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Morningside beats Dakota Wesleyan women 68-58

Dakota Wesleyan University's Brittany Hills (24) drives to the basket during a Great Plains Athletic Conference game against Morningside Wednesday at the Corn Palace.

There's 40 minutes in a college basketball game, but sometimes it takes just a few minutes to put a team in a hole that it can't get out of.

So went Dakota Wesleyan women's Great Plains Athletic Conference game with Morningside Wednesday at the Corn Palace. The Tigers fell to the Mustangs, ranked fifth in the NAIA, 68-58 to fall to 5-10 in the GPAC and 14-11 overall.

Things looked good for DWU over the first 15 minutes of the opening half as the Tigers jumped to an early 5-0 lead. Morningside came back to take an 18-14 lead, but DWU battled back to tie the contest at 23.

But then the Tigers hit a brick wall.

Over the final 5 minutes of the half, the Mustangs scored 16 straight points as DWU shooting went frigid and Morningside went into intermission with a 36-23 advantage.

"When you play the No. 5 team in the country, you have to get shots to fall and we didn't shoot the ball well," DWU coach Jason Christensen said of those last five first-half minutes. "We weren't very smart with the ball a couple of times down that stretch."

The Tigers tried to get back into the contest in the second half. They got to within 40-30, but Mustangs guard Chelsie Trask, who had a game high 27 points, answered with a 3-point shot.

Amanda Hart's 3-point shot pulled DWU to within 45-35 with 15:56 to play, but Morningside answered again with four straight points and a 49-35 lead.

The Tigers made one final run. Trailing 66-50 DWU went on an 8-0 run get to within 66-58 with 52 seconds to play in the game, but time ran out on the comeback attempt.

"I give our kids credit for fighting back," Christensen said. "We didn't fold and we kept battling. We got beat by 10, but I thought there were times we were going to get beat by 25."

Elizabeth Lamb led DWU with 14 points, four assists and three steals. Brittany Pritchard followed with 11 points, eight rebounds and two block shots. Brittany Hills handed out four assists.

The Tigers were 19-of-56 for 34 percent from the floor and 12-of-14 for 86 percent from the free-throw line. DWU had 37 rebounds and committed 13 turnovers.

"We were having a hard time scoring in the first half and DWU played really well," Morningside coach Jamie Sale said. "Trask hit a few big shots that gave us a bit of a run and opened it up some. I think the game was pretty even and that run made a big difference for us."

The Mustangs were also led by Hanna Blum with 10 points and Brittany Alfredson with 11 rebounds.

Morningside (19-6, 13-3 GPAC) was 27-of-63 for 43 percent from the field and 6-of-9 for 67 percent from the free-throw line. The Mustangs pulled down 38 rebounds and turned the ball over nine times.

The Tigers head to Fremont, Neb., Saturday to take on Midland University.



DWU (14-11 5-10)

Elizabeth Lamb 5-13 3-4 14, Taylor Piper 3-8 0-0 6, Brittany Hills 2-5 1-2 6, Kim Johnson 1-6 2-2 5, Brittany Pritchard 3-6 4-4 11, Amanda Hart 3-13 0-0 9, Celeste Beck 2-3 0-0 5, Katie Johnson 0-2 2-2 2. Totals: 19-56 12-14 58.

Morningside (19-6 13-3)

Chelsie Trask 9-16 4-5 27, Shelby Beaudette 2-8 0-1 4, Leann Osten 1-4 0-1 2, Brittany Alfredson 4-9 0-0 8, Kalene Anderson 2-5 0-0 4, Randi Ebert 0-1 0-0 0, Bobbi McManama 2-5 0-0 6, Nicole Rauner 0-1 2-2 2, Donell Betts 1-4 0-0 3, Lacey Lehmann 1-1 0-0, Hanna Blum 5-9 0-0 10. Totals: 27-63 6-9 68.

Halftime: Morningside 36, DWU 23; 3-point shots; DWU 8-27 (hart 3, Lamb 1, Hills 1, Kim Johnson 1, Pritchard 1, Beck 1), Morningside 8-24 (Trask 5, McManaman 2, Bettts 1). Rebounds; DWU 37 (Pritchard 8), Morningside 38 (Alfredson 11). Assists DWU 16 (Lamb 4, Hills 4), Morningside 16 (Beaudette 7). Steals; DWU 6 Llamb 3), Morningside 10 (Beaudette 2, Alfredson 2, Anderson 2, Betts 2). Blocks; DWU 2 (Pritchard 2), Morningside 3 (Alfredson 2). Turnovers; DWU 13, Morningside 9. Fouls; DWU 15, Morningside 13. Fould out; None. Techinal fouls; None.