SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Seventy-one field goals, 20 three-pointers, 184 points.
An offensive basketball fan’s dream come true. In the end, a happy ending for Morningside College fans, too, Saturday, Nov. 16.
Senior center Tyler Borchers (SR/Le Mars, IA ) (LeMars, Iowa) uncorked a 31-point, 10-rebound double-double of big proportions, and junior guard Zach Imig (JR/Gretna, NE ) (Gretna, Neb.) was only four boards short of a triple-double, tallying 22 points, 10 assists and six rebounds to spark a 96-88 win for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II No. 4-ranked Mustangs. The scoreboard registry for head coach Jim Sykes’ squad, which ran its record to 4-0, didn’t end there, either.
Senior forward Ben Hoskins (SR/Wayne, NE ) (Wayne, Neb.) came off the bench to hit four-of-six three-point baskets en route to 14 points. Senior guard Alex Borchers (SR/South Sioux City, NE ) (South Sioux City, Neb.) finished with 11 points and three assists; and senior forward Matt Hahn (SR/Fremont, NE ) (Fremont, Neb.) flirted with a triple-double of his own (10 points, six assists, and seven rebounds) to add to a sizzling field goal afternoon that saw the Maroon hit at a better than 60 percent clip.
Morningside took off on a 14-0 run early in the second half to break away from what had been a tightly-contested conference battle up to that point. They increased their advantage to as much as 17 before DU answered late to cut it to as little as seven before the final margin ended at eight.
Sykes’ squad is back in action Wednesday, Nov. 20. They travel to Doane University’s George and Sally Haddix Athletic and Recreation Center in Crete, Neb., for an 8 p.m. start.
SIOUX CITY, IOWA – A nip-and-tuck, grind it out Great Plains Athletic Conference battle went the way of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II 19th-ranked Morningside College Saturday, Nov. 16.
Despite being out-rebounded 51-33 by Dordt University and having to overcome three double-doubles from the fifth-ranked Defenders, head coach Jamie Sale’s Mustangs registered an early-season statement victory by an 81-78 count in front of a happy crowd of Mside fans. A stingy pressure defense that had carried the Maroon to four wins in five previous contests came up big again over 40 minutes, as DU committed 26 turnovers, and Morningside wound up with 20 steals.
The outcome remained in question right up to the final possession. Trailing 70-66 early in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs (5-1 overall, 2-0 GPAC) went on a key 11-0 run, sparked by their suffocating defense. Dordt moved back to within one (79-78) in the closing moments, but junior guard Sierra Mitchell (JR/Pleasant Hill, IA) (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) calmly sank two free throws with six seconds left, and a DU three-point try fell off the side of the rim to send the home-standing Maroon into a celebration.
Mitchell, concluding a memorable week in which she joined the program’s 1000-point club, drilled five three-pointers en route to a 23-point, four-rebound, three-assist, two-steal stat line. Sophomore guard Taylor Rodenburgh (SO/Hawarden, IA) (Hawarden, Iowa) had another impressive effort from off the bench, tallying 18 points, seven rebounds, and three steals; senior forward/center Sydney Hupp (SR/O’Neill, NE) (O’Neill, Neb.) added 17 points, five rebounds, a blocked shot, two steals and an assist; and sophomore forward Sophia Peppers (SO/Exira, IA) (Exira, Iowa) wound up with 13 points, five rebounds, three steals, and an assist to round out the double-digit scoring outputs.
Sale’s squad puts its unbeaten start to the 2019-20 conference season on the line Wednesday, Nov. 20. Tip-off time at Doane University’s George and Sally Haddix Athletic and Recreation Center in Crete, Neb., is 6 p.m.