January 3, 2014
McPHERSON, Kan. – After McPherson's Bailey Brown hit a lay-up for a 53-52 lead with 22 seconds remaining, Dakota State's Kylie Westover nailed down the buzzer-beater shot Friday evening to lift the Lady T's to a 54-53 thrilling road victory at McPherson (Kan.) Sport Center. It was the first day of the McPherson Classic.
Dakota State snapped their four-losing skid to kick off the 2014 calendar year. The Lady T's raised their overall record to 7-11, surpassing their wins total from last season. McPherson, a member of Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC), dipped their overall record to 7-8.
At 7-7, the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 scoring tear to open a 15-7 lead with less than 12 minutes remaining in the first-half.
The Lady T's quickly answered back with a 6-0 scoring spurt, thanks to Kendra Lindblad two consecutive 3-pointers to reduce McPherson's lead to 15-13 with 11 minutes left.
Trailing 28-26, Westover drained a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining as the Lady T's regained a slim 29-28 halftime advantage over the Bulldogs.
Dakota State was 40.7 percent from the field (11-for-27) in the first twenty minutes of the game compared to McPherson 36.7 percent (11-for-30). The Lady T's were 5-for-13 from the 3-point line (38.5 percent), while the Bulldogs were 1-for-5 (20 percent).
DSU opened up the second-half with a 13-4 scoring run to earn the biggest lead of the game at 42-32 with 14:49 remaining.
With the Lady T's leading at 44-34, McPherson rallied back by scoring 12 straight points to regain their lead at 46-44 with 9:12 left.
Both teams traded lead four times and tied the game two times in the final 10:13 of the game.
Sharee Galbraith nailed down two free-throws to give DSU a 52-51 with 2:12 left in the game.
Brown made a lay-up with 22 seconds left as the Bulldogs earned a one-point lead (53-52).
After McPherson called a timeout, the Lady T's sealed the thrilling victory as Westover hit a jumper shot as the time expired.
Both teams scored 25 points in the second-half.
Dakota State and McPherson struggled from the field in the last twenty minutes of the game. DSU shot 33.3 percent from the field (10-for-30). The Lady T's defense held the Bulldogs to 26.7 percent shooting in the second-half by making 8 baskets in 30 attempts.
Westover poured in 16 points for Dakota State, extending her double digits scoring in 14 straight games this season. Alyson Drooger added nine points. Lindblad scored eight points off the bench. BreeAna Olso, Erin Rabenberg and Galbraith each had five points.
Drooger dished out five assists for the Lady T's. Olson added four assists and stole the ball three times.
Galbraith pulled down eight rebounds for DSU. Drooger had five rebounds. Westover and Olson each had four rebounds.
Drooger – currently the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball nation leader in blocks – broke the Lady T's record book for most blocks in a single game as she recorded 12 blocks. She broke her previous old record mark with 11 blocks in a game versus Mount Marty (S.D.) on Dec. 5, 2012 at DSU Fieldhouse. Drooger currently have 74 blocks, which ranked her second in the Lady T's record book for most blocks in a single season (she had 73 blocks last season, which is currently third most single season blocks in Lady T's record book).
Aubrey Barton had 15 points for McPherson. Callie Atkins added nine points off the bench by draining all 3 3-point field goals attempts. Brown scored eight points.
Cami Engelbert and Brown each earned seven boards for the Bulldogs. Engelbert had three assists. Breahna Gillespie had three steals.
The Lady T's shot 36.8 percent overall from the field (21-for-57) compared to the Bulldogs' 31.7 percent (19-for-60). DSU was 7-for-27 from the 3-point line (25.9 percent), while McPherson was 3-for-12 from the 3-point arc (25 percent).
The Bulldogs went to the free-throw line 18 times, converting 12 free-throws (66.7 percent). Dakota State was 5-for-8 from the free-throw line (62.5 percent).
McPherson outrebounded the Lady T's 44-39.
DSU recorded 13 team blocks compared to the Bulldogs 1 team block.
Dakota State plays another opponent from the KCAC conference – Bethel (Kan.) – on the second day of the McPherson Classic on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is set for 12 noon at McPherson Sport Center in McPherson, Kan.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director