MITCHELL, S.D. – Thanks to a 14-2 run to end the first half, the No. 8 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team pulled away from Midland University and won, 72-43 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference Quarterfinals Wednesday in Mitchell.
The Tigers (26-5, 16-4 GPAC) jumped out to a 12-4 lead thanks to a Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) 3-pointer. Neither team found a basket for two minutes in the first quarter, until Chesney Nagel (Springfield, S.D.) found Ashley Bray (Anoka, Minn.) open for a layup to put DWU up by 10 points, forcing a Midland timeout.
Beginning the second quarter, Cheeseman was double-teamed and found Nagel open beyond the arc, who nailed the three-point shot to give the Tigers a 20-10 lead. The Warriors (14-17, 9-11 GPAC) scored seven-straight points to cut the DWU lead to five points midway through the second quarter. However, Rylie Osthus (De Smet, S.D.) drained a 3-pointer that began a 14-2 run to end the first half, putting the Tigers up 36-19 at halftime.
Amber Bray (Anoka, Minn.) and Ashley Bray came out in the second half and got right to work. Amber Bray knocked down a three-point shot, followed by another 3-pointer by twin sister Ashley Bray. On the next possession, Ashley Bray added another 3-pointer, while Amber Bray made a pair of free throws a minute later, giving DWU a 23-point lead.
With five minutes to play in the third quarter, the Tigers took the ball out of bounds as Cheeseman inbounded the ball to Jessica Mieras (Sioux Falls, S.D.) who knocked down the mid-range jumper. Minutes later with under a minute to play in the third stanza, Makaela Karst (Plankinton, S.D.) shook her defender as she made a layup to put DWU up 57-33 after three quarters of play.
Three minutes into the second quarter, Nagel got the Tiger offense going as she nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to help push DWU to victory.
Amber Bray led the team with a double-double as she posted 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Ashley Bray added 13 points and nine rebounds. Osthus and Nagel scored nine points apiece, as Mieras tallied eight points in 11 minutes off the bench. The Tigers shot 38 percent from the field while holding the Warriors to just 24 percent shooting from the field. DWU added 21 assists and 42 rebounds to five assists and 25 rebounds by Midland.
The Tigers take on No. 10 Northwestern College in the GPAC Semi-Finals at 2 p.m. Saturday in Orange City, Iowa.