MADISON, S.D. - Valley City State (N.D.) built the game's largest lead in the early second-half over Dakota State in an Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) conference game Thursday evening at DSU Fieldhouse. The Lady T's mounted a rally late in the game, but fell short to the Vikings 57-54.
DSU and VCSU met for the second time in five days with the Vikings winning the last meeting 71-52 in Jamestown, N.D. on Jan. 20.
The Lady T's dropped to 5-13 overall record and remained winless in three A.I.I. conference game. VCSU, No. 25 in the latest NAIA Division II Women's Basketball national poll, raised their overall record to 18-4 and 6-2 in the A.I.I. The Vikings had won the last eight meetings in the series with the Lady T's.
Dakota State jumped to a 5-2 lead in the first two minutes and 23 seconds of the game.
The Vikings used a 13-0 scoring run to overtake the lead from the Lady T's at 15-5 with 12:31 left in the first-half.
VCSU grabbed a 29-22 halftime lead. Valley City State shot 44.8 percent from the field (13-for-29) in the first twenty minutes of the game compared to DSU's 25 percent (7-for-28).
DSU was able to trim their deficit to 31-26 before the Vikings started another scoring run. VCSU went on a 13-3 scoring spurt to earn a 15-point lead at 44-29 with 13:16 remaining in the game.
Trailing at 49-39, the Lady T's went on a 15-6 scoring run in a span of seven-plus minutes to cut VCSU's lead to 55-54 with 19 seconds left.
Courtney Titus added two free-throws to extend VCSU's lead to 57-54 with less than 12 seconds remaining in the game.
Dakota State was unable to convert their scoring opportunity as they committed a turnover with :00.9 seconds left, securing the victory for the Vikings.
DSU outscored Valley City State 32-28 in the second-half. The Lady T's shot 38.7 percent from the field (12-for-31) in the second-half, while VCSU struggled by shooting 29.4 percent from the field (10-for-34).
Kylie Westover scored 15 points for Dakota State. Courtney Hamblin added 12 points off the bench. Alyson Drooger had eight points. Julie Munson scored seven points.
Brittany Rosberg pulled down nine rebounds for the Lady T's. Drooger added eight rebounds. Munson had seven rebounds.
Drooger recorded eight blocked shots in the game. She moved into No. 2 spot in the Lady T's record book for the most blocked shots in a single season with 72.
Westover, Yui Onodera and Munson each dished out three assists. Drooger and Munson each had two steals.
Katelyn Ralston had 17 points for the Vikings. Kelsey Hunter added 10 points off the bench. She produced five assists. Alyssa Hummel had eight points.
Brittany Lehner earned 10 rebounds for VCSU. Ralston had five steals.
Both teams struggled from the field, shooting below 40 percent. VCSU shot 36.5 percent overall (23-for-63) compared to the Lady T's 32.2 percent (19-for-59). VCSU was 3-for-13 (23.1 percent) from the 3-point range, while DSU was 2-for-20 (10 percent).
The Lady T's went to the free-throw line 22 times, making 14 free-throws (63.6 percent). Valley City State was 8-for-13 at the free-throw line (61.5 percent).
VCSU had a slim rebounding advantage, outrebounding DSU 44-43.
Dakota State looks to snap their losing streak on Saturday afternoon. The Lady T's welcome Trinity Bible (N.D.) in the annual Coaches vs. Cancer game to help raise cancer awareness. DSU Lady T's basketball team will also have Parents Night. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. at the DSU Fieldhouse.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director