ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

DWU women's basketball hoping to win more close games in 2015-16

If the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team wants to have a shot at finishing in the upper half of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, it will have to learn how to win close games.

DWU's Erica Herrold (14) drives to the basket during a game in the 2014-15 season at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade/Republic)
DWU's Erica Herrold (14) drives to the basket during a game in the 2014-15 season at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade/Republic)

If the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team wants to have a shot at finishing in the upper half of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, it will have to learn how to win close games.

"I think we have a team that could be there, but last year we had 11 games that we were in but didn't win," DWU head coach Jason Christensen said. "We need to figure out how to win basketball games. That's going to be the key. Hopefully with us being a little more mature. we'll finish down the stretch."

The Tigers don't have a senior on their roster, but do feature returning players that played significant minutes in a 14-17 2014-15 season.

"I'd like to think we matured a little from last year," Christensen said. "But we are still a young team."

Christensen will get his first look at his team's prospects as the Tigers open the 2015-16 season at Oglala Lakota College at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in Kyle.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Tigers were picked to finish eighth-out of 12 teams-in the GPAC preseason coaches poll. Morningside College-the reigning national champion-was projected to finish first, with national runner-up Concordia University picked to finish second.

"It'll be a dogfight this season," Christensen said. "Four teams (in the GPAC) will probably make it to the national tournament. Our conference is so good, you don't have to win it to get into the national tournament. The hardest part is getting there, once you get there, there's a chance to win some games. We can't get caught up in other people though, we need to take care of our own business."

Offensively, DWU will rely on junior forward Erica Herrold to pick up points in the post, as she averaged 12.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest last season. Junior forward Kristin Sabers will be another go-to option in the post, as Sabers averaged nine points and 3.6 rebounds per contest a season ago.

"We're going to lean on them a lot this year," Christensen said. "Both Erica and Kristin will have to be leaders this year and help some of our other players out."

When Sabers and Herrold need a break, forwards Ashley and Amber Bray could see minutes as forwards. Ashley Bray averaged 8.6 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest, while Amber Bray had 2.5 points and 1.7 rebounds a game in 2014-15.

Christensen said that sophomore point guard Chesney Nagel-who was expected to open the season as the starter at point guard-tore her anterior cruciate ligament last week and will miss the entire season. Last season, Nagel averaged four points and 3.3 rebounds a game while dishing out 55 assists in 29 games.

In her absence, junior Gabby Frykbo and freshman Rylie Osthus could see minutes at point guard. "She's not an easy kid to replace," Christensen said. "She really started to become a really good player for us, but unfortunately she got injured. It happens, injuries are part of the game. I'm not sure what we'll do at that position yet. We're moving things around."

A few other guards that could see playing time are Winner native Kelsey Bertram, Corsica native Hope Menning, Madison Kuehl and Shanna Selby.

What To Read Next
FORESTBURG, S.D. — Three players scored in double figures for Ethan as the Rustlers picked up a 60-38 road win over Sanborn Central/Woonsocket on Tuesday.
Members Only
Ethan defeats SB/W 64-27 girls and 60-38 boys.
Despite a fourth-quarter surge that featured a 12-0 run, a 21-6 first-quarter advantage for Sioux Falls Jefferson proved too much for the Kernels to overcome.
Varsity game moved to auxiliary gym after 7-footer breaks rim off basket