FREMONT Neb. – A 29-point performance from Tate Martin and a late second-half surge was not enough to lead the No. 9 Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team over the No. 11 Midland Warriors, as the Tigers fell 90-84 in Great Plains Athletic Conference play Saturday in Fremont.
Staring at a 16-point deficit with 7:15 remaining, Martin and Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapid, S.D.) dug deep to revive the Tiger (21-6, 12-3 GPAC) offense and claw back into the game. Hoglund started the run with a quick layup, followed by a Collin Kramer (Volga, S.D.) layup. Hoglund hit back-to-back 3-pointers as Martin nailed one of his own to cut the Warrior (19-7, 11-4 GPAC) lead to four points.
However, the Tigers did not regain the lead as Midland hit six free throws in the final 47 seconds to fend off the late DWU run. With the loss, DWU holds a one-game lead atop the GPAC standings with only three games remaining.
After taking an early 2-0 lead, the Tigers never led for the remainder of the game. Even without regaining the lead, DWU stuck in Midland's back pocket for the entire first half as they never let the lead grow to more than seven points.
Both teams started the game fast nearly matching each other basket-for-basket in the opening minutes. As soon as Midland grew their lead to seven points in the first half, the Tigers answered with a spurt of their own to cut the lead to 32-30. Trae Vandeberg (Madison, S.D.) scored the final five points in the half for the Tigers as they trailed, 42-39 at the break.
Martin tied his career-high in points with 29 points and five assists to lead the way for the Tigers. Jason Spicer (Sioux Falls, S.D.) notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Hoglund scored 18 points. Vandeberg added 12 points to tag along with his six rebounds and Nate Davis (Watertown, S.D.) tallied five points to round out the starters. DWU shot 54.8 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from 3-point range and 81.8 percent from the free-throw line in the game.
The Tigers take on No. 25 Briar Cliff University at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Sioux City, Iowa for another GPAC showdown.