February 25, 2014
THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University Trojan men's basketball team (14-14 overall record, 6-2 North Star Athletic Association conference record) hosts Valley City State (N.D.) (14-13, 5-3 NSAA) in the NSAA Men's Basketball Postseason Tournament's semifinals on Saturday evening. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at the DSU Fieldhouse in Madison, S.D.
TROJANS FINISH SECOND IN NORTH STAR: The Trojans completed their first season in the North Star Athletic Association with a second-place finish with a 6-2 conference record, including an undefeated second-half schedule with a 4-0 record. Jamestown claimed the regular-season conference title outright after routing Valley City State (N.D.) 89-50 on Feb. 19, but suffered their first conference loss of the season in overtime at Dakota State on Feb. 22. The Vikings finished third with a 5-3 conference record, followed by Presentation (S.D.) at fourth with a 2-6 conference record. Mayville State was fifth and winless in eight North Star conference games.
NSAA POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT: Jamestown (N.D.) (15-12, 7-1) is the top seed for the upcoming North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Men's Basketball Conference Postseason Tournament. The single-elimination tournament kicks off on Wednesday evening, Feb. 26 with a quarterfinal game between No. 5 seed Mayville State (N.D.) (7-18, 0-8) visiting No. 4 seed Presentation (S.D.) (14-11, 2-6) in Aberdeen at 7 p.m. The Jimmies will host the Wednesday's quarterfinal winner on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. at the Civic Center in Jamestown, N.D. The other semifinal match-up features No. 3 seed Valley City State (N.D.) traveling to No. 2 seed Dakota State (S.D.) at DSU Fieldhouse in Madison, S.D. Game is set to tip off at 6 p.m. Saturday's semifinals winners will advance to the first-ever NSAA Postseason Tournament's championship game at the highest remaining seed in the tournament on Monday, March 3. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
TROJANS SUCCESS IN CONFERENCE POSTSEASON: Saturday's game will mark the third straight year that Dakota State and Valley City State will meet in the conference's semifinals round. The Trojans defeated the Vikings 82-73 in the Association of Independent Institutions Men's Basketball Conference Tournament in Madison, S.D. on Feb. 25, 2012 and 58-53 in Jamestown, N.D. on Feb. 23, 2013. Those victories helped the Trojans secured an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament (back-to-back national tournament appearances for the first time in DSU men's basketball program history). DSU had won back-to-back A.I.I. Division II Men's Basketball Conference Postseason Tournament Championships in 2012 and 2013.
HOME COOKING: The Trojans recorded their fifth straight season with a winning record at the DSU Fieldhouse. Dakota State had posted a home record of 10-3 this season, including 4-0 home record in North Star Athletic Association conference games. DSU is 20-5 in the last two seasons at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans had recorded at least eight home victories in the last five season, posting an overall home record of 47-21 (.691 winning percentage).
TROJANS ON THE ROLL: Dakota State had won four straight games—all games in the North Star Athletic Association conference games—to return back to .500 overall with a 14-14 record. The Trojans had won seven games in the last ten games before heading in the postseason play. DSU finished the month of February with a 4-2 record.
HALE SELECTED TO NSAA PLAYER-OF-THE-WEEK: Dylan Hale of Dakota State (S.D.) was selected by the North Star Athletic Association as its men's basketball player-of-the-week. It was his second time this season that he was named to the NSAA's weekly honor. Hale averaged 25.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game as the Trojans won a pair of North Star conference games. He scored 15 points in 78-65 road victory at Mayville State (N.D.) and poured a career-high 35 points in 96-88 home overtime thriller last week. For the week, Hale was 16-for-38 from the field, 9-for-21 from the 3-point arc and converted 9-of-13 free-throws.
REGIONALLY SPEAKING: Jamestown (N.D.) is the top-ranked team in the North Star Athletic Association in the tenth edition of conference's weekly rankings. Dakota State (S.D.) had moved up from third to second in the rankings after a pair of NSAA conference victories. Valley City State (N.D.) is at No. 3, followed by No. 4 Presentation (S.D.) and No. 5 Mayville State (N.D.). The conference weekly rankings are used to determine the rankings in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, which is released every Tuesday afternoon.
LAST TIME OUT: Dakota State concluded their regular-season schedule with a pair of NSAA conference victories last week. The Trojans defeated Mayville State (N.D.) 78-65 in Mayville, N.D. on Feb. 19 and NSAA's conference leader Jamestown (N.D.) in a 96-88 overtime thriller in Madison, S.D. Valley City State (N.D.) split a pair of North Star conference games, losing at Jamestown 89-50 on Feb. 19 and defeating Presentation (S.D.) 70-58 on Feb. 22.
TROJANS IN THE RANKS: According to the NAIA-DakStats statistical website as of Tuesday, Dakota State ranks third in the nation in defensive rebounds per game (29.9). The Trojans are sixth in the nation in both field goal percentage defense (40.4 percent) and total rebounds per game (42.7). DSU averages 12.8 offensive rebounds per game, which is the 12th-best in the nation. Dakota State is 25th in the nation in blocks per game (3.7), 26th in total blocks (103), 27th in 3-point field goal defense percentage (32.3) and 31st in total assists (428).
DSU-VCSU SEASON SERIES RECAP: Valley City State (N.D.) won the first meeting this season on Feb. 1 in Valley City, N.D. The Vikings kicked off the game with a 10-0 run and never trailed in the game for an 88-63 NSAA conference victory. Dakota State won the second meeting on Feb. 15 held at the DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans held a three-point halftime lead and outscored the Vikings 39-28 in the second-half to earn a 65-51 victory over the Vikings.
TROJANS LEAD NSAA: Four different Trojan men's basketball players lead the North Star Athletic Association in five different categories. Dylan Hale leads the Trojans with 17.7 points per game and shoots 41.8 percent from the field. Yusuf Vinson records 220 total rebounds and averages 8.8 rebounds per game. Cameron Robinson leads the team with 124 assists (5.1 assists per game—ranks 18th in the nation). He stole the ball 47 times this season and averaged 2.0 steals this season. Miguel Sansavour ranks fourth in the nation in blocks per game (2.3) and 10th in total blocks with 50.
WATCH & LISTEN IT: Dakota State will be providing a free live video/audio broadcast for the Trojan men's basketball game versus Valley City State (N.D.) on Saturday evening. 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. 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 (S.D.) will have live stats/play-by-play for the game 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: The North Star Athletic Association Men's Basketball Conference Postseason Tournament's championship game will be held at the highest remaining seed on Monday, March 3. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director