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Blue Hawks maintain composure, defeat Skylights in tight battle

In a game that came down to the final seconds, the Dickinson State women's basketball team defeated Montana State University - Northern 55-52 on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Scott Gym.

Dickinson State junior guard Ashlie Larson moves the ball in a game against MSU - Northern on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State junior guard Ashlie Larson moves the ball in a game against MSU - Northern on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

In a game that came down to the final seconds, the Dickinson State women's basketball team defeated Montana State University - Northern 55-52 on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Scott Gym.

"Overall I'm very proud of our girls and our effort and getting a win tonight," Dickinson State head coach Liz Lewis said. "It wasn't a smooth, pretty win, but it was a win. We grinded it out against a great Northern team and we have a lot of room still to improve, but the pieces are starting to come together."

Holding possession with 19.7 seconds left in the contest, the Blue Hawks led 54-52 as Lewis called timeout. Her team basically had the game in hand, but an offensive foul during the inbounds pass gave the Skylights the ball.

Just seconds into the Northern possession, Blue Hawks freshman guard Brooke Janz came up with a steal while simultaneously drawing a foul. She sunk one of her two free throws, forcing the Skylights to try for three with 13.8 seconds left to play.

As Northern moved up the court, Janz got her hands on the ball again, sealing the win with her third steal of the night.

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"She got some great steals there at the end. She's a very good defender," Lewis said. "She had very good poise as a freshman out there at the end of the game. She had very good poise and was in control."

While Janz was key in the final moments, junior guard Ashlie Larson was strong throughout. Tied with Janz, she had a game-high three steals. She deflected multiple passes, batted balls out of bounds and finished with nine points.

"Ashlie brought the intensity our team needed," Lewis said. "I'm really proud of her for that. She's really stepped up to be a good leader for our team. She brought the intensity we needed on defense. Northern, they love that half-court game, we knew it was going to be a half-court battle and I'm really proud of our defensive effort tonight."

Eight games into the season, Larson is the second highest scorer with 80 total points and also has the second-most steals with 10. Additionally, she's contributed 27 rebounds.

"Our defense, our matchup zone is, you gotta be 'ballsy' is what coach says," Larson said. "You got to anticipate passes and that's what I was doing. We worked on it all week. That's what I was doing, just anticipating, hoping to get steals or at least touches on the ball."

After getting outscored 16-11 in the first quarter, the Blue Hawks held a small advantage the rest of the way. Senior guard Lacey Waid tied the game at 25 with a driving layup and senior guard Riley Helmick put the Blue Hawks up with a 3-pointer. Waid led the Blue Hawks with 13 points, while Helmick added eight.

Skylights sophomore guard Peyton Kehr drained a buzzer beater to close the gap to 29-28 at the half. She led all players with 23 points, while adding three rebounds.

"She's tough because she's a 5-11 guard," Lewis said of Kehr. "She's good from the perimeter, but she can also do damage to you inside. She's just an overall, well-rounded player and that's what's hard: you take away one strength and she has another."

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Kehr drained 4 of 10 from behind the arc and went 8-for-19 from the field while sinking all three of her foul shots.

The Blue Hawks were fairly efficient on offense, shooting 48 percent from the field and 33 percent from behind the three-point arc. Meanwhile, the Skylights shot 32.7 percent from the field.

"Honestly, I think our team handled the game as well as can be expected because we haven't worked on it," Lewis said. "The fact that we hadn't worked on it yet and we were still able to come away with a win, I'm very proud of them for that. It's a direction we want to head so we can decisively win the game."

Dickinson State 55, Montana State - Northern 52

MSUN 16 13 14 9

DSU 11 19 15 10

Montana State (3-3): Peyton Kehr 23, Jessica Curl 8, Petra Sellin 7.

Dickinson State (4-4): Lacey Waid 13, Ashlie Larson 9, Rojin Karahan 9, Riley Helmick 8, Danielle Wallace 7, Brooke Janz 5, Caleigh McClenahan 4.

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Total fouls: MSUN 15, DSU 20. Fouled out: DSU, Karahan. 3-point goals: MSUN 5-20 (Kehr 4-10), DSU 4-12 (Helmick 2-4). Rebounds: MSUN 32 (Sydney Hovde 11), DSU 24 (Wallace 5). Assists: MSUN 5 (Sam Caruth 2), DSU 11 (Larson 4). Steals: MSUN 5 (Hovde 2), DSU 10 (Larson, Janz 3). Blocks: MSUN 1 (Lily Hilderbrand), DSU 1 (Wallace). Turnovers: MSUN 25, DSU 22.

Dickinson State freshman forward Caleigh McClenahan tries for a layup against Montana State - Northern on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State freshman forward Caleigh McClenahan tries for a layup against Montana State - Northern on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

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