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1999-2000 Women’s Basketball Team to be inducted in the DSU Athletic Hall of Fame on June 2
May 26, 2012
MADISON, S.D. - The 1999-2000 season was a year to remember for the Lady T's basketball team and their fans. They shared the South Dakota-Iowa Conference (SDIC) championship that year, which proved to be the final year for the SDIC. The Lady T's made it clear in their final game of the season against Huron University they were postseason ready by defeating Huron 102-72 at Huron. The Lady T's ended their regular season with a 21-7 record and a conference record of 10-4. In the SDIC post season games, the Lady T's first round win was against Mt. Marty (79-61) with the championship game played in Rapid City at South Dakota Tech. Tech had handed the Lady T's two regular season losses and so this was the third meeting between the two. A win would ensure a bid for DSU into the NAIA Division II National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. As was often the case, the game between these two teams was intense but the Lady T's upset the Hardrockers 79-71 winning the SDIC Tournament Championship and making history by being the first women's team, from DSU, to qualify for the NAIA Division II National Tournament. Head coach Jeff Dittman stated, "While DSU was a power in the SDIC, this group was the first to reach the NAIA National Tournament and advance to the 'Elite Eight' round."
At the national tournament, DSU's first round opponent was St. Thomas Aquinas, a team out of New York. The Lady T's dominated on defense and with strong post play and rebounding domination they won their first round game on Thursday March 9, 2000, by a score of 74-55. This put the women into the "Sweet Sixteen" round.
In the Sweet Sixteen round, they met a familiar foe from Sioux City, the Briar Cliff Chargers. The two ranked teams had played in December at the DSU Fieldhouse in a high scoring, exciting over-time contest. At that time the Lady T's were ranked No. 22 in the national rankings while the Chargers were ranked No. 4. The Lady T's won that game 92-88 and so everyone knew going into the national tournament game, the Chargers would be determined to avenge that December loss.
This game did not have the same high power offensive scoring as the earlier game but it proved to be no less exciting on a national stage. Both teams had identical 24-7 records coming into the game. It took a 6-0 game-ending scoring run by the Lady T's to get a 58-54 win against the sixth-seeded Chargers. With 1:12 left in the game, a Krista Peterson three-pointer gave the Lady T's a 55-54 lead. Moments later, Peterson connected on two free throws and then Kathy Shypulski put in another free throw to clinch the game and move the Lady T's into the "Elite Eight" round. Although many players contributed to the advancement to the Elite Eight, Shypulski scored a game high 16 points with 10 of those coming in the second half including two crucial three-pointers. Sheila Haack Peterson pulled down 13 rebounds. There were a total of thirteen lead changes and nine ties in the game. "The key to this game was our rebounding" added Dittman. "We had 21 more boards than Briar Cliff which gave us second-chance shots."
The Lady T's Saturday 'Elite Eight' game was against Northwest Nazarene (Idaho). After trailing 34-21 at halftime, the Lady T's used a 19-7 run to trim their deficit to 41-40 with eleven minutes and 54 seconds left. Northwest Nazarene staged a scoring surge of its own outscoring DSU over the next eight minutes, putting the game out of reach for the Lady T's. Unfortunately, fatigue became a factor in this game as the Lady T's played three games in three days. They lost the game 70-55 ending their season with a record of 25-8, the most wins by any Lady T's team.
"Overall, I think our first trip to the NAIA National Tournament was a huge success," stated Dittman. "Obviously, we would have liked to win it all, but these ladies played their hearts out and gained the respect of many people at the tournament."
Dittman added, "Besides being committed to the basketball program, this group of young ladies was very well respected on the DSU campus and in the Madison community. They did a great job in the classroom and were true student-athletes. It was a year to remember."
For further information and so that we may plan appropriately for the banquet, please RSVP by contacting the Athletic Department at 605-256-5229 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $14 per person and may be purchased at the door. The social begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 6:15 p.m. The program will begin at approximately 7 p.m. The event is open to the public.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director