No. 2 Tigers handle No. 16 Vikings in season opener

No. 2 Tigers handle No. 16 Vikings in season opener

MITCHELL, S.D. – In a top-20 battle, the No. 2 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team came away with a 60-55 victory over No. 16 Valley City State University Tuesday in a non-conference matchup at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

 Both teams traded buckets early as Sarah Carr (Huron, S.D.) made the first four points for DWU as the Tigers (1-0) jumped out to a quick 4-3 lead. Later in the first quarter, both teams were held scoreless for three minutes until a Rylie Osthus (DeSmet, S.D) layup gave DWU the 9-8 lead midway through the first quarter.

 The Tiger defense held the Vikings (1-1) scoreless for four and a half minutes as the Tigers opened up a 5-0 run. VCSU and the Tigers traded 3-point baskets at the end of the first quarter with DWU leading 17-14.

 The Tigers continued to extend their lead as DWU outscored the Vikings 14-6 in the second quarter. The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field in the second stanza, led by Makaela Karst (Plankinton, S.D.) who tallied six points in the quarter. Both teams struggled to score late in the half, but DWU went into the locker room leading, 31-20.

 After a low-scoring third quarter for both teams, the Tigers held a 40-30 advantage with one quarter to play. VCSU began the quarter on an 11-0 run to grab their first lead since midway through the first quarter. DWU ended the scoreless drought after a Kaylee Kirk (Balaton, Minn.) free-throw to tie the game at 41.

 With two minutes left in the game, Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) nailed two free throws to give the Tigers a one-point lead. The Vikings responded with a 3-pointer to make the score 51-49 in favor of VCSU. The Tigers answered back with a 10-0 run in 2:25 to secure the first win of the season.

 DWU finished the game shooting 37.5 percent from the field. The Tigers had balanced scoring as Osthus led all scorers with 18 points, while Karst tallied 11 points and Carr scored 10 points. Cheeseman was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line and pulled down 10 rebounds as she finished with a double-double. Sydney Halling (Harrisburg, S.D.) chipped in eight points off the bench and grabbed four rebounds in the victory.

 DWU will be back in action Saturday to battle Dakota State at 6 p.m. at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.

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