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Miller, Jackrabbits too much for DWU women

BROOKINGS -- Jason Christensen has seen Macy Miller take over plenty of basketball games. On Tuesday, the Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball coach saw the former Mitchell Kernel pour in a game-high 23 points, including 10 in a pivotal third quart...

Dakota Wesleyan University's Amber Bray, left, looks up at the basket as South Dakota State University's Tylee Irwin, right, during a women's basketball game on Tuesday at Frost Arena in Brookings. (Eric Mayer / Republic)
Dakota Wesleyan University's Amber Bray, left, looks up at the basket as South Dakota State University's Tylee Irwin, right, during a women's basketball game on Tuesday at Frost Arena in Brookings. (Eric Mayer / Republic)

BROOKINGS - Jason Christensen has seen Macy Miller take over plenty of basketball games.

On Tuesday, the Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball coach saw the former Mitchell Kernel pour in a game-high 23 points, including 10 in a pivotal third quarter, as South Dakota State University fended off an upset bid by DWU 76-63 at Frost Arena in Brookings. The game counted for Division I Jackrabbits, while the Tigers played it as an exhibition contest.

"The Macy Miller factor. It reminded me of days at the (DWU) Wellness Center would she'd take over games," Christensen said. "She took over the game and they got to the free-throw line a bunch in that third quarter. That's how they got their double-digit lead."

Miller, a junior, continued her strong January against DWU. She orchestrated the Jackrabbit offense, going 9-of-14 from the field, dishing out seven assists while recording her 22nd 20-point game at SDSU. She also moved to 10th all-time scoring at SDSU.

"They came out with a lot of fire and intensity," Miller said about DWU. "They're locals and they want to play just as good as we do. We weren't connected defensively in that first half. We were making big mistakes."

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The first 20 minutes couldn't have gone much better for the Tigers, who jumped out to an early 11-2 lead and posted a 27-17 lead after the first quarter. DWU continued to hang with the Jackrabbits, holding a 39-35 halftime advantage after Miller hit a floater at the buzzer.

"We shot the ball real well and we did some good things defensively to spark our offense," Christensen said. "Rebounding was probably the biggest key in that first half. We did a good job on the boards and keeping them from getting second tries."

At the start of the third quarter, SDSU (15-4) took over. The Jackrabbits started the second half on a 17-3 run to take their first double-digit lead at 52-42. SDSU stretched the lead to as many as 17 points and DWU (16-4) never got the margin closer than nine points again.

"They are a tough team to defend. They have so much balance offensively," SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said. "Dakota Wesleyan is used to winning. When you play up against a Division I team, you play with a little more edge. You want to prove yourself."

Four Tigers finished in double figures with Amber Bray scoring 18 points. Ashley Bray added 16 points, Rylie Osthus recorded 14 points and seven assists and Kynedi Cheeseman finished with 13 points.

For SDSU, Ellie Thompson finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. The Jackrabbits, who were losing the rebounding battle 16-13 at halftime, finished the game with 34 rebounds - including 10 offensive rebounds - to DWU's 27.

The Tigers are back on the road today, facing Dordt in Sioux Center, Iowa, while SDSU returns to Summit League play, taking on Western Illinois on Saturday in Brookings.

NOTES: Letcher native Myah Selland didn't play for the Jacks Tuesday, instead resting an injured ankle on the bench.

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South Dakota State 76, Dakota Wesleyan 63

Dakota Wesleyan: Ashley Bray 6-10 0-0 16, Amber Bray 7-9 3-4 18, Rylie Osthus 4-11 3-4 14, Madison Mathews 0-0 0-0 0, Chesney Nagel 0-1 0-0 0, Makaela Karst 0-0 0-0 0, Kynedi Cheeseman 6-13 0-0 13, Sarah Carr 1-5 0-0 2, Jessica Mieras 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 24-50 6-8 63

South Dakota State: Tagyn Larson 3-5 2-2 8, Ellie Thompson 6-6 2-3 16, Alexis Alexander 2-3 0-0 4, Madison Guebert 3-13 0-0 8, Macy Miller 9-14 2-2 23, Chynna Stevens 0-3 1-2 1, Rylie Cascio Jensen 1-4 0-2 3, Tylee Irwin 1-4 4-4 7, Sydney Palmer 2-5 1-2 6, Sydney Tracy 0-1 0-0 0, Megan Bultsma 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 27-58 12-17 76

DWU 27 39 48 63

SDSU 17 35 62 76

3-point goals: DWU 9-19 (Ashley Bray 4-6, Osthus 3-4, Amber Bray 1-2, Cheeseman 1-5, Carr (0-2), SDSU 10-27 (Miller 3-5, Guebert 2-10, Thompson 2-2, Palmer 1-1, Irwin 1-3, Cascio Jensen 1-3, Larson 0-1, Alexander 0-1, Tracy 0-1); Rebounds: DWU 27 (Ashley Bray), SDSU 34 (Thompson 7); Assists: DWU 14 (Osthus 7), SDSU 16 (Miller 6); Blocks: DWU 2 (Osthus 1), SDSU 5 (Thompson 3); Steals: DWU 7 (Osthus 2), SDSU 5 (Miller 1); Fouls: DWU 22, SDSU 12; Fouled out: none); Turnovers: DWU 15, SDSU 13; Attendance: 1,430.

Related Topics: DAKOTA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
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