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Dakota Wesleyan's Katie Johnson (42) goes up for shot against a Concordia defender during Saturday's game at the Corn Palace. (Justin Rust/Republic)

No. 7 Concordia beats Tiger women 62-49

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No. 7 Concordia beats Tiger women 62-49
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

The Concordia Bulldogs, ranked seventh in the latest NAIA poll, pulled away from a one-point halftime lead to defeat Dakota Wesleyan University 62-49 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference women's basketball game Saturday at the Corn Palace.

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The Tigers fell to 7-5 overall and 1-4 in the GPAC. Concordia is 10-1 and 5-1 in the GPAC.

Elizabeth Lamb and Brittany Pritchard each scored 13 points to lead DWU. Brittany Hills grabbed nine rebounds.

The contest was defensive-minded and physical from the start with the Tigers opening up a 14-9 lead with just under 9 minutes remaining until halftime.

But a basket by Katie Rich and a 3-pointer from Beth Kohmetscher tied the game at 14 for the Bulldogs.

DWU answered back with a 6-3 run powered by four free throws from Lamb and two free throws from Kim Johnson for a 20-17 lead.

Concordia closed out the half with a 9-4 run, capped by two 3-pointers from Kohmetscher, to give the Bulldogs a 25-24 halftime advantage.

How tough was the defense for both teams in the first half? The two teams shot 25 percent from the field and both squads committed 15 turnovers.

The Tigers lost sharp-shooter Amanda Hart with just over 5 minutes before halftime when she bumped heads with a Concordia player, opening a gash over Hart's left eye. She went into the locker room to get stitches, and returned early in the second half.

Concordia opened the second half with a 7-0 run and looked to take control of the game, but DWU tried to battle back and got to within 34-29 with 15:37 to play on a basket from Johnson.

But the Bulldogs found enough offense to build their biggest lead of the game at 51-36, and the Tigers couldn't recover.

The Bulldogs managed to shoot 41 percent from the floor in the second half, while DWU's managed just 22 percent from the field.

"What it boils down to, is that we just couldn't put the ball in the hole," DWU coach Jason Christenson said. "We played very good defense. I think they average 80 points a game and we held them to 62 points and to 34 percent shooting (from the floor)."

The Tigers had 25 turnovers in the loss and shot 23 percent on 11-of-47 shooting.

"We had too many turnovers, but our effort was there and we played hard and we got after it," Christensen said. "We've come a long way and I'm proud of this group. We knew this twelve game stretch was going to be tough.

"We played five rated teams and an honorable mentioned team. Even though we lost them all, I think we gave them a run for their money."

Concordia was the fourth-ranked team the DWU women have played in five GPAC games this year. Concordia, Morningside, Hastings and Briar Cliff have all been ranked seventh or above in the NAIA poll at the time DWU played each team.

DWU was 24-of-32 from the free-throw line for 75 percent. The Tigers added 39 rebounds.

"We talked about our zone offense because we didn't have a whole lot of flow with it," Concordia coach Drew Olson said. "Dakota Wesleyan did a great job of getting us out of our rhythm. We said to keep shooting and the ball will go in and make sure we get the ball to the middle of the zone and we did that."

Kristen Conahan led the Bulldogs with 15 points and four steals, followed by Kohmetscher and Rich with 11 points each.

Concordia was 21-of-61 for 34 percent from the field and 14-of-19 for 74 percent from the free-throw line.

The Bulldogs had 43 rebounds and 23 turnovers.

The next action for the Tigers is Wednesday at home in the Corn Palace against host Mount Marty.

CONCORDIA 62, DAKOTA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY49

DWU (7-5 1-4)

Taylor Piper 0-4 0-1 0; Amanda Hart 1-9 0-0 3; Celeste Beck 0-0 0-0 0; Kim Johnson 1-9 2-4 4; Brittany Pritchard 2-6 8-8 13; Elizabeth Lamb 3-6 6-6 13; Brittany Hills 0-3 4-5 4; Katie Johnson 1-1 2-2 4; Whitnee Clayton 3-9 2-7 8. Totals: 11-47 24-32 49.

Concordia (9-1 4-1)

Tracy Peitz 1-5 0-0 3; Lori Laboda 2-5 0-0 4; Kristen Conahan 5-14 3-4 15; Amber Kistler 2-9 5-6 9; Britany Birtell 0-1 0-0 0; Bailey Morris 1-6 1-2 3; Beth Kohmetscher 4-8 0-0 11; Katie Rich 3-8 5-7 11; Brittany Benson 0-0 0-0 0; Jericca Pearson 1-2 0-0 2; Katie Herther 2-3 0-0 4.. Totals: 21-61 14-19 62.

Halftime score: Concordia 25, DWU 24.

3-point goals: DWU 3-18 (Hart 1-9, Lamb 1-4, Pritchard 1-1, Piper 0-1, Kim Johnson 0-3), Concordia 6-30 (Kohmetscher 3-6, Conahan 2-8, Pietz 1-3); Rebounds: DWU 39 (Hills 9), Concordia 43 (Rich 8); Turnovers: DWU 25, Concordia 23; Assists: DWU 9 (Hart, Lamb 20, Concordia 10 (Four players with 2); Total fouls: DWU 16, Concordia 26; Fouled out: None. Blocks: DWU 3 (Three players with 1), Concordia 3 (Laboda 3); Steals: DWU 11 (Beck 3), Concordia 14 (Conahan 4); Technical fouls: None.

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