Dakota Wesleyan ruins Southeastern's perfect season hopes
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) will represent the Naismith Bracket in the semifinals of the 2018 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship. The Tigers put an end to Southeastern’s (Fla.) perfect season in the quarterfinals by a score of 78-64. The Tigers made 15 three-pointers in the win, falling just two short of tying the all-time championship record for most made three-pointers in a game.
- Southeastern and Dakota Wesleyan both have had dominant seasons to reach the quarterfinals. After going undefeated during the regular season, the Fire almost had their championship hopes uprooted in the first round by Cornerstone (Mich.), but escaped in overtime by a score of 69-64. The Fire proved why they are the number one seed in the second round, breezing through Indiana Wesleyan 83-63.
- Dakota Wesleyan has put on a clinic through the tournament so far. The Tigers defeated IU-East (Ind.) by 16 in the first round, winning 78-62. The second round showed much of the same, as the Tigers routed No. 3 seeded Southern Oregon 76-61.
- It was the Tigers quarter in the first. Dakota Wesleyan shot 47 percent and made nine shots to take a six point lead heading into the second. The Tigers also garnered four steals to Southeastern’s zero. This led to four fast break points that finished the quarter on a 6-0 run. The Fire’s consistent free-throw shooting kept them in the first quarter, going 5-6 from the stripe.
- Opening the quarter with a 12-2 run for the Tigers, the Fire needed to find an answer. The Fire were down 16 with under five minutes remaining in the half. But the Fire would not be extinguished, going on a small 5-0 run to finish the half, the Fire cut the lead to just 10 going to the locker room. Turnovers were the biggest factor in the game thus far. The Fire handed it over 11 times, while the Tigers only coughed it up three times.
- Moving back and forth all quarter, the Fire finally started to make up ground, trailing by just six with two minutes to play in the third. That lead quickly grew back to 12 as the Tigers continued to stay hot from deep. The Tigers ended to quarter with a 12 point lead, going 6-11 from long range.
- The fourth quarter was a finishing statement for the Tigers. Continuing to add to their long list of made 3’s, the Tigers built their lead up to 14, where they would finish the game 78-64.
- Ashley Bray took over the whole game, dropping a game-high 26 with eight three-pointers made.
- Dakota Wesleyan snapped the Fire’s 31 game winning streak in the quarterfinals and will advance to play in the semifinals of the tournament. The Tigers will watch to see who will be their next opponent, either Saint Xavier (Ill.) or Hastings (Neb.).