Trojans Hoping to Right the Ship Aganst the Bruins: Game Preview – Dakota State vs Bellevue

The Trojan Men’s Basketball team (10-6 overall) kickoff North Star Athletic Association play today looking to get back on track against the Bellevue Bruins.

DSU is seeking its first win on Bellevue’s home court since Dec. 11, 1999. No player on either team was born the last time the Trojans won in Bellevue. Bellevue has won the last 12 home games against Dakota State since Nov. 26, 2011.


The Bruins (5-11 overall) come into this game with some confidence. In their last five NSAA openers, they are 4-1. The below .500 record may fool some, but this team has gotten all its wins at home (5-4). So it’s no guarantee they’re chalked up as a win ahead of time by any means. They’re a different team on their home turf.

Bellevue has been in a lot of close games this season. This team has also seen some of the same opponents as DSU this season and the teams may not be as far apart as it seems.

They’re led in scoring by junior TJ Fritz with 14.2 points per game. He is equally as good of a shooter inside the arc as he is outside of it. Shooting 44.8% from the field and 44.7% from deep – definitely a player to key in on everywhere on the floor. He has a pair of teammates who also score in double figures. Those being senior Jerome Bynum at 11.9 points and junior Nigel Wilson with 10.7 per game.

One thing they are very much not, is a great rebounding team. With only one player averaging five or more rebounds a game. DSU has four players with five or more rebounds a game.

Dakota State

Dakota State comes into this game needing to get back on track after dropping three of its last four games. Which is a total flip on its head after the eight game win streak earlier this season. 

New day, new year though and the Trojans are looking to put it all behind them. When one streak ends, it gives a chance for another one to begin. Going for back-to-back wins against Bellevue after the Trojans won the latest meeting on Feb. 16, 2023 last season.

The Trojans are led in scoring by Mison Coilton 12.7 points per game. DSU has three other players averaging double figures. Those being Brayden Pankonen at 10.2 points, Kenny Haynes with 10.4 points off the bench and Emmanuel Akpan at 10.6 per game. Akpan is also the leading rebound for the Trojans at 8.4 rebounds a game.

DSU has turned themselves into an elite defensive team on perimeter. Opponents shoot just 27.8% from three this season against the Trojans. The Trojans sit at third in scoring defense among NSAA teams allowing 72.3 points.

Tipoff is set for 3pm following the women’s game with a pregame beginning at approximately 2:45pm.

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