DSU falls short against Waldorf
With the scored tied in the closing minutes, Waldorf University (Iowa) simply converted when it matters most.
The Warriors handed the Dickinson State University men's basketball team its first conference loss of the season, defeating the Blue Hawks 62-59 on Saturday, Dec. 2 from the Scott Gymnasium.
Dickinson State senior guard Terrell Butler missed a well-contested three-pointer from the right corner, drawing back iron as time expired.
"The shot didn't feel the best leaving my hand, but I just tried to get it up," Butler said. "I caught the ball with one second left so I tried to do the best with how much time I had left."
Tied at 53 with 2:18 remaining in the game, Waldorf (4-7, 1-0 NSAA) scored on its next three possessions. Warriors senior center Kaden Verdin made consecutive trips to the line after drawing a pair of fouls on Blue Hawks senior forward Marcus White. Verdin made all four free throws while White had to sit on the bench after fouling out with a team-high 17 points.
Sophomore point guard Brady Kuchinka expanded the Warriors lead to six after banking a scoop lay-up with 45 seconds remaining.
Dickinson State (5-4, 1-1 NSAA) twice cut the deficit to three after senior guard Jerry Shevlinconverted on a three-point play and later knocked down a three-pointer from the right wing with 10.2 seconds remaining. Verdin was fouled on the ensuing inbound pass, but left the door open for the Blue Hawks as a pair of free throws rimmed out, leading to DSU defensive rebound and timeout with 6.8 seconds left on the clock.
Having dribbled full court, Shevlin found Butler in the corner, but the game-tying three was off the mark.
"It wasn't the best played game in the world," Dickinson State head coach Josh Vaughn said. "Both teams shot 38 percent so it wasn't a very well played game, they just made a couple more threes than we did. We had our opportunities, but give credit to them, they made more plays than we did."
An 8-2 run, capped by a jumper from junior guard Austin Payne, gave Dickinson State their first lead of the game, 17-16 with 8:27 left in the first half. However, after being outrebounded by seven - including a 10-1 disadvantage on the offensive boards - and losing the turnover margin, the Blue Hawks were down 26-23 at the half.
"We just didn't come out with enough energy that a college basketball team needs to play with at home," Vaughn said. "They're a good team and made a lot of good plays, but for whatever reason, we didn't have our energy right where it needed to be. We probably didn't deserve to be down three and probably didn't deserve to lose by three at the end of the game, but it goes back to our energy to start the game and to have a mental focus."
Waldorf notched their biggest lead when Kuchinka netted a three-pointer, making it a 40-30 score with 14:31 remaining. Moments later, Butler was intentionally fouled hard on the baseline by Waldorf senior center Eric English. The hard foul sparked the Blue Hawks charge.
"I think it kind of woke us up some and got us fired up," Butler said. "Seeing your teammate get knocked down like that always picks everybody up. When you're that close as a team, it kind of brings everybody together.
Butler buried a left corner three-pointer, giving Dickinson State a 49-48 advantage with 5:18 left in the game. Waldorf responded on the ensuing possession when Verdin hit a three-pointer of his own.
The duo of Verdin and Kuchinka were tough to handle as they combined for 46 of their team's 62 points. Kuchinka did much of his damage on the perimeter as DSU had trouble staying with the guard coming off of screens. The 5-foot-10 inch point guard scored 16 of his game-high 25 points in the first half and finished the game 5-7 from beyond the arc.
Verdin rolled in the second half, scoring 19 of his 21 points in the latter frame. The 6-foot-9-inch center also added 11 rebounds.
"We just didn't have enough ball pressure on Kuchinka. He's a really good shooter and we lost him a couple of time, gave him some really good looks," Vaughn said. "He was comfortable. That's how he got going and Verdin is a good player. He made a couple of threes and he's a really big guy. We aren't that big of a team so he got some offensive rebounds, putbacks, and deep seals on catch that was hard for us to defend."
Waldorf 62, Dickinson State 59
W 26 36 — 62
DSU 23 36 — 59
Waldorf (4-7, 1-0): Leaders: Brady Kuchinka 25, Kaden Verdin 21.
Dickinson State (5-4, 1-1): Leaders: Marcus White 17, Jerry Shevlin 10, Konner Goettsche 10.
Halftime: W 26, DSU 23. Total fouls: W 16, DSU 19. Fouled Out: DSU: White. 3-point goals: W 8-18 (Kuchinka 5-7, Verdin 3-6), DSU 5-23 (Goettsche 2-5, Butler 1-5, Shelvin 1-2, White 1-3). Rebounds: W 45 (Verdin 11), DSU 31 (Carter Gallo 2). Assists: W 10 (Eric English 3), DSU 11 (Shevlin 8). Steals: W 4 (Falmata Tula 2), DSU 6 (White 3). Blocks: W 1 (English 1), DSU 1 (Butler 1). Turnovers: W 11, DSU 7.