In the Opening Round of the NAIA National Tournament last night, the Dakota State Trojans controlled most of the second half against Morningside to advance after a 78-65 victory.
The Mustangs got out to the quick start over the Trojans, grabbing an 8-2 lead early in the first. Then a Courtney Menning three-pointer started to switch the momentum for DSU, outscoring Morningside 24-10 for the rest of the quarter.
The Trojans took an eleven point lead into halftime, but 45-34.
To start the second half, DSU added ten more unanswered points in the first five minutes of the half to help them to take a twenty point lead into the fourth, up 65-45.
Morningside attempted to comeback, forcing back-to-back turnovers in the middle of the fourth that both resulted in made buckets. However, despite outscoring DSU in the fourth their comeback attempt came too late and the Trojans were able to close out the game in the final minutes to get the 78-65 win.
Both Lilli Mackley and Sidney Fick led the Trojans in points, each scoring 17. Mackley added six rebounds and three assists, while Fick grabbed five rebounds. Mackley also hit half of her three-point tries, going 3-6 from that range.
Savannah Walsdorf and Elsie Aslesen also added double-digit scoring for DSU, with Walsdorf scoring 11 points, grabbing seven rebounds and four steals while Aslesen had ten points, five rebounds, and two blocks.
Courtney Menning also had four steals to go with her seven points, six assists, and one block.
Sophia Peppers, Morningside, had a game-leading 18 points, while also securing seven rebounds and six steals.
The Trojans made two more three-pointers than the Mustangs, going 9-28 from deep compared to Morningside’s 7-25. DSU was 28-58 total from the field while Morningside was only 25-65.
DSU returns to the Garvey Center in Wichita, Kansas this evening for Round Two of the NAIA National Tournament, when they play Eastern Oregon. Tip-off is scheduled for 6pm tonight, and the game can be heard on FM 103.1 or online at AmazingMadison.com.