Off the glass

Ashley Emmons didn't even know what happened until she looked at the Scott Gymnasium scoreboard. However, when the Dickinson State senior finally got her bearings back, she realized her off-balance and ill-advised shot had put her team ahead by o...

Ashley Emmons
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson State senior guard Ashley Emmons, right, takes a shot in the lane while Valley City State's Brittany Olson defends Wednesday night during a Dakota Athletic Conference women's basketball game at Scott Gymnasium. Emmons hit the game-winning 3-pointer.

Ashley Emmons didn't even know what happened until she looked at the Scott Gymnasium scoreboard.

However, when the Dickinson State senior finally got her bearings back, she realized her off-balance and ill-advised shot had put her team ahead by one point with just 2 seconds left.

Emmons drove the length of the court and, while being pressured by a pair of Valley City State defenders, heaved a 3-pointer from the right wing with 4 seconds left. The shot banked in and put the Blue Hawks ahead 61-60 in a Dakota Athletic Conference women's basketball game on Wednesday.

"It was probably not the best decision," said Emmons, who has now hit three game-winning shots this season. "... I figured I almost turned it over and bobbled it. I figured the time was out."

The lead held and DSU sealed the win after the Vikings took a time out with two seconds left, but threw the in-bounds pass straight to Blue Hawks junior Jennifer Marquez in the jump circle.


The win kept the 13th-ranked Blue Hawks (18-6, 9-2 DAC) tied with Black Hills State atop the DAC and allowed coach Guy Fridley to breathe a sigh of relief after watching his team blow big leads in both the first and second halves.

"The biggest half of the season, we get up 10, 11 again and we let our guards down," Fridley said.

After building a 15-2 lead through the first seven minutes, the Blue Hawks let the 19th-ranked Vikings (16-9, 8-3 DAC) back into the game.

VCSU cut the lead to 20-19 by the 4:49 mark and kept DSU within reach by halftime.

Emmons made a last-second 5-foot jumper from the left side to put DSU up 32-26 at halftime.

Sophomore guard Kelsey Boedeker gave the Blue Hawks a much-needed boost when she hit her first three 3-pointers after halftime. Her third 3 put DSU ahead 45-32 with 14:51 left in the second half. Boedeker scored a team-high 20 points.

Boedeker opened the game with a 3-pointer and said her touch felt good from there. She finished 5 of 9 from beyond the 3-point line.

"The first shot of the game went in and I thought, there's the confidence boost I need."


However, DSU's second-half lead didn't last long.

Behind the trio of Brittany Olson, Abby Rittenhouse and Amanda Brown, the Vikings steadily chipped away and climbed back in it. A 3-pointer by Olson with 9:37 left cut capped a 13-2 run and brought VCSU within two at 47-42.

"Our kids battled back when things weren't necessarily going their way," VCSU coach Jill Devries said.

DSU tried keeping the Vikings at an arm's length, but with 2:09 left, Olson buried a 3-pointer from the right wing to put VCSU ahead 56-55. She finished with a game-high 21 points.

Boedeker's final 3-pointer of the night gave DSU a 58-56 lead with 1:15 to go, but Brown came back and sank a jumper from the left elbow with 57 seconds left to tie the game.

Brown scored 10 points, had a game-high 11 rebounds and added three steals.

After Boedeker's final 3-point attempt rolled in and out of the basket with 37 seconds left, VCSU came down and gave the ball to Brown, who made a jumper from the left elbow of the lane with about 10 seconds left.

Even though the Blue Hawks had two time outs remaining, Fridley instructed Emmons to push the ball and try to get a shot.


"Fortunately, the bank was open," Fridley said with a laugh.

Emmons finished with 14 points, six assists and four rebounds.

DSU junior center Kia Herbel had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, but was hindered by the Vikings' zone defense, which limited her chances in the first half.

The Blue Hawks finished just 23 of 61 (33 percent) from the field thanks to a tough zone defense by the Vikings.

However, the difference was in how each team took care of the basketball.

DSU turned the ball over just 12 times while VCSU committed 29 turnovers.

That number wasn't lost on DeVries.

"The last-second shot didn't lose the game," DeVries said. "It was the 29 turnovers before that that lost the game."


Dickinson State 61, Valley City State 60

VCSU (16-9 overall, 8-3 DAC): Brittany Olson 7-13 4-6 21, Abby Rittenhouse 5-12 2-4 12, Amanda Brown 4-10 2-4 10, Jacklyn Mitchell 2-2 0-0 5, Mandy Johnson 1-4 3-4 5, Emily Goedert 0-0 4-4 4, Caitlyn Wojahn 1-3 0-0 3, Andrea Hummel 0-0 0-0 0, Heidi Larson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-44 15-22 60.

DSU (18-6, 9-2): Kelsey Boedeker 7-13 1-2 20, Ashley Emmons 6-12 0-0 14, Kia Herbel 6-11 2-4 14, Kelly Pankratz 2-10 4-4 8, Jennifer Marquez 1-5 0-0 2, Juanita Newsom 1-2 0-0 2, Krystal Burns 0-0 0-0 0, Staci Moore 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 23-61 8-12 61.

Halftime: DSU 32, VCSU 26. Total fouls: VCSU 16, DSU 14. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: VCSU 5-13 (Olson 3-7, Wojahn 1-2, Jacklyn Mitchell 1-1, Brown 0-3), DSU 7-22 (Boedeker 5-9, Emmons 2-3, Pankratz 0-4, Vanderpan 0-4, Moore 0-1, Marquez 0-1). Rebounds: VCSU 37 (Brown 11), DSU 28 (Herbel 10). Assists: VCSU 12 (Wojahn 3), DSU 12 (Emmons 6). Steals: VCSU 9 (Brown 3, Wojahn 3), DSU 12 (Herbel 5). Blocks: VCSU 3 (3 with one), DSU 1 (Herbel). Turnovers: VCSU 29, DSU 19.

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