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Borden leads Blue Hawks in her first games on the floor

Chelsey Borden has been with Liz Lewis longer than any other player. Lewis, who took on the position as Dickinson State women's basketball coach this past summer, came from Miles City Community College in Montana, where Borden played for her. Fol...

The Dickinson State women's basketball team huddles before its game against Yellowstone Christian College on Nov. 27, 2017 at Scott Gymnasium. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
The Dickinson State women's basketball team huddles before its game against Yellowstone Christian College on Nov. 27, 2017 at Scott Gymnasium. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

Chelsey Borden has been with Liz Lewis longer than any other player.

Lewis, who took on the position as Dickinson State women's basketball coach this past summer, came from Miles City Community College in Montana, where Borden played for her.

Following her stint as a Pioneer, Borden transferred to Sam Houston State University in Texas where she played for a year.

When Lewis came to DSU with an empty roster, she called up Borden.

"Just having the opportunity to play for Coach Rayback and Coach Lewis again, it was something I really wanted to do," Borden said. "Once they called me, I was like, 'Alright! Let's do it!' That's pretty much it."

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Unfortunately for both player and coach, Borden's transfer did not go smoothly, forcing her to sit on the bench for a whole semester.

"It sucked," Borden said. "It was awful because I didn't feel helpful to my team. I can't do anything. There's only so much you can do on the sideline."

With the start of the new semester, Borden took off the DSU sweats she wore on the bench, put on a uniform and stepped onto the floor for the first time as a Blue Hawk.

On Dec. 29 at Rocky Mountain College (Mont.) the 5-foot-6 junior showed what she could do, narrowly missing a double-double debut by putting up nine points and eight rebounds.

Borden averaged 11.3 points and seven rebounds in her first three games. After scoring seven points in each of the following two games and a scoreless showing against Mayville State last week, her points per game average is now eight, a statistic she scoffed at when she heard.

"We're going to have to get that back up then," Borden remarked. "Score, put the ball in the hole."

Her 5.3 rebounds per game is a team high.

Her positive attitude, as well as her performance, has been a needed added element for the 5-17 overall Blue Hawks.

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With only conference opponents left on the schedule, now is the best time to start collecting wins.

"As a team, we just really have to find our groove. It's a new team. We don't have any returners, so we're still just trying to figure it out. Sometimes it takes longer than others but we're gonna get there."

The team has no seniors, making Borden one of the most veteran players. While the Blue Hawks haven't won since Borden joined the squad in competition, her presence has been felt.

"One of her strengths is her strength," Lewis said. "She's a scorer and we've seen that, but she's also been rebounding really well. When she's playing her game, she's somebody we can count on. She's our stability."

Before becoming the stable scorer, Borden made the most of her role on the bench.

When the starting lineup is announced, Borden is the final fist starters bump before taking the floor, with each player having their own slight variation. Before junior guard Karen Hopkins runs onto the court, Borden pats her down as if she were a TSA agent.

"You can encourage and everything like that, which is something that I took pride in since I couldn't be on the floor," she said. "It was something that I was really into. You got to make every little things seem like the most exciting thing in the the world."

Her productivity and energy will both be key in Borden's senior season next year, as she becomes one of the first players Lewis has coached for four years.

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"It'll be nice to have her as a senior. It'll be nice to have a senior," Lewis joked. "She understands what I expect."

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