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Blue Hawks defense dismisses Dakota State

Just a minute and a half into it's playoff contest against Dakota State, the Dickinson State men's basketball team held an 11-0 advantage, earned by an efficient offense and an aggressive defense.

Dickinson State senior Terrell Butler puts pressure on Dakota State's Brendon Boomsma on Thursday, Feb. 22 at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State senior Terrell Butler puts pressure on Dakota State's Brendon Boomsma on Thursday, Feb. 22 at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

Just a minute and a half into it's playoff contest against Dakota State, the Dickinson State men's basketball team held an 11-0 advantage, earned by an efficient offense and an aggressive defense.

The Blue Hawks limited the Trojans to just 18 points in the first half, stifling them en route to a 79-59 win on Thursday, Feb. 22 at Scott Gymnasium.

"I thought that was the best defensive game we've had all year from start to finish other than a five-minute stretch at the start of the second half that wasn't great," Dickinson State head coach Josh Vaughan said. "Other than that, we were locked in. We forced nine turnovers in the first half that was how we were able to build that lead. They finished with 15 turnovers and they're not a super high turnover team."

Coming into the North Star Athletic Association playoffs quarterfinal game, the Trojans averaged 74 points a game. Down 39-18 after the first 20 minutes, the number eight seed stepped it up a notch after the break.

A 21-8 run by the Trojans brought the deficit within eight, 47-39. Brendon Boomsma netted consecutive 3-pointers in the run. Boomsma went 3-for-7 behind the arc, tallying nine points on the night.

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Kevin Daniels led the Dakota State offense with 16 points, 10 of which came in the second half.

Not only did the Dickinson State defense lapse, but the offense couldn't produce either. The No. 3 Blue Hawks moved the ball, trying to find a decent look until they were forced to drive to the net in the final seconds of the shot clock.

Everytime the Trojans found net in that stretch, Vaughan would visibly deflate in disappointment.

"We relaxed. We were doing so well with our effort and our intensity and our communication. You can just tell with their body language sometimes that we're not locked in."

Once the Blue Hawks were locked in, they didn't relax again.

A 3-pointer from senior Konner Goettsche got the home team back on track. Senior Marcus White and junior Austin Payne followed with baskets of their own, bringing the advantage back to 15 points.

The Blue Hawks kept building the lead to as much as 24 late in the second half. Despite the growing gap, the men in grey and blue kept pushing.

"We were talking about that in the locker room, just keep on building on that lead," Senior Konner Goettsche said. "You kind of want to sit back and enjoy a 20-point lead but you gotta keep on adding to that."

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Goettsche finished the evening with 11 points. He was one of five Blue Hawks to hit double digits.

White led with 16 points, followed by seniors Terrell Butler and Jerry Shevlin who contributed 14 and 11 points, respectively.

With the win, the Blue Hawks advance to the NSAA semifinals in Bellevue, Neb. in which they will face Viterbo University (Wis.). Two weeks ago Dickinson State traveled to face Viterbo and fell 82-80 in double overtime. Vaughan said in order to improve the outcome, his team needs to carry their defensive mindset from tonight into Sunday's game.

"Down there we just weren't mentally ready to go," Vaughan said. "It's a long travel day, it wasn't very fun, but it is what it is. We just got to be ready to go from the start."

Dickinson State 79, Dakota State 59

DaSU: Kevin Daniels 16, Justin Folkers 15, Brendon Boomsma 9.

DiSU: Marcus White 16, Terrell Butler 14, Jerry Shevlin 13, Konner Goettsche 11, Ryan Clark 10, Carter Gallo 7, Austin Payne 6, Devin Loy 2.

Halftime: DSU 39, DaSU 18. Total fouls: DaSU 12, DiSU 9. 3-point goals: DaSU 8-21 (Boomsma 3-7), DiSU 8-23 (Goettsche 3-6). Rebounds: DaSU 30), DiSU 35). Assists: DaSU 12 (Daniels 5), DiSU 16 (Shevlin 5). Steals: DaSU 2 (Boomsma, Daniels), DiSU 8 (White 3). Blocks: DaSU 6 (Bobby Farquah 2), DiSU 6 (Payne 3). Turnovers: DaSU 15, DiSU 6.

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