La CROSSE, Wis. - The Dakota State University Lady T's traveled to the R.W. Beggs Senior Gymnasium to play in the two-day NAIA Showcase, which kicked off Friday night. The Lady T's raced to a double-digit lead early in the game, but fell short to the host-team Viterbo (Wis.) by the score of 67-65.
Dakota State dropped their overall record to 1-2. Viterbo recorded their first win of the season to raise their record to 1-2.
The Lady T's opened with a 12-3 run in the first three minutes and 34 seconds of the game, including eight points from Kylie Westover. DSU would extend their lead to 20-9 with 10:27 left before intermission.
The Hawks answered with a 24-12 closing run to earn a 33-32 halftime lead over the Lady T's.
At 44-43 in favor of the Lady T's with 15:33 remaining in the game, Viterbo went on to score 14 straight points to earn the biggest lead of the game at 57-44 with 13:01 left in the game.
The Hawks maintained their lead in the rest of the game. The Lady T's could get no closer than two points when the final buzzer sound at 67-65 (Westover made a 3-pointer with no time left).
Katy Pillar poured in a career-high 28 points off the bench for the Lady T's. She was 11-for-15 from the field and 6-for-8 from the free-throw line. Pillar grabbed seven rebounds. Westover added 11 points. Yui Onodera scored eight points and dished out five assists. Jayda Swenson had eight points off the bench. Courtney Hamblin recorded five assists.
Dani Templin led Viterbo with 20 points. She was 7-for-13 from the field and converted five free-throws in nine attempts. Templin and Whitney Hanson each had nine boards. Jenna Engh added 13 points. Lequita Becker recorded 11 points. Jada Straub produced five assists.
The Lady T's shot 52.2 percent from the field (24-for-46) compared to the Hawks' 41.1 percent (23-for-56). DSU was 14-for-18 at the free throw line (77.8 percent) while Viterbo was 16-for-24 (66.7 percent).
Viterbo outrebounded the Lady T's 38-24.
Dakota State plays No. 4 Indiana Wesleyan - defeated No. 2 Northwestern (Iowa) 75-59 in the first game of the NAIA Showcase Friday night - in the second day of the NAIA Showcase Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. at R.W. Beggs Senior Gymnasium in La Crosse, Wis.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director