Starting five lead charge as No. 1 Tigers cruise to victory

Starting five lead charge as No. 1 Tigers cruise to victory

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Thanks to all the starters scoring in double figures, the No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team cruised past No. 12 Dordt College in a Great Plains Athletic Conference top-15 matchup Wednesday at the De Witt Gymnasium.

 DWU set the tone early on defense forcing a shot-clock violation. Offensively, Rylie Osthus (DeSmet, S.D.) drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Tigers a 7-2 lead.

 Both teams struggled offensively through the middle of the first quarter but points off turnovers for the Tigers (18-1, 11-1 GPAC) propelled them to a 12-7 lead.

 Moments later, DWU went on a quick 5-0 run as Osthus notched a layup. A Madison Mathews (Draper,S.D.) 3-point basket helped the Tigers hold the lead at the end of the first quarter, 20-15.

 Early in the second quarter, both teams traded baskets as the Defenders (15-5, 8-4 GPAC) began to crawl back into the game. Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) broke the Tiger scoring drought with a jumper to get DWU back up by six points.

 The Tigers continued to build on their lead to end the first half as they lead 43-36 lead at intermission.

 Cheeseman kicked off the second half with a steal, as she took the ball to the other end for the easy layup. On the following possession the Tigers snagged another steal as Sarah Carr (Huron, S.D.) was fouled on the layup. She made the ensuing free throws as DWU took a 49-36 lead, forcing the Dordt timeout.

 Midway through the third quarter, Carr found herself open from behind the arc as she nailed a 3-pointer to give DWU an 11-point lead. The Defenders began to cut into the lead as they made the margin seven points. However, Carr answered again with a layup to push the lead back to nine points.

 In the final minute of the third quarter, it was Karst's turn to give life to the Tiger offense as she scored on consecutive possessions. Dordt ended the third stanza with a deep 3-pointer to make it a six-point game with one quarter to play.

 On the second possession of the fourth period, Mathews dished the ball to Carr from the corner, as Carr dipped under her defender for the layup. The Tigers took their largest lead of the second half to that point following a Mathews 3-pointer that pushed the advantage to 14 points, forcing a Dordt timeout.

 The lead continued to grow as Carr drove in for the layup and missed; however, she grabbed her own rebound and put the shot back up for the close-range basket to propel the Tigers onto victory.

 Each starter scored double figures as Carr and Osthus lead the way with 22 points apiece. Mathews finished with 13 points on a perfect shooting 5-of-5 from the field. Karst and Cheeseman each finished with 11 points, while the Tigers forced 24 turnovers and tallied 17 steals.

 The Tigers return home to host (RV) Midland University at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Corn Palace.

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