The Dickinson State women's basketball team played from behind most of the afternoon against Presentation College (S.D.), but late in the third quarter, it accumulated a 46-41 lead thanks to a 16-1 run. The Saints responded with a series of their own, tying it at 48 before going up 51-49. The Blue Hawks battled back, narrowing the gap within two points in the fourth quarter, but the Saints had the momentum in the final minutes and earned the 73-63 win.
"We didn't compete that game. We came out flat," Dickinson State head coach Liz Lewis said. "I feel like we want to win but we're not willing to do what it takes to win."
Saints sophomore forward Allison Cox and senior guard Macy Toelle led the Saints in the opening half, scoring 16 and 13 points respectively. Aside from a three-pointer from freshman point guard Karly Sanchez in the final minute, Cox and Toelle accounted for all of the 32 points in the first half.
"They played hard. They hit some big shots and attacked the basket well," Presentation head coach Eric Nelson said. "As a coach you don't really want to see that when you have two people scoring. You want to see a more balance effort. But they came out and put us on their back offensively and they're the reason why we won this game."
Cox finished with 32 points and Toelle finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds.
The two gave the Saints a five-point lead right off the bat. Blue Hawk junior guard Riley Helmick scored to make it 5-3 the only points for Dickinson State until the 3:45 mark in the first quarter. Sophomore guard Isidora Tasovic scored to make it 5-9, kicking off a 9-3 run by the Blue Hawks.
A jump shot and a three-pointer from freshman guard Natalee Hafer concluded the run and tied the game at 12. She led the Blue Hawks in points in the first half.
The Saints (3-8, 1-3 NSAA) led 32-35 at the half and shot 12-37 while Dickinson State (4-10, 0-4 NSAA) went 10-26, shooting 38.5 percent.
Helmick said better communication would have given the Blue Hawks a better chance.
"A lot of times we just didn't know what we were doing on offense," she said. "We needed to knock down our free throws. We missed ten free throws and we lost by ten. A few more made free throws would have put us in the game."
Down 40-34 in the third, DSU junior guard Karen Hopkins netted a three pointer and drew a foul. Her free-throw narrowed the Saints lead to 40-38.
Halfway through the third, junior guard Lacey Waid tied it at 40. A bucket from Hopkins, a steal from Tasovic and a three-pointer from Waid gave the Blue Hawks their 46-41 advantage.
"We were playing together, we were communicating," Helmick said. "When that happens we make our shots because we're more confident and we just weren't able to hold it together for as long as we needed to."
Once the Blue Hawks stopped an offensive streak, the Saints would begin one. All afternoon the teams exchanged surges of momentum.
"To be honest, that's college basketball," Nelson said. "It's a game of runs and that's why you get so many timeouts because momentum is huge. I call it a roller coaster game. We got up, they came back, we got up, they came back."
Blue Hawk freshman forward Madison Hansen kicked off the fourth quarter with a free throw for the 49-48 lead, but the Saints strung together an 8-0 run to regain the lead.
Helmick stopped the Saints with two consecutive three-pointers, bringing the score to 56-55 with 4:45 left to play.
The Blue Hawks couldn't get a stop when they most needed it though, so the Saints kept tacking on points.
As they had many times before, the Saints gathered momentum and went on a run, turning a 63-61 lead into a 72-61 lead, and diminishing the hopes of a Dickinson State win.
"We still play just well enough to lose," Lewis said. "We don't have that winner's mentality yet that when we do go on that run, to keep going until we're in the lead."
Presentation 73, Dickinson State 63
PC 17 15 16 25
DSU 12 13 23 15
Total fouls: PC 21, DSU 26. Fouled out: PC Tatiana Navarro, DSU Karen Hopkins. 3-point goals: PC 5-23 (Allison Cox, Macy Toelle 2), DSU 9-32 (Riley Helmick 4). Rebounds: PC 53 (Toelle 11), DSU 42 (Waid 7). Assists: PC 7 (Cox, Krystan Gomez), DSU 13 (Isidora Tasovic). Steals: PC 14 (lCox, Gomez 3), DSU 3 (Tasovic 2). Blocks: PC 1 (Cox), DSU 3 (Tasovic, Laey Waid, Jennifer Burnham 1). Turnovers: PC 13, DSU 21.