Tiger women down Briar Cliff after strong first half
At times this season, the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team has struggled with scoring, rebounding and playing together. Wednesday night, the Tigers didn't have a problem with any of those. DWU played what was arguably its best h...
At times this season, the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team has struggled with scoring, rebounding and playing together.
Wednesday night, the Tigers didn't have a problem with any of those.
DWU played what was arguably its best half of basketball to grab an early lead and held on for a 72-61 win over Briar Cliff University at the Corn Palace.
"We played hard," DWU coach Aaron Kahl said. "Anytime the ball goes in the basket, it looks like you're doing well, and the ball went in the basket. We shot really well."
In the first 20 minutes of play, the Tigers went 9-for-12 from three-point range, shot 57 percent from the field while holding BC to just under 36 percent and had 16 assists on 16 field goals.
"We were passing and being more of a team," DWU senior Jessica Deinert said. "Sixteen assists -- that's crazy. That's the most assists we've had all season, and in just one half. If we pass like that, no one's going to be able to stop us."
Dakota Wesleyan was able to pull ahead by a few points early thanks to three 3-pointers from Allison Johnson, but the Chargers fought their way into the game and the lead changed hands several times in the first few minutes of play.
Midway through the first half, the Tigers went on a 16-5 run to pull away for a 31-20 lead that it would never give up. Deinert hit two threes in that stretch.
The Chargers went on a 10-4 run to cut the Tigers' lead to five, 35-30, but the Tigers closed the half on a 12-1 run highlighted by another three from Deinert -- her fourth of the game. DWU held a 47-31 lead at intermission.
Briar Cliff started the second half on a 7-1 run, and Liz Grider, the league's leading scorer, hit back-to-back threes to get the Chargers within four, 52-48. The field goals were Grider's fourth of the game. The junior guard, who averages 20.1 points per game, was held to just six first-half points.
"She's a tremendous player," Kahl said. "We knew we had to contest her shots, and the girls did a good job. I have to credit a lot of kids that don't play. They worked so hard in practice to simulate Briar Cliff's offense, and that helped us out a lot."
Heidi Lusk hit a three to get the Tigers' lead back out to seven, and after exchanging baskets, Ashley Mailey scored on three straight possessions for DWU for a 67-54 lead, and from there Dakota Wesleyan controlled the game.
The Tigers hit 25 field goals and had 22 assists in the game. They shot 45.5 percent from the field, including a 10-for-19 clip from the line. Johnson led DWU with 13 points, Deinert finished with 12 off four three pointers and Mailey and Sarah Mortenson each chipped in with 11 points. Mortenson also had six rebounds, seven assists and five steals -- all team highs.
Grinder led the Chargers with 19 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Christa Stewart added 17 points and Megan Salcedo had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Chargers, who fell to 11-12 overall and 4-7 in the GPAC with the loss.
The Tigers are back at .500 at 11-11 overall and are 4-6 in the GPAC. They host Hastings College at 2 p.m. Sunday.
"It was huge," Deinert said of Wednesday's win. "We've been focusing on one game at a time, and we were focused (Wednesday)."
DAKOTA WESLEYAN 72
BRIAR CLIFF 61
Briar Cliff (11-12, 4-7)
Jamee Phipps 2-7 0-0 3; Megan Salcedo 3-5 8-10 14; Christa Stewart 7-11 2-2 17; Michelle Determan 2-8 0-0 4; Liz Grider 6-14 4-4 19; Kendra Collins 0-2 0-0 0; Alyssa Myers 0-1 0-0 0; Kelsy Armstrong 0-0 0-0 0; Samantha Pearson 0-1 0-0 0; Kelsi Karkosh 0-1 0-2 0; Rae Plumhoff 0-0 0-0 0; Cat Nelson 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 21-54 14-18 61.
Dakota Wesleyan (11-11, 4-6)
Angela Noteboom 2-3 0-0 4; Ashley Mailey 5-8 1-2 11; Allison Johnson 5-8 0-0 13; Ashley Johnson 3-6 1-3 8; Sarah Mortenson 2-7 6-9 11; Heidi Lusk 3-7 1-1 8; Emily Bastian 0-0 0-0 0; Jessica Deinert 4-9 0-1 12; Maggie Malloy 1-6 3-6 5; Marie Olson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-55 12-22 72.
Halftime score: BC 31, DWU 47. Three-point goals: BC 5-15 (Grider 3-4); DWU 10-19 (Deinert 4-8). Rebounds: BC 33 (Salcedo 10); DWU 39 (Mortenson 6). Turnovers: BC 21, DWU 20. Assists: BC 16 (Grider 5), DWU 22 (Mortenson 7). Steals: BC 10 (Phipps 3), DWU 12 (Mortenson 5). Blocks: BC 3 (Grider 2), DWU 2 (Noteboom 2). Fouled out: Stewart, Grider.