CRETE, Neb. – The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team led Doane College by 15 points with 8:37 left to play Saturday afternoon in Crete, Neb., but Doane outscored the Tigers 18-4 in the final six minutes of the game to come away with a 69-68 win.
The loss was the second straight for No. 25 DWU, which is now 15-8 overall and 8-6 and in sixth in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. The upset pushed Doane to 11-12 overall and 5-10 in the conference.
A layup by Kim Johnson put the Tigers up 62-47 with 8:37 left, and Celeste Beck kept DWU up 13, 64-51, with 6:14 to play after Doane cut into the lead and made it an 11-point game. But Hanah Barnard hit back-to-back threes to spark a 14-2 run that cut DWU’s lead to one, 66-65, with 2:34 remaining. Two free throws by Beck put the Tigers up three, 68-65, with 2:02 to go, but Doane cut the lead to one again, this time on a pair of free throws by Shelbi Bittinger. Barnard hit a pair of free throws to put Doane up one with 57 seconds left, and Amanda Hart missed a jumper with one second left to give Doane the win.
Neither team was able to take control for the first few minutes of the game, but Hart hit a three to put the Tigers up one and spark a 7-1 run to put DWU up 20-14 with 12:07 left in the half. Barnard hit a three to stop the run, and she and Hart traded 3-pointers, but the Tigers put together a short run to go up eight, 34-26, on a three by Beck with 6:01 left. Hart hit back-to-back threes a few minutes later to make it a 12-point game, 40-28, and Beck made it a 15-point game for the first time with a three to put DWU up 45-30 with 3:09 left in the half. Johnson hit two free throws with eight seconds left in the first, and DWU led 47-35 at halftime.
Baskets by Johnson, Micaela Erickson and Hart put the Tigers up 55-39 early in the second half, and DWU was able to maintain a double-digit lead until the final six minutes of play.
Dakota Wesleyan shot 42.6 percent from the field Saturday afternoon, including just 30 percent in the second half. The Tigers went 7-for-16 from long range in the first half and 0-for-8 in the second. Hart finished with a team-high 23 points on five 3-pointers and she also had eight rebounds. Johnson added 15 points, Beck had 14 points and five assists and Katie Johnson had 10 points. The Tigers went 9-for-10 from the line and had 32 rebounds and 20 turnovers.
Barnard hit seven threes and scored 25 points for Doane. Heather Broman added 19 points, Bittinger finished with 13 and Hannah Dostal had 12 rebounds. The Tigers shot 39 percent from the field, including nearly 43 percent in the second half. Doane went 16-for-22 from the line and had 41 rebounds and 25 turnovers.
Dakota Wesleyan is on the road Monday and Wednesday this week. Monday the Tigers travel to Sioux City, Iowa, for a 6 p.m. makeup game against Morningside College. Wednesday, DWU takes on Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa.