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Second-half turnovers sink Dickinson State

Coming off back-to-back conference wins at home last weekend, the Dickinson State women's basketball team was hoping to carry their confidence and success against Valley City State, and in the first half, it did that.

Dickinson State freshman guard Brook Janz makes a shot off the glass despite heavy contact from a Valley City State player on Friday, Jan. 18, at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State freshman guard Brook Janz makes a shot off the glass despite heavy contact from a Valley City State player on Friday, Jan. 18, at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

Coming off back-to-back conference wins at home last weekend, the Dickinson State women's basketball team was hoping to carry their confidence and success against Valley City State, and in the first half, it did that.

After leading 21-19 after one, the Blue Hawks were down just 36-32 at the half. However, committing 14 turnovers while letting up on defense, Dickinson State allowed the Vikings to pull away in the second half, going on to win 75-63 on Friday, Jan. 18 at Scott Gym.

Turnovers were the biggest issue for the Blue Hawks, as many came during pivotal possessions. After stealing the ball, junior guard Ashlie Larson dashed into the front court and put up an easy layup, trimming the deficit - which was as large as 16 - to 63-54 with six minutes to play.

On the ensuing Vikings possession, Mackenzie Huber was called for a travel under the net. Even after given a bonus possession, the Blue Hawks couldn't capitalize, relinquishing the ball over the next two trips down the floor.

"Our biggest problem tonight was taking care of the ball," Dickinson State head coach Liz Lewis said. "We had a lot of turnovers and they were crucial turnovers. Our turnovers hurt us tonight. ... That's what we talked about (after the game), is just taking care of the ball, do a better job being strong with the ball and taking care of it."

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Despite the errors, the offense was still there, as Dickinson State finished the evening shooting 42.3 percent from the field. In fact, the second half was more efficient than the first, seeing 37 percent shooting increase to 48 percent.

Defense, or the lack thereof, was the issue.

"We're a team that allows our offense to dictate our defense and we can't have that," Lewis said. "We dropped in intensity, defensively and that hurt us and allowed Valley City to go on a run."

Another difference maker occured when the clock wasn't ticking. Aided by 21 Dickinson State fouls, Valley City State made 17 of 22 attempts from the free throw line, while the Blue Hawks drained nine of their 12 tries.

With five players in double-figures, the Vikings were paced by Gabby Martin, who contributed 15 points as well as a team-high four assists and two steals.

The Vikings used excellent ball movement to find their open shooter and break out early in the third quarter, outscoring Dickinson State 22-12 in the frame.

Keeping the Blue Hawks in it, was senior guard Riley Helmick. After going 1-for-5 from behind the arc in the first half, the Oregon-born sharpshooter went 4-for-6 in the second half. Helmick's first 3-pointer came early as part of a string of six-straight threes in the opening minutes of the game.

Dickinson State senior guard Lacey Waid hit the first and a Viking followed suit. Next, came Helmick, but she was answered by Valley City senior guard Hannah Schlecht. Larson landed the next one from deep and this time, it was senior forward Dierra Diegel who sent the Viking faithful wild to tie the game at nine. .

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"The first five minutes, we came out with a lot of intensity and we were ready to go and we were ready to take one," Helmick said. "The second half, we just came out a little bit slower and we didn't get it going, and they had a good run and we just couldn't stop it. After the third quarter, we played great basketball, but we dug ourselves a hole and we couldn't get out of it."

Valley City State 75, Dickinson State 63

VCSU 19 17 22 17

DSU 21 11 12 19

VCSU (8-9, 5-1 NSAA): Gabby Martin 15, Dierra Diegel 13, Alli Vandal 12, Hannah Schlecht 12, Mackenzie Huber 11.

DSU (9-12, 2-4 NSAA): Riley Helmick 15, Ahlie Larson 12, Caleigh McClenahan 10, Rojin Karahan 10, Lacey Waid 7, Brook Janz 3, Natalee Hafer 3, Anna Jofresa 2, Celeste Pantoja 1.

Total fouls: VCSU 14, DSU 21. Fouled out: DSU, Waid. 3-point goals: VCSU 6-25 (Diegel 2-3), DSU 10-24 (Helmick 5-11). Rebounds: VCSU x31 (Diegel 6), DSU 31 (Karahan 8). Assists: VCSU 13 (Martin 4), DSU 17 (Larson 5). Steals: VCSU 10 (Schlecht 2), DSU 7 (Karahan 3). Blocks: VCSU 3 (Huber 1). Turnovers: VCSU 12, DSU 20.

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