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DWU women knock off top-10 squad

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team bounced back on Thursday at the Cruzin Classic.

The No. 14 Tigers rediscovered its offensive game after being upset a day prior, making eight 3-pointers in an 82-78 win over No. 10 St. Xavier (Ill.).

DWU relied on its three seniors, which combined for 67 points on 22-for-44 shooting. Alexandria native Kynedi Cheeseman scored a career-high 34 points, including 23 in the second half, while Sarah Carr and Plankinton native Makaela Karst added 17 and 16 points, respectively.

They helped DWU score at least 19 points in every quarter, as it overcame 20 turnovers to shoot 47.5 percent from the field and 8-for-18 from beyond the arc. It assisted on 20 of its 29 makes, with Cheeseman dishing out six assists.

However, holding St. Xavier to 10 points in the second frame proved to be the difference. The Cougars shot 4-for-17 and had three turnovers in the second quarter.

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The Tigers held a five-point halftime lead and grew it to 51-40 midway through the third, but St. Xavier clawed back. Brianna Flayter, who had 19 points, made a jumper to cut it to 63-62 with 7 minutes, 20 seconds to play, but the Cougars never got closer than four points again.

Karst and Cheeseman combined to score DWU’s final 17 points, including the Alexandria native sinking six straight free-throws down the stretch.

Its 48-29 rebounding advantage also played a factor. All five starters grabbed at least five rebounds, including Carr’s game-high 15. Tripp native Matti Reiner pulled down seven, Karst had six and Cheeseman and Kaylee Kirk each finished with five.

St. Xavier had a quartet of double-digit scorers. Maddie Welter finished with 18 points, Maia Fawcett added 12 and Claire Austin finished with 11. The Cougars shot 39.1 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from deep.

DWU (11-4) hosts College of St. Mary (Neb.) at 6 p.m. Jan. 2 at the Corn Palace.

Notes: Cheeseman moved into third on DWU’s all-time scoring list, passing Victoria Drefs. She has 1,801 career points. Ronda Morgan is in second with 1,843 points.

No. 14 Dakota Wesleyan University 82, No. 10 St. Xavier 78

Dakota Wesleyan (11-4): Kaylee Kirk 1-5 0-0 2, Makaela Karst 6-8 2-4 16, Kynedi Cheeseman 10-21 11-11 34, Matti Reiner 3-5 0-0 7, Sarah Carr 6-15 3-4 17, Rynn Osthus 2-3 0-0 4, Haylee Mork 0-0 0-0 0, Kamryn Heinz 0-1 0-0 0, Jessica Mieras 1-3 0-0 2. Team totals: 29-61 16-19 82.

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St. Xavier (11-3): Maddie Welter 6-14 0-0 18, Chanel Fanter 1-9 0-0 2, Maia Fawcett 4-6 4-6 12, Brianna Flayter 8-16 2-3 19, McKenna Zobel 1-4 0-0 2, Claire Austin 3-9 4-6 11, Alysse Kott 1-1 0-0 2, Meg Knutson 2-5 3-3 8, Sidney Lovitsch 1-5 2-2 4. Team totals: 27-69 15-20 78.

DWU 22 42 61 82

SX 27 37 58 78

3-point field goals: DWU 8-18 (Cheeseman 3-6, Karst 2-2, Carr 2-5, Reiner 1-2, Kirk 0-2, Osthus 0-1); SX 9-28 (Welter 6-13, Flayter 1-4, Austin 1-3, Knutson 1-2, Fanter 0-3, Fawcett 0-1, Lovitsch 0-2). Rebounds: DWU 48 (Carr 15, Reiner 7, Karst 6); SX 29 (Flayter 6, Fanter 5). Assists: DWU 20 (Cheeseman 6, Kirk 5); SX 16 (Fawcett 4). Steals: DWU 2 (Kirk 1, Karst 1); SX 10 (Fanter 2, Knutson 2, Flayter 2). Blocked shots: DWU 0; SX 5 (Flayter 2, Fanter 2). Turnovers: DWU 20, SX 8. Total fouls: DWU 14, SX 19. A: 61.

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