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Tigers knocked out of GPAC tournament

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa -- The Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team's season ended Tuesday with a 66-45 loss to Dordt College. The Tigers, who ended the 2008-09 season 13-18, were knocked out of the first round of the Great Plains Athlet...

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa -- The Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team's season ended Tuesday with a 66-45 loss to Dordt College.

The Tigers, who ended the 2008-09 season 13-18, were knocked out of the first round of the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament in Sioux Center, Iowa.

"Anytime you end it's disappointing," DWU coach Aaron Kahl said. "We feel like we didn't play very well, which makes it disappointing and hard to swallow, but we don't have a choice. We just have to learn from this and move on."

Dordt College, which is the No. 8 seed in the postseason tournament, moves on to play No. 1-ranked and undefeated Morningside College Thursday in a quarterfinal game in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Tigers jumped to a 12-9 lead early in the game, but the Defenders went on an 8-0 run to grab a 17-12 lead, and a few minutes later went on a 12-0 run for a 31-16 lead with 4:18 left in the first half.

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"We just never had the energy we needed, which is frustrating in the last game of the year," Kahl said. "We never put together a good stretch where we were consistent."

Jessica Deinert hit a three to stop the run and spark a quick 7-0 run that got DWU back within seven, 31-24. Deinert hit a jumper with three seconds left in the first half to keep the Tigers within five, 33-28, at halftime.

Allison Johnson hit a three-pointer and Angela Noteboom hit a jumper to start the second half and tie the game at 33, but Kelsie DeNooy answered with a 3-pointer of her own to give the Defenders a lead they would never give up. That three-pointer sparked a 12-2 run for a 45-35 Dordt lead.

The Tigers went on another short run to get back within four, 45-41, but Deinert left the game with a knee injury and from the 11:09 mark on, DWU scored just four more points on a three-pointer by Heidi Lusk and a single free throw from Ashley Mailey.

"We went through a bad stretch," Kahl said. "We kind of got on a roll, then Deinert went down and that took the life out of us. From that point on, we just never got going again."

Dordt finished the game shooting 44.1 percent from the field and held the Tigers to a 28.8-percent clip. Johnson and Lusk each finished with 10 points to lead DWU and Deinert added nine before leaving the game. Lusk and Maggie Malloy each had seven rebounds and Marie Olson had four blocks.

Amber Soodsma led Dordt with 21 points. DeNooy added 16 and Bre Schneidermann finished with 10. DeNooy and McKinzie Schmidt each had nine rebounds, Soodsma had five steals and Du Mez had seven assists.

"They did a good job," Kahl said of Dordt. "They're a good defensive team and they're very physical and long, and those things give us trouble. We couldn't get anything going at the basket. They did a nice job defending our perimeter."

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