After more than a month of playing road games, the Dickinson State Men's Basketball team finally makes its long awaited return to Scott's Gymnasium on Friday and will play its first ever matchup against Dakota Wesleyan.
The Blue Hawks (3-2) will have a solid opponent against the Tigers (4-1) but is looking forward to the challenge that will take place on its home floor. Derek Selvig, the head coach for the Blue Hawks, is aware of the challenge but is looking forward to seeing his team return to its home floor and play in front of its home fans for the first time since Oct. 23.
"I’m just looking forward to our guys having fun," Selvig said. "We don’t have a game scheduled for next week, this is our last game for a while. We’re just trying to build on what we’ve been doing. This team coming in is really good, we watched them on film and they’re a really solid team with a lot of smart players."
Along with playing strong defense against the Tigers' tall roster, Selvig said the team is looking forward to being rebound heavy in order to pull out the victory on its home court.
"We got to rebound, every game that we’ve struggled in that’s been an issue," Selvig said. "We got to find a body and part of that is some of our game plan, we needed to sense some double teams and I’m just looking for us tonight to control the boards, keep them off the offensive glass and then just keep sharing the ball."
The Blue Hawks are coming into the game with confidence after defeating its conference opponent Mayville State in a non-conference matchup with only eight players being able to play for Dickinson State.
"They really pulled out a win and they really followed the game plan as far as attacking that zone offense really well," Selvig said. "They made plays and got stops when they needed them."
Despite only having eight players, the Blue Hawks played with the confidence of a team that had a full roster. After the Blue Hawks went into the half against the Comets (2-1) trailing 41-39, the team rebounded in the second half to outscore its opponent 54-46, taking an official 93-87 win.
The Blue Hawks torched the field in scoring, shooting 60% from the field, and 47% from the 3-point range. Dickinson State was able to play solid in its defense, limiting Mayville State to 49% shooting overall and 32% from behind the 3-point line.
Despite having a limited team, Dickinson State's small roster accepted the challenge and highly expanded on its scoring, first-year forward John Evans led the team with 23 points, junior guard Nashiem Lozier recorded 19, both playing 36 minutes. Sophomore guard Trey Hladky recorded 15 points in 31 minutes and senior guard Bryce Knox recorded 14 in 33 minutes.
Despite having the limited roster, Selvig said the entire team enjoyed the entire game.
"This the type of year it is," he said. "We just got to roll with what happens day-by-day, guys got to step up if certain guys are out and we did that. Our guys had a lot of fun with it and it was a good time.
"We just want to play, we don’t want to cancel games and sit out games," Selvig added. "We just want to get games in so whatever we got to do, we’ll do it."
The Blue Hawks hope to continue its success against the Tigers, tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m.