Scott Gym sweet home for Hawks
Ashley Emmons has heard the stories and she has read the articles. She knows opposing teams don't enjoy playing in Scott Gymnasium. That's why the Dickinson State senior has come to love her home court. "It's probably one of the hardest places to...
Ashley Emmons has heard the stories and she has read the articles.
She knows opposing teams don't enjoy playing in Scott Gymnasium. That's why the Dickinson State senior has come to love her home court.
"It's probably one of the hardest places to play in the whole conference," Emmons said.
The Blue Hawks women's basketball team proved that this season by winning all seven Dakota Athletic Conference games and finishing the regular season 10-2 in the cozy confines of the 53-year-old arena.
Their winning ways at home allowed the 12th-ranked Blue Hawks to secure their first outright DAC championship and home-court advantage throughout the conference tournament.
"I don't think we'd want to be in any other situation," DSU coach Guy Fridley said.
DSU finished the regular season 21-6 and 12-2 in the DAC.
At home, during the conference season, DSU outscored teams 69-58 and won three games by making shots in the final seconds -- two of them by Emmons.
"If you look at different situations of any team that wins a conference, somewhere down the line, they had some luck," Fridley said. "We certainly had ours. Our kids came up big in those situations. Each game keeps on getting bigger from here."
The Blue Hawks host eighth-seeded Mayville State (3-22, 1-13) at 2 p.m. today in the tournament quarterfinals just five days removed from a 78-68 road victory over the Comets. DSU beat Mayville State 78-61 at home.
Sophomore guard Kelsey Boedeker feels the team can get off to a better start at Scott Gym than it would if it had to go on the road.
"Playing at home gives us a little bit extra boost of energy and enthusiasm," Boedeker said. "We start off a little bit quicker from the jump than we usually would on the road."
Emmons -- playing the first postseason home game of her career today -- pointed to the crowds and student sections, which she believes are the best of any team in the conference, as a reason why the team feels so comfortable on their home floor.
She laughed while talking about the eight male student-athletes who painted themselves white and spelled out DSU HAWKS in blue paint on their bare chests during their regular-season home finale.
"Our crowd is better and bigger than any other crowd than any of the schools I've been to in this conference," said Emmons, a three-year starter at point guard. "That's one of the biggest things and one of the things that helps us out the most is the support of our fans."
If DSU can beat Mayville State, it will host the winner of today's quarterfinal game between fourth-seeded Valley City State and fifth-seeded South Dakota Mines in the semifinals on Wednesday night.
Fridley thinks being able to stay off the road will help the Blue Hawks with the short turnaround between both the final regular-season games as well as the tournament games. The conference championship game is scheduled for next Sunday.
"I didn't like the schedule in the first place, but we had to go with it," Fridley said. "We've completed it with success and now we've got to turn the page and get to our next chapter -- the tournament."