By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines men’s and women’s basketball teams were out in full force this past holiday weekend as both squads split games. The men hosted the U.S. Bank Thanksgiving Classic while the women traveled to Orange City, Iowa and Sioux Falls, S.D. to battle against two powerhouse teams from the Great Plains Conference.
The Hardrocker women’s basketball team had two competitive contests over the weekend taking on the Northwestern College Red Raiders of Iowa Friday, followed by a bout against the University of Sioux Falls Cougars on Saturday. SDM lost a heartbreaker to the Red Raiders, 107-104, in overtime, but bounced back nicely against the USF Cougars, winning the game, 81-68.
The Lady ‘Rockers, ranked 16th in the preseason NAIA poll, looked sharp against the No. 5 ranked Red Raiders leading by as much as 14 points in both the first and second periods. And if not for the individual effort of Northwestern’s Debbie Remmerde, who dished in 50 points in the game, the outcome could have been entirely different.
“We’ve always played them closely,” Hardrocker women’s basketball coach Barb Felderman said of Northwestern College. “Two years ago it was a six-point game (lost 74-68) when we only had seven players. And last year we beat them at home (90-74). We knew (Friday’s game) would be tough and we thought we had a good game plan.”
Hardrocker freshman Jerika Ihnen (center) toes the line during free throw attempt at a recent home game. The SD School of Mines spilt on the road over the weekend improving their record to 7-2 on the season. Photo by Brad Blume
South Dakota Mines led by 14 at the half, 54-40, but could not stop the sharp shooting All American Remmerde in the second half. She shot 18-25 from the field and cashed in on 10 of 13 from the three-point line.
“Remmerde had 50 points,” Felderman said. “We were in her face the whole game but she was just on.”
The Red Raiders rallied in the second half to outscore SDM, 55-41, and Northwestern just edged the visitors in overtime, 12-9. The Hardrockers did have an opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation but a three-point attempted rimmed out to send the game into an extra frame. For the Lady ‘Rockers, NAIA All American and two-time Dakota Athletic Conference MVP Melanie Vedvei (senior from Lake Preston, S.D.) paced the team with 32 points, 10 assists and five steals. Teammate Jennie Malone (senior from Rapid City, S.D.) who was just in her third game back this season, cashed in 25 points, while freshman Jerika Ihnen (Tea, S.D.) added 19 points and sophomore Bethany Holyoak (Moorcroft, Wyo.) contributed with 11 markers.
Senior Amber Deweerd (Rock Valley, Iowa), who was a high school teammate of Remmerde, led Mines with nine rebounds and had eight points in the game. Deweerd suffered a leg injury in the first half and was sidelined for the remainder of the contest.
“Amber had nine rebounds at halftime,” Felderman said. “You take her out of the mix and it creates somewhat of a vacuum. But I thought our freshmen did step up.”
The Hardrockers were deadly from the field, shooting an amazing 58.3 percent to the Red Raiders’ 48.1.
In Saturday’s game, the Lady Hardrockers responded well to the emotional loss the night before and cruised to a 13-point victory, 81-68, over USF. Mines led by 10 at the half, 42-32, and then outscored the Cougars, 39-36 in the second period.
“My main concern is that we would have a letdown after losing in an emotional game (against Northwestern College),” Felderman said. “I thought their tanks would be empty but they played hard.��
Four Mines players found there way into double digits and the team had an all around great offensive game, up and down the roster.
“We played with balance both scoring wise and defensive wise,” Felderman said. “Mel and Jennie showed great leadership for us, leading by example.”
Sophomore Nicole Martin (Missoula, Mont.) led all scorers with 17 points, Holyoak had 16, Malone put up 15 and Vedvei cashed in for 11 markers to go along with her eight assists and six steals.
With her 43-point performance over the weekend, Vedvei is now just 83 points behind her older sister Stacy (Vedvei) Olson on the all time SDM women’s scoring list. Last week Vedvei moved into the No. 4 spot.
The Hardrockers improve their overall record to 7-2 on the season and will next face Chadron State on Friday at the King Center in Rapid City.
The South Dakota School of Mines men’s basketball team hosted to the U.S. Bank Thanksgiving Classic over the weekend, welcoming Black Hills State, Dana College (Neb.) and Johnson and Wales out of Denver, Colo.
The Hardrockers squared off with the Johnson and Wales Wildcats in Friday’s billing where JWU came out on top in overtime, 93-89.
The Hardrockers led at halftime, 39-31, but was outscored 45-37, in the second period and was then edged in OT, 17-13.
“The main reason we didn’t come away with the win (Friday) was due to turnovers. We had 24,” Hardrocker men’s basketball head coach Jason Henry said. “And that limited our (shooting) attempts.”
A.J. Trennepohl SDM’s Donny DeGooyer (junior from Great Falls, Mont.) made a clutch three-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime, but a few too many miscues in the extra period led to the eventual loss for the home team.
“We had a number of mental mistakes to start overtime,” Henry said. “They were youthful mistakes. When we have more experience the better off we will be. But we are starting to understand what it takes to win.”
Mines did have an all around effort offensively as five different Hardrockers scored in double figures. The ‘Rockers shot 46 percent from the game and pulled down 34 rebounds.
DeGooyer and sophomore Robbie Fedor (Monticello, Minn.) both led the team with 17 points while junior Brandon Smith (Amenia, N.D.) added 14 markers and paced the team with nine rebound, freshman A.J. Trennepohl (Lubbock, Texas) had 13 and freshman Michael Ross (Fort Worth, Texas) contributed with 10.
In Saturday’s contest, the Hardrockers defeated the Dana College Vikings, 80-70, due in part to the play of Trennepohl’s 100 percent shooting. The 6-2 guard was a perfect 10 for 10 from the field, including a 7-7 effort from behind the arc and 2-2 on the foul line. He ended the night with a game high 29 points.
“He’s a very capable shooter,” Henry said. “When you go 10-10 from the field and 7-7 from the three-point line that means you had a pretty incredibly night.”
Henry was quick to compliment the play of his post players as well, who matched up with bigger and more physical adversaries.
“Dana has some big and physical players,” Henry said. “Our post game was better than expected. We got some big rebounds at big times and had 28 points from our guys inside (Smith, Brent Cass and DeGooyer).”
Along with Trennepohl, Smith had one of his best outings of his college career. He nailed down 19 points on the night and came away with five big rebounds. DeGooyer ended with six points and led the team with six boards and freshman Cass (Hereford, Colo.) cashed in nine points and had two rebounds.
The Hardrockers record improved to 2-6 over the weekend and will next take on Chadron State Wednesday in an exhibition game in Nebraska followed by a road trip to Aberdeen, S.D., to square off with Presentation College.
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