MADISON, S.D. – Dakota State (S.D.) shot 49.2 percent overall shooting from the field Wednesday evening as the Trojans held on to a 78-72 home victory over Northwestern (Iowa) in early-season battle of NAIA's Top 25 teams at DSU Fieldhouse. It was the first victory since 1990-91 season that the Trojans had defeated the Red Raiders (span of 9 games).
Dakota State, ranked No. 18 in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' poll, remained undefeated this season with a 2-0 overall record. It was the 14th home victory in the last 16 home games for DSU. Northwestern, ranked No. 15 in the national preseason poll, suffered their first loss of the season at 2-1 overall record.
The Trojans raced to a 7-0 lead to open the game in the first two minutes and 21 seconds of the game. NWIA missed the first four shots to allow DSU grabbed a seven-point lead.
At 15-11, DSU used an 18-8 scoring spurt to gain the biggest lead of the game at 33-19 with 3:17 left before halftime.
The Red Raiders closed the first-half with an 8-2 scoring run as the Trojans held a 35-27 halftime advantage.
Dakota State shot 48.3 percent from the field (14-for-29) in the first twenty minutes of the game. Northwestern struggled from the field, shooting 26.3 percent (10-for-38). DSU was 5-for-14 (35.7 percent) from the 3-point range compared to the Red Raiders' 3-for-19 (15.8 percent).
With the Trojans leading 39-31 with 18:46 remaining in the game, NWIA went on a 14-6 scoring run to tie the game for the first time at 45-45 with 14:08 left.
DSU and NWIA added two ties, but the Trojans pulled away in the final 11 minutes of the game.
At 49-49, Dakota State outscored Northwestern 19-9 in a span of six-and-half minutes to regain their double-digit lead (69-59 with less than five minutes left in the game).
The Red Raiders mounted a rally near the end of the game, cutting DSU's lead to 75-72 with 22 seconds remaining.
NWIA outscored the Trojans by a slim margin 45-43.
DSU shot a sizzling 50 percent from the field in the second-half, converting 15 shots in 30 attempts. Northwestern was 44.7 percent from the field (44.7 percent).
Marcus Smith scored a game-high 20 points for the Trojans. He shot 7-for-9 from the field, including 4-for-6 from the 3-point line. Vinson added 19 points on his 6-for-11 from the field, 2-for-4 from the 3-point arc and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. Cameron Krump added 14 points.
Vinson pulled down eight rebounds for the Trojans. Hofer added seven rebounds. Snyder grabbed six rebounds.
Vinson led Dakota State with six assists and stole the ball four times. Hofer added five assists. Hale and Blake Heiser each had three steals.
Vinson recorded three blocked shots for DSU. Krump added two blocked shots.
Jordan Baker had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Raiders. He was 7-for-9 from the field. Tyler Goldston added 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Zack Leeper scored 10 points.
Gerasimo Mantalvanos had seven points and earned eight boards for NWIA. Leeper, Goldston and Joey Habtemariam each had three assists.
Dakota State shot 29-for-59 overall from the field (49.2 percent) compared to NWIA 27-for-76 from the field (35.5 percent). The Trojans made eight 3-pointers in 25 attempts (32 percent), while the Red Raiders were 8-for-33 from the 3-point arc (24.2 percent).
NWIA converted 10 free-throws in 14 attempts (71.4 percent) compared to DSU 12-for-24 from the free-throw line (50 percent).
The Red Raiders committed 26 turnovers in the game, while the Trojans had 24 turnovers.
Northwestern outrebounded Dakota State 50-41 in the game. NWIA grabbed 20 offensive rebounds compared to the Trojans' 9 offensive rebounds. The Red Raiders scored 18 second-chance points while DSU had 14 second-chance points.
The Trojans outscored the Red Raiders 34-26 inside the paint.
DSU had five blocked shots in the game compared to NWIA one blocked shot.
Dakota State heads to the Corn Palace this weekend for a pair of games in the Dakota Wesleyan/Fulton State Bank Classic. The Trojans play the first game on Friday night against Benedictine at Springfield (Ill.), who is coached by former DSU men's basketball player and assistant coach Ian McKeithen. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.