The Dakota State University men’s basketball team traveled to La Crosse, Wisconsin to take on the Viterbo University V-Hawks for the opening round of the North Star Athletic Association conference tournament action. Despite a loud, feisty crowd for the host V-Hawks, the Trojans were able to edge out a victory by a score of 56-52. DSU was able to get off to a red hot start in the first half, getting out to a 37-24 lead by the halftime period. The V-Hawks were able to storm back and overcome the halftime deficit and came back to trim DSU’s lead down to one with under ten minutes left to play in the game. However, the V-Hawks were never able to regain a lead, and Trojans were able to cement the win with good clock management and solid free throw shooting down the stretch to give them the four point victory. With the win, DSU advances to the semi-finals of the tournament and will take on Bellevue University on February 25th in Bellevue, Nebraska.
Ian Barse led the way for the Trojans, scoring 17 points while going 6 of 13 from the field, including 3 of 8 from behind the 3 point line. Senior forward Kyle Kilgore was able to add 12 points, including some crucial conversions down the stretch to help out the Trojan win. Kilgore continued his impressive senior campaign, scoring his 1,000th career point in the first half of the contest, and also pulled down 10 rebounds to give him a double-double on the night. Senior guard Tanner Heiser dished out 4 assists to help the Trojans pull out the victory.
Viterbo was led in scoring by Jared Fleischmann with 16 points, followed by Ethan Haberman with 15. Erik Engelstad had a double-double for the V-Hawks scoring 10 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Viterbo finished their season with an 18-12 record overall.