March 1, 2014
Photos by Donald Weidler
MADISON, S.D. – Saturday's game mark the third straight year that Valley City State (N.D.) and Dakota State (S.D.) had met in the conference's semifinals – the first in the inaugural North Star Athletic Association Men's Basketball Postseason Tournament's semifinals at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans erased their 10-point early deficit and rolled past the Vikings by the score of 74-56, earning a spot in the first-ever NSAA Men's Basketball Championship game.
Dakota State, No. 2 seed in the NSAA postseason tournament, won their fifth straight game and raised their overall record to 15-14. Third-seeded Valley City State ended their 2013-14 season with a 14-14 overall record.
The Vikings opened the game by going 5-for-7 from the field to gain an 11-4 lead with sixteen minutes and sixteen seconds left in the first-half. The Trojans struggled from the field (1-for-4) and committed three turnovers to start the game.
Trailing 16-6, DSU went on a 13-2 scoring outburst to earn their first lead of the game. During that scoring run, Dylan Hale made two 3-pointers and two field goals and Yusuf Vinson added two free-throws to help the Trojans earn their first lead at 19-18 with 9:53 remaining before intermission.
Miguel Sansavour nailed down a basket with less than minute left in the first-half to give the Trojans their first double-digit lead of the game at 37-27.
A 3-pointer by Mac Kroeplin trimmed VCSU's deficit at 37-30 by halftime.
Dakota State closed the first-half with a 31-14 scoring run.
DSU was 12-for-23 from the field (44.4 percent), including 4-for-13 from the 3-point line (30.8 percent) in the first-half. The Trojans were 9-for-10 from the free-throw line (90 percent). VCSU was 12-for-32 from the field (37.5 percent) and 2-for-13 from the 3-point arc (15.4 percent). The Vikings were 4-for-8 free-throws (50 percent).
The Trojans quickly scored the first seven points of the second-half from three different scorers (3-ponter by Hale and a pair of basket from Marcus Smith and Cameron Robinson) to extend their lead to 44-30 with 17:45 left, forcing the Vikings to call a timeout.
Valley City State could get no closer than 11 points at 49-38 with 13:54 left in the game.
The Trojans secured the game by controlling the second-half with a double-digit lead between 11- and 18-points.
DSU outscored the Vikings 37-26 in the final twenty minutes of the game.
Dakota State was 14-for-32 from the field (43.8 percent) in the second-half. VCSU was held to 29.7 percent from the field (11-for-37).
Hale poured in 27 points for the Trojans. He was 9-for-17 from the field, including 7-for-13 from the 3-point line. Vinson added 14 points and made all eight free-throw attempts. Smith scored 10 points.
Robinson was one assist shy for recording a triple-double in the game for Dakota State. He had 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out nine assists.
Sansavour pulled down 11 rebounds for the Trojans. Vinson added eight rebounds. Krump earned six boards.
Vinson produced six assists for Dakota State. Hale and Adam Hofer each added two assists.
Robinson stole the ball two times for DSU. Sansavour recorded three blocked shots.
Aaron Duske led the Vikings with 16 points. AJ McDonald and Kroeplin each added 11 points. Quinton Peterson had 10 points off the bench.
McDonald, Kropelin and Jeremy Ware each recorded three assists for VCSU.
Duske grabbed eight rebounds for Valley City State. Peterson added seven rebounds.
Dakota State shot 44.1 percent overall from the field (26-for-59) compared to the Vikings' 23-for-69 (33.3 percent). The Trojans were 7-for-25 from the 3-point line (28 percent), while VCSU was 3-for-23 from the 3-point arc (13 percent).
DSU went to the free-throw line 19 times, making 15 free-throws (78.9 percent). Valley City State was 7-for-13 free-throws (53.8 percent).
The Trojans outrebounded the Vikings 49-35 in the game.
Dakota State outscored VCSU 13-4 in transition points and 28-22 inside the paint. VCSU outscored DSU 28-3 in points off turnovers.
The Trojans finished their 2013-14 home schedule with a record of 11-3 – the fifth straight season that DSU had recorded a winning home record. DSU is 21-5 record at home in the last two seasons.
It was the final collegiate home men's basketball game for five DSU seniors – Snyder, Hale, Smith, Vinson and Krump.
Dakota State plays the NSAA's top-seed Jamestown (N.D.) – who rallied back from a 12-point halftime deficit versus No. 4 seed Presentation (S.D.) and recorded an 83-72 victory tonight – in the first-ever North Star Athletic Association Men's Basketball Postseason Championship game on Monday night. The battle between the top two teams in the NSAA will tip off at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center in Jamestown, N.D.
Monday's game will mark the third straight year that both the Trojans and the Jimmies meet in the conference's championship game (last two years in the Association of Independent Institutions' Conference Tournament).
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director