Trojans One Win Away From A Return to the Quarterfinals of the National Tournament: Game Preview – No. 4 seed Dakota State vs No. 2 seed Carroll

The #9 ranked Dakota State Trojans (28-6 overall) continue National Tournament action today when they take on No. 2 seed Carroll in Quarterfinals.

It is the third time the Trojans are seeing the Quarterfinals in the last four years. Along with a second straight season meeting Carroll in the National Tournament. Last year the two teams met in the Round of 16 and Trojans won 82-72, powered by a 33-point fourth quarter to advance.


The #6 ranked Fighting Saints (27-5 overall) are matching up with the Trojans for the third time in school history. Winning the opening meeting back Nov. 11, 2005 by a score of 80-62. Carroll has a lot of size on this team and their starters play heavy minutes. They slid past No. 6 seed Loyola in OT on Thursday, 58-55.

Carroll only manages 66.3 points per game on the season, but their defense is mainly what they’re known for. They allow opponents just 56.4 points per game. The Fighting Saints are not the most efficient offensive unit either. Shooting just 42.4% from the field and 32.5% from deep. This group has been tested in their last two matchups and barely getting by in the Round of 16 doesn’t pose good things for the Fighting Saints.

They’re led in scoring by senior Jamie Pickens with 19 points per game on 51.8% shooting from the field. As well as their leading rebounder with 11.2 a game, a double-double average. Following Pickens in scoring are seniors Maddie Geritz with 11.7 a game and then Kyndall Keller with 10.6 a game. Pickens also serves as their lone rim protector with 47 blocks on the year.

Dakota State

The Trojans come into this game still exuding confidence. Coming off a solid Round of 16 performance defeating No. 1 seed Indiana Wesleyan yet again in the National Tournament. This time by a score of 76-65, an 11-point margin of victory. DSU shot above 42% from both the field and from beyond the arc.

Dakota State had some nice contributions on Thursday from their bench unit. Trojans had 36 points off the bench – 13 from Tabor Teel and 12 from Cierra Watkins. With nearly all of their baskets being very timely for DSU to stay in the fight. It takes everyone to advance in the National Tournament and if you’re not playing your best, teams will take advantage. Right now, these Trojans are playing their best ball and need just three more wins to be National Champions.

DSU is led in scoring by Savannah Walsdorf with 16.2 points per game. As well as assists (2.3) and steals (2.9), which ranks 15th in the NAIA. Following her in scoring is Angela Slattery with 10.3 points a game. As a team, the Trojans shoot 45.4% and 35.2% from deep. Dakota State averages 80.2 points a game and allows their opponents just 60.7 a game. Two stout defenses, but the Trojan offense is a step above the Fighting Saints offensively.

Milestone Watch

Teel is just one block away from surpassing Maria Gengler (2006-07) as they both sit at 68 blocks. One block will give her sole possession of eighth and three would tie her with Elsie Aslesen (2021-2022) at 71. Slattery is 10th in the Top 10 for single season threes made with 68 made threes. She needs a pair to tie Walsdorf who has 70 this season and is tied for sixth in single season threes made. Walsdorf needs just one to tie Kylie Westover (2013-14) who had 71 – needs two to pass her and needs four to tie Jessi Giles (2020-21) who had 74.

Tipoff in the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa is set for 3pm  with the pregame beginning at 2:45pm on Jammin Country 103.

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