DICKINSON, N.D. – The Blue Hawk men's basketball downed the Dakota State Trojans in the opening round of the NSAA tournament 79-59.
The Blue Hawks started their tournament campaign strong in the first half jumping out to a 15-2 lead. Trojan coach Gary Garner was forced to take two timeouts in the first four minutes to hinder the Blue Hawks run. Regardless, the Blue Hawks were able to maintain their lead at 25-10 at the ten-minute mark. The Blue Hawks road the high intensity of their student section throughout the half.
Blue Hawk senior Terrell Butler sparked the offense in the first half tallying 11 in the period. The Blue Hawks controlled the Trojans' attack to just 18 points in the period, giving Dickinson the 21-point lead into the intermission.
In the second half, the Trojans struck back. Dakota State went on a 19-8 run in the opening seven minutes of the half, cutting their deficit to 10. On the Back of Justin Folkers' 15 points and Kevin Daniels' team high 16 the Trojans attempted to cut the gap further.
The Blue Hawks were able to keep their distance. Going on another run the Dickinson lead expanded to 16 with five minutes remaining, eventually ending with the 79-59 victory.
Marcus White led the Blue Hawks with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Trojan Keon Johnson led all players with 8 rebounds in the game. Throughout the contest the Blue Hawks shot 50% from the field. The Trojans field goal percentage reached 43% on the game, despite going only 8 for 29 in the first half. At the end of the game the Blue Hawks had five seniors reach double digits, White, Butler, Ryan Clark, Jerry Shevlin and Konner Goettsche all reached the mark.
The loss eliminates the Trojans from the remainder of the postseason. They finish the year at 14-17. The Blue Hawks move on to the semifinal game Sunday against Viterbo. Bellevue, the number one seed, won guaranteeing the host site for the NSAA final four. Bellevue will take on Mayville in the other semifinal matchup. Game times to be determined.