Dordt College Women's Basketball vs. Briar Cliff

February 2, 2011

(Sioux Center, Iowa) The Dordt College women knocked off the 17th ranked Briar Cliff Chargers 64-60 this evening to improve to 14-8 overall and 5-7 in the GPAC conference. After losing two of their last three games on the final possession the close win against a top opponent was very timely for the Defender women. With the loss Briar Cliff moves to 16-10 overall and 9-5 in conference play.

"We felt like we had been playing well but not getting rewarded," remarked Dordt Head Coach Craig Stiemsma, "it is a huge win for us tonight and I love the determination our women showed."

Dordt scored the first four points of the game but the Chargers responded with 6 straight, including a Morgan Brown 3 pointer to take a 2 point lead at 6-4 with 16:24 to play. A Julia DeKoekkoek jumper for the Defenders tied the game at 8-8 and the Chargers answered with another 3 pointer and a jumper by Megan Salcedo gave them a 5 point advantage with 11:26 to go. A 3 point basket by Dordt senior, Amber Soodsma, gave the Defenders a 2 point lead at 17-15 with 8:32 to play and the teams were tied again at 19-19. Briar Cliff proceeded to go on a nine point run capped by a jumper by Megan Salcedo to take at 28-19 lead with 3:46 remaining in the first half. The Defenders rallied to enjoy a nine point run of their own to tie the game at 28-28 on a pair of Soodsma free throws and the teams went into the break tied at 35-35.

Dordt started the second half outscoring Briar Cliff 9-1 in the first 6 plus minutes of action to take an 8 point lead at 44-36 on a Julia DeKoekkoek 3 pointer with 13:44 to play. Briar Cliff cut the Dordt lead down to one with a 9-2 run and found themselves trailing by just a point (46-45) on a Morgan Brown layup with just over ten minutes to play. The Defenders fought back with three straight field goals in 72 seconds of play, including a 3 pointer to get back the 8 point cushion (53-45) with 8:52 to play and pushed that gap to 12 on two occasions and lead by 12 (62-50) with just over four minutes to go.

The Chargers rallied with 10 straight points to get within two (62-60) on a made free throw with 16 seconds to play. The Chargers immediately fouled on the the next possession, sending Dordt's Brianna Spronk to the free throw line. Spronk missed the first free throw and the Chargers pulled down the rebound and looked to run up the floor with a chance to tie or take the lead but instead turned the ball over and Julia DeKoekkoek was then fouled. With 11 seconds to play DeKoekkoek buried both free throws to make it a two possession game and the Defenders enjoyed the well earned GPAC win.

"Briar Cliff is a team of runs," said Stiemsma, "so we tried to keep it close when they went on those spurts. We had great leadership from our team and great help from the bench. We got the lead by attacking the basket and good ball reversal and maybe in hindsight we should have kept attacking. We did a much better job tonight of handling their pressure and spreading the floor and although we committed 23 turnovers, most teams are giving up 30 or more to them. Julia hit those key free throws at the end and it was a really nice win for our team."

The Defenders shot 46% from the floor on 23-50 while holding Briar Cliff to a shooting percentage of 33.3% on 20-60. Dordt also owned the boards, pulling down 43 rebounds to 30 for Briar Cliff.

Dordt College was led by seniors Amber Soodsma and Julia DeKoekkoek who both contributed 16 points. Soodsma also pulled down 10 caroms and had 2 blocked shots while DeKoekkoek pulled down 4 boards and had 2 assists and a block. Brianna Spronk and Kara VanDyke added 10 points apiece and Spronk also pulled down 10 rebounds. The Defenders made 82.4% (14-17)of their free throws on the night.

Leading Briar Cliff was Kylie Dilla with 13 and Megan Salcedo added 10 points. Twait, Determan and Salcedo each pulled down 5 rebounds Morgan Brown had 4 steals for the Chargers.

Other GPAC scores from today:
Midland at 66
Morningside 88

Northwestern at 88
Mount Marty 59

Nebraska Wesleyan at 63
Doane 54

Dakota Wesleyan at 60
Sioux Falls 69

Concordia at 66
Hastings 62

Standings: Team/GPAC/Overall:
Sioux Falls/10-3/20-3
Briar Cliff/9-5/16-10
Mount Marty/7-6/17-8
Nebraska Wesleyan/4-9/8-12
Dakota Wesleyan/2-13/6-19

Next up: The Defenders will travel to Lincoln to take on Nebraska Wesleyan at 2 pm on Saturday, February 5, 2011.

Dordt's Current Record: 14-8 (0-0)
Opponent's Current Record: 16-10 (9-5)

Team 1st Half 2nd Half Final
Dordt College 35 29 64
Briar Cliff 35 25 60
Dordt Rebounding Leaders Total
Brianna Spronk 10
Amber Soodsma 10
Bre Schneidermann 4
Julia DeKoekkoek 4
Team Total: 43
Opponent Rebounding Leaders Total
Determan, Michelle 5
Twait, Kristen 5
Salcedo, Megan 5
Evans, Kelsey 3
Team Total: 30
Dordt Scoring Leaders Total
Julia DeKoekkoek 16
Amber Soodsma 16
Kara Van Dyke 10
Brianna Spronk 10
Team Total: 64
Opponent Scoring Leaders Total
Dilla, Kylie 13
Salcedo, Megan 10
Brown, Morgan 8
Cihak, Kela 6
Team Total: 60
Dordt Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 23/50 46%
3-Point Field Goals: 4/11 36%
Free Throws: 14/17 82%
Opponent Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 20/60 33%
3-Point Field Goals: 5/18 28%
Free Throws: 15/20 75%

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