DICKINSON, N.D. – The Blue Hawks women's basketball team opened up North Star Athletic Association play against the Valley City State University Vikings Friday evening. Both the Blue Hawks enter the season with new head coaches, finding their identity early in the year.
In the first half, the Vikings were able to build a slight advantage over the Blue Hawks. The Vikings were able to reach the free throw line 14 times, compared to the Blue Hawks' 6 opportunities. VCSU also grabbed 7 more rebounds than DSU. Despite these advantages, the Blue Hawks were able to hang tight to the Vikings, thanks to Riley Helmick's 12 points. The teams went into the half time intermission with the Vikings leading 36-33.
In the second half, the Vikings were able to take control of the game. The Vikings offensive attack put up 25 points in the third quarter, holding the Blue Hawks to just 21. Despite a late charge from the Blue Hawks cutting the Vikings lead to just two, their run would not last. Again in the second half the Vikings were able to get the charity stripe another 24 times. The Vikings went 84% from the free throw line. That margin, along with controlling the rebound battle, and five scorers in double digits was enough for the Vikings to get the win 84-78.
Throughout the game the Blue Hawks' steady scorer was Helmick. Helmick went 4-for-7 from the field in the first half, totaling 12 points. But, in the second half Helmick found her rhythm not missing a single shot. She finished the night with, a game high, 29 points. The scoring barrage from Helmick was enough for her season high and second straight game with more than 20 points. As a team, the Blue Hawks went 49% from the field, 61% from three.
Lexi Lennon led the Vikings attack, netting 19 points, 11 of them coming from free-throws. As a team the Vikings struggled from outside the arch, shooting only 23%. But, inside they found their success, shooting 42%. The Vikings also put 32 points on the board from the free throw line.
A Look Ahead: The Blue Hawks return to Scott Gymnasium Saturday night for another NSAA game against the Waldorf Warriors. The women's game tips off at 3:00, men's at 5:00.