Dordt College Women's Basketball vs. Dakota Wesleyan

February 22, 2011

(Sioux Center, Iowa) Dordt College earned a berth in the GPAC quarterfinals by knocking off a Dakota Wesleyan team that would not go away without a fight. The Defenders beat the Tigers 63-51 to improve to 17-12 on the year while the Tigers finish the season with a record of 6-25.

Dordt scored the first 8 points of the contest, including 6 from senior Amber Soodsma, to take an 8-0 lead with 17:31 to go. Soodsma's jumper at 14:29 extended the Dordt advantage to 9 (12-3) and a Bre Schneidermann basket on the next possession gave the Defenders a double digit lead at 14-3 with 13:33 remaining.

Dakota Wesleyan rallied by scoring 7 unanswered, capped by an Elizabeth Lamb 3 pointer to cut the game down to 4 (14-10) with 10:56 left. Dordt responded with a 5 point run on a DeKoekkoek three and a layup by Brianna Spronk to push the gap back to 9 (19-10) with 9:06 left. Seven straight by the relentless Tigers made it a 2 point game (19-17) with 6:52 to play in the half. Leading by just 3 points with 49 seconds left in the half, Dordt's Julia DeKoekkoek knocked in her second three of the night and a pair of DeKoekkoek free throws with just one second left gave Dordt an 8 point (29-21) half time advantage.

Dordt enjoyed double digits leads on 4 occasions in the first eleven and a half minutes of the second half, leading three times by 11 and once by 10 but could not blow the game open as each time Dakota Wesleyan answered to stay within range. "They have a reputation of continuing to battle," said Dordt Head Coach Craig Stiemsma about the Tigers, "and we just couldn't get that play in the second half to extend it to 13 or 15. Give them a lot of credit, they shot the three well and hit the boards hard." A Brittany Pritchard 3 pointer with 4:12 to go, got the Tigers the closest they would get in the second half as the cut the Defender lead to 5 (55-50).

With 2:42 to go, Kara VanDyke remained perfect at the charity stripe, dropping in her 5 and 6th, to extend the Defender lead back to 7 (57-50) and the Defenders made their last 6 free throws to seal the 12 point win as the Tigers could not hit the three point shots that had kept them in the ball game most of the night.

"It is really nice to have that senior leadership on the floor for us," said Stiemsma "I never felt like Dakota Wesleyan was going to take the lead away from us. We were very strong again from the free throw line (21-25 for 84%) and had clutch rebounds at just the right time. We earned the right to go battle Sioux Falls on Thursday."

Dordt was led in scoring by Julia DeKoekkoek's 16 while Amber Soodsma had 11 and Danelle Miedema 10. Kara VanDyke contributed 8, going 8 for 8 from the free throw line. VanDyke, Soodsma and Schneidermann each pulled down 8 rebounds while DeKoekkoek grabbed 5. The Defenders combined for 11 blocked shots with Soodsma leading the way with three.

Brittany Pritchard led all scorers on the night with 18 points and grabbed a game high 10 rebounds as well. Brittany Hills pulled down 9 rebounds and Elizabeth Lamb had 8 points.

Dakota Wesleyan had a slight edge in rebounding, pulling down 44 while Dordt grabbed 40. The Defender defense forced the Tigers into 15 turnovers while Dordt gave the ball up only 8 times. Both teams struggled from the floor with Wesleyan converting 16-60 while Dordt was 19-58.

Dordt College will travel to Sioux Falls on Thursday, February 24 to take on the Cougars at 6:00 pm in the Great Plains Athletic Conference quarterfinals.

GPAC Tournament Scores:

Game #1 - #8 Concordia 61, #9 Hastings 58
Game #2 - #7 Doane 73, #10 Midland 71
Game #3 - #6 Dordt 63, #11 Dakota Wesleyan 51

GPAC Women's Basketball Quarterfinals - Thursday, February 24
Game #4 - #5 Mount Marty (22-8, 12-6) at #4 Briar Cliff (19-11, 12-6) 6 PM
Game #5 - #8 Concordia (15-16, 6-12) at #1 Northwestern (27-1, 18-0), 6 PM
Game #6 - #7 Doane (10-18, 7-11) at #2 Morningside, 7 PM
Game #7 - #6 Dordt (17-12, 7-11) at #3 Sioux Falls (24-4, 14-4), 6 PM

Dordt's Current Record: 17-12 (0-0)
Opponent's Current Record: 6-25 (2-16)

Team 1st Half 2nd Half Final
Dordt College 29 34 63
Dakota Wesleyan 21 30 51
Dordt Rebounding Leaders Total
Bre Schneidermann 8
Amber Soodsma 8
Kara Van Dyke 8
Julia DeKoekkoek 5
Team Total: 40
Opponent Rebounding Leaders Total
Pritchard, Brittany 10
Hills, Brittany 9
Erickson, Micaela 6
Dvoracek, Kenzie 4
Team Total: 44
Dordt Scoring Leaders Total
Julia DeKoekkoek 16
Amber Soodsma 11
Danelle Miedema 10
Kara Van Dyke 8
Team Total: 63
Opponent Scoring Leaders Total
Pritchard, Brittany 18
Lamb, Brittany 8
Johnson, Kim 7
Hart, Amanda 6
Team Total: 51
Dordt Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 19/58 33%
3-Point Field Goals: 4/17 24%
Free Throws: 21/25 84%
Opponent Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 16/60 27%
3-Point Field Goals: 7/21 33%
Free Throws: 12/14 86%

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