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Mayville State University
Men's Basketball - Sun, Mar. 1, 2015

March 1, 2015

PHOTO GALLERY - Photo credits by Cody Welu and Tyler Flaagan; Donald Weidler


MADISON, S.D. – No. 2 seed Dakota State (S.D.) dominated No. 4 seed Mayville State (N.D.) 75-57 in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Men's Basketball Semifinal game Sunday evening at DSU Fieldhouse, advancing to the conference's championship game for the fourth straight year.  The Trojans shot 50 percent overall in the game and earned their 11th victory in the last 14 games.

Both teams struggled to score in the opening minutes of the game before DSU earned the first lead of the game at 2-0 after a basket by Adam Hofer (seventeen minutes and twenty-three seconds on the clock). 

MSU answered back with six straight points for a 6-2 lead with 15:28 left in the first-half after a pair of 3-pointers (Darnell Landon and Michael Lindsay).

Trailing 9-6, it was all Trojans after that.  Dakota State went on an 18-4 outburst to for a double-digit lead at 24-13 with 6:41 left before intermission.

DSU extended their largest lead of the first-half at 33-17 after a basket by Nathaniel Rauen with 2:12 on the clock.

Dakota State held a 37-23 halftime lead.  Cameron Robinson blocked a 3-pointer attempt by MSU's Lindsay.  The Trojans were 15-of-30 from the field (2-of-7 from the 3-point line) while the Comets were 10-of-23 from the field (43.5 percent) and 3-of-9 from the 3-point arc.

The Trojans maintained their control for the rest of the game, sparking the start of the second-half with a 26-12 run for the biggest lead of the game at 63-35 with 9:41 left in the game.

Mayville State could get no closer than 18 points with less than fifteen seconds remaining.

Both teams were 12-of-24 from the field in the final 20 minutes of the game.  DSU outscored MSU 38-34 in the second-half.

Four DSU players scored in double digits in the game, led by Derek Meger with 16 points.  He was 5-of-11 from the field and converted all five free-throw attempts.  Miguel Sansavour and Bryant Allen each added 11 points.  Rauen scored a season-high 10 points off the bench.  Taylor Zirbel tallied eight points. 

Robinson scored seven points in the game for the Trojans.  He dished out five assists, recorded five steals and a blocked shot.  Allen added four assists.  Hofer had three assists.

Sansavour had two blocks in the game, extending DSU's school record career blocks with 95 blocks.  Zirbel also had a block.

Sansavour recorded a double-double for DSU, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.  Zirbel had four rebounds. 

Chuck Robinson led all scorers for the Comets with 25 points.  He was 11-of-13 from the field and 3-of-6 free-throws.  A.B. Najee and Jamal Branco each had nine points. 

Robinson pulled down eight rebounds for MSU.  Lindsay added six rebounds.

Najee produced four assists for Mayville State.  Darnell Landon added three assists. 

DSU was 27-of-54 shooting from the field and 5-of-13 from the 3-point line.  MSU was 22-of-47 from the field (46.8 percent) and 4-of-15 3-pointers.

The Trojans just missed two free-throws in the game, making 16 free-throws in 18 attempts.  MSU was 9-of-16 free-throws, all in the second-half.

DSU outrebounded MSU 31-25.  The Trojans outscored the Comets 13-7 in second-chance points.

Dakota State scored 26 points off the bench compared to Mayville State 6 bench points. 

The Comets ended their 2014-15 season with an overall record of 18-11, including six victories in the last eight games.

The Trojans' victory gave Gary Garner his 100th coaching victory as Dakota State's men's basketball head coach.

Dakota State, which won their third straight game to lift their overall record to 16-14, will play in the NSAA Men's Basketball Championship game on Tuesday evening.  The Trojans will visit the top-seeded team Jamestown (N.D.) with a tip-off starting at 7:30 p.m. or 25 minutes after the completion of the NSAA Women's Championship game (Valley City State at Jamestown).

It will be the fourth straight year that both the Trojans and the Jimmies had met in the conference championship game.  DSU won the Association of Independent (A.I.I.) Division II Conference Championship games in 2012 and 2013 before UJ won the inaugural NSAA Conference Tournament's championship game last season (2014).

The winner of the championship game on Tuesday night will earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament, which is held in Point Lookout, Mo. on March 11-17.

Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director

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