Mustangs pull away late against Tiger women

Celeste Beck

Celeste Beck

Amanda Hart

Amanda Hart

Kristin Sabers

Kristin Sabers

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – For the second time in the last five days, the Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team came up short against No. 10 Morningside College.

The Mustangs won by 13, 80-67, when the two teams met Jan. 29 at the Corn Palace, and Morningside won by 13 again Monday night, this time by a score of 79-66 in Sioux City, Iowa. The No. 25 Tigers are now 15-9 overall and 8-7 and in sixth place in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Morningside is 19-5 overall and 10-4 in the league.

Morningside led by 13, 63-50, with 6:10 left to play Monday night, but Amanda Hart hit a three to spark a 10-2 run for the Tigers that ended with a layup by Celeste Beck to get DWU within five, 65-60, with 3:34 left on the clock. But Jessica Tietz converted a three-point play to make it an eight-point game, and Ashlynn Muhl and Osten both scored to push Morningside’s lead back to 12, 72-60, with 1:47 left to play. Hart hit another three to make it a nine-point game, but the Mustangs hit free throws and scored two layups in the final 31 seconds to seal the win.

Neither team was able to gain any ground early in the game. Hart hit a three to start the scoring and Beck hit a three to keep DWU up 8-5 less than four minutes in. The two teams exchanged the lead several times, and DWU took its last lead of the game at 19-17 on a pair of free throws by Beck. A three by the Mustangs made it a four-point game, but Beck responded with a three to cut the gap to one, 23-22, with 7:31 left in the first. Another three by Beck made it a one-point game again, this time at 31-30, with 2:07 left in the half, but Morningside outscored DWU 8-3 to end the half and led 39-33 at halftime.

Kim Johnson hit a three and a jumper to start the second half and cut Morningside’s lead to one, 39-38, and DWU stayed within a few points of the Mustangs for the first several minutes, but after a jumper by Kristin Sabers made it a two-point game, Morningside went on a 13-3 run to go up 12, 57-45. The Mustangs maintained that double-digit lead until the final minutes of the game.

Beck finished with 20 points to lead the Tigers, and both she and Hart hit four 3-pointers. Beck also had seven rebounds. Hart finished with 12 points and Sabers added 10. Katie Johnson had seven rebounds and Taylor Piper added four assists. DWU shot 34.4 percent from the field and hit 10 threes. The Tigers went 12-for-18 from the line and had 37 rebounds and 13 turnovers.

Tietz led Morningside with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Muhl added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Lexi Ackerman had 14 points and Osten finished with 12. The Mustangs shot 39.7 percent from the field and hit just four threes, but went 21-for-25 from the line. Morningside had 51 rebounds, including 19 offensive boards, and 12 turnovers.

DWU continues its busy schedule Wednesday, Feb. 5, when it travels to Sioux Center, Iowa, to take on Dordt College. The Tigers are at home Saturday, Feb. 8, and again Monday, Feb. 10 and Wednesday, Feb. 12.