Blue Hawks' perimeter game is strong
Don't be surprised if the Dickinson State women's basketball team throws up about 1,000 3-pointers this season. And don't be surprised if several of them fall through the hoop. "We have more of a scoring punch," DSU head coach Guy Fridley said. "...
Don't be surprised if the Dickinson State women's basketball team throws up about 1,000 3-pointers this season.
And don't be surprised if several of them fall through the hoop.
"We have more of a scoring punch," DSU head coach Guy Fridley said. "This year, we might take a little bit more 3s than I really care to, but that's the makeup of team we have."
Fresh off a 5-23 season in his first year as head coach, Fridley is hoping for a drastic turnaround. With 12 new players to pair with two returning starters and two returning role players, that goal may not be far from achievable.
"We have a lot of kids that can come in and contribute," Fridley said. "... We can go 12 deep if we have to, which is extremely exciting."
Senior power forward Brittany Mesa and junior shooting guard Ashley Bakich-Emmons are the Blue Hawks' returning leaders.
Mesa averaged 10 points and 3.6 rebounds last season. Bakich-Emmons, who has moved from the point guard spot, chipped in 7.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
Bakich-Emmons is excited about the team's mentality heading into today's season opener against Montana Tech.
"Last year I think some of the girls on the team were just here just to be here," Bakich-Emmons said. "You can tell this year that the girls who are here want to win."
One player in particular, may hold the key to the Blue Hawks' success.
Junior Juliet Masei is a transfer from Antelope Valley College in southern California, where she averaged 15 points per game.
When Fridley was recruiting Masei, he told her that if she chose DSU, she would find herself in a leadership role.
So far, that suits the 5-foot-6 swingman just fine.
"I think I'm handling it all right. I'm kind of shying off a little bit because it's my first year here and there are seniors here," Masei said. "But I realize the role I have been put in and I'm ready to take whatever responsibilities that has."
Masei is one of several Blue Hawks who can catch fire from beyond the 3-point line.
Along with Mesa and Bakich-Emmons, several new faces have found a home on the perimeter.
Freshmen point guards Teryl Norton and Kelsey Boedeker are both capable of running the show and hoisting a long jumper. Junior guard Staci Moore and sophomore guard Mindy Vanderpan both had success from 3-point range in the Blue Hawks' preseason scrimmages.
"We have the kind of team that can knock down the perimeter shots, and that will just open up our inside game," Fridley said.
Six-foot junior post Sadiyyah Guilford is the likely candidate to control the paint. She averaged 6.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last year at McCook (Neb.) Community College.
"Sadiyyah brings us a big low post presence," Fridley said. "She has a nice baby hook that is very tough to defend."
The only two other returning players who saw action last season are senior forward Elise Daughton and sophomore guard Katie Schwartz.
Daughton started 14 games and averaged 5.7 points and 4 rebounds last season. She has taken her new role as a backup in stride, and believes it will pay off as the season progresses.
"It's a team sport. If my role is to come off the bench, then that's my role," Daughton said. "That's my contribution to the team. Whatever it takes."