Mike Byker, Sports Information Director
SIOUX CENTER – The Dordt Defender women’s basketball team used a strong second half defensive performance to turn away Dakota Wesleyan 70-60 win GPAC play on Thursday, December 31 in Sioux Center. The game was originally scheduled to be played in November but was postponed.
Dakota Wesleyan (5-5, 3-6 GPAC) built a 15-8 lead with 2:44 left in the first quarter but Dordt responded with Riley Van Hulzen getting a putback and Siennah Stamness added two free throws to make it a 4-0 run. With just under a minute left in the period Dordt tied it on a Macey Nielson three-point shot and Ashtyn Veerbeek’s basket on the next possession put the Defenders up 17-15 before settling for a 17-17 first quarter tie.
Dordt (7-6, 6-4 GPAC) owned two five-point leads early in the second quarter but Wesleyan rebounded to take a 34-28 lead with 2:42 left in the half. Dordt answered with a seven-point run which was again ignited by a Van Hulzen basket and capped by a Bailey Beckman three-point shot. Dordt was unable to hold the lead into the locker room though as Wesleyan scored a put back just before the buzzer for a 36-35 halftime edge.
Dordt took the lead on a Jordyn Winterfeld three-point shot early in the third period and Dordt still had a three-point lead at 51-48 with 1:04 left in the third period. Wesleyan wouldn’t score again until the 5:04 mark of the game and Dordt had run off 12 points in a row and the Tigers were never closer than 10 the rest of the game.
“The second half I was really happy,” head coach Bill Harmsen said. “We did a much better job rebounding and we held them to three offensive rebounds in the second half. We changed some things differently in the second half and they missed some key shots down the stretch in the second half.
“I was really proud of our defensive effort in the second half and I thought a growth point for us was every time Wesleyan made a charge in the second half we had an answer. When they would score we’d come down and execute on the offensive end.”
Dordt converted 20-55 field goals and 9-20 three-point shots while Dakota Wesleyan was 26-67 from the field and 6-22 from the arc.
Bailey Beckman had 15 points, four assists and a steal.
Ashtyn Veerbeek had 14 points and 14 rebounds with two assists and Erika Feenstra had 14 points. Baylee Tetzlaff had nine points, 10 rebounds and three assists.
Dakota Wesleyan was led by Kaylee Kirk’s 12 points and Mattie Reiner had 11.
Dordt will host Midland on Saturday, January 2 at 2:00 pm.