Ninth-ranked Morningside handled a surging Hastings team with relative ease when the Mustangs blew out the Broncos 95-65 in Wednesday’s GPAC men’s basketball game in Sioux City.
The Mustangs improved their record to 19-5 and closed within one victory of what would be the eighth 20-win season during the tenure of head coach Jim Sykes. More importantly, the Mustangs climbed to 11-3 in the GPAC to remain in a tie with city rival Briar Cliff atop the league standings.
Morningside kept its home court record unblemished at 9-0 with a victory over a Hastings team that entered the contest with seven victories in its last nine outings along with an impressive 12-4 record on the road, including recent triumphs at nationally ranked Northwestern and Dakota Wesleyan.
The Mustangs took control early with a 15-4 scoring run out of the starting gate. Hastings closed within 15-8 after back-to-back baskets by Tyler Hedlund and Kevin Miller. Brody Egger scored on a layup with 12:43 left in the first half to put the Mustangs back up by 11 points at 21-10 and after that the Broncos trailed by double figures for the rest of the game.
Morningside took a 49-31 lead into the intermission and eventually led by as many as 32 points, 95-63, when Ethan Wyant made a pair of free throws with 48 seconds left.
Mustang freshmen Zach Imig and Trey Brown, who as prep teammates led Gretna High School to back-to-back Nebraska Class B state championships, led the way with 20 and 15 points, respectively. Imig posted his highest scoring total of the season, while Brown complimented his 15-point outing with a team-high seven rebounds to lead the Mustangs to a slight 33-32 advantage on the boards.
Egger added 12 points to go along with four assists and a game-high three steals, while Alex Borchers and Matthew Hahn each scored 10 points and Tyler Borchers just missed double figures with nine tallies. Alex Borchers added a game-high five assists to his scoring output.
Morningside made 37 of 66 field goal attempts for 56.1 percent to top the 50 percent mark for the ninth time in its last 10 games.
The same two teams will meet again on Saturday in a 4 p.m. rematch in Hastings.