MITCHELL, S.D. – Three days after its biggest win of the year, the Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team hit the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, suffering a 73-69 loss to in-state rival Mount Marty College.
The two teams entered the game tied for fifth in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, but the win puts the Lancers a game head of No. 24 Dakota Wesleyan in the league standings. Mount Marty is 14-8 overall and 9-5 in the league while the Tigers are 16-7 overall and 7-6 in the GPAC.
After shooting just 20 percent and scoring 18 points in the first half, the Tigers found their rhythm in the second, but Mount Marty had an answer for everything. The Lancers led by as many as 16, 46-30, with 15:14 left to play, but the Tigers used an 8-1 run that included threes from Elizabeth Lamb and Amanda Hart to cut the gap to nine, 47-38.
The Lancers extended their lead back to 13, and led 60-57 with 7:56 to play. Celeste Beck hit a three to make it 60-50, and a three-point play by Katie Johnson made it 60-53 with 6:35 left. A three by Raquel Sutera put Mount Marty back up by 10, but DWU went on a 13-6 run to cut the gap to three, 69-66, with 3:11 left. Lamb hit a 3-pointer at the 3:11 mark to make it a three-point game.
That, however, was the last time DWU scored until Hart hit a three as the final buzzer sounded. The Lancers went 5-for-6 from the line in the final three minutes of the game, and the Tigers missed several easy layups to cut into the gap.
Scoring was even harder to come by in the first half for Dakota Wesleyan. After Beck scored at the 15:30 mark to make it a 5-4 game in favor of MMC, the Tigers didn’t score again until Beck hit a pair of free throws at the 11:50 mark. Their next field goal didn’t come until Kim Johnson hit a jumper with 9:57 left in the half. DWU went 7-for-35 from the field in the first half and didn’t hit a single 3-pointer.
Katie Johnson finished with a team-high 14 points for Dakota Wesleyan, which ended up shooting 40 percent from the field. The Tigers shot 58 percent in the second half, but couldn’t overcome their poor shooting in the first half. Beck added 13 points and Kim Johnson finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. Hart also had eight points and eight rebounds. DWU went 5-for-10 from the line, had six 3-pointers and had 34 rebounds and seven turnovers.
Brittany Little scored a game-high 15 points for Mount Marty, which shot 43 percent from the field and hit nine 3-pointers. Sutera, April Winne and Taylor Forsch all added 14 points. Little also had nine rebounds. The Lancers went 16-for-23 from the line and had 46 rebounds and 17 turnovers.
DWU is on the road Saturday, Jan. 26, when it travels to Crete, Neb., to take on Doane College at 2 p.m.