SEWARD, Neb. – It wasn't what the No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team had planned on Saturday as No. 7 Concordia University outlasted the Tigers 85-82 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference showdown in Seward, Neb.
Concordia (11-1, 6-0 GPAC) used its full court pressure early in the contest to take a 12-3 lead in the first quarter. Later in the quarter, a pair of free throws by Ashley Bray (Anoka, Minn.) and a jumper by Rylie Osthus (De Smet, S.D.) pulled DWU within eight points.
With 7:28 to go in the second quarter, senior Kristin Sabers (Mitchell, S.D.) knocked down a 3-pointer to make it a five-point game. Sabers led the Tigers (10-1, 4-1 GPAC) in scoring with 20 points, while shooting 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. DWU started to chip away at the Bulldog lead late in the second quarter when Osthus slashed threw a pair of defenders, connecting on a bucket with five seconds left in the half. Osthus tallied 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Out of the gate in quarter three, Chesney Nagel (Springfield, S.D.) found an open look and banked a 3-pointer. Minutes later, Amber Bray (Anoka, Minn.) tied the game at 46 on a jumper in the lane. With 6:11 remaining in the third quarter, freshman Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) sank a 3-pointer to give the Tigers their first lead of the game. DWU went on to take a four-point lead with 3:26 to play on a pair of made free throws by Ashley Bray.
Down by one at the start of the fourth quarter, the Tigers cruised to a quick five-point lead as Amber Bray hit a shot on the left side of the key. For most of the fourth quarter, both teams exchanged shots, but with 2:05 remaining in the game, Sabers hit a clutch 3-pointer, giving the Tigers a three-point lead. With a minute left, the Bulldogs were able to knock four free throws, handing the Tigers their first loss of the season.
DWU shot 42 percent from the field and 80 percent from the charity stripe, while outrebounding the Bulldogs 45-39. Erica Herrold (Dimock, S.D.) added six points, while Cheeseman recorded five points and five rebounds.
The Tigers welcome Doane University to town for a GPAC contest at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.