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Dakota Wesleyan’s Katie Johnson drives past Morningside’s Lexi Ackerman during a Great Plains Athletic Conference matchup Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

No. 25 DWU women fall to No. 10 Morningside 80-67

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No. 25 DWU women fall to No. 10 Morningside 80-67
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Mental lapses and turnovers proved to be detrimental for the No. 25 Dakota Wesleyan women’s basketball team as they fell 80-67 to No. 10 Morningside Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

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The Tigers (15-7, 8-5 GPAC), who cracked the top 25 for the first time this season in this week’s NAIA poll, committed 20 turnovers. Morningside took advantage of the mistakes by scoring 22 points off the turnovers.

“We lost because we turned the ball over,” DWU women’s basketball coach Jason Chris-tensen said. “They are a very athletic team, but you can’t turn the ball over like we did and win the game. Until we get a little more mentally tough and handle the basketball, things like this will happen.”

The DWU women had tough time on the offensive end against the Mustangs as well.

The Tigers finished 24-of-68 from the field, including 3-of-18 from the beyond the arc.

DWU’s offensive troubles began in the first half as it shot 29 percent from the field. Morningside (17-5, 8-4 GPAC) came out in a full-court press, which caused problems for the Tigers of-fense.

“I think we did a good job of challenging their three-point shooters,” Morningside women’s basketball coach Jamie Sale said. “We are very pleased, we knew to stay in the conference race, we needed this game and it is a big win for us.”

The Mustangs were led by Allison Bachman, who finished with 22 points. Jessica Tietz and Makyla Augustine chipped in with 12 points. Tietz also grabbed seven rebounds.

At the half Morningside held a 38-32 lead. The Mustangs pushed that lead to 14-points with a 10-2 run to start the second half, spearheaded by Bachman, who scored four points during the run.

With just over 12 minutes on the clock, DWU was down 60-48. The Wesleyan offense finally got in gear and ex-ploded on a 12-3 run to cut the Morningside lead to three. Junior guard Celeste Beck scored six points during the stretch. Beck would finish the game with 11 points. Junior guard Micaela Erickson scored a team-high 17 points. Katie Johnson, who fouled out with just less than 11 minutes left in the game, finished with 11 rebounds and seven points.

The Tigers would fail to get closer as the Mustangs shut the door on Wesleyan with solid defense down the stretch.

“Our turnovers beat us,” Erickson said. “Those weren’t our normal turnovers, those were sloppy ones.”

Tigers face Doane at 2 p.m. Saturday in Crete, Neb., before a rematch with Morningside Monday in Sioux City, Iowa.

Morningside College 80

Dakota Wesleyan 67

MC (17-5, 8-4 GPAC)

Lexi Ackerman 1-3 3-4 6; Leann Osten 3-12 2-4 9; Allison Bachman 7-14 5-6 22; Ashlynn Muhl 0-3 3-6 3; Kalene Anderson 2-4 1-2 6; Sara Heywood 0-0 0-0 0; Jessica Tietz 6-10 0-2 12; Jordyn Wollenburg 3-6 1-4 8; Lacey Lehmann 0-5 2-4 2; Mandy Osborne 0-0 0-0 0; MaKayla Augustine 4-11 0-0 12; Ashley Schroeder 0-1 0-0 0;

DWU (15-7, 8-5 GPAC)

Taylor Piper 2-4 1-2 5; Amanda Hart 3-9 0-0 7; Celsete Beck 3-15 4-4 11; Kim Johnson 2-7 2-2 7; Katie Johnson 3-5 1-1 7; Micaela Erickson 7-13 3-5 17; Erica Herrold 2-5 2-7 6; Kristin Sabers 2-10 3-4 7;

Halftime: 38-32 MC; 3-point goals: DWU 3-18 (Hart, Beck, Johnson), MC 11-24 (Bachman 3, Augustine 4, Ackerman, Osten, Anderson, Wollenburg); Rebounds: DWU 56 (Ka. Johnson 11), MC 49 (Muhl 9); Assists: DWU 13 (Beck 6), MC 19 (Osten 6); Steals: DWU 4 (Erickson 3), MC 12 (Osten 4); Turnovers: DWU 20, MC 13; Team fouls: DWU 23, MC 22; Foul outs: DWU (Ka. Johnson), MC none; Technical fouls: None.

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