Ian McClanhan, Sports Information Director
MITCHELL, S.D. –Thanks to a 22-point third quarter, the Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team handled Hastings College, 68-60, in the final Great Plains Athletic Conference matchup before Christmas on Tuesday at the Corn Palace.
It was a slow start from the floor for both teams as the scored remained tied 2-2 through almost four minutes of play. However, Haidyn Pitsch (Prior Lake, Minn.) knocked down a 3-pointer to break the scoreless streak.
After the Broncos (3-7, 3-6 GPAC) took a momentary lead, Matti Reiner (Tripp, S.D.) nailed the second triple of the game to hand the lead back to DWU.
Pitsch made back-to-back layups, followed by a Sydnaya Dunn (Sioux Falls, S.D.) layup and free throw to give the Tigers (5-4, 3-4 GPAC) a seven-point lead. DWU maintained a four-point advantage after the opening 10 minutes of play.
Hastings scored the opening bucket of the second period after three minutes of play. Although Hastings tied the game moments later, Jada Campbell (Alexandria, S.D.) made a layup, followed by a Reiner jumper to keep the lead with DWU.
Each time the Tigers scored Hastings answered to take the lead. But, just under two minutes to play, DWU finished the half on a 6-3 spurt to hold a 30-26 lead at halftime.
The Tigers came storming out of the gates in the second half as Pitsch and Reiner each nailed a 3-pointer and a plethora of Tigers knocked down jumpers, forcing a Hastings timeout. Leading by 17 points, Grace Imbery (Aberdeen, S.D.) converted on a layup to extend the lead with five minutes to play in the third frame.
The Tigers kept the momentum going, holding a 52-37 advantage heading to the final quarter. However, the Broncos mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, opening on a 10-2 run to pull within seven points.
After pulling within six points later, Kaylee Kirk (Balaton, Minn.) found Haylee Mork (Aberdeen, S.D.) for a 3-point basket to hand the momentum back to DWU. After Hastings made it a one-possession game, the Tigers went inside. Three-straight layups by Campbell kept the Tiger lead at five points with 30 seconds to play.
Rynn Osthus (De Smet, S.D.) and Imbery made free throws down the stretch to seal the victory for the Tigers.
Reiner knocked down a career-high 20 points, along with four rebounds, four steals and three assists. Pitsch added 14 points and three assists, while Campbell pitched in 10 points and six boards.
The Tigers conclude 2020 with a road matchup against Dordt University at 3 p.m. on Dec. 31 in Sioux Center, Iowa.