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DWU women upset No. 2 Concordia

Aaron Saunders/Republic DWU's Kim Johnson goes up for a layup during a Great Plains Athletic Conference matchup against No. 2 Concordia Sunday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

For the first twenty minutes of the Dakota Wesleyan vs. Concordia University women's basketball game, DWU guard Amanda Hart couldn't score a basket.

The junior was 0-of-4 from the field and 0-of-3 from behind the arc. Still the Alexandria native kept shooting and eventually found her stroke.

Hart knocked down two three-pointers in the second half, but the most important three-ball Hart made, came with the game tied with less than three minutes to go.

As the shot clock was about to hit zero, Hart released the ball in the nick of time and the shot went in touching nothing but the net.

"The shots just weren't falling the first half. I had some good looks, but they just weren't going in," Hart said. "The second half I just wanted to come out and keep being aggressive."

Hart scored 10 points in the second half to help lead the Dakota Wesleyan women to a 72-61 victory over No. 2 Concordia Sunday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

DWU (16-6, 7-5 GPAC) held the Bulldogs under its season scoring average of 84.6 points per game and forced Concordia to shoot 23 percent from behind the arc and a less than stellar 29.6 percent from the field.

The Tiger defense also held Concordia's Bailey Morris, who averaged 14.9 points per game before the contest, to eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

"We did the things we needed to do to win," DWU coach Jason Christensen said. "Basketball sometimes is about playing, but it is also about studying and we did a good job of both this week."

While DWU came away with the victory, it was not without tense moments.

The most stressing of which came when Concordia (18-2, 11-2 GPAC) made an 11-0 run early in the second half to dissipate a 14-point DWU lead.

During that time, the Tigers' offense, which was marred by turnovers, went stale and the Bulldogs mounted a comeback led by Jericca Pearson, who scored five points during the run and finished with 11 points in the game.

"Those first 10 minutes we were turning the ball over and they score off of turnovers," Christensen said. "We talked about it at the 10 minute mark and I said 'I think we can win this game if we don't turn it over any more.' "

The DWU offense was almost as impressive as its defense. The Tigers had four players score in double figures highlighted by leading scorer Kim Johnson, who finished with 18 points.

Celeste Beck chipped in with 12 and Elizabeth Lamb recorded a double-double, grabbing 11 boards and scoring 10 points.

Katie Johnson and Brittany Hills just missed reaching double figures with eight points apiece.

"We are a really close team. We just stay composed and got it done," Kim Johnson said.

With the victory, the DWU women also match its season win total (16) from last year.

The Tigers will look to surpass that total in its final eight regular season games.

DWU takes the court again at 6 p.m. Wednesday when it hosts Mount Marty at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.



DWU (16-6, 7-5 GPAC)

Elizabeth Lamb 4-12 2-2 10, Taylor Piper 3-6 0-0 6, Amanda Hart 3-8 2-2 10, Brittany Hills 1-1 5-6 8, Kim Johnson 7-13 3-4 18, Lexie Christensen 0-1 0-0 0, Celeste Beck 4-10 2-2 12, Katie Johnson 3-3 2-2 8. Totals: 25-54 16-18 72.

CU (18-2, 11-2 GPAC)

Tracy Peitz 2-6 4-6 9, Kristen Conahan 5-21 2-2 16, Katie Rich 4-11 4-7 12, Dawn Martin 0-1 0-0 0, Jericca Pearson 5-11 1-1 11, Taylor Wissing 0-0 0-0 0, Bailey Morris 3-12 2-5 8, Kelsey Hizer 2-7 0-0 5, Beth Kohmetscher 0-2 0-0 0, Jenna Lehmann 0-0 0-0 0, Britney Birtell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-71 13-21 61.

Halftime DWU 36-27. 3-point goals: DWU 6-21 (Hart 2, Beck 2, Johnson 1, Hills 1), CU 6-26 (Conahan 4, Peitz 1, Hizer 1); Rebounds: DWU 45 (Lamb 11), CU 38 (Morris 9, Pearson 9); Assists: DWU 19 (Johnson 6), CU 12 (Morris 7); Steals: DWU 9 (Hills 2, Beck 2), CU 16 ( Rich 5); Turnovers: DWU 24, CU 16; Total fouls: DWU 13, CU 16; Technical fouls: none.