DWU women top Midland 79-64
By OWEN REITZEL
The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team scored 51 second-half points and pulled away for a 79-64 win over Midland in a Great Plains Athletic Conference battle Sunday at the Corn Palace.
“In the second half our shots went in,” said DWU coach Jason Christensen. “It’s a proven fact that if you keep playing defense and you keep rebounding the ball will eventually go in the hole.”
The Tiger offense struggled in the opening half with DWU shooting a cool 34 percent. It helped the Tigers that Midland shot just 33 percent themselves which led to a 28-28 tie at intermission.
The teams exchanged leads early with the Warriors leading 38-34 with 16:29 left in the game.
But the Tigers slowly began taking control of the contest. With a 45-44 lead with just under 14 minutes to play, DWU got two baskets from Taylor Piper, a basket from Kristin Sabers and a three point play from Katie Johnson to give the Tigers a 54-44 advantage with 11:20 to go in the second half.
Midland couldn’t recover got no closer than 10 points the remainder of the game.
Katie Johnson led DWU with 21 points and eight rebounds and she agreed with her coach that the shots just weren’t dropping in the first.
“Shots weren’t falling so good in the first half but in the second half we were able to knock some down,” said Johnson. “It might have been jitters in the first half. We heated up in the second half. We were making the extra pass to find the open shooter and we did a good job of that in the second half.”
The Tigers (15-6, 8-4) were also led by Celeste Beck with 17 points, 15 of those coming in the second half, and six assists. Kim Johnson added 12 points and nine rebounds, while Erica Herrold finished with 11 points and Piper with six assists for the Tigers.
DWU was 29-of-60 for 48 percent from the floor and 18-of-23 for 78 percent from the free-throw line. The Tigers held a 44-33 rebounding advantage over the Warriors and committed 14 turnovers.
“Our adjustment in the second half was we ran a lot of plays to get the post (player) the ball,” said Christensen. “We scored a lot of our points in the paint (32). We thought our post players were better than theirs and that’s why we attacked at the post.”
Midland (12-11, 8-4) was led by Jamilah Johnson with 15 points and Sammi Licari with 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Warriors were 23-of-65 for 35 percent from the field and 13-of-20 for 65 percent from the free throw line. Midland turned the ball over 14 times.
“DWU shot the ball better in the second half and their players hit some key shots,” said Midland coach Shawn Gilbert. “They (DWU) started to control the boards in the second half. We need to rebound so we can run a little because that’s one our strengths and we weren’t able to do that in the second half.”
The Tigers have another big game Wednesday as they will host Morningside, who DWU is tied with at fourth place in the GPAC standings.
Dakota Wesleyan 79
DWU (15-6, 8-4)
Micaela Erickson 1-4, 1-2 3; Taylor Piper 2-5 1-2 5; Amanda Hart 1-8, 0-0 2; Kim Johnson 5-8, 1-2 12; Katie Johnson 9-12, 3-3 21; Erica Herrold 3-6, 4-4 11; Celeste Beck 5-10, 6-6 17; Skyler Heyden 0-0 1-1 1; Kristin Sabers 3-7, 1-3 7; Totals 29-60, 13-20 79.
Midland (12-11, 8-5)
Jamilah Johnson 5-14, 4-4 15; Sammi Licari 5-9, 4-9 14; Joelle Andersen 3-7, 2-2 8; Kellie Page 3-7, 0-0 7; Taylor Shepard 2-5, 0-0 4; Shelby Rupprecht 1-7, 2-2 5; Darien Moon 2-7, 0-1 5; Dani Andersen 2-8, 0-0 5; Halle Dittrich 0-1, 1-2 1; 23-65 18-23 64.
3-point, DWU 3-16 (Beck 1, Herrold 1, Kim Johnson 1) Midland 5-15 (Johnson 1, Page 1, Rupprecht 1, Moon 1, Andersen 1); Rebounds, DWU 44 (Kim Johnson 9, Katie Johnson 8), Midland 33 (Licari 9); Assists, DWU 20 (Piper 6, Beck 6), Midland 7; Steals, DWU 8 (Piper 3), Midland 8; Turnovers, DWU 14, Midland 14.