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Christensen becomes DWU women’s winningest coach in blowout win

HONOLULU -- Dakota Wesleyan University's Jason Christensen is now the winningest coach in program history. The No. 8 Tigers defeated Grace College 83-58 on Wednesday to give Christensen win No. 114. Christensen now has an overall record of 114-92...

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HONOLULU -- Dakota Wesleyan University’s Jason Christensen is now the winningest coach in program history.

The No. 8 Tigers defeated Grace College 83-58 on Wednesday to give Christensen win No. 114. Christensen now has an overall record of 114-92, which surpasses Kevin Lein for most coaching wins in DWU women’s basketball history.

“It is all about the kids,” Christensen said when asked about the win. “I don’t have those wins unless I have the kids that I’ve had. I have been blessed at Dakota Wesleyan with having really good kids that believe in me.”

It’s still a special milestone win for the Mitchell native and Dakota Wesleyan graduate, who had been attending games at the Corn Palace since elementary school.

“Being able to do that a school that you have been watching since you were a elementary kid and being able to do with a school that you went to, it is pretty special,” he said.

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Christensen is in his seventh season coaching the Tigers. He led the team to a national tournament appearance in 2015-16 and had the Tigers reach the No. 1 ranking earlier this season.

The Tigers (13-2) had little trouble in Christensen’s record-setting victory. DWU jumped out to a first quarter lead and cruised to the win at the Hoop N Surf Classic in Hawaii.

The Tigers rode the wave of Erica Herrold and her 3-point shooting on Wednesday. The senior splashed seven 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 25 points.

“The second half, Erica got hot,” Christensen said. “They just didn’t really have an answer for Erica.”

DWU nailed 15 3-pointers in the win and shot 54 percent from the field, but Christensen said it all started down low.

“We would go inside and we were able to find our shooters when they were doubling down on our post players,” Christensen said. “We did a good job of finding our shooters when we were getting doubled.”

Ashley Bray added 17 points and eight rebounds. She hit four 3-pointers. Chesney Nagel finished with 12 points off the bench.

Dakota Wesleyan will host Dakota State at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4 at the Corn Palace.

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No. 8 Dakota Wesleyan 83, Grace College (Ind.) 58

Grace College (8-9): Kelsie Peterson 4-10 3-4 14, Vironnica Drake 1-9 2-2 5, Pam Miller 1-2 1-1 3, Darian Patton 1-5 3-6 6, Haley Richardson 5-10 2-2 12, Bobbi Douglas 0-0 0-0 0, Broghan Gamble 0-2 1-2 1, Brooke Sugg 4-8 0-0 9, Catherine Weaver 0-2 0-0 0, Chloe Pridgen 0-2 2-4 2, Lauren Godfrey 1-3 0-0 2, Myriah Hoffman 0-0 0-0 0, Brooke Treadway 1-2 2-2 4. Totals 18-55 16-23 58.

Dakota Wesleyan (13-2): Rylie Osthus 2-5 2-2 6, Erica Herrold 9-13 0-0 25, Ashley Bray 6-12 1-2 17, Sarah Carr 0-2 0-0 0, Amber Bray 2-5 2-3 6, Makaela Karst 0-0 0-0 0, Madison Kuehl 1-2 2-2 5, Shanna Selby 1-1 0-0 3, Kynedi Cheeseman 0-2 0-0 0, Chesney Nagel 4-5 3-4 12, Kristin Sabers 3-6 0-0 7, Mikaela Stofferahn 1-1 0-0 2, Sam Schuh 0-0 0-0 0, Meghan Travis 0-0 0-0 0, Angie Lee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-54 10-13 83.

GC18 28 45 58

DWU25 44 67 83

3-point field goals: GC 6-20 (Peterson 3-7, Drake 1-2, Patton 1-4, Gamble 0-1, Sugg 1-3, Weaver 0-1, Godfrey 0-2); DWU 15-27 (Osthus 0-2, Herrold 7-8, Ashley Bray 4-8, Carr 0-1, Amber Bray 0-1, Kuehl 1-2, Selby 1-1, Cheeseman 0-1, Nagel 1-1, Sabers 1-2). Rebounds: GC 34 (Peterson 4, Miller 4, Patton 4, Pridgen 4); DWU 34 (Ashley Bray 8). Assists: GC 8 (Patton 4); DWU 19 (Osthus 5). Steals: GC 3 (Drake 1, Patton 1, Treadway 1); DWU 19 (Osthus 5). Blocked shots: GC 1 (Pridgen 1); DWU 3 (Ashley Bray 1, Carr 1, Sabers 1). Total fouls: GC 16; DWU 20. Fouled out: Carr. Turnovers: GC 20; DWU 18.

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