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Linzy nets 30 as DSU rolls past Wildcats

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Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson State sophomore TaRicka Linzy dribbles toward the basket during a nonconference game against Johnson and Wales (Colo.) on Saturday at Scott Gymnasium. Linzy finished with 30 points and 11 assists.2 / 2

After a tough fight against Johnson and Wales, the Dickinson State women’s basketball team easily won round two Saturday afternoon.

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DSU breezed past Johnson and Wales 94-80 in Scott Gymnasium to complete the weekend sweep and extend its win streak to four games.

“I’m more pleased with (Saturday) than (Friday),” DSU head coach Mark Graupe said. “Especially I thought we played a nice first half … I thought we were clicking.”

The Blue Hawks learned from their Friday mistakes and came out strong and aggressive against the Wildcats. Senior guard Mariah Duran knocked in the game’s opening points with a 3-pointer at the 18 minute mark. It was all DSU from there.

The team went out to a quick 8-3 lead and led by 21 points with 10:50 to go in the first half. Sophomore guard TaRicka Linzy and Duran led in points at the half with 14 and 12, respectively, while senior forward Jess Bygate recorded six rebounds.

In the second half, DSU had its biggest lead of the night, 22 points with 18:21 to go, but the Wildcats made adjustments and played small, which tripped up the Blue Hawks. The Wildcats broke out and went on a quick seven-point run before DSU could adjust and try to keep up with the speedy offense.

“Our help side wasn’t there a few times which brought us down a little bit,” DSU senior Dawne Degel said. “But we picked it up in the end and we kept a good margin of a lead and we built on that which was kind of nice.”

JWU’s biggest threat was around the perimeter and ability to drive the ball down the court. DSU was able to stifle its 3-point game, as the Wildcats went 3 of 16 (19 percent). JWU kept its game pretty much the same compared to Friday, which made DSU’s plan of attack easier to accomplish.

“It’s a team that likes to attack and pass off to their shooters so we just had to contain them from basically getting to the basket,” Linzy said. “At times we struggled, but we came together at the last point and at the right time.”

Linzy found the basket early and often, but she also dished out a team-high 11 assists. The sophomore guard finished with a team-high 30 points — half of which came from making 14 of 16 free throws. Duran followed with 19 points, while junior forward Ja’Lisa Gatlin added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

DSU again outmatched JWU in rebounds, recording 55 as Degel led the team with 11. The Wildcats had 39 rebounds and completed just 38.9 percent of their shots. Kristen Ward ended with a game-high 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Last season the Blue Hawks finished 8-20 overall and started out 2-4. Linzy and Gatlin said the keys to the team’s early success in the season have been short-term memory with plays as well as not playing for themselves but for the better good of the team.

“Not letting one play dictate our last four plays,” Linzy said.” We just move on to the next step and come back and make a better play next time.”

Gatlin added: “We also play for each other and not for ourselves. We play together as a team.”

The Blue Hawks have a long wait until their next game at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Valley City State. The women kickoff the doubleheader with the DSU men scheduled to play at 7:30 p.m. While the men are used to road games by now, this will be the first for the women.

“Now we’re really going to get challenged because we go on the road,” Graupe said. “We play the No. 10 team in the nation, Jamestown, then we go to Division II Minot State which is really good. We’ve got some major challenges, but I’m glad we got 10 days off. We can sit back, enjoy being 5-1 and rest the bodies and get back and starting thinking Valley City.”

OHNSON AND WALES (1-3): Kristen Ward 11-21 10-14 34, Tori Curneen 3-12 0-0 8, Amanda Weber 6-18 2-3 18, Kourtney Shirley 5-10 4-7 14, Bailey Ford 0-3 0-0 0, Tameka Manning 1-5 0-02, Alex Courtney 1-2 0-0 2, Kaleigh Wisroth 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 28-72 16-24 80.

DICKINSON STATE (5-1): Ashley Kennedy 4-6 1-1 9, Jess Bygate 3-5 0-1 6, Dawne Degel 2-14, 0-1 6, Mariah Duran 6-12 3-4 19, TaRicka Linzy 7-15 14-16 30, Alyssa Hildebrand 0-5 5-6 5, Ja’Lisa Gatlin 5-8 3-4 13, Hannah Beede 0-1 0-0 0, Porsha Wadsworth 2-2 0-0 4, Jalyn Klauzer 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 30-72 26-33 94.

Halftime: DSU, 48-32. Total fouls: JWU 25, DSU 17. Fouled out: Curneen, Manning, Bygate 3-point goals: JWU 8-34 (Ward 2-7, Curneed 2-8, Weber 4-14, Shirley 0-4, Manning 0-1), DSU 8-25 (Degel 2-7, Duran 4-8, Linzy 2-7, Hildebrand 0-3). Rebounds: JWU 25 (Ward 9), DSU 55 (Degel 11). Assists: JWU 13 (Ward 5), DSU 19 (Linzy 11). Steals: JWU 14 (Ward, Weber, Shirley 2), DSU 14 (Duran, Linzy 3). Blocks: JWU 3 (Ford 2), DSU none. Turnovers: JWU 17 (Manning 5, DSU 18 (Duran, Linzy 4).

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.