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DWU women find form, roll past Midland

Wednesday's win comes after the Tigers dropped back-to-back contests for the second time this season.

Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball player Matti Reiner
Dakota Wesleyan University's Matti Reiner (34) shoots over the top of Midland University's Peyton Wingert (4) during a game on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at the Corn Palace.
Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — After a recent lapse that saw Dakota Wesleyan women’s basketball fall for the first time since mid-November, a midweek home contest represented an opportunity to rediscover the form that powered a 14-2 start.

And DWU made the most of its chance.

The Tigers asserted themselves as the aggressors from the opening possession and led for all but a 63-second stretch early in the first quarter to notch a 95-50 win over Midland in a Great Plains Athletic Conference contest Wednesday night at the Corn Palace.

After dropping back-to-back games against Briar Cliff and Concordia (Neb.) — both near the top of the GPAC standings with the Tigers — DWU scored its most points since Feb. 8, 2020, to drop the Warriors to second-to-last in the conference standings.

Aspen Hansen made her first collegiate start on Wednesday, trading roles with fellow sophomore Isabel Ihnen, with Hansen posting 10 points, five rebounds and one assist.

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Kaylee Kirk helped get things started for the Tigers, taking a baseline steal and driving end-to-end for a short jump shot in the lane that put DWU up 10-3 and forced a Midland timeout. The Warriors found some offensive stability for the rest of the period, though three of their four field goals came from behind the 3-point arc, but couldn’t find as much success on the opposite end as DWU led 22-14 after the first quarter.

DWU WBB Rynn Osthus
Dakota Wesleyan University's Rynn Osthus (10) shoots in front of Midland University's Emma Shepard (23) during a game on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at the Corn Palace.
Matt Gade/Mitchell Republic

Midland kept the Tigers’ lead to single digits in the opening moments of the second, but from that moment on, the game belonged to the GPAC’s best scoring defense.

DWU held Midland in check over the final 7:11 of the half, using a 16-5 run over that stretch to seize firm control. A 16-3 run out of the locker room as part of a 30-point third quarter vaulted the lead to 37 points, effectively draining any remaining suspense from the contest.

Six Tigers — Rynn Osthus (15), Matti Reiner (15), Lacey Sprakel (14), Natalie Gottlob (12), Kirk (10) and Hansen (10) — reached double figures in points, with Osthus adding five rebounds and six assists. Ihnen posted a team-high eight rebounds in her first game off the bench this season

Midland (7-11, 3-8 GPAC) was led by 17 points and six rebounds from Peyton Wingert, while Emma Shepard and Lexi Glosser had eight points each.

DWU (15-4, 7-4 GPAC) hosts Mount Marty at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16.

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at ldierks@mitchellrepublic.com and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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