YANKTON, S.D. – Thanks to a defense that forced 22 turnovers, the No. 2 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team went on to defeat Mount Marty College 64-59 in Great Plains Athletic Conference action Wednesday in Yankton, S.D.
Makaela Karst (Plankinton, S.D.) put DWU on the scoreboard early with a pair of free throws. A few possessions later, Rylie Osthus (De Smet, S.D.) found Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) who knocked down her shot to put the Tigers (11-0, 7-0 GPAC) up 4-0.
The Lancers (4-6, 1-6 GPAC) came back to tie the game on their next two possessions. Cheeseman scored seven-consecutive points in the late moments of the first quarter to give DWU a 15-11 lead after one quarter.
After Osthus nailed a 3-pointer to give DWU an 18-13 lead, the Lancers took a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, MMC went on a 6-0 run to take its' first lead of the game at 19-18.
With 3:31 left in the first half, the Lancers connected on a jump shot to take a 27-23 lead and force a DWU timeout. However, the Tigers strung together a 5-0 run capped off by a Madison Mathews (Draper, S.D.) 3-pointer to give DWU a 28-27 lead. Neither team could pull away down the stretch as the Lancers held a 31-30 lead at halftime.
Coming out of the break, the Tigers opened up on a 9-0 run to take a 39-31 lead, forcing a Lancer timeout. MMC would not go away as they narrowed the DWU lead to two points with a run of their own.
Karst put an end to the run with a 3-point shot to make it a 42-37 game with the Tigers in front. Following the Karst 3-pointer, freshman Kaylee Kirk (Balaton, Minn.) found her way to the basketball and drained her shot. A minute later, Sarah Carr (Huron, S.D.) notched a pair of free throws to give the Tigers a 46-38 lead after three quarters.
The Lancers cut into the DWU lead in the opening minutes of the final stanza with a 9-2 run. But Osthus answered back with a jump shot and a 3-point shot to give DWU a 53-48 lead with 4:14 left.
MMC fouled the Tigers to try and get back into the game. But accurate free-throw shooting by the Tigers sealed the 11th win of the season.
Leading the way for DWU was Osthus with 19 points and five rebounds, while Cheeseman notched 15 points and three rebounds. Karst added 11 points, four rebounds and four assists, as Carr chipped in eight points.
The Tigers shot 33.8 percent from the field and 78.9 percent from the free-throw line. DWU forced 22 turnovers and scored 18 points off those turnovers.
DWU plays against Doane University in a GPAC showdown at 2 p.m. Saturday in Crete, Neb.