Mayville Makes It A Sweep @ NSAA Tournament

WATERTOWN, SD ( [WBB] – Top-seeded Dakota State (S.D.) and second-seeded Mayville State (N.D.) met for the fourth time this season, the fourth meeting in the 2023 North Star Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Championship game at Civic Arena.  The Comets shook off their slow start, grabbing a 20-point lead midway through the game and held off the Trojans’ late comeback bid for a 66-52 victory.

Mayville State ended Dakota State’s second longest winning streak in school history at 15 games.  The Trojans – ranked No. 24 in the final edition of the NAIA Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 national poll – stand at 25-6 overall record and appeared in their third consecutive NSAA postseason tournament’s championship game.  The Comets received the league’s automatic bid to the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament Opening Round on March 7-8.

DSU most likely will receive an at-large bid to the national tournament’s opening round on March 7-8.  The NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament’s Selection Show will be held on Thursday, via on NAIA’s YouTube page at 6 p.m. ( and see if Dakota State will make to the 64-team field.

Mayville State (N.D.) 66, (24) Dakota State (S.D.) 52 – FINAL

  • Dakota State raced to a 7-0 lead in the first one minute and ten seconds of the game by making three straight baskets, while Mayville State committed two straight turnovers.
  • Courtney Menning opened the game with a jump shot, followed by a 3-pointer from Savannah Walsdorf and a layup by Elsie Aslesen for 7-0 DSU lead, forcing the Comets to quickly call the first timeout with 8:48 on the clock.
  • Mayville State answered from a timeout by holding the Trojans to five points for the rest of the first period, firing a monstrous 22-5 run.  The Comets held DSU scoreless in the final 6:51 of the first quarter.
  • The Comets shot 8-of-12 from the field after the timeout (66.7 percent) while the Trojans were held to 1-of-10 from the field from that time (DSU shot 4-of-13 field goals in the first quarter – 30.8 percent).
  • After closing the first period with a 14-0 scoring run, Mayville State kicked off the second quarter with a 7-0 run to complete a furious 21-0 scoring outburst.  Jordan Zrust capped the scoring run with back-to-back-to-back baskets, ballooning MSU’s lead to 29-12 and forced DSU to call a timeout with 7:47 on the clock.
  • Dakota State snapped their nearly 10-minute scoring drought after a 3-pointer by Morgan Huber (assisted by Caitlin Dyer) with 6:33 on the clock in the second period (MSU trailed 29-15).
  • Erin Walcker drained a 3-pointer (assisted by Greta Hillukka) as Mayville State posted its biggest lead of the game at 39-19 with 3:18 to go before halftime.
  • Dakota State went on a 6-0 scoring run to cut Mayville State’s lead to 39-25 after a 3-pointer by Lilli Mackley (assisted by Savannah Walsdorf) with less than 10 seconds to go in the second.
  • Walcker closed the first half with a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, sparking the Comets to a 9-of-12 3-pointers in the first twenty minutes for a 42-25 lead.
  • MSU was 16-of-28 from the field in the first half (57.1 percent) compared to DSU 36 percent (9-of-25 field goals) and 4-of-14 from the 3-point arc.
  • Mackenzie Hughes started the third quarter with a 3-pointer as the Comets regained their biggest lead of the game at 45-25 with 8:11 on the clock.
  • Trailing 47-27, Dakota State mounted a furious comeback to close the third quarter.  The Trojans held the Comets scoreless for nearly last five minutes of the third, fueling a 12-0 scoring run capped by a layup by Aslesen (assisted by Dyer) to trail in single digits (47-39) with less than 15 seconds left.
  • Jes Mertens drained a 3-poniter when the third quarter ended, ending Mayville State’s scoring drought to widen their lead to 50-39.
  • Dakota State outscored Mayville State 14-8 in the third quarter.  DSU was 42.9 percent from the field (6-of-14 field goals) and held MSU to 25 percent (3-of-12 field goals).
  • Zrust started the fourth quarter with a basket to extend Mayville State’s lead to 52-39 with 9:35 to go.
  • Dakota State then went on a 9-0 scoring run, highlighted by three straight baskets by Walsdorf to cut MSU’s lead to 52-48 with 7:04 remaining.
  • The Trojans could get no closer than four points on two different occasions, 54-50 with 4:22 left after Mackley’s basket and 56-52 with 2:23 remaining after a pair of free-throws by Aslesen.
  • Mayville State secured the game in the final 1:16, converting 10-of-12 free-throws (made nine last free-throws to close the game, with seven free-throws coming from Mertens).
  • MSU outscored DSU 16-13 in the final quarter.
  • Walsdorf finished the game with a double-double of 10 points and collected 10 rebounds for Dakota State.  She contributed six assists and stole the ball three times.  Aslesen added 11 points and eight rebounds.  Mackley tallied nine points and six rebounds.
  • Fick scored eight points off the bench for Dakota State.  Huber and Dyer each added six points.  Dyer dished out four assists and stole the ball three times.
  • Zrust poured in a game-high 22 points for Mayville State.  She had five rebounds.  Walcker added 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists.  Mertens scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds, and stole the ball four times.
  • Hughes had nine points and six rebounds for MSU.  CJ Decker had six points, six assists, five steals, and four rebounds.
  • Mayville State shot 44 percent overall from the field (22-of-50), including 11-of-22 from the 3-point line.  Dakota State was 35.7 percent (20-of-56 field goals) and 7-of-31 from the 3-point arc.
  • The Comets hit 11-of-16 from the free-throw line.  The Trojans were 5-of-7 free-throws.
  • DSU outrebounded MSU 36-31 in the game.  Dakota State outscored Mayville State 11-2 in second chance points.
  • MSU outscored DSU 17-13 in points off turnovers.  The Trojans outscored the Comets 24-18 inside the paint and 14-3 in bench points.


Watertown, SD ( [MBB] – The Mayville State Comets defeat the Dickinson State Blue Hawks to win the NSAA Conference Tournament. The Comets will advance to the NAIA National Tournament with the first and second round of the tournament scheduled for March 7 & 8. The Selection show is scheduled for March 2nd at 7:00 pm.

The Quick Details:
Final Score: Mayville State 80, Dickinson State 63

How It Happened:
It was tied at nine at the 15:57 left in the first half before a couple of baskets by the Comets gave them a five point lead. A few minutes later, MSU was up seven before a MSU run of 9-0 gave MSU a commanding 16-point lead.
Both teams would trade baskets for the rest of the half and would take a 16-point lead into the halftime. The Mayville State Comets would continue to dominate the game in the second half, and would extend the lead all the way to 26 with 8:40 remaining in the game.
Mayville State would cruise to a Conference Championship on Sunday afternoon shooting 48.4 percent from the field, 26.7 percent from behind the 3-point line, pulled in 46 rebounds, 18 assists, 50 points in the paint, 28 bench points, and 18 fast break points.

Individual Leaders:
Thomas Gieske: 18 points, 10 rebounds
Sebastian Griffin: 12 points, 4 rebounds
Jamison Kramer: 10 points