HASTINGS, Neb. – In a back-and-forth top-25 battle, the No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team fell to No. 21 Hastings College 79-76 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference matchup Saturday in Hastings, Neb.
Both teams began the game slow on offense as the Broncos (11-10, 7-8 GPAC) was in front by one point with four minutes remaining in the first quarter. Moments later, with the Tigers (19-3, 12-3 GPAC) down by three points, Madison Mathews (Draper, S.D.) knocked down a 3-point basket with an assist from Kynedi Cheeseman (Alexandria, S.D.) to tie the score at 11.
Both teams began to find their offensive rhythm late in the first quarter, but it was Sarah Carr (Huron, S.D.) who nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Tigers a one-point lead.
In the second quarter, the Broncos jumped out to a quick 26-19 lead halfway through the second quarter. A few possessions later, with DWU down by eight, Cheeseman drilled her first 3-pointer of the day to cut the Bronco lead to five points. On the next possession, it was Rylie Osthus (De Smet, S.D.) who also netted a 3-point basket to pull the Tigers within two, 31-29.
Hastings managed to hang on to the lead for the rest of the quarter, after 20 minutes of play, the Broncos led DWU, 36-31.
In the third quarter, the Tigers began to claw back into the game. Sydney Halling (Harrisburg, S.D.) began the run with a layup. On the next possession, Osthus knocked down two free throws, while Cheeseman tallied a basket to cut the deficit to one, 40-39.
With 6:40 left to play in the third quarter, Cheeseman nailed a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 42-40 lead. The Broncos ended the DWU 9-0 run with a bucket of their own. DWU continued the offensive pressure with a 3-pointer from Mathews to give the Tigers a 45-43 lead.
Both teams traded baskets down the stretch in the third quarter, but Hastings finished the quarter with two free throws with no time on the clock to regain the lead, 57-56.
In the fourth quarter, the Tigers had a five-point lead twice down the stretch in the quarter. Hastings was able to convert on baskets from the field and the free-throw line. Carr looked to send the game into overtime at the buzzer, but the ball fell short and Hastings held on for the victory.
Cheeseman finished with 21 points off the bench for the Tigers, while Osthus tallied 12 points and nine rebounds. Halling chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds, as Makaela Karst (Plankinton, S.D.) added nine points and Mathews notched eight points for DWU. The Tigers shot 41.3 percent from the field and outrebounded the Broncos 42-26.
DWU will return home to battle Briar Cliff University in a GPAC game at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Corn Palace.