MADISON, S.D. - The nationally-ranked Briar Cliff (Iowa) of Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) shot 52.9 percent overall from the field Monday evening to defeat Dakota State Lady T's 91-74 at DSU Fieldhouse.
Dakota State dropped their overall record to 4-7. The Chargers, No. 6 in the latest NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Coaches' 'Top 25' national poll, improved their overall record to 12-2.
Briar Cliff missed their first five shots of the game to allow the Lady T's earn a 6-1 lead with seventeen minutes and 53 seconds left in the first-half.
With DSU leading at 11-6, the Chargers went on an 11-0 spurt to give BC a 17-11 lead with less than 13 minutes before halftime.
The Chargers extended their lead to 31-22 with 6:46 remaining in the first-half. In the next three-plus minutes, the Lady T's used a 10-3 scoring run to trim their deficit to 34-32.
BC closed the first-half by using a 12-6 run to gain a 46-38 halftime lead.
Dakota State shot 51.7 percent from the field (15-for-29) in the first-half, including 5-fo-14 beyond the 3-point range. Briar Cliff was 17-for-36 (47.2 percent) from the field and 5-for-10 from the 3-point arc.
After the Chargers opened up with a 10-point lead to start the second-half (48-38 with 19:35 remaining), the Lady T's raced to a 13-4 scoring run to cut BC's lead to 52-51 with 16:17 left in the game.
From there, the Chargers scored 14 straight points in a span of three minutes to extend their lead to 66-51 (13:03 remaining).
Briar Cliff maintained their double-digits lead for the rest of the game. The Lady T's could get no closer than 13 points at 70-57 with 11:32 left.
The Chargers shot 58.8 percent in the second-half (20-for-34) compared to DSU 46.4 percent (13-for-28). BC outscored the Lady T's 45-36 in the final twenty minutes of the game.
Kylie Westover poured in 22 points and recorded three steals for the Lady T's. She was 9-for-16 from the field, including 4-for-10 from the 3-point line. Cassie Jacobsen added 17 points. She went 5-for-11 from the field and 6-for-8 at the free-throw line. Yui Onodera and Julie Munson each added eight points.
Alyson Drooger dished out six assists and recorded four blocked shots for Dakota State. She grabbed seven rebounds.
Five players scored in double digits for Briar Cliff. Summer Gordon scored 16 points and pulled down five rebounds off the bench. Mattie Murren added 15 points. Kela Cihak had 13 points and dished out seven assists. Kelsey Evans scored 12 points.
Lexi Henschke stole the ball six times for the Chargers. Slone Masters had two blocked shots.
Briar Cliff made 37 baskets in 70 attempts in the game. The Lady T's shot 28-for-57 overall from the field (49.1 percent).
DSU drained seven 3-pointers in 21 attempts (33.3 percent) compared to the Chargers' 5-for-13 (38.5 percent).
BC was 12-for-19 at the free-throw line (63.2 percent) while the Lady T's made 11 free-throws in 15 attempts (73.3 percent).
Dakota State outrebounded the Chargers 39-30.
The Chargers outscored the Lady T's 39-17 in points off turnovers and 46-26 inside the paint.
The Lady T's scored 14 second-chance points compared to the Chargers' 11 second-chance points.
Dakota State will step aside from the regular-season play as they play the final two exhibition games in December against Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). DSU heads to Minnesota State-Mankato on Wednesday night. Tip-off from the Taylor Center is set for 7 p.m. in Mankato, Minn. (On Sunday, Dec. 30, the Lady T's travels to Bismarck, N.D. to face their former Dakota Athletic Conference foe Mary (N.D.) at 4 p.m.)
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director