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Tiger women romp rival Lancers

Dakota Wesleyan's Kynedi Cheeseman, center, drives to the basket as Mount Marty's Kelli Steffen, right, tries to defend her and Danielle Wieseler, left, looks on during a Great Plains Athletic Conference women's basketball game on Wednesday at Cimpl Arena in Yankton. (Eric Mayer / Republic)

YANKTON — Behind a suffocating second-half defense, the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team blew past its in-state rivals.

The No. 6-ranked Tigers held Mount Marty to 13 points in the second half, outscoring the Lancers 28-11 in the third quarter before pulling away for a 78-32 Great Plains Athletic Conference victory in front of 521 fans on Wednesday at Cimpl Arena in Yankton. The win pushed DWU to 10-1 and 4-1 in the GPAC, while Mount Marty fell to 6-5 and 1-5 in the GPAC.

"Our defense was good in the first half, too, holding them to 19 points. We just couldn't throw the ball into the ocean," DWU head coach Jason Christensen said. "We just couldn't make shots. But if you play good defense long enough, the ball will start going in and it did in the second half."

DWU's defense held the Lancers to 8-of-43 shooting from the field for a dismal 18 percent and forced Mount Marty into 18 turnovers.

"They are good defensively and they are physical," Mount Marty head coach Tom Schlimgen said. "We didn't get penetration and we didn't make shots, therefore we didn't score many points."

Amber Bray was the Tigers' offensive catalyst in the second half, drilling a pair of 3-pointers and scoring 10 of her 17 total points in the third period. DWU's offense, which struggled at times in the first half with Mount Marty's 2-3 zone defense, found a new gear after halftime.

"We made some adjustments to their zone because they packed their zone," said Christensen, whose team has now defeated Mount Marty four straight times. "We got looks inside and then were able to find our shooters outside. Offensively, we did a lot of good things in that third quarter."

Ashley Bray added 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, while Sarah Carr added 14 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Jessica Mieras finished with eight points and Rylie Osthus chipped in seven points and six assists.

"All three of them did a really good job," Christensen said about the Bray sisters and Carr. "It was nice to get this one out of the way and now we'll get ready to face a tough Hastings team."

Never trailing in the contest, DWU opened with a 9-2 lead before claiming a 15-7 margin at the end of the first quarter. Mount Marty pulled within seven points at 26-19, but wouldn't get any closer, as DWU led by nine at halftime. The Tigers took their first 30-point lead 60-30 early in the fourth quarter and cruised the rest of the way.

For Mount Marty, Sarah Castaneda and Danielle Wieseler each scored 10 points, while White Lake native Kelli Steffen tossed in five points off the bench.

"They are a good basketball team and that's the fourth really good GPAC team we have faced," Schlimgen said. "We just hope to be better the next time around."

The Tigers will face Hastings on Saturday in Hastings, Nebraska.

DWU women 78, Mount Marty 32

Dakota Wesleyan (10-1, 4-1 GPAC): Ashley Bray 6-8 2-2 17; Amber Bray 6-10 2-2 17; Sarah Carr 5-12 2-3 14; Kynedi Cheeseman 3-10 2-2 9; Jessica Mieras 3-4 2-2 8; Rylie Osthus 3-4 0-0 7; Chesney Nagel 1-3 0-0 2; Madison Mathews 1-1 0-1 2; Makaela Karst 1-3 0-0 2; Meghan Travis 0-0 0-0 0; Lindsey Hale 0-0 0-0 0; Rachel Hawkins 0-1 0-0 0; Mateya Walder 0-0 0-0 0; Kacey Bartscher 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-56 10-12 78.

Mount Marty (6-5,1-5 GPAC): Castaneda, Sarah 3-7 4-4 10; Wieseler, Danielle 3-3 1-2 10; Steffen, Kelli 1-6 3-4 5; McKinney, Karlee 1-9 2-2 4; Chamley, Karissa 0-5 2-2 2; Barta, Kelia 0-1 1-2 1; Stolle, Peyton 0-4 0-0 0; Williams, Hannah 0-0 0-0 0; Sutera, Kelsey 0-4 0-0 0; Granum, Kaylee 0-0 0-0 0; Koisti, Molly 0-3 0-0 0; Kuca, Ali 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 8-43 13-16 32.

DWU 15 13 28 22 — 78

MMC 7 12 11 2 — 32

3-point goals — DWU 10-20 (Ashley Bray 3-4; Amber Bray 3-4; Carr 2-3; Osthus 1-2; Cheeseman 1-6; Karst 0-1), MMC 3-16 (Wieseler 3-3; Steffen 0-1; McKinney 0-2; Chamley 0-3; Barta 0-1; Stolle 0-1; Sutera 0-3; Koisti 0-1; Castaneda 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — DWU 42 (Sarah Carr 7), MMC 25 (Castaneda 5). Assists — DWU 21 (Osthus 6), MMC 5 (Koisti 2; Steffen 2). Total fouls — DWU 17, MMC 14. Technical fouls — none. A-521