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DWU women top Midland, earn 18th win of season

Dakota Wesleyan's Katie Johnson fights for a loose ball during the first half of a women's college basketball game Saturday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

For the first 20 minutes of the Dakota Wesleyan vs. Midland University women's basketball game, DWU guard Brittany Hills was virtually a non-factor on the scoreboard.

The senior shot the ball two times in the first half and finished the half with two points.

The second half went much differently for Hills, as she scored 15 points to help the Tigers defeat Midland 77-69 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference matchup Saturday at the Corn Palace.

"I just knew I had to step my game up a little more and help contribute to the team," Hills said.

Despite Hills only having two points, the Tigers were up 37-29 at the half after going 14-of-28 from the field and forcing Midland to commit 11 turnovers.

Dakota Wesleyan built its lead with the help of Amanda Hart, who scored 14 points in the first half, 12 of which came from four made 3-pointers.

Midland's Joelle Andersen kept pace with Hart in the first half with 13 points of her own, going 5-of-5 from the field.

Andersen continued her hot shooting in the second half, scoring 10 of the Warriors first 16 points and finished the night with a game-high 25.

During that span, Midland went on a 16-3 run to take a 43-40 lead with 15:37 left on the game clock.

Midland's Jami Thramer also played a role in the run, scoring two points, grabbing two rebounds and blocking one shot.

Thramer finished the game with 13 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.

"We weren't doing the things that got us the lead in the first half," DWU coach Jason Christensen said. "We missed a couple of switches on defense and forgot to rebound a couple of times and little things add up."

Despite losing the lead, Dakota Wesleyan did not quit. The Tigers traded buckets with Midland and then went on a 12-2 run to take control of the game.

Kim Johnson scored five of the Tigers' 12 points during the run and finished the game with 17 points.

Hart led the Tigers in scoring with 18 points and Katie Johnson added 11.

"We're really an offensive team. Everyone can shoot, everyone can score and anyone can be the leading scorer on any given night," Kim Johnson said. "It really helps when you can rely on everyone to score, and it's not just one person because if they try to take something away someone else will step up."

The win was Dakota Wesleyan's 18th of the season. The Tigers play Dordt College Wednesday in Sioux City, Iowa.



DWU (18-8, 9-7)

Elizabeth Lamb 2-5 0-0 6, Amanda Hart 5-11 4-4 18, Brittany Hills 4-7 8-10 17, Kim Johnson 7-15 2-3 17, Katie Johsnon 3-5 4-4 11, Lexie Christensen 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor Piper 0-6 1-3 1, Michaela Erickson 0-0 0-0 0, Celeste Beck 3-5 0-0 7. Totals: 24-55 19-24 77.

MU (9-17, 4-13)

Jami Thramer 6-7 1-1 13, Jamilah Johnson 2-15 3-4 8, Joelle Andersen 9-9 3-5 25, Kellie Page 1-8 0-0 3, Taylor Shepard 3-10 2-2 8, Sammy Hilsop 2-4 1-1 5, Olga Mwenentanda 1-2 0-0 2, Shelby Rupperecht 1-4 1-1 3, Darien Moon 1-8 0-0 2, Danielle Stephan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 26-68 11-14 69.

Halftime DWU 37-29, 3-point goals: DWU 10-21 (Hart 4, Lamb 2 Hills, Ki. Johnson, Ka. Johnson Beck), MU 6-22 (Andersen 4, Johnson, Page). Rebounds: DWU 32 (Piper 8), MU 47 (Thramer 10). Assists: DWU 22 (Lamb 7), MU (Johnson 6). Steals: DWU 10 (Lamb 3, Ka. Johnson 3), MU 5 (Johnson 2). Turnovers: DWU 11, MU 18. Total fouls: DWU 16, MU 22. Technical fouls: none.