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In 'role reversal,' DSU women's basketball cruises to win over Centurions

With Yellowstone Christian (Mont.) College, a team in its first year of existence, coming to Scott Gymnasium for a game against the Dickinson State women's basketball team Tuesday night, head coach Mark Graupe saw it is as a unique opportunity.

Dickinson State senior Rachael McDonough makes a pass in traffic against Yellowstone Christian College on Tuesday at Scott Gymnasium. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State senior Rachael McDonough makes a pass in traffic against Yellowstone Christian College on Tuesday at Scott Gymnasium. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

With Yellowstone Christian (Mont.) College, a team in its first year of existence, coming to Scott Gymnasium for a game against the Dickinson State women's basketball team Tuesday night, head coach Mark Graupe saw it is as a unique opportunity.

To start the game, he trotted out five players - Sydney Bentz, Paitton Herbst, Bailey Waldal, Kate Golding and Rachael McDonough - who were yet to start a game all year.

"These girls work hard all year long, and a lot of times they don't get to play. You tell them to stay ready, they stay ready and yet they don't get in, and sometimes that can be frustrating," Graupe said. "I told them, 'We're going to go with you guys the whole game tonight and now we'll have role reversal.' The people that often start - now they're the cheerleaders just like those gals are. "

With his usual starting five giving pointers and encouragement from the bench, the new-look Blue Hawks cruised to a 58-25 final, helped along by eight allowed points in the second half, against an undermanned YCC team that had only two non-freshmen.

The loss for the Centurions was a technical exhibition and won't count toward their record, but was a real game for the Blue Hawks (3-2), whose last two contests were against NCAA Division II Minot State and Division I North Dakota State.

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Despite shooting a slightly better percentage in the first half at 31.6 percent compared to only 23.5 percent from DSU, YCC entered intermission trailing 25-17, and went the whole game without grabbing a lead.

The difference in the first half, and eventually the game, was the Blue Hawks' ability to control the pace of the game. They attempted 15 more shots than the Centurions in the first two quarters, and turned the ball over only five times compared to 14 for their opponent.

The Centurions were completely stifled in the second half, making only two of their 28 shots. DSU's shooting improved as the game went on, and the Blue Hawks finished 20 of 68 for the game - 12 of 34 in the final 20 minutes.

Herbst led the Blue Hawks with 15 points plus eight rebounds and a couple of assists, but it was McDonough, a senior point guard, who acted as the motor for the offense. She played all but four of the 40 possible minutes, and led the team with six assists, a number that might have been higher if not for DSU's cold first half shooting numbers.

Golding also took advantage of the start and her 31 minutes of playing time, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds for her first double-double of the year.

For McDonough, who entered the game averaging 12 minutes per game, it wasn't necessarily about the point total. It was, first and foremost, about securing the win, and secondly about getting everyone in their new role a chance to get involved.

"I'm always a pass-first kind of person so I wanted to make sure absolutely everybody got a chance to shoot the ball," she said. "I think there was about a minute left and I got everybody in a huddle and just said, 'Guys, I'm having so much fun with you all.' I could see it on everyone's faces. When we move and share the ball and score off that, it shows on everybody's faces."

 

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Dickinson State 58, Yellowstone Christian 25

YCC 6 11 4 4

DSU 11 14 15 18

YCC: Sharnell Thomas 12, Deandra Cunningham 5, Tayler Calf Boss Ribs 4, Paige Gregory 2, Zhane Akeya 2.

DSU: Paitton Herbst 15, Kate Golding 12, Sydney Bentz 9, Rachael McDonough 8, Bailey Waldal 7, MacKayla Feeney 7.

Total fouls: YCC 16, DSU 12. 3-point goals: YCC 0-14 (Leonardine John 0-3, Calf Boss Ribs 0-3, Thomas 0-2, Akeya 0-2, Tiani Alvarez 0-4), DSU 6-32 (Herbst 2-6, Waldal 0-5, McDonough 2-7, Bentz 1-2, Feeney 1-12). Rebounds: YCC 44 (Cunningham 8), DSU 49 (Golding 15). Assists: YCC 4 (Calf Boss Ribs 2), DSU 16 (McDonough 6). Steals: YCC 5 (Thomas 3), DSU 12 (Bentz 3, McDonough 3, Herbst 3). Blocks: YCC 0, DSU 3 (Golding 3). Turnovers: YCC 27, DSU 12.

Related Topics: BLUE HAWKS
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