MITCHELL, S.D. – A late first-half run by host Dakota Wesleyan University turned out to be the make-or-break point of a Great Plains Athletic Conference contest Saturday, Feb. 8.
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II top-ranked Morningside College was overtaken by the host and NAIA D2 No. 10-ranked Tigers with an 18-6 stretch from the 7:13 to 1:31 marks. Even with the run in mind, head coach Jim Sykes‘ squad didn’t make things easy on their hosts or the crowd gathered inside the World’s Only and Famous Corn Palace, though.
The Mustangs steadily reeled in their conference foes and eventually found themselves down just one after senior guard Alex Borchers (SR/South Sioux City, NE ) (South Sioux City, Neb.) nailed a three-pointer in front of the Maroon bench with eight seconds left. Morningside had two more possessions after that but, in each case, DWU, after hitting two free throws, fouled them before a potential game-tying three-pointer could be launched to hang on for a 78-75 decision.
Four Maroon players finished in scoring double figures. Senior center Tyler Borchers (SR/Le Mars, IA ) (LeMars, Iowa) led the way with 19 points, while junior forward Zach Imig (JR/Gretna, NE ) (Gretna, Neb.) had another jack of all trades outing with 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals; junior center Trey Brown (JR/Gretna, NE ) (Gretna, Neb.) concluded a remarkable 45-point, 18-rebound with 13 and six boards; and Alex Borchers ended with 10 points.
Morningside (24-2 overall, 16-2 GPAC) closes its home regular-season schedule Saturday, Feb. 15. The University of Jamestown comes to Allee Gymnasium and the Rosen-Verdoorn Sports Center for a 4 p.m. tip-off which is headlined by Senior Day 2020 festivities.
MITCHELL, S.D. – You couldn’t put the proverbial piece of paper between a pair of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II top 15 teams Saturday, Feb. 8.
No. 7-ranked Morningside College and No. 13-ranked Dakota Wesleyan University put on a donnybrook for the fans gathered inside the World’s Only and Famous Corn Palace. After taking roundhouse swings at each other to begin the Great Plains Athletic Conference battle as the visitors led 23-15 at the end of the first quarter and the host Tigers answered back with a 33-20 second period roll. From that point on, it was a nip-and-tuck second 20 minutes.
DWU managed to stake itself out to a double-digit advantage in the fourth quarter. However, an 11-1 run by the Maroon as the clock ticked inside the final two minutes of regulation tied the contest at 88-88. The two sides traded points before a Mside turnover helped the home team open a four-point edge with 19 seconds left. Head coach Jamie Sale‘s team made one more comeback attempt, closing to two (95-93) before a missed free throw, which Morningside tried to corral for a tying or game-winning shot, was rebounded by Dakota Wesleyan to end the game.
When the dust settled, a quartet of Mustangs was in scoring double figures. Junior guard Sierra Mitchell (JR/Pleasant Hill, IA) (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) guided the group with 27 points sparked by five three-pointers. Sophomore forward Sophia Peppers (SO/Exira, IA) (Exira, Iowa) was just off double-double pace with 18 points and seven rebounds; fellow sophomore forward Taylor Rodenburgh (SO/Hawarden, IA) (Hawarden, Iowa) finished a rebound away from a double-double (16 points, nine rebounds); and senior forward/center Sydney Hupp (SR/O’Neill, NE) (O’Neill, Neb.) tallied 17 points, four rebounds, and three blocked shots to follow Mitchell.
Mside (19-8 overall, 13-5 GPAC) return to Allee Gymnasium and the Rosen-Verdoorn Sports Center for their home regular-season finale Saturday, Feb. 15. The Mustangs take on the University of Jamestown in a 2 p.m. tip-off with Senior Day 2020 headlining the contest.