Trojans Fall in First Conference Match-Up

The Dakota State Women’s basketball team began conference play on Saturday against Bellevue University. In the coaches’ preseason poll, the Bruins were picked to finish second in the conference. It was a tough matchup for the Trojans who had their season ended last year by Bellevue in the first round of the postseason. The Dakota State women’s basketball team was looking to get a little revenge against the Bruins, but they were unable to pull away with a win.

It was a low scoring first quarter. At the end of the first period, the Bruins were up by 2 with the score sitting at 14-12. Both teams struggled to get the ball in the hoop early on. The Bruins shot 27.8 percent from the field and the Trojans shot 22.7 percent.

Morgan Koepsell soars to make back-to-back baskets for the Trojans. Photo by Karen Giles.

However, things would pick up for the Trojans in the second quarter. The ball finally started going in the hoop and the team was able to get a large push by sophomore Morgan Koepsell who had a big second quarter. Dakota State was able to go into halftime up 33-30, but their lead wouldn’t last long.

Bellevue came out hot to start the second half. They went on a 16-2 run to start the third quarter. They were able to regain the lead and stretch it to double digits. The Trojans found themselves down 46-35, certainly not a place they hoped to be sitting. The Trojans didn’t give up, however. They were able to cut the lead down to within 5 and eventually went into the fourth quarter down 56-47. 

The Trojans kept pushing but they could never regain their lead. They came within four points on two different occasions in the fourth quarter, but that is as close as they would get. Eventually, Dakota State had to try and put Bellevue on the free-throw line to get the ball back, but Bellevue was able to make their free throws at the end of the game. The Trojans ultimately lost 80-70. 

Sidney Fick successfully makes a steal and basket, shrinking the gap between the Trojans and the Bruins. Photo by Karen Giles.

Morgan Koepsell had a big night for Dakota State with 26 points and five rebounds. Jessi Giles had 14 points for the Trojans as well as 5 assists. Ashlyn Macdonald scored 12 points and had nine rebounds. Sidney Fick added 7 points and 8 rebounds.

The Trojans will get another chance to face the Bruins, but not until February 21. Next up, the Trojans will host in-state rival and No.13 ranked Dakota Wesleyan. The game is set for this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. It should be a great game for the Trojans to bounce back and steal a win from the Tigers. Good luck, and go Trojans!

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