MITCHELL, S.D. – After outscoring Dordt College 21-7 in the third quarter, the No. 2 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team went on to down the Defenders in Great Plains Athletic Conference action, 72-68 Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
Both teams started the game quickly as the game was tied at eight midway through the first quarter. The Defender (5-2, 1-2 GPAC) defense held strong throughout the remainder of the quarter as they held DWU to just two points as they added eight more points and held a 16-10 lead after one stanza.
Dordt made a 3-pointer to open the scoring into the second quarter. However, a Makaela Karst (Plankinton, S.D.) 3-point bucket brought the game back to six points.
The Defenders nailed another shot from beyond the arc to extend their lead back to 11 points. Karst answered back with a layup, followed by a Madison Mathews (Draper, S.D.) 3-point shot to trim the deficit to four points.
Another 3-pointer by Dordt held the Tigers (6-0, 3-0 GPAC) at a distance midway through the second quarter. DWU narrowed the margin to seven points by halftime thanks to a pair of layups by Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) and Sarah Carr (Huron, S.D.).
After Dordt made a layup to begin the third period, the Tiger offense erupted. Senior Rylie Osthus (De Smet, S.D.) joined the action as she made a bucket from deep, as Sydney Halling (Harrisburg, S.D.) drove to the basket and made a layup, forcing a Dordt timeout.
Moments later, Halling found fellow freshman Kaylee Kirk (Balaton, Minn.) beyond the 3-point line as she nailed her shot to make it a 40-39 game in favor of the Defenders.
Mathews poured in another 3-pointer to give the Tigers their first lead since the first quarter. DWU continued to extend its' lead down the stretch of the third quarter, holding a 52-45 advantage.
Holding a five-point lead in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Carr came up with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Tigers a 60-51 lead.
DWU held the Defenders at bay throughout most of the fourth quarter, until Dordt made a layup to pull within three points. With 2:20 left however, Osthus hit a 3-point shot to push the DWU lead back to six points. Osthus, Mathews and Cheeseman made five free throws down the stretch to seal the game for the Tigers.
Carr led the Tigers with 19 points and four rebounds, while Osthus chipped in 15 points, six assists and five rebounds. Karst added 14 points and Cheeseman notched nine points, eight rebounds and six assists. The Tigers shot 44.8 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from 3-point range while holding the Defenders to just 26.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc. DWU forced 14 turnovers and scored 16 points off those turnovers.
The Tigers host No. 13 Hastings College for GPAC top-15 showdown at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Corn Palace.