DALE — Down 22-17 at the half, third-ranked Dale outscored Preston 31-15 the rest of the way for a 48-37 victory Tuesday night.
Senior Mikayla Rutland headed Dale’s scoring with 16, including one trey and 9-of-11 shooting from the charity stripe.
Lindy Nowakowski added 11 points, including one 3-point field goal. Nowakowski tallied seven points over the last eight minutes
Lacey Savage added seven points and four rebounds. Savage posted six points in the final quarter.
Nowakowski led Dale with five rebounds.
The Lady Pirates canned 22-of-28 free throws for 78.5 percent.
Brenlee Sheppard hit all four of her charity tosses as the hosts improved to 15-1 with their sixth straight victory.
“We started slow the first half but became more aggressive in the second half,” Dale coach Josh Forsythe said. “The press allowed us to get some steals and some easier shots. We did a good job defensively, especially in the second half.”
Sixth-ranked Preston, behind 33 points from C.J. Cochran and 25 points from Turner Howk, upended Dale 78-64.
Howk sank five of Preston's eight first-half 3-point field goals. Four of the treys came in the first quarter.
Logan Woodruff topped Dale’s scoring with 21. Trae Thompson added 16 and Brady Johnson posted 13, including three treys.
Thompson was 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Preston had a good free-throw night at 18-of-22. Dale was 7-of-9.
Dale (6-10) will challenge Cashion at 5:40 Thursday in the first round of the Cashion Tournament.