The Trojan Men’s Basketball team (10-7 overall, 0-1 NSAA) are up in breezy ole North Dakota to kickoff some weekend games with the first being against Valley City State.
Similar to their female counterparts, the Vikings (8-6 overall) are a better team on their homecourt. Posting a 4-2 record in Valley City this season. DSU has been a team who has struggled in road competition this season. It’ll be a test to see if the Trojans can break through for their first road win since Dec. 2 when they defeated Crown.
Valley City State
Valley City State has its eight wins on the season so far, but have yet to win more than two games in a row this season. A team with an up and down year in the early going to an extent. With six of their eight wins on the year being blowouts. This can either tell you a lot or very little about a team. Their losses are on the opposite end of the spectrum where they’ve only had a pair of blowouts losses.
The Vikings are a group that comes in with a trio of efficient scorers that lead their team. Senior Cleveland Bedgood leads the charge as scoring leader with 17.8 points per game. Followed by juniors Lamar Grayson (14.2) and Hunter Lyman (10.8). Lyman is one of three players to play and start all 14 games for the Vikings.
This group likes to get out and run and can be quite dangerous in transition. This team gets hot like no other if given good looks in the game. VCSU shoots a staggering 49.8% from the field as a team. The Vikings are also a group who don’t make many mistakes with the ball in their hands and their decision making. Valley City State averages just 11.6 turnovers per game.
Dakota State is in need of a win as they’re currently on their second three-game losing streak of the season. It’s been a struggle for the Trojans since their eight game winning streak was halted back on Nov. 29 when they fell to Mount Marty, 77-69. Which is an opponent the Vikings have taken down this season already.
DSU’s Mison Coilton is coming off a season-high 20 points against Bellevue. He is the scoring leader for the Trojans at 13.1 points per game on the season. Followed by three more double digit scorers for Dakota State. Those being Emmanuel Akpan (10.7), along with Brayden Pankonen and Kenny Haynes with 10.1 per game. Haynes is scoring all his points coming off the bench as well.
The Trojans are coming off a season-low turnover mark to open conference play. Regardless of the three-game losing spell right now, this group has posted three straight positive assist/turnover ratio games. Prior to today, they did it five other times – all of which resulted in wins. DSU needs to score early and often so they don’t have to worry about playing catch-up once again. The Trojans have led in the first half in just two of their last six games.
Tipoff is set for 7:30pm following the women’s game with pregame beginning at 7:15pm on Jammin Country 103.