DWU women beat Mount Marty for 10th GPAC victory
By KEITH A. BROCKBERG
To do so, the Lancers had to defeat the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers, who have improved steadily under fourth-year head coach Jason Christensen and are looking for a second consecutive 20-win season.
Mount Marty battled back to take a second-half lead over the Tigers before eventually falling 82-72 Wednesday night at Laddie E. Cimpl Arena in Yankton.
“They’ve got a nice team — hats off to them,” Mount Marty head coach Tom Schlimgen said of the Tigers. “They killed us on the inside in the first half; in the second half, we did a better job on that but then their perimeter people got going.”
“They’re just a good ball program; they’re well-coached and they’re disciplined,” Mount Marty sophomore Raquel Sutera said of Dakota Wesleyan. “Sometimes our shots didn’t fall like theirs were falling.”
Sutera carried the Lancers through the first 10 minutes of play on her heavily padded right shoulder.
The sophomore from Tabor, neared her 12.5 points-per-game season average by scoring 11 points in the first seven-plus minutes.
Sutera cued up for her third 3-pointer of the stretch, giving the Lancers an 18-15 lead with 12:50 to play in the first half.
After freshman Logan Wagner swished a 3-pointer to give the Lancers a 32-28 lead with 5:30 remaining in the first half, the Tigers took control on the boards and outscored Mount Marty 17-5 the rest of the way to take a 45-37 halftime lead.
Erica Herrold led the Tigers with 10 points as DWU shot 48.6-percent in the half. The visitors also controlled the boards as they held a 27-13 advantage — including seven rebounds on the offensive end.
“Defensively, we struggled in the first half, but I’m pretty sure Mount Marty and coach Schlimgen had something to do with,” Christensen said.
The Lancer comeback began with a driving basket from Sutera and a trey from Cassidy Gebhart.
Lancer top scorer Wagner found her groove and pulled the Lancers to within a point with a drive and a scoop.
Wagner gave the Lancers a 47-45 lead with a 3-pointer at the 16:40 mark of the second half.
Mount Marty continued to lead as Gebhart added a pair of baskets and Wagner popped in a jumper for a 53-51 home lead.
Celeste Beck pushed the Tigers back in front at 57-55 with a jumper from the lane.
From there, Dakota Wesleyan went on a 14-5 run and took their first double-digit lead at 71-60 on a hoop from Micaela Erickson.
The Tigers withstood a late shooting surge from Wagner to seal the 82-72 final.
Sutera finished with 20 points as Wagner had 19 and Gebhart scored 16.
Erickson paced five Tigers in double figures as she scored 18 points.
Amanda Hart scored 13 points, Katie Johnson added 11 and Kim Johnson and Herrold each had 10 points.
“We’ve got four players averaging double digits, so we’ve got kids who can score,” Christensen said of the Tiger balance. “We really don’t have that go-to kid that some of the teams in the GPAC have so we’ve got to play as a team to win.”
The Lancers will finish the season at home Saturday against Nebraska-Wesleyan, a team they defeated 78-63 Jan. 4.
DWU (18-12, 10-10 GPAC)
Savannah Minder 0-0 0-0 0, Micaela Erickson 6-8 6-10 18, Taylor Piper 2-3 0-0 4, Erica Herrold 4-7 2-7 10, Amanda Hart 5-11 0-0 13, Celeste Beck 4-9 0-0 9, Kim Johnson 4-11 0-0 10, Kristin Sabers 2-6 2-2 7, Katie Johnson 5-6 1-1 11. TOTALS: 32-61 11-20 82.
MOUNT MARTY (12-17, 3-16 GPAC)
Cassidy Gebhart 5-10 5-6 16, Logan Wagner 6-16 3-5 19, Denae Veldkamp 1-5 0-2 2, Cheyenne Lambley 1-2 0-0 2, Holly hegge 2-7 4-6 8, Kellei Winckler 0-1 0-0 0, Raquel Sutera 8-14 0-0 20, Allison De Kam 2-8 1-2 5. TOTALS: 25-63 13-21 72.
Halftime: 45-37 DWU ; 3-point goals: MMC 9-25 (Gebhart 1-3, Wagner 4-10, Veldkamp 0-2, Hegge 0-2, Sutera 4-8), DWU 7-17 (Erickson 0-1, Herrold, 0-1, Hart 3-6, Beck 1-3, Kim Johnson 2-4, Sabers 1-2);Rebounds: DWU 47 (Ki. Johnson 8), MMC 28 (Sutera 10); Assists: DWU 16 (Piper 5), MMC 11 (Gebhart 4); Steals: MMC 7 (Lambley 2, Hegge 2), DWU 5 (Piper 2); Turnovers: DWU 17, MMC 9; Personal Fouls: DWU 16, MMC 15; Fouled Out: None; Technical fouls: None.