Jessi Giles is Dakota State’s 1st ever 1st team All-American

Trojans junior led her team to the Elite 8
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 11:34 PM CDT
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MADISON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2020-21 Women’s Basketball All-America Teams. Jessi Giles of Dakota State (S.D.) was selected to the NAIA All-America First team, the first time in program history that a women’s basketball athlete was named to All-America First Team.

Giles, 5-foot-10 junior guard, was an integral member of the Trojan women’s basketball team to one of the best teams in school history. The Trojans finished their season with an astounding overall record of 27-4 and a perfect 14-0 North Star Athletic Association conference record (third North Star squad to complete the conference season undefeated since the league formed in 2013-14 season).

It was the second straight year that Giles was listed on the NAIA All-America teams (honorable mention in NAIA Division II last season).

The Trojans won both NSAA conference regular-season and tournament titles for the first time in school history since the league formed in 2013-14, their first time since the 2006-07 season that DSU won both conference regular-season and tournament titles (in the former Dakota Athletic Conference).

DSU holds the school history of 23-game winning streak before top-ranked Thomas More (Ky.) ended their season in the NAIA national quarterfinals at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa on March 20. The previous record was set by the 1980-81 and 1983-84 squads with 11 consecutive victories.

The Trojans made their first NAIA national tournament since 2008 – their seventh trip to the national tournament in program history (2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2021). The 2020-21 DSU’s women’s basketball squad also made to the national quarterfinals for the third time in school history (2000, 2006), after handing Sterling (Kan.) its first defeat of the season in the Round of 16 game in Sioux City on March 18 (Sterling was 30-0 prior to the game)..

Dakota State also broke the school record of 27 victories in a single season, previously held by the 1999-00 team with 25 overall wins.

Giles, who was selected to the league’s Player-of-the-Year and First Team All-Conference, finished the season with an average of 17.2 points per game. She totaled 533 points, which is the third most points in the Trojan women’s basketball single season record book.

She was third in the NAIA in total scoring for Dakota State. She was also ninth in the nation with 3-point field goals made (74), 11th in 3-point field goal percentage (45.7 percent), 29th in field goal percentage (53.7 percent) and 50th in points per game (17.2).

Giles was 187-of-348 from the field in 2020-21. She is third in the single season record for most field goals made. In addition, she is third with 3-point field goals made and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage single season record.

She converted 85-of-103 from the free-throw line (82.5 percent) for the Trojans. She also averaged 2.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.7 steals per game in 2020-21 season.

Giles accumulated a total of 1,352 points during her career at Dakota State, currently ranking sixth all-time in scoring in the Trojan women’s basketball career record book. She is also 482-1,015 from the field (47.5 percent), 165-of-429 from the 3-point arc (38.5 percent) and 223-of-297 from the free-throw line (75.1 percent) in her career.

She ranks eighth all-time in field goals made (482 field goals) and fourth in 3-point field goals made (165) at Dakota State.

Giles was the top NAIA scorer in the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Tournament Opening Round with 36 points in Trojans’ 77-66 victory over Providence (Mont.) in Omaha, Neb. on March 13. She hit double figures in scoring 29 times this season.

Jessi is the daughter of Chris and Karen Giles of Madison. She is an English for news media major at Dakota State University.

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