MITCHELL, S.D. – It didn't quite go as planned for the No. 25 Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team on Friday night in the first annual Beau Keeter Memorial Classic. Despite a late offensive attack, the No. 24 Bellevue University Bruins topped the Tigers 86-81 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.
The Bruins (3-3) controlled much of the first-half, leading by as much as 22 points. DWU (3-1) struggled from the field, shooting 39 percent heading into the locker room.
Head Coach Matt Wilber rallied his troops in the second-half, cutting the Bellevue lead to 10 with 16:35 left to play, thanks to a layup by Trae Vandeberg (Madison, S.D.) Moments later, a Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) 3-pointer slashed the Bruins' lead to five as the Tigers began to get their offense rolling. With 5:56 remaining in the contest, junior Jason Spicer (Sioux Falls, S.D.) brought the Tigers within striking distance on a 3-pointer that tied that game at 73. That was the closest the Tigers would come, however, as the Bruins held on for victory in the non-conference battle.
The Tigers went on to shoot 48 percent from the field, 24 percent from beyond the arc and 71 percent from the free-throw line. Bellevue tallied 37 bench points compared to just four from the Tigers. The Bruins out-rebounded the Tigers 41-27.
Spicer led all scorers with a new career-high 29 points, while adding seven rebounds. Hoglund and Vandeberg added 15 points, while Tate Martin (Mitchell, S.D.) pitched in 12 points and six assists.
The Tigers return to action in the Beau Keeter Memorial Classic, taking on Oglala Lakota College at 6 p.m. at the Palace in Mitchell.