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 didn’t get much of a Christmas break as both programs were in action this past weekend.
The men’s squad traveled to Spearfish, S.D., for the Perkins Classic while the Lady Hardrockers flew off to Las Vegas, Nev., to play host to the NAIA Shootout.
The Lady Hardrocker had an opportunity over the holiday break to compete against teams they would normally never see during the NAIA Shootout in Las Vegas, Nev. South Dakota School of Mines took on Madonna University out of Michigan Dec. 29, 2006, and then squared off with NAIA Div. I juggernaut Oklahoma City University, a program that won the national title from 1998-2003 as well as been national runners-up for the past three seasons.
The Lady ‘Rockers defeated the Madonna Crusaders, 92-82, but fell short on a late rally to Oklahoma City, 61-54.
In the Madonna bout, SDM held a 22-point tilt at halftime, 53-31, and were able to stave off a second-period scoring surge from Madonna. The Michigan school did outscore Mines in the second period, 51-39, but the Hardrockers were able to stay the course for the victory.
Junior point guard Melanie Vedvei (Lake Preston, S.D.) led the way for SDM cashing in for 19 points. Fellow junior Amber DeWeerd (Rock Valley, Iowa) also had a good game, collecting a double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Freshman Leah Sundby (Williston, N.D.) also was a point producer with 16, while junior Jennie Malone (Rapid City, S.D.) put up 12 and freshman Madi Hotovec contributed with 10 points.
The Hardrockers weren���t intimidated by the reputation of the Oklahoma City Stars as Mines led for some of the game. At the half, the Rockers trailed by just six points, 61-54. The Stars were able to distance themselves midway through the second half, but SDM battled back with consecutive three-pointers late in the game. Unfortunately the deficit was too much to overcome as the Hardrockers fell by seven to end the game.
Vedvei again was the leading scorer for SDM, scoring 19 points and Malone kept pace with 15 markers.
The Lady ‘Rockers get back into Dakota Athletic Conference action this weekend and will finally play at home after a month of being on the road. SDM takes on Dickinson State Friday followed by a contest with Minot State on Saturday.
The South Dakota School of Mines men’s team finished up a month long road trip over the holiday break, competing at the Perkins Classic Dec. 29-30 in Spearfish, S.D. The Hardrockers were pitted against two of the premier Great Plains Athletic Conference squads in the Morningside College Mustangs and the Northwestern College Red Raiders (both schools from Iowa).
The Hardrockers competed hard in bout outings, but couldn’t keep pace down the stretch as the Mustangs bettered SDM, 92-79, and the Red Raiders prevailed, 102-85. Against Morningside, the Mustangs were on fire from the perimeter converting 55 percent of their shots. The Hardrockers were able to keep pace for a majority of the first half, by Morningside got momentum late in the period to go up at the half, 51-43.
Over the last 20 minutes, every time South Dakota Mines got some momentum, the Mustangs always seemed to come up with a big play to snatch it away.
Senior Blake Tideman (Winner, S.D.) put forth a great effort for the ‘Rockers, scoring a team high 17 points. Fellow senior Matt Lyndoe (Custer, S.D.) also had a good game with 15 points while both Brandon Fredrickson (senior from Fort Collins, Colo.) and Casey Schmitz (senior from Williston, N.D.) both cashed in for 10 points.
In the Red Raider contest, the Hardrockers were up by double digits with fewer than 30 seconds to play only to see a Red Raider shooter hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer. SDM went into the locker room up, 52-47. Northwestern capitalized and kept the momentum on their side through most of the second half, outscoring the Hardrockers, 55-33.
Lyndoe paced the ‘Rockers with 20 points. Over the weekend, Lyndoe also breached the 1,000-point mark during his career as a Hardrocker. His hard work also earned him the Dakota Athletic Conference Player of the week.
SDM saw three other players reach double figures as Brandon Lord (senior from Taylorsville, Utah) had a good game with 14 points, Fredrickson chipped in for 12 points while Andrew Brown (junior from Dickinson, N.D.), who is pretty much back to 100 percent after sustaining an injury back in early November, put up 11 points in the game.
South Dakota School of Mines will be back in the King Center this weekend to resume DAC play. The Rockers take on Dickinson State Friday followed by Minot State Saturday.
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