DWU Women End Season in Loss to Cumberlands

Sioux City, Iowa – Dakota Wesleyan concluded their 2023-24 season with a tough back and forth loss to #3 seed and No. 15 ranked Cumberlands. Despite holding a lead in the first three quarters the Tigers weren’t able to hold in the fourth. The Patriots outscored the Tigers 53-37 in the second half to earn the win and advance. DWU got big performances from Shalayne Nagel who led all scorers with her 21 points, which is her most since February 7thRylee Rosenquist continued her strong NAIA tournament run with yet another 20 points and nearly missed a double-double with nine assists which was a career-high. Emma Yost followed with 15 points in the contest. Morgan Edelman finished with eight points, nine rebounds, and four steals. Jason Christensen will have to wait for his 300th career win at DWU during the 2024-25 season as he finished this season at 298.

Highlighted Player Rylee Rosenquist ~ 20 points / 6 rebounds / 9 assists / 1 steal

Highlighted Player Shalayne Nagel ~ 21 points / 6 rebounds / 2 assists / 1 steal

Recap –

With the Tyson Events Center packed with a sea of DWU blue, the Tigers were ready for their round of 16 matchup against the number three seed and 15th ranked Cumberlands Patriots. The Tigers got the DWU faithful up and loud early grabbing a 4-0 lead off a great half court transition feed from Rylee Rosenquist to a wide open Shalayne Nagel and then two Rosenquist made free throws the next possession. The Tigers went cold though for the next 2:11 resulting in a 7-0 run by UC. Maleighya Estes hit a mid-range jumper with 6:43 left to give DWU the lead back at 8-7. Both squads continued to go bucket for bucket the rest of the quarter for a 22-20 DWU lead. Rosenquist led with her six points and four assists followed by Nagel and Taliyah Hayes with five. Hayes came up with two huge blocks in transition for the Tigers during the quarter as well to provide a spark on defense.

The Patriots struck first in the second quarter with a bucket to tie it at 22, DWU responded with a big 10-0 run that included an ejection of one of the Cumberlands player due to biting Rosenquist. During the run Emma Yost took over scoring six of the 10 points. In the next two minutes of play Dakota Wesleyan kept the Patriots at that double-digit deficit with their 37-26 lead. The Tigers continued to pressure the ball well and work their sets on offense leading to them keeping a 43-34 lead at halftime. In the first half the Tigers shot 42% from the field and went 8-9 from the free throw line. Dakota Wesleyan was led by Rosenquist with 11 points to lead all scorers followed by Nagel with 10. The pair punished the Patriots down low with strong finishes around the rim and knocking down their free throws and shots beyond the arc. Rosenquist did all for the Tigers, as she has done all tournament leading DWU in scoring, assists, and rebounds for the half. DWU a typically dominant post team leaned heavy on mid-range and shots from beyond the arc for their nine point lead.

UC came within five to open the third due to some DWU turnovers but the Tigers settled down and regained their nine point lead at the first media timeout at 49-40. Later in the quarter UC went on a big 15-3 run that gave them a three-point lead, where they went a perfect 7 for 7 during the stretch. Nagel ended the run and tied it back up when she splashed an open three and Yost gave the Tigers the lead back with a converted free throw at 58-57. DWU closed out the remaining of the quarter 9-8 for a 67-65 lead through three quarters. The Tigers at first looked like they had a 69-65 lead going to the fourth but the last second bucket was waived off. Through three quarters Nagel led all scorers with 17 points which is her most since scoring 23 on February 7th against Briar Cliff. Rosenquist had 16 points followed by Yost with 15.

The first five minutes of the fourth quarter was a physical back and forth contest, with neither team wanting to give an inch on both ends of the floor. The score remained tight with UC clinging on to a 75-74 lead. DWU during the first five minutes went back to their bread and butter which was attacking the Patriots defense inside with back cuts, dribble drives, and post moves. After a made three beyond the arc from Cumberlands the Tigers needed a bucket to shut down any kind of run and momentum and they got that from the game leading scorer Nagel who drilled a baseline jumper to keep it close. This gave Nagel 19 points in the contest. Dakota Wesleyan picked up their fifth foul with 2:41 remaining sending the Patriots to the line in the bonus in which they went 1 for 2 giving them a 79-76 lead.

Nagel later on earned herself a trip to the line, converting both attempts to bring DWU within one and give her 21 points which is her second 20 point game of her freshman season. Down three the Tigers got a big second chance rebound from Morgan Edelman but DWU later turned the ball over giving the Patriots the ball with under one minute left and needing a miss. Dakota Wesleyan got just that but UC got the offensive rebound forcing the Tigers to intentionally foul, except the player who fouled was unfortunately Edelman who got her fifth and was out of the remainder 27 seconds. The Patriots hit both free throws to give them an 83-78 lead drawing a Christensen timeout to draw up the plan of action on the offensive end. The Patriots played tight defense forcing a tough three-point shot from Hayes that rattled in and out. DWU failed to score rest of the way, leading to an 87-80 final.

Head coach Jason Christensen had this to say about the performance, “I am beyond proud of this team and all they accomplished this season, especially for such a young team. I coached a similar type of young team at Mt. Vernon who had a lot of big upset wins as well, but with this squad if you told me coming into the year they would win 20+ games I don’t know what I would have said. We gave it our all and left everything on the court and that is all you can ask for as a coach. I am excited for this group going forward and the noise this young group is going to make in years to come.” GPAC Freshman of the Year Emma Yost spoke with us after the game and had this to say, “We are down to the top 16 teams in all the NAIA so we knew it was going to be physical, especially down in the paint, and I felt like we really held our own and competed for all four quarters, but let it slip down the stretch there. Any given night one of us (DWU) can step up and be the go to option offensively, that is what makes us so tough to matchup with. We obviously are disappointed with the outcome, but are excited to put in the work this offseason and come back stronger from this next season.”


  • This is the first meeting between the Tigers and Patriots.

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  • Dakota Wesleyan women’s basketball finishes off their 2023-24 season with a 22-11 record.