January 28, 2014
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University Trojan men's basketball team (9-12 overall record, 1-0 North Star Athletic Association conference record) looks to bounce back in the winning column with a pair of NSAA conference games this week. The Trojans welcome Mayville State (N.D.) Wednesday evening at DSU Fieldhouse with a 7:30 p.m. tip-off time. On Saturday evening, DSU travels to W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse for their first-ever NSAA road conference game with Valley City State (N.D.) (9-10, 1-0 NSAA). Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Valley City, N.D.
TROJANS MAKE HISTORY: Dakota State made history on Jan. 22 as they won their first-ever North Star Athletic Association conference game versus Presentation (S.D.). The Trojans held on to an 83-78 victory, improving the Trojans' home record to 7-3 this season at DSU Fieldhouse.
UNDEFEATED IN THE NSAA: The Trojans are one of the three teams in the North Star Athletic Association men's basketball standings with an undefeated record. Jamestown (N.D.) is 2-0 in the NSAA conference, while both Dakota State and Valley City State (N.D.) are 1-0 in the NSAA conference play. All five NSAA members play a total of eight conference games in January and February. The inaugural NSAA Men's Basketball Postseason Conference Tournament kicks off on Wednesday, Feb. 26, with the championship game set for March 3 at the highest remaining seed.
PLAY DEFENSE: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Tuesday, Dakota State ranks in four different categories in the 'Top 10'. The Trojans are seventh in the nation in defensive rebounds per game with an average of 29.1 rebounds and eighth in field goal percentage defense (40.5 percent). DSU is 10th in the nation in both total blocks (86) and blocks per game (4.1). Dakota State stole the ball 164 times this season, ranking them 37th-best in the nation. The Trojans held their opponents to 32.7 percent shooting from the field, which ranks DSU No. 38 in the nation. DSU is 9-1 record this season while limiting their opponents to below 40 percent shooting from the field.
DRAINING 3S: Dylan Hale is ranked 26th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game with an average of 2.7. He is 34th in the nation in total 3-point field goals made (54). Dakota State is 40th in the nation in total 3-point field goals made (154) and 3-point field goals made per game (7.3). Hale posted a career-high 33 points on Jan. 25 after draining 7 3-pointers in 10 attempts. His 7-for-10 shooting from the 3-point arc tied for ninth-best 3-point percentage in the Trojan men's basketball record book. In addition, Hale's 7 3-pointers tied for sixth most 3-point shots made in a single game.
TROJANS' EXPLOSIVE OFFENSE: Dakota State have four players that are averaging in double digits this season—Dylan Hale (16.9 points per game), Yusuf Vinson (14.3), Miguel Sansavour (12.8) and Marcus Smith (11.8). Hale had scored double digits in 10 consecutive games. Dakota State is 31st in the nation in total assists with 320 assists. Vinson produced a free-throw percentage of 85.1 percent, which is 25th-best free-throw percentage in the nation.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans split a pair of games last week. DSU won their inaugural NSAA conference season opener on Jan. 22, defeating Presentation (S.D.) by the score of 83-78. Dakota State dropped their final non-conference game of the season on Jan. 25 in Sioux Center, Iowa. The Trojans lost a high-scoring affair with No. 5 Dordt (Iowa) 98-90. Mayville State lost a pair of NSAA conference games last week, losing to Jamestown (N.D.) 63-50 on Jan. 22 and 68-59 versus Valley City State (N.D.) on Jan. 25. The Comets lost six straight games. The Vikings had won four straight games after defeating Mayville State.
LAST MEETING: Dakota State had won the last seven meetings with Mayville State, including the last four straight home games versus the Comets at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans swept the season series (3 games) with Mayville State last season with the most recent victory on Feb. 6, 2013 by the score of 56-40. DSU won the last meeting with Valley City State on Feb. 23, 2013 in Jamestown, N.D. The Trojans rallied back in the second-half to defeat the Vikings 58-53 to earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament. The last time Dakota State beat VCSU in Valley City, N.D. was on Jan. 22, 2011 by the score of 79-70.
QUICK LEADERS: Dylan Hale leads the Trojans with 16.9 points per game and shoots 42 percent from the field. Yusuf Vinson records 150 total rebounds and averages 8.3 rebounds per game. Cameron Robinson leads the team with 79 assists (4.7 assists per game—ranks 31st in the nation) and 32 steals (1.9 steals per game—ranks 30th in the nation). Miguel Sansavour ranks fourth in the nation in total blocks with 42, which is also a new DSU school record for most blocked shots in a single season in the Trojan men's basketball record book. Taylor Zirbel averages 0.6 blocks per game for the Trojans.
WATCH & LISTEN: Dakota State will be providing a free live video/audio broadcast for the Trojans basketball game versus Mayville State (N.D.) on Wednesday night. Jon Hunter, Voice of the Trojans, will be providing live play-by-play on the live video webcast on http://streaming.dsu.edu/Athletics-Live. On Saturday evening, Valley City State (N.D.) will be providing the live video broadcast of the DSU-VCSU men's basketball game. The webcast link is available on http://www.ihigh.com/vcsu/broadcast_576413.html?silverlight=1. The links are also available on www.dsuathletics.com in the rotating/scrolling calendar of events under the news articles.
LIVE STATS/PLAY-BY-PLAY: Dakota State will have live stats/play-by-play for the game on Wednesday night. Valley City State will also provide the live stats/play-by-play on Saturday evening. Check on http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/TeamPage.aspx?association=10&sg=MBB&sea=NAIMBB_2013&team=507 and click on the letter 'W' to view the live stats/play-by-play. The links are also available on www.dsuathletics.com in the rotating/scrolling calendar of events under the news articles.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State men's basketball and athletics all season long on www.dsuathletics.com. The Trojans are also on Twitter, just log onto www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics. The Dakota State University Athletics group page can be found on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/DSUTrojanAthletics.
UP NEXT: Dakota State continues their North Star Athletic Association conference action on the road with a pair of games next week. The Trojans visit Jamestown (N.D.) on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center in Jamestown, N.D. On Saturday, Feb. 8, DSU visits Presentation (S.D.). The game will be at the Strode Center in Aberdeen, S.D. with a 6 p.m. tip-off time.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director