MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team entered Wednesday’s game against No. 3 Morningside College looking for its second straight upset. Saturday afternoon, the Tigers beat No. 25 Hastings College by 22 points, and DWU was hoping to continue with another, bigger upset Wednesday.
The Tigers held onto that hope throughout the first half and well into the second, and were within five of the mustangs with around seven minutes left to play, but missed free throws and turnovers ultimately doomed Dakota Wesleyan in a 74-59 loss at the Corn Palace. The loss is the third of the season for DWU, which is 8-3 overall, 2-2 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference and is currently receiving votes in the NAIA.
The Mustangs (7-1, 3-1) led by six, 39-33, at halftime, and extended that lead to eight early in the second half, but a three by Amanda Hart made it a five-point game, 41-36. The Tigers were able to cut the gap to four several times, including 48-44 with 17:22 to play. Morningside went on a 10-2 run to make it a 12-point game, 58-46, but the Tigers responded with a 7-0 run to cut the gap to five, 58-53, with 7:36 to play.
From there, Morningside held the Tigers scoreless for nearly three minutes and extended its lead back to 12, 65-53, with 5:20 to play. The Tigers made it a 10-point game a few seconds later, but couldn’t get any closer.
The Tigers came out hot to start, and led 8-2 after 3-pointers by Hart and Celeste Beck. Morningside’s first lead of the game came at 12:44 when it went up 15-13, and the Mustangs never trailed after that. DWU was able to tie the game, including at 19-19 with 10:42 left in the half, and got within two, 28-26, with 6:30 left, but the Mustangs held their lead.
Kim Johnson led Dakota Wesleyan for the 10th time this season with 19 points. Hart finished with 18 points on six 3-pointers and Taylor Piper had seven points. Elizabeth Lamb finished with five rebounds for the Tigers, who shot 40.8 percent from the field and went 11-for-20 from the line. DWU had 31 rebounds and 16 turnovers.
Ashlynn Muhl led all players with 22 points and 12 rebounds for Morningside, which shot 46 percent from the field and went 9-for-13 from the line. Chelsie Trask added 16 points and Shelby Beaudette added 10. The Mustangs had 38 rebounds and 12 turnovers.
DWU is back in action Saturday, Dec. 8, when it travels to Seward, Neb., to take on top-ranked Concordia University at 2 p.m.