FREMONT, Neb. –Midland University women’s basketball welcomed another highly-ranked team into Wikert Event Center on Saturday, but weren’t able to keep pace like they did on Tuesday. The Warriors (3-2, 0-2 GPAC) fell to the No. 2-ranked and defending national champion Dakota Wesleyan University (5-0, 2-0 GPAC) by a score of 88-59. It was the Warriors second consecutive game against the top-two ranked GPAC schools.
Dakota Wesleyan boasts one of the deeper lineups in the GPAC this season, returning a good number of players who took part in the Tigers’ title run a season ago. Keeping pace with this team is going to be tough for opponents to do in 2018-19, and the Warriors got their first attempt of the season on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers shot 50 percent from three-point range (12-24) on their way to the victory. Nearly half of their points came from bench players (41 points), including 18 from freshman Sydney Halling. Halling was 7-10 from the field and connected on all four of her three-point attempts while also pulling down seven rebounds.
Eleven different Tigers scored in the game, led by Kynedi Cheeseman with 24 points. The junior was 8-13 from the field, 3-5 from deep, and added four rebounds and two assists to her final line.
Despite the Warriors’ best effort on defense, the Tigers’ offense was too much, a theme that will likely continue for a talented Dakota Wesleyan team. The Warriors did manage to force 12 turnovers from the Tigers, eight of which were steals.
The Warriors were led on offense by sophomore Makenna Sullivan and senior Samm Ashida, who each pitched in eight points, Ashida’s coming from the bench. Each player also finished 3-5 shooting from the field with an assist.
Freshman Lexis Haase had a big impact off the bench for the Warriors as she did a little bit of everything to try to keep Midland in the game. Haase finished with seven points, seven rebounds, and three steals. The West Point, Nebraska product has been one of the more impactful newcomers to coach Shawn Gilbert’s team, along with Fremont’s Sam Shepard, who also had seven points on Saturday.
The Warriors continue their grueling schedule with three-straight road games coming up next. The stretch starts on November 14, when the Warriors travel to Crete, Nebraska to take on the Doane Tigers (2-3, 0-2 GPAC). Wednesday’s tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m.