Dickinson, ND - The Blue Hawks picked up their second straight win behind Jess Bygate's double-double, as they downed the Wild Cats 77-72. Dickinson State is now 3-1 on the season.
Like a jungle cat stalking its prey, the Wild Cats came out fast and sharp in the first half. The Wild Cats led by six just four minutes in. The Blue Hawks remained calm, cool, and collected before striking back and tying the game with 12:04 remaining. Dickinson State would hit five score tying shots in the first half. The Blue Hawks took the lead with nine to play in the first on a free throw by sophomore Jalyn Klauzer. Despite the Wild Cats tying the score twice, it would appear the Cats had retreated back into the jungle, as the Blue Hawks would take a 13 point lead into the locker room at half time.
Johnson and Wales head coach Jeff Neal found a way to revitalize his team during half time. Just four minutes in, Johnson and Wales had tied the score at 51 on a jumper by Kristen Ward. A three-pointer by Tameka Manning would give the Wild Cats their largest and only lead of the second half. With just under eight to play in regulation senior Dawne Degel knocked down a three to tie things up. It was all Blue Hawks from there, as Dickinson State would not give up the lead again.
Amanda Weber led the Cats with 19 points and was followed closely by Kourtney Shirley, who scored 18. Both Ward and Manning chipped in 11 points. The Wild Cats picked up 38 rebounds and 12 steals. Johnson and Wales couldn't find a shooting tempo, as they finished with a shooting percentage of just 32.8.
Sophomore guard TaRicka Linzy led the Blue Hawks with 18 points. Senior guard Mariah Duranhad 15 and senior forward Jess Bygate chipped in 14. Freshman forward Hannah Beede came off the bench to score 12 for Dickinson State. Bygate also reeled in 15 rebounds, giving her a double-double (14TP-15RB). The Blue Hawks dominated the rebounds with a tally of 61 total boards. They also had seven steals.
The Blue Hawks will be back in action on November 9, against Johnson and Wales. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.