Bulldogs outlast Tiger women in GPAC title game

SEWARD, Neb. -- A late field goal sunk the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team in the Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament championship game.

The DWU women's basketball team huddle up prior to tipoff during a game against Midland University in the first round of the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)

SEWARD, Neb. - A late field goal sunk the Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team in the Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament championship game.

After Ashley Bray sunk a pair of free throws to tie the contest with 4 seconds remaining, Brenleigh Daum hit the game-winning shot to propel the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs over No. 8 Tigers 90-88 on Tuesday in Seward, Nebraska. DWU called a timeout with 0.7 seconds and a potential game-winning 3-pointer by Kynedi Cheeseman missed off the rim. It was the second year in a row DWU fell to Concordia in the GPAC title game.

“They got to the rim and made a tough shot,” DWU head coach Jason Christensen said about the final field goal. “We just turned the ball over too much against them.”

Christensen pointed out the Tigers shot 53 percent from the field (27-of-51) and won the rebounding battle 35-26, but committed 20 turnovers compared to Concordia’s seven.

“Defensively, I thought we could be better. (But) we can’t turn the ball over 20 times against the No. 2 team in the country on the road and expect to win,” Christensen said. “When we go to the national tournament, we have to take care of the basketball.”


Ten days after being held to a season-low 42 points by Concordia, the Tigers exploded for 52 points in the first half, including 31 in the second quarter to lead 52-48 at halftime. Rylie Osthus led DWU with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Makaela Karst added 16 points off the bench. Cheeseman finished with 14 points, Amber Bray tossed in 13 points and Ashley Bray recorded 11 points.

“We were able to shoot the ball and we got good looks,” Christensen said. “We did a good job of spreading the ball around. We only missed one free throw. Offensively, it was a good team effort.”  

The Bulldogs (32-1) led 24-21 after the first quarter and 68-64 after three quarters. Daum finished with a game-high 21 points, while Philomena Lammers had 16 points, Mary Janovich added 12 points, and Quinn Wragge and Taylor Cockerill each tossed in 11 points.

DWU (27-6) already earned an automatic berth into the national tournament, which begins on March 7 in Sioux City, Iowa. The 32-team bracket will be announced at 6 p.m. today.

“We won’t hang our head on this, all we have to do is learn from it,” Christensen said. “Hopefully, we can get hot and make a deep run in the national tournament.”  

Concordia 90, Dakota Wesleyan 88

DWU (27-6): Rylie Osthus 6-10 6-6 20, Ashley Bray 3-6 5-5 11, Kynedi Cheeseman 4-10 4-4 14, Chesney Nagel 0-3 2-2 2, Sarah Carr 1-2 2-3 4, Madison Mathews 0-0 0-0 0, Makaela Karst 6-11 2-2 16, Amber Bray 4-6 4-4 13, Jessica Mieras 3-3 2-2 8, Totals 27-51 7-22 88.

CU (32-1): Taylor Cockerill 2-4 7-8 11, Brenleigh Daum 6-16 5-6 21, Sydney Feller 1-2 0-0 2, Quinn Wragge 5-8 1-2 11, Colby Duvel 4-8 1-3 10, MacKenzie Helman 1-3 0-0 2, Mary Janovich 4-6 3-3 12, Dani Hoppes 2-8 0-0 5, Philomena Lammers 8-11 0-0 16, Totals 33-66 17-22 90.


DWU 21 52 64 88

CU 24 48 68 90

3-point goals: DWU 7-22 (Osthus 2-4, Cheeseman 2-5, Amber Bray 1-3, Ashley Bray 0-2, Nagel 0-2, Carr 0-1), CU 7-21 (Daum 4-9, Janovich 1-1, Duvel 1-1, Hoppes 1-5, Lammers 0-2, Cockerill 0-1, Helman 0-1, Feller 0-1); Rebounds: DWU 35 (Cheeseman 7), CU 26 (Duvel 7); Assists: DWU 20 (Osthus 4), CU 18 (Feller 7); Steals: DWU 4, CU 13 Fouls: DWU 19, CU 23; Fouled out: DWU (Amber Bray 5), CU (Lammers); Turnovers: 20, CU 7.


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