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Tiger women keep rolling

Dakota Wesleyan's Amber Bray (44) is fouled from behind by College of St. Mary's Miranda Acuna (20) as Lacey Knudsen (23) defends during a Great Plains Athletic Conference game on Sunday at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Ten players scored, four in double figures, as the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team extended its winning streak to nine games in convincing fashion.

The No. 10-ranked Tigers never trailed and rolled past College of Saint Mary 86-52 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference contest on Sunday at the Corn Palace. DWU (24-4, 15-3 GPAC) moved into a tie for second place in the GPAC standings with two regular-season games remaining.

Up 25-18 after the first quarter, the Tiger defense ramped up another level in the second quarter. DWU held the Flames to six points in the frame and built a 45-24 halftime advantage after a Kynedi Cheeseman field goal at the buzzer.

"The second quarter was a real good quarter for us defensively. That's one thing that sticks out to me, and the other is rebounding," Christensen said. "We were good on the boards. We had a lot of points in the paint."

Using their size to their advantage, the Tigers won the rebounding battle 42-24 and outscored the Flames (4-24, 1-17 GPAC) 40-12 in the paint. DWU built a 10-point lead in the first quarter, a 20-point lead in the second quarter, a 30-point lead in the third quarter and pushed the lead to 40 points in the fourth quarter.

"We let them do whatever they wanted in the first quarter," Ashley Bray said. "We let them get too many offensive rebounds. In the second quarter, we emphasized not letting them do that."

Cheeseman led DWU with 17 points, scoring 13 in the first half, while Amber Bray added 16 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. Rylie Osthus added 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Ashley Bray tossed in 14 points.

For the Flames, Miranda Acuna scored a game-high 19 points on 5-of-17 shooting from the field. Tyler Sumpter added 11 points in the Flames' 12th straight GPAC loss.

The win set the stage for DWU's remaining two contests. The Tigers host No. 9 Northwestern at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Corn Palace, before playing at No. 2 Concordia on Saturday in Seward, Nebraska.

The Bulldogs can officially lock up the top seed for the GPAC tournament against Doane on Wednesday, while the Tigers and the Red Raiders are fighting for the No. 2 seed.

"We definitely want a two seed," Christensen said. "We want it for our fans. Our fans want to see us in the Corn Palace."

Northwestern handed DWU its last loss 76-63 on Jan. 10 in Orange City, Iowa.

"It's not even the two seed. I just want to beat Northwestern," Amber Bray said. "We've taken it one game at a time, but it still hurts thinking about when we went down there."

NOTES: Senior student assistant coach Shanna Selby and players Chesney Nagel, Amber Bray and Ashley Bray were honored before the game. Christensen praised the group for their accomplishments off the court as well as on it.

"They are all athletic training majors and that's a not an easy major to have. They've all been accepted to (physical therapy) schools," Christensen said. "What they've done off the floor is remarkable and to have them do at as one big group is even more remarkable."

No. 10 Dakota Wesleyan 86, College of Saint Mary 52

CSM (4-24, 1-17 GPAC): Alyssa Laudato 4-8 0-0 8, Ashley Nelson 0-2 0-0 0, Miranda Acuna 5-17 5-6 19, Lacey Knudsen 1-5 0-0 2, Keona Cadore 1-7 0-0 2, A'leah Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Corryne Millett 2-8 0-0 4, Lynsey Curran 2-8 0-0 4, Tyler Sumpter 4-11 0-0 11, Amy Talavou 0-2 0-0 0, Totals: 19-65 5-6 52.

DWU (24-4, 15-3 GPAC): Rylie Osthus 5-9 5-7 15, Ashley Bray 4-10 4-4 16, Kynedi Cheeseman 8-14 0-0 17, Chesney Nagel 0-1 0-0 0, Amber Bray 6-13 3-4 16, Sam Schuh 0-1 0-0 0, Madison Mathews 2-6 0-0 6, Mateya Walder 0-1 0-0 0, Makaela Karst 1-2 3-3 5, Rachel Hawkins 0-0 0-0 0, Lindsey Hale 0-0 0-0 0, Sarah Carr 2-6 0-0 4, Mikaela Stofferahn 0-0 1-2 1, Jessica Mieras 3-4 0-0 6, Meghan Travis 0-0 0-0 0, Totals: 31-67 18-22 86.

CSM 18 24 39

DWU 25 45 65

3-point goals: CSM 9-21 (Acuna 4-9, Sumpter 3-6, Curran 2-4, Cadore 0-2), DWU 6-22 (Mathews 2-5, Ashley Bray 2-6, Cheeseman 1-4, Amber Bray 1-2, Schuh 0-1, Walder 0-1, Carr 0-2, Mieras 0-1); Rebounds: CSM 24 (Nelson 7), DWU 42 (Amber Bray 13); Assists: CSM 10 (Laudato 4), DWU 17 (Osthus 6); Steals: CSM 5 (Nelson 2), DWU 9 (Cheeseman 5); Blocks: CSM 1 (Davis 1), DWU 2 (Osthus 1); Fouls: CSM 17, DWU 11; Fouled out: none; Turnovers: CSM 13, DWU 9.