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DWU women fall to No. 9 Concordia

All season long, the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team has been able to get close to opponents, but has struggled to keep the game close enough to win.

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(Matt Bunke/Republic) Dakota Wesleyan's Ashley Mailey goes up for a shot in the paint during the first half of Wednesday's game against Concordia at the Corn Palace.

All season long, the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team has been able to get close to opponents, but has struggled to keep the game close enough to win.

The story was much the same Wednesday night in the Tigers' 82-67 loss to No. 9 Concordia University. Dakota Wesleyan got within one early in the second half, but the Bulldogs were able to pull away for the win.

"They did what they needed to do," DWU coach Aaron Kahl said. "They had great shots and we couldn't stop them."

DWU was down 41-36 at the half, but Allison Johnson and Ashley Mailey each scored to get the Tigers within one, 41-40. But Whitney Sitchka and Jessica Deinert exchanged three-pointers to keep it a one-point game, and from there Concordia went on an 18-4 run to pull away for a 62-47 lead.

"They're a very good team defensively," Kahl said. "They do a lot of things and we just didn't have an answer for their penetration, their inside game, their rebounding. We didn't have an answer."

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The Tigers went basket-for-basket with Concordia (22-7, 13-4), and went on a 9-1 run to pull out to a 21-13 lead. But the Bulldogs went on an 11-0 run of their own to grab a 24-21 lead and they would never trail again.

Deinert hit another three to get DWU within one, 27-26, and she sank her third of the game a few minutes later to tie the game at 33 with 3:37 left in the first half, but Concordia went on an 8-3 run to end the half.

Dakota Wesleyan (13-16, 6-11) shot 43.6 percent from the field, including a 38 percent clip from three-point range.

Johnson scored 14 points to lead DWU and Deinert added 13. Johnson also had five rebounds, three assists and four blocks.

Sitchka led all scorers with 21 points for Concordia. Melissa Tinkham added 14, Kristin Miller finished with 13, Stacy Scheer had 12 and TaLisa Krejci 10. Scheer also had five steals for the Bulldogs, who shot 51.8 percent from the field and 84 percent from the line.

Dakota Wesleyan plays its final game of the regular season at 2 p.m. Saturday against the University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls.

"It's a big game," Kahl said. "Anything between DWU and USF is a great rivalry, no matter where we stand."

No. 9 CONCORDIA 82

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DAKOTA WESLEYAN 67

Concordia (22-7, 13-4)

Kristin Miller 5-7 3-3 13; Angela Kuca 1-5 0-0 3; Whitney Sitchka 8-12 4-6 21; Melissa Tinkham 5-9 0-0 14; TaLisa Krejci 2-5 6-6 10; Stacy Scheer 6-11 0-0 12; Rachel Uden 0-1 0-0 0; Danae Koopman 1-2 0-0 3; Kathryn Ommen 0-1 1-2 1; Amber Quinn 1-3 2-2 5. Totals 29-56 16-19 82.

Dakota Wesleyan (13-16, 6-11)

Jessica Deinert 5-8 0-0 13; Ashley Mailey 3-5 2-4 8; Allison Johnson 4-11 3-4 14; Heidi Lusk 2-5 0-0 5; Sarah Mortenson 4-10 1-1 9; Ashley Johnson 2-7 0-0 5; Maggie Malloy 3-4 3-4 9; Angela Noteboom 1-2 2-4; Marie Olson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 24-55 11-17 67.

Halftime score: C 41, DWU 36. Three-point goals: C 8-16 (Tinkham 4-7), DWU 8-21 (Deinert 3-6, Al. Johnson 3-6). Rebounds: C 36 (Miller, Krejci 7), DWU 27 (Al. Johnson 5). Turnovers: C 20, DWU 17. Assists: C 16 (Krejci, Sitchka 4), DWU16 (Mortenson 4). Steals: C 10 (Scheer 5), DWU 13. Blocks: C 1, DWU 8 (Olson, Al. Johnson 4). Fouled out: Miller, Quinn.

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