VALLEY CITY – Taryn Dieterle scored the game-winning basket with 2.9 seconds on the clock to seal a comeback victory for the Valley City State women’s basketball team as they defeated Bellevue University on Saturday afternoon.
The Vikings erased a 17-point deficit to come from behind in the 76-74 win. VCSU improves to 2-1 in conference play and 5-8 overall. Bellevue drops to 0-3 in the NSAA and 7-11 on the season.
“This was a gritty win for us. After getting down early, we really showed toughness and heart to claw our way back.” said head coach Vanessa Johnson. “We are really proud of the girls for sticking with it and buying in. We need to keep this same intensity moving forward and continue to improve.”
Bellevue shot 60 percent from the field in the first 10 minutes as the Bruins led by as much as 17 points in the first quarter. The Vikings opened the second quarter with a nine-point run to get back within two points at 25-23, but Bellevue finished the half on a 17-5 run to lead 42-28 at the break.
Coming out of the locker room trailing by 14 points, the Vikings started their comeback effort with an 18-4 run capped by a 3-pointer from Adriana Torres to tie the game at 46-all. From there, neither team led by more than four points until an Emma Nielsen 3-pointer put the Vikings ahead 72-65 with 3:46 left in the game. The Bruins inched closer down the stretch and tied the game at 74-74 on a free throw by Faith Ross with 9 seconds to go. VCSU’s next possession featured Dieterle’s go-ahead bucket with 2.9 seconds on the clock and Bellevue would fall short in the final seconds.
Valley City State shot 49 percent from the field (27-55), 48 percent on 3’s (10-21) and 75 percent from the free throw line (12-16). VCSU also held the rebounding advantage 35-26 and recorded 20 assists and four blocked shots as a team. Bellevue shot 40 percent on field goals (24-60), 37 percent from beyond the arc (11-30) and 68 percent on free throws (15-22).
Adriana Torres led all scorers with 21 points off VCSU’s bench while adding six rebounds and five assists. Dieterle finished with 13 points, four rebounds and two blocks while Breanna Price added 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks Saturday.
Allie Critchley dished out a career-best seven assists for the Vikings and added six rebounds and seven points for VCSU. Emma Nielsen scored nine points after going 3-for-5 from 3-point range and Ashlyn Diemert added four points and seven rebounds for the Vikings.
Bellevue tallied 17 points off turnovers and 14 second chance points in the game. Elexis Martinez and Asha Scott each finished with 13 points and Martinez added a game-high nine rebounds. Faith Ross and Miranda Hennings each posted 11 points and Laura Jurek added 10.
Valley City State goes on the road for conference games at Viterbo University and Waldorf University next weekend. Bellevue hosts Presentation College and Mayville State next weekend.