MADISON, S.D. - The Dakota State University Lady T's hosted the three-time defending NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Champions Northwestern (Iowa) Wednesday evening at DSU Fieldhouse. The Red Raiders shot 59.2 percent to hand the Lady T's their first defeat of the season 99-58.
Dakota State dropped their overall record to 1-1. Northwestern, member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference and ranked No. 2 in the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Coaches' Preseason poll, defeated their third straight opponent from the former Dakota Athletic Conference foes to start the season (3-0 overall record).
The Red Raiders scored 15 straight points in the first five minutes of the game to earn a 15-0 lead.
The Lady T's ended their scoring drought as Kylie Westover made a field goal with 14:45 remaining in the first-half.
Northwestern earned a 53-35 halftime advantage. The Red Raiders shot 58.3 percent (21-for-36) from the field compared to the Lady T's 44.1 percent (15-for-34) in the first-half. NWIA was 10-for-11 from the free-throw line while DSU did not attempt a free-throw in the first twenty minutes of the game.
The Red Raiders maintained control in the second-half, outscoring the Lady T's 46-23. Northwestern recorded their biggest lead of the game at 97-53 with 3:04 remaining in the game.
Courtney Hamblin led the Lady T's offense with 16 points. She was 5-for-6 from the field, 2-for-2 from the 3-point arc and 4-for-4 at the free-throw line. Cassie Jacobsen added 13 points. She was 3-for-6 from the field and converted seven free-throws in eight attempts. Kendra Lindblad and Katy Pillar each added six points.
Pillar earned a game-high 11 rebounds for the Lady T's. Julie Munson dished out three assists. Alyson Drooger had two blocked shots.
Samantha Kleinsasser scored 32 points for Northwestern. She was 14-for-18 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Alli Dunkelberger and Kendra De Jong each added 18 points. Malory Cunard had 11 points off the bench.
Dunkelberger grabbed nine rebounds and stole the ball six times for NWIA. Kleinsasser added eight rebounds. Paige O'Neal dished out seven assists. Karen Huston recorded six assists.
The Red Raiders made 42 shots in 71 attempts in the game. The Lady T's shot 30.6 percent (19-for-62) from the field. NWIA was 13-for-14 at the free-throw line (92.3 percent) compared to DSU 83.3 percent (15-for-18).
The Lady T's committed 27 turnovers in the game while NWIA had 18 turnovers. The Red Raiders outscored DSU 35-14 in points off turnovers.
NWIA outscored the Lady T's 58-16 inside the paint.
Northwestern won the rebound battle, recording 43 rebounds compared to the Lady T's 31.
Dakota State looks to bounce back in the winning column this weekend as they play in the two-day NAIA Showcase event, hosted by Viterbo (Wis.). The Lady T's play Viterbo on Friday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the R.W. Beggs Senior Gymnasium in La Crosse, Wis.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director