HASTINGS, Neb. – For the second time in as many games, the Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team came up just short Sunday afternoon. After fighting back from a nine-point deficit in the final minute and a half against Hastings College, a last-second 3-pointer to tie the game fell short and the Tigers lost 63-60 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference game in Hastings, Neb.
Hastings (10-11, 5-6) led by nine, 61-52, with 1:29 left to play Sunday afternoon. But Amanda Hart hit a three and Brittany Hills answered a pair of Hastings free throws with two of her own to make it a six-point game, 63-57, with 31 seconds left. Brittney Wong missed the front end of a one-and-one to give DWU the ball back, and Elizabeth Lamb hit a three with 18 seconds left on the clock to make it a three-point game.
Wong was fouled but missed both free throws, giving DWU – which is No. 24 in the NAIA – one last chance to send the game to overtime. Hills put up a three in the game’s final seconds, but it hit the rim and bounced out.
Hastings went on a 12-2 run to start the game. The Tigers didn’t score their first point until Taylor Piper hit a jumper with 15:11 left in the half, and didn’t score again until Kim Johnson hit a three with 12:29 to play to make it 12-5. The Broncos made it a 10-point game, 16-6, with 10 minutes left in the half, and maintained that lead the remainder of the first half. Wong hit a three at the buzzer to give the Broncos a 34-20 halftime lead.
The Broncos pushed their lead to 14, 38-24, two minutes into the second half, but DWU went on a 10-0 run to make it a one-point game – 45-44 – with 10:50 left to play. After Johnson converted a three-point play to end the run, however, the Tigers didn’t score again until Johnson scored at the 7:19 mark, and Hastings was able to push its lead to nine before the Tigers started their comeback.
Johnson finished with a game-high 23 points for Dakota Wesleyan, but she was one of just two players in double digits for the Tigers. She also had five rebounds. Lamb finished with 16 points, including three 3-pointers. Celeste Beck added seven points and Hills had six rebounds. DWU shot 43.8 percent from the field, including just 33 percent in the first half. The Tigers went 12-for-18 from the line and had 21 rebounds and 15 turnovers.
Cami Bruckman led Hastings with 20 points. Wong added 14 and Chelsey Morten finished with 12 points. Frankie Petersen had 10 rebounds. The Broncos shot 46.2 percent from the field and went 11-for-16 from the line. Hastings had 41 rebounds and 20 turnovers.
DWU is back at home Wednesday, Jan. 16, when it hosts Dakota State University in a nonconference game at 6 p.m. at the Corn Palace.