Upset bid comes up short in OT as Dakota Wesleyan women clipped by No. 4 Dordt

DWU's Matti Reiner made a shot as time expired in regulation to send the game to overtime, where Dordt outpaced the Tigers, 22-16 to earn the win.

Dakota Wesleyan's Jada Campbell (44) shoots a jump shot over the outstretched arm of a Dordt defender during a Great Plains Athletic Conference women's basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at the Corn Palace.
Landon Dierks / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — The margin between the unranked Dakota Wesleyan women’s basketball team and NAIA No. 4 Dordt was razor-thin on Wednesday night.

But in the end, an upset was not to be, as a 22-16 overtime period lifted the visiting Defenders over the Tigers to an 81-75 win in Great Plains Athletic Conference action at the Corn Palace.

In the extra period, Dordt executed to near-perfection, making five of six field goal attempts and converting 12 of 13 free throws, including 7 of 8 across the final 75 seconds once the Tigers opted to start fouling in order to extend the game.

But across the 40 minutes of regulation, coach Jason Christensen felt DWU’s defensive effort was worthy of a potential upset, it was a lack of shot-making on the other end of the floor that ultimately cost the Tigers a valuable GPAC home win.

“I thought we did everything we could possibly do, we’ve just got to make shots in the paint,” Christensen said. “We outrebounded them, went 18 of 20 from the free-throw line, only turned it over 11 times.


“I’m surprised we were even in it, to be honest, with missing that many shots,” he continued. “That just shows how tough and gritty our team is defensively. That’s why we were in it.”

Early on, both sides had their troubles with shot-making. It took nearly half the first quarter — four minutes, 39 seconds, to be exact — before either team was able to put any points on the scoreboard. When points finally came, it was in the form of a deep two-point jump shot by McKenna Klecker that kick-started a back-and-forth exchange over the remainder of the period that left Dordt ahead 12-11 after 10 minutes.

The Defenders scored 12 of the first 15 points of the second quarter to create a double-digit lead at 24-14. But it didn’t stay there for long, as the Tigers chipped their deficit back down to 34-30 by halftime.

The third quarter wasn’t altogether dissimilar from the quarter that preceded it, with Dordt pushing its edge back to nine points but the Tigers keeping it within two possessions entering the final 10 minutes at 51-45.

DWU limited Dordt to eight points in the fourth quarter, including just four over the final 6 1/2 minutes, all of which came on free throws. That effort left the door open for the Tigers’ Matti Reiner to force her way into the lane and flip in a shot that danced on the rim and dropped in at the buzzer to force overtime.

For Dordt (20-1, 14-1 GPAC), Bailey Beckman tossed in a game-high 26 points, while Ethan native Karly Gustafson put up 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists and Janie Schoonhoven added 16 points and six rebounds.

Freshman Rylee Rosenquist paced the Tigers with 24 points and eight rebounds, with Reiner chipping in 19 points, five rebounds and three assists. Jada Campbell scored 11 points and Morgan Edelman had seven rebounds and four assists.

DWU (14-6, 8-6 GPAC) is on the road against ranked opponents for its next two GPAC contests, starting Saturday, Jan. 28, at No. 18 Briar Cliff.

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