Article by Chris Harris, Devils Lake Journal Sports, January 14th, 2019
When Lake Region State College women's basketball coach Danny Mertens was asked if he knew his team would have to score almost 100 points to win on Sunday, he began rattling off details from previous match-ups with Dawson Community College.
"Last year I think they beat us 90-85 and then out there we blew a 20-point lead and they beat us like 99-92 so that's just the way they play."
This one was just another added to the list.
The Lady Royals used an 8-1 run late in the fourth quarter to hold on to beat the Buccaneers in another high scoring affair between the two programs, 99-94, from the Sports Center. The Royals have now won six straight.
"All wins are big but we always say that you gotta win at home and play .500 on the road. You have to protect that home court," Mertens said. "It was a gutty performance by everybody."
Five players scored in double figures for the Royals, led by Dani Schwanke's 21 points. She also had four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Schwanke was a perfect 6 for 6 from the free throw line, including making four straight on consecutive possessions that gave the Royals a four point lead with 2:48 remaining in the ballgame.
The Royals (14-5, 2-0 MonDak) made eight straight free throws in the final 2:55 that finished off Dawson Community. As a team, the Royals made 82 percent of their free throws.
"It's all the little things," said Mertens.
The Royals maintained the lead through three quarters but Dawson Community took the lead early in the fourth after a 3-pointer by Tasia Moore gave the Buccaneers the lead at 74-71. The Buccaneers kept the advantage until Schwanke's basket tied the game at 87 and launched the game deciding run.
Alexius Foster scored 24 points and Ejanae Coopwood and Sarah Miranda each scored 20 points apiece for Dawson Community which lost for the first time since Nov. 30th. They fell to 11-7 overall, 1-1 in conference.