1-2 3, Yianna Nadeau 5-9 4-5 19, Mariah Duran 5-12 4-6 16, Ashley Jelly 4-7 4-4 15, Dawne Degel 1-4 3-3 5, Jenna Cabello 1-5 4-4 6, Jaylyn Klauzer 2-3 2-4 6. Totals: 25-54 25-32 85.
Halftime: UGF 39-32. Total fouls: UGF 22, DSU 17. Technical fouls: DSU, Nadeau. Fouled out: UGF, Abrahamson, Statton. 3-point goals: UGF 5-20 (Burke 3-10, Statton 1-2, Legel 1-3, Wilmore 0-1, Abrahamson 0-1, Huertas-Vining 0-3), DSU 10-21 (Nadeau 5-7, Jelly 3-4, Duran 2-6, Degel 0-2, Moore 0-2). Rebounds: UGF 38 (Abrahamson 8), DSU 31 (Moore 7). Assists: UGF 21 (Legel 10), DSU 16 (Duran 6). Steals: UGF 4 (four tied with one), DSU 6 (Nadeau 2). Blocks: UGF 2 (Jones 1, Statton 1), DSU 1 (Klauzer 1). Turnovers: UGF 13 (Statton 3, Legel 3), DSU 15 (Duran 4).