SEWARD, Neb. – As Makaela Karst (Plankinton, S.D.) made a layup at the halftime buzzer, the No. 5 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team held a three-point lead. However, No. 1 Concordia University came back in the second half and pulled away with the Great Plains Athletic Conference victory, 79-66 Saturday in Seward, Neb.
Concordia jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the opening three minutes of play. But, it was senior guard Rylie Osthus (De Smet, S.D.) who scored four-straight points for DWU to pull them within a point.
With less than two minutes to play in the first quarter, Osthus connected on a basket to give the Tigers (24-4, 17-4 GPAC) their first lead of the game at 16-14.
After the Bulldogs (25-3, 17-3 GPAC) tied the game, Sarah Carr (Huron, S.D.) poured in a two-point basket to help DWU regain the lead. Concordia answered again with a basket, but Karst gave the Tigers a 20-18 lead after the first quarter.
Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) gave life to the Tiger offense in the second quarter as she scored five consecutive points to begin the period. Moments later, Osthus found freshman Sydney Halling (Harrisburg, S.D.) for a layup.
Niether team scored for two and a half minutes in the second quarter until the Bulldogs tied the game at 27 with a layup. But, senior Meghan Travis (Minneota, Minn.) tallied a pair of free throws to help the Tigers regain the lead.
Karst and Sam Schuh (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) made back-to-back baskets to give DWU its' biggest lead of the game at 35-29. Just as the Bulldogs pulled within a point before halftime, Karst connected on another layup to give the Tigers a 38-35 lead at the break.
Karst scored the first four points for the Tigers in the second half to help DWU maintain its' lead. After Concordia took its' first lead since the first quarter, Halling scored to return the lead to the Tigers.
Both teams traded baskets in the third quarter until the Bulldogs went on a 7-0 run to take a 61-53 lead. However, Cheeseman put an end to the run with a 3-pointer to end the third stanza.
Osthus scored the opening bucket of the final period to bring DWU within three points. After Concordia scored on its' next possession, Karst nailed a 3-point basket to make it a two-point game. The Tigers went cold from the field down the stretch as they were scoreless for over six minutes. The Bulldogs took advantage as they finished the contest on a 14-3 run.
Karst recorded a career-high 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field and six rebounds. Cheeseman added 17 points and four assists, while Osthus notched 10 points and six rebounds. The Tigers shot 42.6 percent from the field and finished with 39 rebounds.
DWU takes on Valley City State University for a non-conference bout at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Valley City, N.D.