The Dakota State Men’s Basketball team turned their win streak up to five and handed the (RV) Mayville State Comets an 84-79 loss in the DSU Fieldhouse.
A game that was expected to be an exciting one did not disappoint. The Trojans improve to 15-7 overall and 5-1 in North Star Athletic Association play. Which is the best North Star conference start since the 2014-15 season. With the win, the Trojans are one win shy of tying their most wins in a season since 2016-17 when the Trojans finished .500 going 16-16. Also with this win, the Trojans have guaranteed their first winning season since 2015-16 when they won 19 games and went 19-14 overall.
The game between these two teams came down to the final minutes and crucial clutch free throws. The game had 12 total ties and 17 lead changes, with eight ties and 11 lead changes in the second half alone. Due to first half foul trouble, MSU star Thomas Gieske saw just eight minutes and 35 seconds of action in the first half.
Late addition to yesterday’s starting lineup, Darren Jones, ended up leading the way for the Comets. He finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. Following him was Jamison Kramer who ended with 20 points himself. Giekse added 14.
Brayden Pankonen was sent to the line when the Trojans led 80-77 and was looking at a 1-and-1 at the line. Knocked down both and extended the Trojan lead to five. The Comets knocked down a pair as well and got back to within three. DSU managed to get the ball inbound and to Pankonen and he saw the line again with all the pressure on his shoulder to put the game on ice. Made both again to seal the game.
In the scoring department for the Trojans though, it was Kenny Haynes who had the hot hand. Finishing the game with 22 points on 63.6% from the field and 62.5% from deep. Behind Haynes was Mison Coilton with 14 points and Emmanuel Akpan added 10.
Next the Trojans will hit the road and matchup again with Viterbo and Waldorf. Games will be on Feb. 2-3 in La Crosse, Wisconsin and Forest City, Iowa to begin the back half of the NSAA slate.