Jan 14th, 2007 @ 2:49 pm | Author: Courtesy of Dustin Monke The Dickinson Press
Brady Ernst has struggled playing at Dickinson State for two years.

Consider that skid over.

The former Dickinson Trinity standout scored a team-high 14 points and was 6 of 9 from the field to lead Valley City State to a 76-48 Dakota Athletic Conference men's basketball victory over the Blue Hawks on Saturday.

'It's about time I finally have a decent game coming back here,' Ernst said.

Ernst and former Cando standout Jonathon Lindahl each scored 10 points in the first half and gradually led VCSU to an insurmountable lead.

'It's always important, on the road, to get out to a good start,' VCSU coach Jeff Kaminsky said.

The Blue Hawks cut VCSU's lead to 24-20 with less than five minutes to play in the first half.

But nine unanswered points by Lindahl and Ernst helped the Vikings build a 33-22 halftime lead.

'Eventually we jumped on them big and maintained it,' Ernst said.

Lindahl and Ernst scored the first four points of the second half to help VCSU immediately build on its lead. Lindahl finished with 13 points.

On top of strong shooting – VCSU shot 57 percent for the game and 68 percent in the second half – the Vikings also played a lockdown zone defense that nearly shut down DSU.

'When they made the switch to go to our matchup zone, we didn't handle that at all,' DSU coach Scott Berry said. 'That, in a nutshell, was the game. We got more and more frustrated with it.'

Nigel Sims provided a spark off the bench for the Blue Hawks, scoring 21 points on 7 of 10 shooting.

But DSU struggled getting the ball to the 6-foot-3 junior forward in the second half.

The Vikings trailed for just 23 seconds when Julian Larry hit a 3-pointer to give DSU a 13-12 lead midway though the first half.

VCSU went on a 12-0 run over the next four minutes, effectively dashing DSU's hopes to take a long-standing lead.