MITCHELL, S.D. – After jumping out to an early 31-8 lead in the first quarter, the No. 4 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team cruised to victory over Great Plains Athletic Conference opponent College of Saint Mary, 102-51 Saturday at the Corn Palace.
The Tigers (22-3, 15-3 GPAC) jumped out to an early 6-0 lead following a fast break layup by Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) that forced a CSM timeout.
After the Flames (2-23, 1-17 GPAC) made a 3-point basket, DWU went on an 8-0 run that forced another CSM timeout. Later in the opening quarter, Makaela Karst (Plankinton, S.D.) found Madison Mathews (Draper, S.D.) who nailed a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 20-point lead. Minutes later, Sarah Carr (Huron, S.D.) added another 3-pointer for the Tigers, giving them a 31-8 lead.
DWU opened the second quarter on an 18-5 run, capped off by a pair of Carr free throws as the Tigers extended their lead to 49-13. The Tigers continued to pour in the baskets with back-to-back shots by Cheeseman and Karst to give DWU a 57-19 lead at halftime.
Cheeseman helped the Tigers pick up in the second half where they left off with a basket from beyond the arc to give DWU a 41-point lead.
With four minutes to play in the third quarter, Meghan Travis (Minneota, Minn.) dished the ball to Sydney Halling (Harrisburg, S.D.) for an easy layup. A few possessions later, good ball movement led to an open layup for Rylie Osthus (De Smet, S.D.) as she was fouled. Following the made Osthus free throw, the Tigers pushed their lead to 47 points.
With the third period winding down, Carr passed the ball to Cheeseman who knocked down a shot from 3-point range to cushion the Tiger advantage. Minutes into the fourth stanza, Kaylee Kirk (Balaton, Minn.) cut through the lane for a 3-point play following a layup and a free throw after being fouled.
On the next possession, Travis nailed a 3-point basket that forced a Flames timeout. Natalie Gottlob (Salem, S.D.) scored 10 of the final 12 points for DWU as the Tigers notched their 15th conference win of the season.
Cheeseman led all scorers with 24 points, three rebounds and three assists, while Carr added 17 points, five rebounds and four steals. Kirk tallied 13 points, three rebounds and three steals off the bench, as Osthus recorded 12 points and seven assists.
The Tigers shot 61.7 percent from the field and held the Flames to just 35.4 percent shooting, while outscoring CSM 52-18 in the paint. DWU also finished with 33 points off 21 turnovers and tallied 25 assists in the contest. With four conference games remaining, the Tigers are currently tied for first in the GPAC with Concordia University and Northwestern College at 15-3 in conference action.
DWU takes on the University of Jamestown for a GPAC tilt at 6 p.m. Monday in Jamestown, N.D.