MITCHELL, S.D. - Dakota State shot 48.1 percent overall from the field Wednesday evening at the Corn Palace, but Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) outscored the Lady T's 37-7 in points off turnovers to seal a 78-69 victory.
Dakota State dropped their overall record to 5-10. DWU of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), which received votes to the latest NAIA Division II Women's Basketball national poll, won their fifth straight meeting over DSU and raised their record to 15-6.
Dakota Wesleyan earned a 5-0 lead in the first 50 seconds of the game.
The Lady T's gained their first lead of the game (10-8) with 15:17 left in the first-half with a 10-3 scoring run.
With DSU leading at 12-11 with 14:21 remaining before intermission, DWU was held to no field goals in a span of eight minutes as DSU maintained their lead during that span. The Lady T's had their biggest lead of the first-half at 21-14 with less than nine minutes left in the first-half.
The Tigers broke their field goal shooting drought with 6:20 left as they knotted the game at 21-21.
The Lady T's led 28-27 with just below three minutes in the first-half, DWU used a 9-2 scoring run to earn a 36-30 halftime lead.
DSU shot 9-for-26 from the field (34.6 percent) as DWU was held to 29 percent shooting (9-for-31) in the first-half. The Tigers went to the free-throw line 20 times, converting 16 free-throws (80 percent). DSU was 9-for-13 at the free-throw line (69.2 percent).
Dakota Wesleyan raced to a double-digit lead in the first 1:55 of the second-half at 44-34.
The Lady T's trimmed their deficit to 50-47 with less than 12 minutes remaining (13-4 scoring run).
The Tigers went on to score nine straight points to extend to their biggest lead of the game at 59-47 with 10 minutes left in the game.
DSU answered back with a 7-0 scoring run to cut DWU's lead to 59-57 with 7:36 remaining.
The Tigers maintained their lead for the rest of the second-half, outscoring the Lady T's 19-12 in the final 7:36.
Dakota State shot a sizzling 61.5 percent from the field (16-for-26) in the last twenty minutes of the game. DWU was 40.5 percent from the field (15-for-37).
Alyson Drooger recorded a double-double of 14 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Lady T's. She had three blocks and dished out five assists. Kylie Westover added 17 points. She was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. Cassie Jacobsen scored nine points.
Courtney Hulstein scored nine points off the bench for DSU. She had six rebounds. Courtney Hamblin added nine points and earned five boards.
All five DWU starters scored in double digits. Elizabeth Lamb had 15 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 showing at the free-throw line. Taylor Piper and Kim Johnson each added 13 points. Amanda Hart had 12 points. Brittany Hill had 11 points.
Lamb, Hart and Johnson each recorded six rebounds for the Tigers. Piper and Celeste Beck each had four assists. Hill recorded four steals.
Dakota State made 28 field goals in 52 attempts in the game. DWU struggled from the field, shooting 24-for-68 - 35.3 percent.
The Tigers were 23-for-31 at the free-throw line (74.2 percent). DSU was 14-for-19 from the free-throw line (73.7 percent).
DWU outrebouned the Lady T's 41-37.
Dakota State continues their action on the road this weekend. The Lady T's play in the two-day Dakota Tip-off Classic, where four former Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) members meet. DSU play the nationally-ranked No. 17 Jamestown (N.D.) in the semifinals on Saturday evening. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. at the Civic Center in Jamestown, N.D.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director