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DWU secures berth in national tourney

With one more game remaining in the conference tournament, the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team ensured itself a spot in the national dance on Saturday.

Dakota Wesleyan's Sarah Carr (40) goes up for a shot against Doane University's Allie Satterly on Saturday at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal/Republic)
Dakota Wesleyan's Sarah Carr (40) goes up for a shot against Doane University's Allie Satterly on Saturday at the Corn Palace. (Ryan Deal/Republic)

With one more game remaining in the conference tournament, the Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team ensured itself a spot in the national dance on Saturday.

No. 9 DWU topped Doane University 81-57 in the semifinals of the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament at the Corn Palace. The DWU Tigers (26-5) will now play No. 2 Concordia University in the GPAC title game on Tuesday in Seward, Nebraska.

The GPAC postseason tourney champs earn an automatic berth to the NAIA tournament. The runner-up gains the berth if the regular season champ (Concordia) wins the postseason tourney.

So with its win over Doane, DWU secured a spot in the national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, on March 8.

“That is a huge win,” DWU coach Jason Christensen said. “Now we know we are in, which I thought we were in before, but I think it takes some pressure off knowing you are an automatic qualifier.”

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DWU guard Rylie Osthus was almost automatic on Saturday. The sophomore finished with 22 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field and 3-for-3 at the 3-point line.

“Rylie is a straw that stirs the drink,” Christensen said. “She just does a lot of good things for us and gets us in our offense.”

Dakota Wesleyan had plenty of offense on Saturday. DWU shot 49 percent (29-for-59) from the field and had four players crack double figures. Sarah Carr added 15 points and five rebounds off the bench. Ashley Bray and Erica Herrold tossed in 11 and 10 points, respectively.

While its offense was clicking, DWU’s defense was limiting Doane on the other end. Doane shot 38 percent (19-for-49) from the field. DWU outrebounded Doane 30-20.

“That is a huge win against a really good team,” Osthus said. “We really came together, played really good team defense and just had fun tonight.”

Doane was riding high after upsetting No. 3 seed Morningside College in the opening round of the tournament. DWU denied any upset bid on Saturday.

Dakota Wesleyan led 23-13 after the first quarter and 40-32 at halftime. DWU began to pull away in the second half. The DWU Tigers led 62-49 after the third quarter and their lead ballooned to 20 late in the contest.

“It was a good performance by our kids all around, defensively and offensively,” Christensen said.

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Hanah Barnard paced Doane with 23 points, while McKenna Dodd added 21 points. But no other Doane player scored more than six points.

Christensen said Barnard has the potential to be the GPAC Player of the Year. He praised DWU guard Chesney Nagel for guarding Barnard.

“Chesney has got to guard the toughest person the floor and she did an excellent job again tonight on Hanah,” Christensen said.

DWU will now focus on Concordia. Dakota Wesleyan and Concordia split during the regular season. DWU lost to Morningside in last year’s GPAC title game.

“It feels great to be going back into that GPAC championship game again,” Osthus said. “Hopefully we go down there, play hard and come out with a win.”

 

Dakota Wesleyan 81, Doane University 57

Doane (16-16): Jenna Nieveen 0-4 2-2 2, Hanah Barnard 7-11 8-8 23, McKenna Dodd 7-18 3-4 21, Morgan Hill 3-8 0-0 6, Allie Satterly 1-3 0-0 2, Emma Aremann 0-1 0-0 0, Julia Reed 0-0 0-0 0, Bailey Zarybnicky 0-1 0-0 0, McKenzie Beach 1-2 0-0 2, Karolyn Cahill 0-1 0-0 0, Nicole White 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 19-49 14-16 57.

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Dakota Wesleyan (26-5): Rylie Osthus 7-10 5-7 22, Erica Herrold 4-6 2-2 10, Ashley Bray 4-8 2-2 11, Chesney Nagel 2-6 0-0 4, Amber Bray 0-2 4-4 4, Angie Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Makaela Karst 0-0 0-0 0, Madison Kuehl 0-1 0-0 0, Shanna Selby 0-0 0-0 0, Kynedi Cheeseman 2-2 0-0 4, Kristin Sabers 4-12 0-0 9, Sarah Carr 5-10 5-5 15, Sam Schuh 0-1 0-0 0, Meghan Travis 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 29-59 18-20 81.

DU 13 32 49 57

DWU 23 40 62 81

3-point field goals: DU 5-21 (Nieveen 0-3, Barnard 1-3, Dood 4-12, Zarybnicky 0-1, Beach 0-1, Cahill 0-1); DWU 5-18 (Osthus 3-3, Herrold 0-2, Ashley Bray 1-4, Nagel 0-1, Amber Bray 0-2, Kuehl 0-1, Sabers 1-4, Carr 0-1). Rebounds: DU 20 (Satterly 6); DWU 30 (Ashley Bray 5, Carr 5). Steals: DU 5; DWU 5 (Ashley Bray 2). Blocked shots: DU 2 (Barnard 1, Hill 1); DWU 1 (Amber Bray 1). Assists: DU 10 (Hill 5); DWU 13 (Osthus 4). Turnovers: DU 15; DWU 10. Total fouls: DU 23; DWU 19.

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