Blue Hawks break out for 111 in home-win over Briarcrest

Jan. 6—DICKINSON — In what can only be described as a full-on throttling, the Dickinson State University Blue Hawks raised their record to 7-6 on the 2023-24 season and played an outstanding game on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court to post a huge 111-72 win on Friday, Jan. 5 over visiting Briarcrest, out of Saskatchewan, in the first of a two-game weekend set. The teams will play a rematch at Scott Gymnasium on Saturday at 3 p.m., directly following the women's game at 1 p.m.

Junior guard Kose Egbule wears the number "2" and that was appropriate on Friday, Jan. 5, because he flirted with a triple-double in a game that featured not-only his 14 points, but-also the 10 assists he dished-out and combined with 9 rebounds — 7 on the defensive glass — to pace the Blue Hawks to the win.

But six other DSU athletes ended up in double-figures as well, and the home-team limited the Clippers to only 31 first-half points to take an early 21-point lead into the locker rooms at the half at 52-31. Junior guard Trey Stevens also had an ironic sort of night, as his name combined with his number "3" to go along with his game-high 6 "tres" on his way to 20 points, 11 of which were scored in the opening 20 minutes.

"Our key was to try and get back, build a wall and not give them those transition baskets," DSU head basketball coach Derek Selvig said. "And we have some high-IQ basketball players, and sometimes they're able to do some things ... but it's a lot of fun and these guys play really hard."

The home-team opened up the game with a relatively narrow 29-23 lead at the 8-minute mark, but then broke the game open with a 13-3 run that featured two of Stevens' tres, then the Blue Hawks followed that up shortly thereafter with an 8-2 run to close out the first half.

Senior forward Josiah Haaland had a big first half with 8 of his 14 points on the night, while junior guard John Evans raced to 7 points in the first half and ended up tied with Stevens for the game-high at 20 points. Evans also dished a pair of assists and pulled down 4 rebounds.

The second half saw more of the same from the hosts, as the Blue Hawks went bananas on a 16-3 run after the Clippers scored the first 6 points coming out of the locker rooms at the break. The run was punctuated by a huge alley-oop play from Egbule to Evans that brought the crowd to its collective feet, and that was followed by 4 consecutive 3-pointers from four different athletes: Egbule, Evans, Stevens and sophomore guard Jake Daniel, who came off the bench to score a double-digit 13 and pull down 9 rebounds to go along with 3 steals.

With a 74-44 lead at the 12-minute mark, Briarcrest managed to put together a 7-2 run to close the gap, but Dickinson State took the wind out of the Clippers' sails by draining 5 more of their 16 total from behind the arc. The game ended on a 9-2 run, and Haaland put the exclamation-point on the night with a huge dunk to end the game.

Sophomore guard Jaiden Wright came off the bench to score in double-figures with 12, while dishing 4 assists, and junior forward Bradyn Palmer also was a standout with 12 points and 5 rebounds as a non-starter.

After the weekend, the Blue Hawks have the luxury of four-consecutive home games, with the first in the series being Bellevue (Neb.) to kick off the North Star Athletic Association schedule on Friday at Scott Gymnasium. The women's game will open up the weekend versus the Bruins at 5:30 p.m. with the men's game to follow at 7:30.

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