Solid second half propels Tiger to win over Dordt

 Kim Johnson from DWU.

Kim Johnson

Celeste Beck from DWU.

Celeste Beck

MITCHELL, S.D. – After giving up 49 points in the first half, the Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team settled in on defense and held Dordt College to 35 second-half points en route to a 95-84 win Wednesday night at the Corn Palace.

The win was the first Great Plains Athletic Conference win of the year for the Tigers, who are now 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the league.

Dordt (4-6, 1-2) led much of the first half and was up by 10, 47-37, with 2:03 left in the first half. But Elizabeth Lamb hit a three to spark a 9-2 Tiger run to end the first half. Celeste Beck hit an off-balanced jumper with three seconds left in the half to make it a three-point game, 49-46, heading into halftime.

The Defenders maintained a slim lead early in the second half, and the two teams exchanged the lead several times until Beck scored with 10:23 left to play to put DWU up 66-65. That sparked a 13-2 run that included back-to-back threes from Beck and Amanda Hart, and ended with a 77-69 Tiger lead with 6:26 left to play.

Dordt cut the lead to three, but Dakota Wesleyan went on a 13-1 run to extend its lead to 15, 90-75, with 2:41 remaining in the game. The Defenders cut the gap to 11, but the Tigers were able to hold on for the win.

Junior Kim Johnson matched her career high with a game-high 30 points to pace the Tigers, who shot 59 percent from the field and hit eight 3-pointers. Beck added 23 points, Katie Johnson finished with 12 and Lamb added 10 points. Taylor Piper and Beck both had six rebounds and Lamb had five assists. DWU went 15-for-22 from the line and had 36 rebounds and nine turnovers.

Brianna Spronk led Dordt with 23 points and eight rebounds and Kayla Broekhuis added 21 points. The Defenders shot 42 percent from the field, went 22-for-32 from the line and hit 10 3-pointers. They had 35 rebounds and 10 turnovers.

Dakota Wesleyan is back at home Saturday, Dec. 1, when it hosts No. 25 Hastings College at 2 p.m. The Broncos are the first of three ranked opponents for the Tigers, who play Morningside Dec. 5 and top-ranked Concordia Dec. 8.