Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball team falls to No. 6 USFSIOUX FALLS - The little things separated the Dakota Wesleyan women’s basketball team from upsetting the sixth-ranked team in the country Wednesday.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
SIOUX FALLS – The little things separated the Dakota Wesleyan women’s basketball team from upsetting the sixth-ranked team in the country Wednesday.
DWU fell to No. 6 University of Sioux Falls 69-60 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference game at the Stewart Center on the USF campus.
“It is the little things when you’re a young team,” said DWU coach Jason Christensen, whose team has one senior compared to USF’s five. “The little things are going to come. You look at this USF team and they’ve got quite a few juniors and seniors. I bet when they were young, the little things didn’t come too easy for them, either.”
The Tigers didn’t trail by more than nine points until late in the second half, when the Cougars pulled away and sealed the game. With about five minutes to play, Brittany Pritchard hit two free throws to get the Tigers within 58-53, but she fouled out two minutes later. With a little more than a minute left in the game, USF’s Jamey Hofer hit a fast-break layup to give her team a 68-58 lead.
Amanda Hart had a team-high 18 points for DWU. She was 6-of-8 from behind the 3-point line. Pritchard finished with 13.
“The kids played surprised at the end,” Christensen said. “We were down four points and we got triple-teamed in the post. We should have gotten the ball to Amanda Hart. We needed to get the ball to our shooters there. We just didn’t get a good look with about three minutes left and then we were behind by seven or eight for the rest of the way.”
In the first half, USF took a nine-point lead on back-to-back 3-pointers with about eight minutes to go. Hart answered with 3-pointers on DWU’s next two possessions and three minutes later, Kim Johnson hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 24.
USF hit two free throws nine seconds later, but Hart hit another 3-pointer with a little more than two minutes left in the half to give DWU a 27-26 lead. Taylor Piper had a baseline jumper with 32 seconds left in the first half to keep the Tigers ahead by one at halftime.
In the first half, DWU was 6-of-9 from behind the 3-point line, including four from Hart. DWU hit 48 percent from the field in the first half and 39 percent in the second half.
It took about nine minutes for Sioux Falls to grab an eight-point lead after the half. But, like in the first half, DWU responded.
Hills hit a layup, Piper knocked down a free throw and Hart hit another 3-pointer in transition. DWU got within 52-50 when Hills scored another bucket from inside.
Four minutes later, Pritchard fouled out and the game got out of reach for DWU.
“We didn’t turn the ball over foolishly in the second half like we did in the first,” Christensen said. “I like the way we’ve been playing defense lately. We just have to get better at stopping penetration.”
USF’s post player, Elizabeth Hildreth, hit seven of her eight attempts and finished with a game-high 19 points. She also had nine rebounds to lead USF.
USF picked up its 10th GPAC win, while DWU dropped to 2-13.
No. 6 UNIVERSITY OF SIOUX FALLS 69
DAKOTA WESLEYAN 60
DWU (6-17, 2-13 GPAC)
Liz Lamb 2-5 1-3 5, Micaela Erickson 1-4 0-0 2, Kenzie Dvoracek 1-9 1-2 3, Brittany Hills 3-7 0-1 7, Brittany Pritchard 4-7 4-4 13, Taylor Piper 1-2 2-5 4, Amanda Hart 6-11 0-0 18, Shelby Andersen 0-0 0-0 0, Kim Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, Whitnee Clayton 3-3 0-0 6. Totals: 22-51 8-15 60.
USF (20-3, 10-3 GPAC)
Holli Aggen 3-5 4-6 10, Vanessa Johnson 3-5 1-1 9, Baileigh O’Brien 0-1 1-2 1, Laura Johnson 2-7 0-0 6, Jamey Hofer 4-6 5-9 13, Jessica Austin 0-0 0-0 0, Chelsa Baxa 3-11 1-2 9, Bailey Bouman 0-3 0-0 0, Abby Mendlik 0-0 2-2 2, Chrissy Strassburg 0-3 0-0 0, Kelli Hoff 0-0 0-0 0, Elizabeth Hildreth 7-8 5-7 19. Totals: 22-49 19-29 69.
Halftime: DWU 32-31. 3-point goals: DWU 8-17 (Hart 6, Hills, Pritchard). USF 6-20 (V. Johnson 2, L. Johnson 2, Austin 2). Rebounds: DWU 36 (Johnson 6), USF 32 (Hildreth 9). Assists: DWU 11 (Hills 4), USF 16 (V. Johnson 5). Turnovers: DWU 16, USF 11. Fouled out: Pritchard (DWU). Technical fouls: None.