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DSU jumps past Mines

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson State senior center Jess Bygate, right, goes up for a jump shot against South Dakota School of Mines senior Renae Waters during an exhibition game on Friday at Scott Gymnasium. Bygate finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.

In the first 10 minutes of the game, the points Dickinson State and South Dakota School of Mines were 3-pointers and free throws.

Otherwise, both teams were ice cold from inside arch.

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However, after the first 10 minutes each team began to unthaw as DSU defeated Mines 74-69 in an exhibition game on Friday at Scott Gymnasium.

“You look back to Midnight Madness (Oct. 9) we didn’t look very good,” DSU head coach Mark Graupe said. “We are trying to make strides and I think we are making those strides. We are making progress. There are always things you can fix, but overall I was pleased with the girls tonight.”

The first non 3-pointer or free throw came at the 9:51 mark as DSU extended its lead to 20-12 on a Porsha Wadsworth layup.

Yet, the hot hand in the first 10 minutes of the game came from DSU senior guard Dawne Degel, who went 3 of 3 from 3-point range. Degel finished with 13 points in the first half. The senior guard ended the game with a team-high 20 points.

“I was getting great passes,” said Degel, who finished 4 of 4 from 3-point range. “The girls were screening and getting me wide open and I said why not take the shot.”

Despite each team struggling from inside the arch, the shooting percentage in the first half was fairly high. DSU went 11 of 26 (42 percent) from the field, while Mines was 9 of 24 (38 percent).

On the other hand, the sharpshooting for the Hardrockers (0-0) was a collective effort. Mines had seven players make at least one 3-pointer. Yet, the biggest contributor was Jessica Schull with a game-high 22 points including going 3 of 6 from 3-point range.

At halftime, the Blue Hawks (2-1) held a slim 34-32 lead. The Hardrockers came out roaring in the second half. Mines ripped open three straight baskets and took its first lead, 38-34, at the 18:37 mark after a Brianna Huggins layup.

“We just talked about not beating ourselves” Mines head coach Ryan Larsen said about the halftime speech. “We just had to our jobs and do what we do. We never really did that in the first half. Defensively, we didn’t dictate the way we wanted to. We were able to do that in maybe first six to eight minutes (of the second half), but we weren’t able to sustain.”

Throughout the next 14 minutes, each team battled for momentum and it was DSU, which came away with the full head of steam and went on an 8-2 run, which started with an Ashley Kennedy put back and ended with a pair of Jess Bygate free throws. For the game, the Blue Hawks went 24 of 32 (75 percent) from the charity stripe.

Kennedy finished the seven points and six rebounds, while Bygate, who a member of the New Zealand national team, posted 15 points and a game-high seven rebounds. TaRicka Linzy supplied 12 points and three assists.

“When I pulled Jess out in the last game on Monday, I pulled her off the court and I told everyone on the bench to move, so Jess could sit by me,” Graupe said. “I told Jess she is too unselfish. She is one of the best posts in the conference. A lot of stuff that I’m designing goes into her. She catching the ball and sometimes she’s thinking pass first and score second. She’s a great player and she’s someone that we are going to counting on the entire season.”

Mines attempted to make a comeback in the final minute, but weren’t able to come away with enough open looks from 3-point range. Though it’s an exhibition game and Mines’ first game of the season, Larsen said this was a good learning experience.

“The mistakes that we made tonight we’ve been preaching to them for weeks now that you can’t make those mistakes in a game or they’ll cost us,” he said. “We made those mistakes tonight and they cost us.”

The Blue Hawks continue their season hosting Johnson and Wale University in a two-game series beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday. The final game between the two teams is at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“Whenever you play a Division II opponent it is a good measuring stick, that we are going to be competitive,” Graupe said. “These are the type of caliber teams that we are going to face in the Frontier Conference. Hopefully, this game gives us confidence that we can be a competitive team.”

MINES (0-0): Brianna Huggins 3-5 0-0 7, Jessica Shull 8-14 3-3 22, Alexis Long 4-8 2-2 12, Devyn Asche 1-2 0-0 2, Renae Waters 1-4 1-3 3, Anne Soenneker 3-8 0-0 7, Jordan Needens 1-1 0-0 3, Krista Showalter 3-5 3-4 10, MacKenzie Kenney 1-6 0-0 2. Totals: 25-53 9-12 69.

DSU (2-1): Ashley Kennedy 2-5 3-4 7, Jess Bygate 4-7 7-8 15, Dawne Degel 8-9 0-0 20, Mariah Duran 1-9 2-2 5, TaRicka Linzy 3-9 6-8 12, Ja’Lisa Gatlin 2-4 1-2 6, Rachel McDonough 0-1 4-4 4, Hannah Beede 0-0 0-0 0, Porsha Wadsworth 1-4 0-2 2, Jalyn Klauzer 1-2 1-2 3. Totals: 22-50 24-32 74.

Halftime: DSU 34-32. Total fouls: MINES 24, DSU 16. Fouled out: MINES, Shull, Kenney. 3-point goals: MINES 10-24 (Needens 1-1, Shull 3-6, Long 2-4, Huggins 1-3, Asche 1-2, Soenneker 1-2, Showalter 1-3, Kenney 0-3), DSU 6-14 (Degel 4-4, Gatlin 1-2, Duran 1-6, Linzy 0-1, Wadsworth 0-1). Rebounds: MINES 28 (Kenney 6), DSU 28 (Bygate). Assists: MINES 8 (Showalter 2, Waters 2), DSU 7 (Linzy 3). Steals: MINES 13 (Showalter 2, Shull 2), DSU 17 (Duran 5). Blocks: MINES 1 (Shull 1), DSU 1 (Degel 1). Turnovers: MINES 17 (three with three), DSU 13 (Degel 6).