MITCHELL, S.D. – In a top-10 battle, the No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team used balanced scoring to secure its 16th win of the season with a 91-67 victory over No. 8 Morningside College in a Great Plains Athletic Conference tilt Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
Morningside (13-4, 6-4 GPAC) opened up the scoring with a deep 3-pointer, but the Tigers (16-1, 9-1 GPAC) answered back quickly with a jump-shot from Sarah Carr (Huron, S.D.) to get DWU on the board. Carr opened up the game scoring the first six points for the Tigers.
After a timeout on the floor, both teams went scoreless for two minutes in the middle of the first quarter until, Sydney Halling (Harrisburg, S.D.) connected on a layup as the Tigers trailed 12-10 with four minutes left in the first quarter.
Madison Mathews (Draper, S.D.) drained a 3-point basket to give DWU the lead by one points. The Tigers followed that by two free throws from Rylie Osthus (De Smet, S.D.) to maintain a 17-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
DWU carried a 13-0 run into the second quarter and grabbed a 23-14 lead early into the second quarter. Minutes later, after a Mustang 3-pointer cut the Tiger lead to eight, Mathews drilled her second 3-pointer of the game to put the Tigers back in front by 11 points. Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) nailed her first 3-point basket with a minute remaining in the second half to give DWU a 10-point lead at halftime 43-33.
In the beginning of the third quarter, Cheeseman delivered two-straight 3-pointers to push the Tiger lead to 49-35. DWU would continue the offensive pressure in the third quarter, outscoring the Mustangs 25-17 and went into the final frame with a 68-50 lead.
After Morningside cut into the Tiger lead midway through the fourth quarter, DWU responded with an Osthus jump shot and a Cheeseman layup to get the Tigers back in front by 18 points. In the closing minutes of the game, Carr notched a 3-pointer, while Natalie Gottlob (Salem, S.D.) converted on a bucket and a free throw to put the Mustangs away, 91-67.
Osthus and Cheeseman each tallied 20 points in the victory, while Osthus added eight assists. Carr finished with 19 points and four rebounds. Makaela Karst (Plankinton, S.D.) collected a double-double as she poured in 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Mathews added nine points and Halling chipped in six points off the bench. DWU outscored Morningside 32-16 in the paint.
The Tigers will be on the road to face the College of Saint Mary at 2 p.m. Saturday in Omaha, Neb.