ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The No. 8 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team hit the road and returned to Mitchell with a hard-fought 78-75 victory over (RV) Northwestern College in Great Plains Athletic Conference action on Saturday in Orange City, Iowa.
The Tigers (15-2, 6-2 GPAC) started off hot as they took a 15-5 lead following two Amber Bray (Anoka, Minn.) free throws with 2:31 left in the first quarter. After one quarter, DWU led the Red Raiders (12-6, 4-6 GPAC) 20-15. As the second quarter began, junior Ashley Bray (Anoka, Minn.) heated up, scoring 11 of DWU's 15 points in the quarter. Ashley Bray scored five-straight points after a made jump shot with 6:35 left, taking the lead, 25-24. Northwestern answered with its own run in the middle of the second quarter and took a 40-31 lead with one minute left. A few ticks later, Ashley Bray scored four straight points to cut the deficit to 40-35 at the half.
DWU started the second half with five straight points as they took the 41-40 advantage. After being tied at 44, Northwestern went on a 14-7 run heading into the final stanza. The Tigers answered with an 11-2 run of their own to start the fourth quarter and take the lead, 62-61. The score would continue to change hands six times for the remainder of the contest. Trailing by three, Kristin Sabers (Mitchell, S.D.) hit a jumper with one minute left, followed by two free throws by Amber Bray (Anoka, Minn.) to take the final lead of the game. In the closing seconds, Ashley Bray, the No. 1 free throw percentage shooter in the NAIA, hit two free throws, leading the Tigers to victory.
Ashley Bray had a career night with 27 points and nine rebounds, just shy of a double-double. She also hit a career-high 10 field goal attempts and 3-pointers made with five, while grabbing a career-high eight defensive rebounds. Senior Erica Herrold (Dimock, S.D.) added 16 points while Amber Bray pitched in 12 points. Sabers scored eight points off the bench. DWU shot 50 percent from the field, while they were 38 percent from 3-point range.
The Tigers return home to host Briar Cliff University at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.