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DWU's Johnson off to hot start

Dakota Wesleyan's Kim Johnson goes up for a layup in a game earlier this season against York College at the Corn Palace. Johnson is the Tigers leading scorer, averaging 19.9 points per game. She is in her junior year with DWU.

If there was one word to describe Kim Johnson on the basketball court, it's versatile.

"She can step out and shoot the basketball and can go inside, and that's probably why she is scoring 18 (points) a game," Dakota Wesleyan women's head coach Jason Christensen said.

The 5-foot-11 junior forward has been lethal in the early stages of the season averaging 19.9 points per game.

While Johnson is considered a five, also known as a center, her secret weapon against opponents has been her deadly three-point shooting ability.

"A lot of bigs can't shoot the three, but the nice thing about Kim is she can," Christensen said.

So far this season, Johnson is shooting 47.4 percent from behind the arc and 56.2 percent from the field.

The Sioux Falls native said her good shooting came from her time in middle school when she was a guard.

Johnson's inside and outside games have helped open up opportunities for other teammates to knock down 3-pointers or drive to the basket.

"We all feed off each other, so when I am having a good game, I open things up for our shooters," Johnson said. "And when others are shooting well, we feed off them. It just boosts the team."

Since arriving at DWU, Johnson has been a consistent contributor for the Tigers, averaging 7.9 ppg in her first season and 8.7 ppg in her sophomore season. This year she has stepped away from being a role player and has become an impact player.

"Her progression started this summer," Christensen said. "She was committed to getting better, and she stayed here instead of going back to Sioux Falls and did a lot of things on her own to make herself better.

"She has just developed well, and now she has caught on to our system."

Despite becoming a vital part of the team's success, Johnson insists that her teammates deserve all the credit.

"It all goes back to the team," she said. "They get the ball up court, give it to me and set me up for good looks."