Dordt College Women's Basketball vs. Morningside

February 21, 2009

(Sioux Center, Iowa) The Dordt College Defender women's basketball team was unable to close out the regular season with a senior night victory as they fell to the #1 ranked Morningside Mustangs by a score of 77-59. The Mustangs finished their regular season with an unblemished record of 30-0 overall and 18-0 in the GPAC while the Defenders finish the season at 12-16 overall and 7-11 in the conference. Dordt finished the regular season in 8th place and will host a first round play-off game in Sioux Center on Tuesday, February 24th at 6:00 pm.

Dordt came into the contest hoping to put the lone tally in the Morningside loss column but were unable to deal with the solid defensive pressure of the Mustangs and the consistent play of Morningside's Dani Gass. Dordt held the lead for the first 13 minutes of the match-up until Dani Gass hit a lay-up with 6:45 remaining to give the Mustangs a one point lead at 19-18. Dordt would take the lead right back on a DeNooy 3 pointer. On their next possession the Mustang's Brittany Williamson made a lay-up to tie the game at 21 apiece. At the 4:32 mark of the half Autumn Bartel hit a jumper for the Mustangs to give them a 2 point lead, they stretched the lead to 5 and took a 4 point lead into the break.

Dordt would open up the second half scoring the first 4 points to tie the game at 30-30 and a Soodsma three ball at 18:30 would give the Defenders a one point lead at 33-32. A Laura Nelson 3 pointer for Morningside gave the Mustangs a one point lead and sparked an 8 point Mustang run pushing the margin to 7 at 40-33 with 16:01 to go.

The Mustangs would go on to extend the lead to as large as 22 and ran away with the game over the last 10 minutes of action as Dordt was unable to trim the lead to single digits.

"They did a great job defensively and that was about as good a game as I've seen them play, whether in person or on tape. They came out on a mission to prove that they are the best team in the conference," said Coach Craig Stiemsma. "We didn't rebound very well and Gass and Bartel are a great pair of players and you really have to be able to deal with them. They went 26 of 29 from the free throw line and that's going to be good enough to win most days. We are now looking forward to what we hope to be 4 games in a row of great basketball."

Dani Gass led all scorers with 21 while Brittany Williamson added 19 for the Mustangs, Gass and Williamson also shared game-high honors with 8 rebounds each.

Dordt's Amber Soodsma and McKinzie Schmidt both finished with 16 points and the Defender's lone senior, Kelsie DeNooy added 10. Kate DuMez finished with 9 points to go along with 7 assists and 6 steals. Soodsma led Dordt with 7 rebounds.

The Mustangs outrebounded Dordt 39-30 and the Defenders had 20 turnovers to Morningside's 16. Morningside also made more free throws than the Defenders took as they went 26-29 from the stripe while Dordt was 11 of 19.

Other GPAC scores:
Northwestern 82
Briar Cliff 62

Concordia 63
Dana 55

Hastings 76
Nebraska Wesleyan 55

Mount Marty 88
Doane 79

Dakota Wesleyan 63
Sioux Falls 68

GPAC Standings:
Morningside 18-0
Northwestern 15-3
Concordia 14-4
Mount Marty 14-4
Hastings 12-6
Sioux Falls 9-9
Doane 8-10
Dordt 7-11
Briar Cliff 6-12
Dakota Wesleyan 6-12
Dana 3-15
Midland Lutheran 3-15
Nebraska Wesleyan 2-16
Note: The top 4 teams receive a bye in the first round of the play-offs and teams 5 through 12 are seeded and compete next week Tuesday.

The Defenders will next play in the first round of the GPAC post-season tournament. Dordt, the number 8 seed, will play host to the 9th seed Dakota Wesleyan on Tuesday, February 24 at 6:00 pm in the DeWitt Gymnasium in Sioux Center.

Dordt's Current Record: 12-16 (0-0)
Opponent's Current Record: 30-0 (18-0)

Team 1st Half 2nd Half Final
Dordt College 26 33 59
Morningside 30 47 77
Dordt Rebounding Leaders Total
Amber Soodsma 7
Kelsie De Nooy 6
Bre Schneidermann 5
Kate Du Mez 4
Team Total: 30
Opponent Rebounding Leaders Total
Williamson, Brittany 8
Gass, Dani 8
Bartel, Autumn 5
Foral, Leslie 4
Team Total: 39
Dordt Scoring Leaders Total
McKinzie Schmidt 16
Amber Soodsma 16
Kelsie De Nooy 10
Kate Du Mez 9
Team Total: 59
Opponent Scoring Leaders Total
Gass, Dani 21
Williamson, Brittany 19
Bartel, Autumn 11
Miller, Roni 9
Team Total: 77
Dordt Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 21/53 40%
3-Point Field Goals: 6/13 46%
Free Throws: 11/19 58%
Opponent Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 23/56 41%
3-Point Field Goals: 5/19 26%
Free Throws: 26/29 90%

For more information, please contact Mike Byker, Sports Information Director, at mbyker@dordt.edu or (712) 722-6301.