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Tiger women tame Mount Marty for second time this season

For a second game in a row, DWU forced a litany of turnovers in the first half and blew out their Great Plains Athletic Conference opponent on the Corn Palace floor.

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Dakota Wesleyan's Isabel Ihnen, left, looks to make a pass during a college women's basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023 at the Corn Palace.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL -- The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team removed any doubt about the outcome in the second quarter on Sunday.

For a second game in a row, DWU forced a litany of turnovers in the first half and blew out their Great Plains Athletic Conference opponent on the Corn Palace floor in a 73-41 victory on Sunday afternoon. It is the sixth time this season that DWU has held an opponent to 45 points or less.

“I thought our defense was really good,” DWU coach Jason Christensen said. “Mount Marty, they’ve been playing well lately, especially against the top half of the GPAC, so we knew we had to be on our game.”

On the heels of a 30-point win over Midland on Wednesday, the Tigers took care of another GPAC cellar-dweller with a big first half. The Tigers put together a 20-0 run through most of the second quarter that extended a seven-point lead after 10 minutes into a 43-19 halftime lead.

The Tigers worked away in the paint on offense, with the threat of 6-foot-4 forward Jada Campbell helping to open up others in the offense, and DWU forced 14 turnovers from the Lancers in the first half. For the game, DWU took the ball away 28 times and scored 28 points off those turnovers.

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Dakota Wesleyan's Lacey Sprakel drives to the basket during a college women's basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023 at the Corn Palace.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

As for the scoring, it was Isabel Ihnen’s turn on Sunday, hitting six of her first seven shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, as part of a 17-point effort in the first half.

By game’s end, four DWU players were in double figures. Ihnen finished with 17, Lacey Sprakel had 16 points, Matti Reiner scored 14 points and Jada Campbell had 11 points. DWU shot 42.4% from the field and was 13-for-18 on free throws, plus held a 41-25 edge in rebounds, plus a 16-0 margin on second-chance points.

“Isabel really got us going in that first half. We’re at our best when we play from the inside out and I thought we did a nice job of that as the game went along,” Christensen said.

The Tigers’ defense was mostly stifling, in particular in 3-point defense. MMU had averaged eight 3-pointers a game in its last five outings but was just 2-for-14 on Sunday. Mount Marty was led by Redfield product Eve Millar, who had 10 points. Sidney Thue had eight points.

The 26 turnovers was also a season-high for the Lancers (5-14, 2-11 GPAC), who lost 59-39 in Yankton to DWU on Nov. 22 in the first meeting of the year. Those two scoring efforts are the Lancers’ lowest of the year.

DWU (12-5, 6-5 GPAC) is off until Friday, Jan. 20 when they play at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska. Four of the Tigers’ next five games are on the road.

NOTES: Campbell reached the 1,000-point mark for her Tigers career on a basket in the second quarter. She now has 1,008 points as a Tiger in three seasons and added to the 658 points she scored in her two seasons at Presentation College, Campbell has 1,666 points in her career.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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