Olson's buzzer-beater lifts Blue Hawks past Comets

·3 min read

Jan. 23—The sound of cheer interweaved with the game buzzer declared Dickinson State's 79-76 victory over Mayville State. Forward Courtney Olson contributed both the first and final point in the game on Saturday evening.

"Everybody worked together and gave each other the ball," Olson said. "I wanted to make sure we got that team win and I just did my thing and the ball found the hoop tonight."

The Blue Hawks rounded out their weekend of conference matches with a second win, but it did not come easy.

DSU head coach Eric Nelson was certain the Comets would put up a fight and that his team was capable of holding their own.

"Obviously Mayville is a really good team and are towards the top of the conference for a reason," Nelson said. "I thought our girls played well. They executed our game plan both offensively and defensively and made a clutch play down the stretch with a steal and a putback at the buzzer to win it."

Dickinson State started off on the right foot, holding the lead for the majority of the first quarter. Mayville took a one-point lead in the final minutes of the first after scoring seven consecutive points.

The score was 21-20 as the second quarter began and the well-contested battled saw the lead change three times. McKenzie Jonhson's three-point shot tied the game at 30. With six minutes remaining in the first half, the Blue Hawks would secure a three-point lead before halftime with the score at 37-34.

In the third quarter Dickinson State achieved a double digit lead of ten points. It would be the largest lead of the game. The Comets deployed a full-court press that led to a 12-7 run of points in the last five minutes of the quarter.

It was a four-point game going into the final quarter.

"Mayville kind of put the pressure on us with the full-court press, but I think we responded well," Nelson said. "Our girls did exactly what they needed to do down the stretch. They handled that pressure, they got to the free-throw line and they did all the things needed to win."

The last ten minutes had excitement throughout with four ties and the lead changing six times. Mayville State started to rally off a four point run, but back-to-back three pointers from Ashlie Watts kept the Blue Hawks on their perch.

The game was tied at 69 with three minutes left when Heather Labree converted a three-point play to hold her team above water.

"When I passed out to Ashlie Watts and she hit that three I knew after that the game was ours," Olson said."Heather stepped up and played some great minutes for us."

It looked to be heading into overtime after Olson went 1-for-2 at the line to tie it back up with nine seconds remaining. However, guard Lilly Kelley made a key play, stealing the ball mid-court. She drove the ball into the paint for a layup, but missed. Olson recovered the rebound and threw it up and the ball flawlessly dropped into the basket with the buzzer bringing the home crowd off of their bleachers.

Olson, who averages 18.4 PPG, had 38 points against Mayville, a career high. She also went 14-for-16 at the line and had eight rebounds. Labree led Dickinson in boards with 10.

"Courtney had 38 points and I would say that was huge for us," Nelson said. "She was a beast on the offensive end all night long."

Dickinson State will be on the road next weekend at Presentation College on Friday, Jan. 28.