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(20)Valley City State University
Men's Basketball - Sat, Feb. 13, 2016

February 13, 2016

Photos credits by Kaden Huntrods and Tyler Flaagan

MADISON, S.D. – Dakota State (S.D.) built up a 19-point lead in the early second-half over the nationally-ranked and North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Men's Basketball conference's lead Valley City State (N.D.) Saturday evening at DSU Fieldhouse.  The Trojans held off the Vikings' late rally for a 76-72 victory, earning eighth win in the last ten NSAA conference games for DSU.

The NSAA conference regular-season title race became tighter with the Vikings and Jamestown (N.D.) maintaining a one-point lead over the Trojans and No. 23 Bellevue (Neb.) before heading into the final week of regular-season play next week.

Dakota State won their fourth straight game, rising above .500 with an overall record of 14-13.  The Trojans are 8-4 record in the NSAA conference games this season.  Valley City State, ranked No. 20 in the latest NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, fell to 19-8 overall record and 7-4 NSAA record.

The Trojans earned their first victory over an NAIA's Top 25-ranked team, dropping the previous eight occasions against teams ranked in the NAIA's Top 25 this season.

Tied at 4-4 in the early going, DSU went on a 9-2 scoring tear to open up a 13-6 lead before the Vikings called the first timeout of the game with 14:54 on the clock.  The Trojans hit six of the first nine shots of the game, with all field goals made assisted by Tanner Heiser.

DSU earned the first double-digit lead of the game at 26-15 after a basket by Heiser with less than eight minutes before intermission.

Nathaniel Rauen missed a long 3-point shot with less than four seconds in the first-half, but was able to grab an offensive rebound and answered with lay-up as the Trojans grabbed a 42-29 halftime lead.

Dakota State shot a blazing 58.1 percent from the field, converting 18-of-31 field goals in the first-half.  Valley City State was held to 37.1 percent field goal shooting (13-of-35).

Leading 49-37, DSU quickly scored eight consecutive points to explode the biggest lead of the game at 56-37 with 14:34 left.

The Vikings mounted a furious comeback with a 29-11 outburst to cut Trojans' lead within one point at 67-66 with 3:12 remaining after a basket by Jayden Ferguson.

The Trojans responded back by scoring six straight points from three different scorers – Kyle Kilgore, Derek Meger and Heiser – to extend their lead to 73-66 with 1:13 left.

After Nygel Drury made a lay-up with 11.9 seconds left to cut DSU's lead to 75-72, Brendon Boomsma made a free-throw with 8.2 seconds remaining to secure a four-point victory for the Trojans.

VCSU outscored DSU 43-34 in the second-half after shooting 57.1 percent from the field (16-of-28).  DSU was 11-of-26 from the field (42.3 percent) in the last twenty minutes of the game.

Kilgore produced his second straight double-double, his ninth overall this season, after scoring a game-high 23 points and earning 11 rebounds for the Trojans.  He was 9-of-15 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line.  Adam Hofer added 19 points on his 6-of-11 field goal shooting (2-of-4 from the 3-point line) and 5-of-8 free-throws.

Meger tallied 10 points for DSU.  Ian Barse had six points.

Heiser scored six points for Dakota State.  He dished out a career-high 14 assists, with 10 assists coming in the first-half.  His 14 assists are the third most assists in a single game in the DSU men's basketball record book (Isaac Clark and Fred Fleming each tie the DSU school record with 17 assists in a single game).  Heiser also had seven rebounds.

Taylor Zirbel grabbed five rebounds for the Trojans.  Meger and Justin Folkers each had a blocked shot.

Ferguson led the Vikings with 20 points.  He was 8-of-19 from the field and 3-of-4 free-throws.  Ellwood Ellenson added 15 points (7-of-8 field goals).  Drury, Justyn Galloway and Darryl Howell each had seven points.  Drury produced four assists.

Ellenson and Galloway each earned six boards for VCSU.  Drury had five rebounds.  Ellenson recorded three blocked shots.

Dakota State shot 50.9 percent overall from the field (29-of-57) compared to Valley City State 46 percent (29-of-63).  VCSU was 5-of-14 3-pointers (35.7 percent) while DSU was 2-of-12 3-pointers (16.7 percent).

The Trojans converted 16 free-throws in 22 attempts (72.7 percent).  The Vikings were 9-of-16 free-throws (56.3 percent).

DSU outrebounded VCSU 39-30.  DSU outscored VCSU 50-42 inside the paint and 14-7 in second-chance points.  The Vikings outscored the Trojans 22-10 in points off turnovers.

Dakota State continues their three-game home stand as they close out their regular-season with a pair of games next week at DSU Fieldhouse.  The Trojans play Jamestown in a key NSAA conference game on Wednesday as part of the annual 'White-Out' game (College Against Cancer game).  Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Madison.

Valley City State stays on the road as they visit Mayville State (N.D.) on the same night.

Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director

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