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DWU women narrowly escape Dordt

Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball coach Jason Christensen said the third quarter was his team's only "halfway decent" quarter during its 72-68 win over Great Plains Athletic Conference foe Dordt College on Wednesday at the Corn Palace.

Dakota Wesleyan University's Sarah Carr (40) splits the defense of Dordt College's Mya Chmielewski (22) and Jordyn Van Maanen (21) in the first half of a game on Wednesday night at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Dakota Wesleyan University's Sarah Carr (40) splits the defense of Dordt College's Mya Chmielewski (22) and Jordyn Van Maanen (21) in the first half of a game on Wednesday night at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)
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Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball coach Jason Christensen said the third quarter was his team's only "halfway decent" quarter during its 72-68 win over Great Plains Athletic Conference foe Dordt College on Wednesday at the Corn Palace.

"We were not ready to play today," Christensen said. "You could see that when the ball went up and we were scrambling. I'm proud that we came back and won, but the only thing we won tonight was the score."

DWU had its largest lead of the game in the third-nine-and ended the quarter with a 52-45 lead after outscoring Dordt 21-7 in the frame. Even then, it had a hard time putting the Defenders away.

Despite shooting 2-for-9 in the quarter, Dordt's Annie Rhinesmith scored 10 of her team-high 20 to keep the Defenders (5-2, 2-2 GPAC) in the game. Rachel Evavold had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Dordt shot 37.5 percent from the field and 26.9 percent from beyond the arc in the game. DWU's six fourth-quarter turnovers and poor free-throw shooting also helped Dordt.

Rylie Osthus-who had 15 points, six assists and five rebounds-missed three free throws down the stretch, helping the Tigers finish just 10-for-15 at the charity stripe. But she did hit a big 3-pointer with 2:20 to play to put DWU up 67-61.

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"I think (our missed free throws) were a mind thing," Christensen said. "We weren't in the game ... That's a perfect example."

However, Christensen said he was most disappointed with his team's defense and rebounding. Sarah Carr scored eight of her 19 points in the fourth, while Makaela Karst had 12 of her 14 in the first half, but the team was lacking on the glass.
"I expect them to (score like that)," Christensen said. "But I also expect them to shut people down defensively and rebound the ball a lot better."

Carr grabbed four rebounds and Karst had one. DWU's point guard Kynedi Cheeseman led the team with eight rebounds, which didn't please Christensen. As a result, the Defenders outrebounded DWU 37-28.

DWU's struggles in the paint, especially in the first half, against the best Dordt team Christensen has seen in nine years went farther than poor rebounding, though.

"I thought Dordt outhustled us tonight," Christensen said. "I thought Dordt won every category tonight except for the score."

The Defenders also outscored the Tigers 28-18 in the paint, as well as playing a suffocating defense which swarmed to double or triple-team any Tiger in the post.

The Tigers didn't respond well in the first half, oftentimes not kicking it out to open 3-point shooters in the corner. It resulted in travels, jump balls and DWU shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from 3-point range in the first half.

The Tigers' offense opened up in the second half, though, thanks to 7-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc. DWU finished shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from 3-point range.

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The Tigers (6-0, 3-0) play Hastings College at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Corn Palace.

"We have a tough Hastings team coming in on Saturday," Christensen said. "If we play like this, we'll get blown off our floor."

No. 2 Dakota Wesleyan 72, Dordt 68

DWU 10 21 21 20 72

Dordt 16 22 7 23 68

Dordt (5-2, 2-2): Annie Rhinesmith 6-18 4-4 20, Erika Feenstra 4-11 7-10 15, Rachel Evavold 5-8 2-3 12, Siennah Stamness 4-12 0-0 8, Payton Harmsen 2-5 0-0 6, Baylee Tetzlaff 2-3 0-0 4. Ebby Prewitt 1-3 0-0 3, Mari Smitsdorff 0-1 0-0 0, Jordyn Van Maanen 0-1 0-0 0, Mya Chmieleewski 0-2 0-0 0, Makayla De Young 0-0 0-0 0.

Dakota Wesleyan University (6-0, 3-0): Sarah Carr 8-12 0-0 19, Rylie Osthus 6-14 1-4 15, Makaela Karst 5-14 2-3 14, Kynedi Cheeseman 2-5 5-6 9, Madison Mathews 2-3 2-2 8, Kaylee Kirk 2-6 0-0 5, Sydney Halling 1-4 0-0 2.

Halftime: Dordt 38-32. 3-point field goals: DWU 10-23 (Carr 3-4, Mathews 2-3, Karst 2-6, Osthus 2-6); Dordt 7-26 (Rhinesmith 4-9). Rebounds: DWU 28 (Cheeseman 8, Osthus 5, Kirk 5); Dordt 37 (Evavold 11). Assists: DWU 17 (Osthus 6, Cheeseman 6); Dordt 9 (Evavold 4, Harmsen 3). Blocks: DWU 5 (Cheeseman 2); Dordt 3 (Evavold 2). Steals: DWU 11 (Carr 3, Halling 3); Dordt 7 (Feenstra 2, Harmsen 2). Turnovers: DWU 14; Dordt 14. Total fouls: DWU 14; Dordt 19. A: 2,367.

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