DWU women race past Doane in GPAC opener

Nov. 17—MITCHELL — The Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball team could not be contained in a 97-58 rout of Doane in its Great Plains Athletic Conference opener Friday night at the Corn Palace.

A 3-point barrage led the way for the white-clad Tigers, which shot 52.2 percent from beyond the arc, hitting 12 of them. When they didn't go in, DWU got the rebound, finishing with 14 offensive rebounds and 14 second-chance points.

"We have a philosophy here: 'Shoot it before you boot it,'" coach Jason Christensen said. "So we're going to play fast, we're going to crank, we're going to take quick shots."

Following a 93-75 loss to Dakota State on Monday in Madison, it's a strong bounce-back effort that gets the Tigers opening conference play on the right foot. Isabel Ihnen had a game-high 21 points on a 9-of-17 shooting effort, including four 3-pointers. Morgan Edelman scored 17 points on an efficient 7-of-8 shooting, and Emma Yost was 4-of-4 shooting for 12 points.

Through three games, the Tigers are averaging 86 points.

"I thought we played well offensively," Christensen said. "And even the last game when we were at Dakota State, I thought we played well offensively."

DWU also had a strong defensive performance, forcing 22 turnovers, which translated into 34 points. The hosting Tigers held the visiting Tigers to 39.3% shooting from the field.

"I've always said, if you can hold a team under 60 in the GPAC, you're going to have a chance to win, and we did tonight," Christensen said. "And that's the one thing we hang our hat on is defense spurs our offense. I thought we did a really good job defensively and being able to take that and turn that over to points on the offensive end."

DWU built its lead in a hurry against Doane, jumping out to a 15-4 lead just five minutes in. Doane cut the lead to five near the end of the first quarter, but DWU went on a 7-0 run to lead 31-21 with 8:20 left in the half.

Christensen's squad stacked onto the lead from there, as Ihnen hit a trio of 3-pointers to lead 50-32 at halftime. In the third quarter, DWU held Doane (2-2, 0-1 GPAC) scoreless for a three-minute stretch and ran its lead to 66-36. In the fourth quarter, a 3-ball and layup by Grace Fryda stretched the lead to 83-47, then DWU closed the game on a 7-0 run to win by 39 points.

DWU (2-1, 1-0 GPAC) host Hastings at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Corn Palace.