Trojans shake off slow start, win fifth straight

ST. PAUL, M.N. ( – Dakota State (S.D.) trailed 15-5 to kick off the women’s basketball non-conference women’s basketball contest with NCAA Division III Northwestern (Minn.) at Ericksen Center Friday evening. The Trojans used a monstrous first period closing run and never trailed for the rest of the game, earning an 80-66 road victory over the Eagles.

Dakota State, who received votes’ recognition in the first edition of the NAIA Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 national poll (sitting at No. 26), won their fifth straight game to lift their overall record to 9-3. The Trojans also won for the seventh time in the last eight games.

DSU matched its best 12-game start since the 2004-05 season.

Four DSU players scored in double-digits, paced by Jessie Giles with 29 points. She was 11-of-16 from the field, including 5-of-8 from the 3-point line. She also stole the ball a season-high four times and dished out two assists.

Northwestern, a member of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, fell to 4-2 overall record. It was the fifth all-time meeting between DSU and NW, with the Trojans owning a 3-2 record (last meeting was during the 2003-04 season).

Dakota State takes a break for Christmas and returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 29. The Trojans kick off their three-game home stand versus Briar Cliff (Iowa). Tip-off from the DSU Fieldhouse is set for 6 p.m.