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Balanced Tiger women dismantle Chargers

Dakota Wesleyan University's Amber Bray, right, drives to the basket as Briar Cliff's Taylor Vasa, left, defends her during a Great Plains Athletic Conference women's basketball game on Saturday at the Corn Palace. (Eric Mayer / Republic)

Balanced scoring and stiff man-to-man defense was once again a winning formula for the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team at the Corn Palace.

More efficient than flashy, the No. 9-ranked Tigers bounced back from their second loss of the season with a 80-50 dismantling of Briar Cliff in a Great Plains Athletic Conference battle on Saturday.

"We played good defense the whole game," DWU head coach Jason Christensen said. "I thought rebounding, we were there. That's the key, you can play good defense, but you also have to rebound and we did both of them today on the defensive end."

DWU (11-2, 5-2 GPAC) won the rebounding battle 38-20 and had six players score seven or more points with four players scoring in double figures. Kynedi Cheeseman and Amber Bray led the way with 15 points each, while Ashley Bray and Jessica Mieras each chipped in 12 points. Rylie Osthus tossed in eight points and Makaela Karst added seven points.

"This was probably one of the first games that we excuted our offense the whole game," Christensen said. "We did a good job with shot selection. We weren't trying to take the first shot, we were trying to take the best shot."

Up 20-15 after the first quarter, DWU went on a 16-4 run to build a double-digit lead that was pushed to 19 points at halftime for a 41-22 lead. Fueling the offense was DWU's defense as the Tigers held the Chargers to seven points in the second period. DWU capitalized on BCU errors, scoring 15 points off turnovers by halftime and finished the game with 21 points off 17 Charger turnovers.

"Defense wins the game," Osthus said. "The defensive success makes you that much better on offense because you wear down teams. We got after the 50-50 balls and we are meshing well on that defensive side. It was a good team win."

In the second half, the Tigers worked their lead up to 20 points in the third quarter and extended the margin to 30 points early in the fourth quarter.

BCU (6-9, 3-4 GPAC) was led by Logan Ehlers, who scored a game-high 16 points and added five rebounds in the loss. Faith Troshynski added nine points and Taylor Vasa chipped in eight points off the bench as the Chargers shot 31 percent from the field (17-of-55) and 25 percent from behind the arc (5-of-20).

"We know we can still get better offensively and defensively," said Christensen, whose team takes on Dakota State on Wednesday in Madison. "We need to continue to adapt to different things defenses will throw at us."

Dakota Wesleyan 80, Briar Cliff 50

Briar Cliff (6-9, 3-4 GPAC): Abby Heston 2-5 0-0 4, Faith Troshynski 3-10 0-0 9, Johanna Vaske 3-9 0-0 6, Julie Targy 0-1 1-2 1, Logan Ehlers 4-7 7-9 16, Alyssa Carley 1-7 1-2 4 Taylor Vasa 4-5 0-0 8, Patri Martinez Sanz 0-2 0-0 0 C.J. Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Annie Drewberry 0-3 2-2 2, Sarah Dreckman 0-1 0-0 0, Breanna Allen 0-4 0-0 0, Ashley Hohenstein 0-0 0-0 0 Totals 17-55 11-15 50.

Dakota Wesleyan (11-2, 5-2 GPAC): Rylie Osthus 3-8 2-2 8, Ashley Bray 6-9 0-0 12, Kynedi Cheeseman 7-12 0-0 15, Chesney Nagel 1-2 3-3 5, Amber Bray 6-10 2-3 15, Sam Schuh 0-0 0-0 0, Kacey Bartscher 0-0 0-0 0, Madison Mathews 0-1 0-0 0, Mateya Walder 0-0 2-2 2, Makaela Karst 2-3 2-2 7, Lindsey Hale 0-0 0-0 0, Sarah Carr 0-2 0-0 0, Mikaela Stofferahn 1-1 0-0 2, Jessica Mieras 4-7 4-8 12, Meghan Travis 1-2 0-0 2 Totals 31-57 15-20 80

BCU 15 22 34 50

DWU 20 41 60 80

3-point goals: BCU 5-20 (Troshynski 3-6, Ehlers 1-1, Carley 1-5, Heston 0-2, Vaske 0-2, Allen 0-3, Dreckman 0-1), DWU 3-15 (Cheeseman 1-5, Amber Bray 1-3, Karst 1-1, Ashley Bray 0-2, Mieras 0-2, Travis 0-1, Walder 0-1); Rebounds: BCU 20 (Ehlers 5), DWU 38 (Ashley Bray 6); Assists: BCU 10 (Targy 3), DWU 21 (Amber Bray 5); Steals: BCU 5 (Targy 2), DWU 8 (Ashley Bray 3); Blocks: BCU 3 (Ehlers 2), DWU 3 (Mieras 2); Fouls: BCU 18, DWU 16; Fouled out: BCU (none), DWU (none); Turnovers: BCU 17, DWU 13. Attendance: 2,490.

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