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Men's Basketball - Fri, Jun. 17, 2016

June 17, 2016

MADISON, S.D. – is taking a look back to the 2015-16 academic year with variety of stories over the past 12 months.  Kicking things off in the first edition is the Dakota State University men's basketball team storming back for the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) conference regular-season and tournament titles.

The Trojans were 10-13 overall record and 4-4 record in the NSAA conference play by the end of January.  DSU was in a three-way tie for fifth-place in the conference standings with Waldorf (Iowa) and Jamestown (N.D.).

Dakota State kicked off the month of February with a key victory on the road, using the inside-outside game to defeat Jamestown by the score of 85-77 on Feb. 3.  The Trojans returned home on Feb. 6 with an 87-60 rout over Presentation (S.D.). 

DSU avenged their earlier loss to Mayville State (N.D.) with an 83-68 victory in Mayville, N.D. after using a fast start early in the game.  At that time, the Trojans moved back to .500 with an overall record of 13-13 and 7-4 in NSAA conference play.

Dakota State came back home on Feb. 13 to kick off their final four regular-season games at DSU Fieldhouse.  The Trojans kicked off their four-game home stand with a 76-72 upset victory over NSAA's conference leader and No. 20-ranked Valley City State (N.D.) 76-72, moving into a two-way tie for third place in the conference standings with Bellevue (Neb.).

The Trojans faced another tough test on Feb. 17, hosting Jamestown who is in a two-way tie for first with the Vikings with one game lead over Dakota State before entering that contest.  Trailing by 11 points with three minutes and thirty seconds remaining in a crucial NSAA conference match-up, DSU stormed back by closing the game with a 16-2 run for an 89-86 victory over the Jimmies.

Down 86-84, UJ's Brequan Tucker committed a turnover with 29.6 seconds to go in the game as the Trojans regained possession.  Kyle Kilgore made a lay-up (assisted by Tanner Heiser) and was fouled by the Jimmies.  He completed the three-point play to put the Trojans up 87-86 with 18.3 seconds to go.

Tucker missed a three-pointer with less than five seconds to go, but was rebounded by Jamestown.  The Jimmies missed an inside basket and was rebounded by Trojan Ian Barse and was fouled with 3.1 seconds remaining in the game.  Barse eventually went on to make both free-throws as the Trojans held on to a three-point thrilling victory.

It was the first time since 2004-05 season that Dakota State swept the season series with Jamestown.

Dakota State extended their winning streak to six games after cruising past Dickinson State (N.D.) 83-51 on Feb. 20 at DSU Fieldhouse.  The Trojans' victory coupled with VCSU's home loss to PC and BU's road victory at Viterbo (Wis.) clinched a three-way tie for the NSAA Men's Basketball Regular-Season title. 

It was the second straight year that the Trojans won the conference regular-season title, their first time it happened in DSU's men's basketball team history.

The Trojans drew as a No. 3 seed for the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Men's Basketball Conference Postseason Tournament.  DSU hosted sixth-seeded Waldorf in the opening round of the conference tournament at DSU Fieldhouse on Feb. 25.  Holding a slim four-point halftime lead (47-43), Dakota State stormed past the Warriors with their second-half hot shooting (66.7 percent) along with five players scoring in double digits for 101-84 victory.

DSU stayed home for the semifinals round of the NSAA Men's Basketball Conference Tournament on Feb. 27, thanks to No. 7 seed Mayville State's (N.D.) 73-62 road upset at No. 2 Bellevue (Neb.).  The Trojans jumped to a 10-point halftime lead and never looked back as they advanced to the championship game with an 84-72 victory over MSU. 

Dakota State faced its familiar foe in the conference championship game, facing Jamestown for the fifth consecutive year, including three straight in the NSAA conference championship game.

No. 4 seed UJ upset the NSAA conference tournament's top-seeded team Valley City State 94-75 on the road in Valley City, N.D. in the semifinals round.

The Trojans never trailed in the NSAA Men's Basketball Postseason's championship game on Feb. 29.  The game was tied only once in the game, while the Trojans had the largest lead of the game at 18 with 3:05 remaining in the game.  DSU went on to roll past Jamestown 79-65, earning the NSAA's automatic bid to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament in Point Lookout, Mo.

Dakota State established a new school record with nine consecutive victories, all wins coming in the month of February.  The previous record was eight straight wins during the 1990-91 season.

It was the fourth time in the last five years that the Trojans qualified for the national tournament.  It was the second time that DSU won back-to-back conference postseason tournament (the Trojans captured the Association of Independent Institutions conference postseason tournament in 2012 and 2013).

Dakota State was the No. 8 seed in the Naismith bracket of the NAIA Division II National Tournament, facing the top-overall No. 1 seed from Saint Francis (Ind.).  The Trojans raced to a 15-point lead in the first-half and held on to a 48-47 halftime lead over the Cougars.  USF closed the game by outscoring the Trojans 16-3 in the final 5:34 of the game for a 96-81 victory, ending DSU's nine-game winning streak.  The game featured 15 lead changes and 8 ties.

Saint Francis went on to the national championship game, falling to their own conference foe Indiana Wesleyan 69-66.

Dakota State completed their 2015-16 season with an overall record of 19-14 and 10-4 record in the NSAA conference play.  The Trojans finished with a 10-6 home record, winning the last seven games at DSU Fieldhouse.

DSU's Kilgore was selected as the NSAA's Most Valuable Player, Newcomer-of-the-Year and First Team All-Conference, voted by the league coaches.  He was also selected to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball All-American Second Team.  Heiser was named to Second Team All-Conference. 

Head Coach Gary garner increased his wins total to 120 victories at Dakota State, the second most coaching wins by a Trojan men's basketball head coach in program history.  Garner earned his third Coach-of-the-Year honor as DSU men's basketball head coach, earning his first NSAA Men's Basketball Coach-of-the-Year.

Members of the 2015-16 DSU Men's Basketball NSAA Conference Championship Team included:  Brendon Boomsma, Adam Fideler, JoBreil Powell, Nathaniel Rauen, Adam Hofer, Skyler Bertram, Kilgore, Barse, Heiser, Derek Meger, Nick Boone, Jay Huls, Taylor Zirbel and Justin Folkers.  Garner was assisted by Michael Larsen and Kevin Danielsen.  Student managers were Hayden Erickson, Jessica Kemp and Jordan Adolph.

2015-16 DSU Athletics in Review
No. 1 edition - June 17, 2016:  DSU Men's Basketball Championship Run
No. 2 edition - June 23, 2016:
No. 3 edition - June 24, 2016: 

Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director

  • Feb. 25 - Men's Basketball vs 25Bellevue University - L 69-62 (OT) - recap - stats
  • Feb. 23 - Men's Basketball vs Viterbo University - W 56-52 - recap - stats
  • Feb. 18 - Men's Basketball vs Mayville State University - L 62-50 - recap - stats
  • Feb. 17 - Men's Basketball vs 21Bellevue University - W 84-77 (OT) - recap - stats
  • Feb. 11 - Men's Basketball vs Valley City State University - L 90-75 - recap - stats
  • Feb. 10 - Men's Basketball vs RVDickinson State University - W 73-72 - recap - stats
  • Feb. 4 - Men's Basketball vs Viterbo University - L 66-61 - recap - stats
  • Feb. 3 - Men's Basketball vs Waldorf University - W 90-55 - recap - stats
  • Jan. 29 - Men's Basketball vs Mount Marty College - W 78-53 - recap - stats
  • Jan. 26 - Men's Basketball vs Grace University - L 83-80 (OT) - recap - stats