Trojans Season Ends in the North Star Athletic Association Semifinals; Lose to Bruins 70-66

The Dakota State Men’s Basketball team had their season come to and end on Sunday night as they fell to the Bellevue Bruins on the road in the North Star Athletic Association Semifinal action, 70-66.

The Trojans finished their season 17-13 overall under first year head coach Darren Tighe. The game was a battle all night long between the two teams and another one that remained close in the final minute. It was tied eight times and had 17 total lead changes with neither team leading by more than six.

The two teams were knotted up at halftime 33 all and it was the first time the Trojans had been tied going into half. No major separation between each team within the box score from that first half as they were very close in most every category.

Certain areas hurt the Trojans in the end though. They were beaten in the rebound battle 32-22. DSU had a season-low 15 defensive rebounds and 22 total rebounds, marking their second lowest rebound total of the year.

BU shot 29 free throws in the game and cashed in on 23 of them, with 18 of those attempts coming in the second half. Dakota State only shot nine free throws in the game. Additionally, DSU only shot 5-for-17 (29.4%) in the game from deep. After coming off a season-high 15 made threes in the Quarterfinal win over Viterbo.

The Bruins were efficient from outside, but mainly worked the ball inside for most of the night. Feeding the big man Emarr Vinson who led all scorers with a season-high 17 points. He shot 7-for-9 (77.8%) from the field and also led in assists for Bellevue with three. The only other Bruin in double figures was Jerome Bynum with 15, 12 of those coming in the second half.

Leading the Trojans in scoring was Uhana Ochan with 13 points. He also led in rebounds for DSU with six. Emmanuel Akpan and Japjit Gill both added 11 points each. Dakota State came away with eight steals in the game and committed 12 turnovers. The Trojans dominated points in the paint 44-24 and did their part in making the Bruins commit 18 turnovers.


That will round out the year for the Trojans. A year in which they posted an eight-game winning streak, set records, had a buzzer-beater win in the DSU Fieldhouse and so much more. Tighe year two at the helm will be an even better one. It is just the beginning for this men’s program. The Trojans will look ahead to next season and as usual, we’ll have those games broadcast again on Jammin Country 103 in the 2024-25 season.

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