Trojans Set To Host First Round Matchup with Drovers: Game Preview – No. 4 seed Dakota State vs No. 13 seed Science & Arts

The #9 ranked Trojan Women’s Basketball team (25-6 overall) begin NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament action today when they host Sciences & Arts of Oklahoma Drovers in the DSU Fieldhouse.

It’s the first time ever DSU is hosting the First and Second Rounds of the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament. Along with this game being their first meeting with the Drovers. The Trojans come into this National Tournament as the No. 4 seed Cramer bracket and Science & Arts are the No. 13 seed.

Science & Arts

The Drovers (19-10 overall) are making their seventh National Tournament appearance in school history. Receiving an At-Large bid to the tournament just like the Trojans. This team has managed 19 wins this season, but has teetered on the road with just an 8-7 road record.

They’re averaging just 72.8 points per game on the road compared to 80.5 a game on their homecourt. These Drovers are far away from home and stepping onto a court where not many have been victorious at over the last five years. On the season, they are not the most efficient team shooting the ball in general. With a sub 42% field goal percentage (41.7%) and just a 31.2% 3-pt percentage.

They’re led in scoring by senior forward Lainey Morrow. She paces them with 16.7 points per game on 53.5% shooting from the field and leads the Drovers with 9.2 rebounds a game. Following her in scoring is junior guard Diaka Berete who averages 13.9 per game.

Dakota State

Dakota State is making their fourth consecutive appearance in the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament, which is a school record. The Trojans have won four straight National Tournament opening games dating back to 2008, with three in the David Moe era.

This team is coming off a tough loss on the road for the NSAA title in Mayville. They are motivated to get back in the win column and make another run in the tournament. The Trojans have yet to lose at home in 2024 and must keep it that way to continue to advance. They have been hard at work over the last couple of weeks in practice and are eager to play in front of their fans.

The Trojans are led in scoring by Savannah Walsdorf who averages 16.6 points per game. She also leads them in assists per game (2.2) and steals per game (3). Her steals per game average ranks 14th in the NAIA. Following Walsdorf in scoring is Angela Slattery with 10.2 per game. As a team, the Trojans average 80 points per game while shooting 45% from the field and 34.9% from deep.

Milestone Watch

DSU has some players approaching some milestones. Walsdorf is one made three away from being just the fifth Trojan in women’s basketball history to make 200 or more threes in her career. She is also one free throw made away from tying and two away from surpassing Sheila Haack (1995-00) for second all-time in career free throws made. Along with being 18 points away from being fourth all-time in single season scoring in Trojan history. Walsdorf is also  seven steals away from passing Jessica VanLoy (2006-07) for third all-time in single season steals.

Tabor Teel is three blocks away from securing ninth all-time in single season blocks for DSU. Slattery is one made three away from tying for tenth all-time in single season threes made. As well as two away from surpassing McKenzie Hermanson (2018-19) who had 63. Walsdorf currently has 67 made and is a pair of threes away from tying Jessi Giles (2021-22) and Katie Bourk (2008-09) for seventh all-time in single season 3PM and three threes away from surpassing them.

Tipoff is set for 7:30pm tonight with pregame beginning at approximately 7:15pm on AM 1390 Dakotas Best.

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