SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) Second-seeded Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) fell at the hands of a directional Oregon school in the second round of the 2017 national championships. The Tigers weren’t going to let themselves suffer the same fate this time around. A battle-tested Dakota Wesleyan team followed the lead of sophomore Kynedi Cheeseman while vanquishing third-seeded Southern Oregon, 76-61, inside the Tyson Events Center on Friday afternoon.
- Head coach Jason Christensen’s squad is headed to the national quarterfinal round for the second time in three seasons. Meanwhile, head coach Alex Carlson’s Raiders finished their season at 28-5 overall. They defeated third-seeded Antelope Valley (Calif.), 77-66, in the previous round.
- The outcome hung in the balance all the way into the fourth quarter. Southern Oregon’s Destinee Jones scored in the paint at the 7:51 mark to cut the Tiger lead to four (58-54). Back-to-back buckets from the Bray sisters, Ashley and Amber, pushed the margin to eight. With 2:56 to go, Riley Osthus delivered the knockout blow with a trey that provided an 11-point lead.
- Cheeseman racked up a game high 22 points on 6-for-13 shooting from the floor and a perfect 7-for-7 effort from the free throw line. Both Brays were in the range of a double-double with Ashley notching 16 points and 10 rebounds and Amber recording 19 points and nine rebounds.
- Dakota Wesleyan overcame a typically debilitating 36 turnovers, including 11 by its point guard. On the flip side, the Raiders committed 23 turnovers. One saving grace for the Tigers was its season long strength on the boards. Dakota Wesleyan owned a 38-25 advantage in rebounding. The Tigers went 26-for-34 (.765) from the free throw line compared to 5-for-12 (.417) Southern Oregon shooting from the charity stripe.
- Remi Mejia kept the Raiders in it. She paced her squad with 20 points on 8-for-18 shooting. Ariel Augustine (10) was the only other Southern Oregon player to reach double figures.
- Dakota Wesleyan will now get a shot at the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed Southeastern (Fla.) (31-0). The two sides will clash at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the quarterfinals. The Fire survived an overtime scare from eighth-seeded Cornerstone (Mich.) in the first round before pummeling Indiana Wesleyan in Friday’s second round matchup.