WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – After a big third quarter and outscoring Kesier University 43-26 in the second half, the No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team pulled away to an 83-55 victory Wednesday in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Both teams raced up and down the floor to begin the game as Keiser (7-9, 1-5) jumped out to an early 9-4 lead in the opening minutes of the game. But, the Tigers (14-1, 8-1 GPAC) answered back with free throws from Sarah Carr (Huron, S.D.) and a jumper from Madison Mathews (Draper, S.D.) to cut the Seahawk lead to one point.
Both teams traded baskets as the Seahawks maintained the lead throughout most of the first quarter. With 2:50 remaining in the first period, Makaela Karst (Plankinton, S.D.) connected on a two-point basket to give the Tigers their first lead of the game, 14-13. However, at the end of the first quarter it was Keiser who held an 18-16 advantage.
Both teams once again traded baskets in the early minutes of the second quarter. Karst gave DWU a boost early in the second quarter, scoring a layup followed by a 3-pointer to start a 13-3 run. DWU led 36-25 with 2:58 remaining in the first half.
After the Seahawks tried to regain the momentum before half, DWU received a big basket right before the halftime buzzer from Rylie Osthus (DeSmet, S.D.) to give the Tigers a 40-29 lead going into halftime.
The Tigers picked up right where they left off offensively as Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) nailed a 3-pointer to spark an 11-2 run to begin the second half.
DWU continued the offensive production in the third quarter as Cheeseman notched a 3-point basket followed by a two-point basket en route to her 15 points in the third quarter alone. The Tigers outscored the Seahawks 27-9 and built up a 67-38 lead at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, it was much of the same as DWU continued to maintain the lead and go on to win the game.
Cheeseman led all scorers with 23 points, including 18 points in the second half. Karst and Carr each tallied 15 points, while Sydney Halling (Harrisburg, S.D.) notched 10 points off the bench. Osthus finished with nine points, seven assists and seven rebounds. The Tigers outscored the Seahawks 44-26 in the paint and also scored 21 points off of Keiser turnovers.
DWU will be back in action to battle No. 12 University of St. Francis (Ill.) Friday at 3:45 p.m. CST in the second game of the West Palm Beach Invitational in West Palm Beach, Fla.