Giles pours in 36 points as DSU Trojans advance

THE DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY TROJANS won the opening-round pod of the NAIA Basketball Tournament on Saturday night in Omaha, Neb. The Trojans defeated Providence (Mont.) 77-66 to advance to the Sweet 16 Round on Thursday at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Team members are (back, left) student assistant coach Zane Jira, Ashlyn Macdonald, coach David Moe, Miakken Vincent, Lex Evans, Morgan Koepsell, Savannah Walsdorf, Elsie Aslesen, Sidney Fick, assistant coach Jamal Branco, (front) Shaylee DeBeer, Jessi Giles, Courtney Menning, Morgan Huber, Lexi Robson, Cheylee Nagel and strength coach Stephen Vassalotti.

Jessi Giles poured in 36 points as Dakota State University downed the Providence (Mont.) Argos 77-66 in the opening round of the NAIA Tournament on Saturday in Omaha, Neb.

The Trojans will move into the Sweet 16 Round on Thursday afternoon for the first time since 2008.

Leading 9-7 in the opening quarter, the Trojans went on 8-2 run to close the period with a 17-9 advantage.

The Trojans extended their lead to 15 with a 7-0 spurt to start the second period and held a 24-9 advantage.

After a basket by the Argos, DSU went on another scoring run, 8-0, to build its largest lead of the game, 33-11.

DSU led 42-24 at halftime.

The Argos went on an 11-0 run in the third quarter and closed the gap to 10 points, 45-35.

Baskets by Morgan Koepsell and Lexi Robson put the Trojans up 49-35 with 4:31 left in the third quarter.

Providence made another run and cut the lead to 51-45 with just 40 ticks on the clock.

DSU closed the quarter with a 4-0 run as Koepsell and Giles scored to give the Trojans a 55-45 lead.

The Argos went on a 9-2 run and closed the gap to two points, 60-58, with less than five minutes left in the game. That was as close as the Argos would get.

Giles drained all four of her free throws in the final 22 seconds to seal the win for the Trojans.

DSU made 27 of 56 field goals, 48.2%, and 7 of 18 from three-point range, 38.9%. The Trojans hit 16 of 19 from the charity stripe, 84.2%, grabbed 31 rebounds and dished out 19 assists.

Giles ended the game hitting 13 of 18 field goals, including 4 of 5 from the beyond the three-point arc. She hit 6 of 6 free throws, grabbed five rebounds and had two of the Trojans' nine steals.

Koepsell came off the bench and scored 12 points. Ashlyn Macdonald grabbed five rebounds. Robson dished out a team-high five assists. Courtney Menning and Shaylee DeBeer each had two steals.

Providence made 27 of 63 field goals, 42.9%, and 4 of 20 3-point shots, 20%. The Argos were 8 for 9, 88.9%, at the charity stripe, pulled down 37 rebounds and dished out 13 assists.

Parker Esary scored 32 points and had nine rebounds to pace the Argos. Kenedy Cartwright had 10 counters, three assists and three of Providence's nine steals.

Maddy Dixon pulled down nine rebounds

DSU (26-3) will take its 22-game win streak into the Sweet 16 on Thursday at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The Trojans, the No. 9 seed, will face No. 8 seed Sterling, Kan. (30-0) at 3 p.m.

DSU beat Sterling last season 80-69 at the DSU Fieldhouse.

All-tournament passes and single-game ticket information for the Tyson Events Center can be found at