Dakota Wesleyan shot a sizzling 66.7 percent in the second half to defeat Morningside 85-75 in a GPAC men’s basketball game between nationally ranked teams on Wednesday in Mitchell, S.D.
Dakota Wesleyan, ranked 20th in the latest NAIA II national poll, came back from a 33-30 halftime deficit to climb to 15-5 on the season, including a 5-3 mark in the GPAC. Morningside, ranked 10th in the nation, saw its record go to 12-4 overall and 4-2 in the GPAC.
The Mustangs, coming off a pair of victories at last weekend’s Briar Cliff Holiday Classic, pressured the Tigers into a dismal 36.4 percent shooting performance in the first half and went into the intermission with a 33-30 advantage.
Dakota Wesleyan scored the first seven points of the second half and went ahead to stay when a basket by Nygel Drury gave the hosts a 34-33 lead with 18:51 left in the game. Drury knocked down a 3-point shot with 14:53 left to push the Tigers’ lead into double figures at 49-39.
Tyler Borchers made back-to-back hoops to get the Mustangs within six points, 49-43, with 13:38 left, but the Mustangs were unable to get any closer.
Morningside trailed by nine points, 24-15, with nine minutes left in the first half before the Mustangs closed out the half with an 18-6 scoring run. The Mustangs tied the score at 26 on a 3-pointer by Pierce Almond with 3:03 left in the half and took their first lead when Almond knocked down another 3-point shot to make it 29-28 with 1:31 left. Dakota Wesleyan tied the score at 30 on a layup by Jason Spicer with 47 seconds left before Almond struck from 3-point range again with 34 seconds left to send the Mustangs into the intermission with a 33-30 advantage.
The Mustangs shot 50.8 percent for the game and had five players score in double figures. Zach Imig, Brody Egger and Tyler Borchers each had 16 points to share Morningside scoring honors, while Almond and Alex Borchers each contributed 11 tallies.
Trae Vandeberg drilled six of eight 3-point field goal attempts en route to a game-high 22 points for Dakota Wesleyan. Ty Hoglund was right behind with 19 points, followed by Drury with 15 and Spicer with 11.
Hoglund and Drury each grabbed six rebounds to lead the Tigers to a slight 30-29 advantage on the boards. Imig, Eger and Tyler Borchers all had six caroms for the Mustangs.
Imig led the Mustangs with four assists and Alex Borchers led all performers with three steals.
Morningside will travel to Crete, Neb., on Saturday for a 4 p.m. game against Concordia.
Cold shooting and a sizable rebounding deficit were too much for the Mustangs to overcome when ninth-ranked Dakota Wesleyan defeated No. 6 Morningside 82-58 in Wednesday’s GPAC women’s basketball game in Mitchell, S.D.
Morningside shot just 28.1 percent from the field, including a seven-for-33 effort for 21.2 percent from the 3-point arc, and was outrebounded by a 50-26 margin.
The Mustangs lost for the third time in their last four outings, all against nationally ranked teams, and saw their record go to 13-5 overall and 6-2 in the GPAC. Dakota Wesleyan climbed to 14-3 overall and 6-2 in the GPAC to create a four-way tie for second place in the league standings along with Morningside, Northwestern and Hastings.
Madison Braun scored 24 points, but was the Mustangs’ only player in double figures. Sierra Mitchell was next with nine points, followed by Sydney Hupp with eight, Rachelle Housh with seven and Mady Maly with six.
Amber Bray posted a double double with game-high totals of 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Tigers. Dakota Wesleyan starters Ashley Bray and Kynedi Cheeseman also scored in double figures with 17 and 13 points, respectively, and Sarah Carr chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
Dakota Wesleyan’s Rylie Osthus dealt a game-high 11 assists.
Aside from her 24 points, Braun had a game-high six steals and dealt four assists to share team honors with Jordyn Moser.
Lauren Lehmkuhl led the Mustangs with seven rebounds.
Braun bombed in a 3-pointer to give the Mustangs an early 3-0 lead. The Tigers tied the score on a 3-pointer by Cheeseman before Hupp gave the Mustangs their final lead of the game at 5-3 when she made a jump shot with 7:46 left in the first quarter. Dakota Wesleyan took control when it answered a game tying basket by Maly with an eight-point scoring run for a 20-12 advantage with 30 seconds left in the first quarter.
Dakota Wesleyan led 23-15 at the quarter break and outscored the Mustangs 13-9 in the second stanza for a 36-24 lead at the intermission.
Morningside narrowed its deficit to six points, 46-40, when Braun made a pair of free throws with 4:17 left in the third quarter and was within striking distance when it trailed 54-46 going into the fourth quarter.
Dakota Wesleyan dashed any Morningside comeback hopes when it outscored the Mustangs 28-12 in the fourth quarter.
Morningside will travel to Seward, Neb., on Saturday for a 2 p.m. game against second-ranked Concordia.