Dakota State avenged their heartbreaking defeat they suffered at Viterbo, holding on to an 80-76 NSAA men’s basketball victory at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans completed its weekend sweep, earning their second straight victory where they did not trail during the game.
The Trojans opened up the game with an early 9-2 run before the V-Hawks brought it back within two at 9-7. DSU then held Viterbo scoreless for the next four minutes while adding 12 more points to extend their lead to 21-7.
After a nine point run from Viterbo to get to 21-16, DSU answered back by regaining their double-digit lead at 31-18. The Trojans led 40-30 at halftime.
Chris Morales helped to extend the Trojans lead with two big three-pointers to get the Trojans lead up to 49-35. The V-Hawks started to come back, bringing the game back within reach at 49-41 before another six-point from the Trojans.
Trailing by ten, Viterbo went on a 9-2 scoring run to make it a three point game at 75-72 in the final minute. The Trojans hit a pair of free throws before the V-Hawks hit another three-pointer to make it a two point game at 77-75.
Both teams exchanged one more free throw each before Viterbo fouled one last time sending Ben Hoverson to the charity stripe where he hit both free throws with 1.6 seconds left to secure the 80-76 lead for the Trojans.
Sam Muller scored the game-high 25 points while also pulling down eight rebounds and stole the ball twice. Morales added 16 points, four rebounds, and two assists.
Ronnie Latting and Deshawn Kelly each scored 13 points for DSU. Latting had nine rebounds and registered five blocks. Kelly contributed five assists. Ethan Damerum had three assists and two steals.
Ben Olson paced the V-Hawks with 24 points and nine rebounds. Robert Cunitz added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Dakota State shot 49.2 percent overall from the field (29-of-59 field goals) compared to Viterbo 45.6 percent (26-of-57 field goals). The Trojans drained eight 3-pointers in 21 attempts, while the V-Hawks were 5-of-14 3-pointers.
Dakota State and Viterbo split their season series meeting, with the V-Hawks rallying back in the closing seconds for a 61-60 nailbiter last weekend.
The Trojans reached double-digit victories for the 12th time in head coach Gary Garner’s 14-year at helm, improving their overall record to 10-13. DSU also has a 4-5 NSAA conference record. Viterbo dropped to 12-10 overall record and 6-3 league record after suffering its second straight setback.
Dakota State continues their season-long four-game North Star home stand Friday evening, hosting Presentation in the annual Ag Ball contest. Tip-off from the DSU Fieldhouse is set for 7:30pm. DSU also hosts Mayville State on Saturday at 5pm.
Trojan games this weekend can be heard on FM 103.1 or online at AmazingMadison.com.