SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The No. 5 seed Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team used an 8-0 run to take an early lead, and never looked back as they defeated No. 4 seed Governors State University (Ill.) 84-67 in the first round of the 2018 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship, presented by Cypress Risk Management, Thursday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Governors State won the opening tip and scored on their opening possession, then Trae Vandeberg (Madison, S.D) nailed a three-point basket and ignited an 8-0 run for the Tigers. Nygel Duruy (Madison, Wis.) hit a 3-pointer, followed by a Tyson Smiley (Omaha, Neb.) layup gave DWU an 8-2 lead.
Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) made a layup followed by a corner 3-pointer on the next possession to extend the DWU lead. With 12:05 to play in the first half, Smiley drove to the hoop and made the layup to give the Tigers a 19-12 lead. Later in the first half, DWU went on a 7-0 run that was capped off by a Hoglund 3-pointer.
Vandeberg connected on a deep three-point shot to give the Tigers their biggest lead of the half at 37-27. Nearing the end of the first half, Jason Spicer (Sioux Falls, S.D.) knocked down a layup. With the clock winding down, Vandeberg found Hoglund for a jump shot to give the Tigers a 46-35 lead at halftime.
DWU was slow out of the break as the first points came two and a half minutes into the second half off a Drury free throw. But the Tigers got going as Vandeberg nailed a 3-pointer to give DWU a 10-point lead. Two minutes later, Vandeberg connected on another three-point shot to give the Tigers a 53-42 lead with 15:36 to play.
The lead was extended after Spicer backed down his defender and found nothing but net on a hook shot. Moments later, Hoglund received a pass from Vandeberg and knocked in the reverse layup and was fouled by Jalen Miller, giving the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year his fifth foul. Hoglund made the free throw, extending the DWU lead to 67-51.
The Jaguars put on a full-court press to pressure DWU into a turnover. However, the Tigers broke the press as Vandeberg found Collin Kramer (Volga, S.D.) for the breakaway dunk. With 2:20 remaining, Sam McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) nailed a 3-pointer to secure the victory and push DWU to the second round of the National Tournament. With the win, DWU was the first lower seed of the tournament to win their first-round game.
Hoglund led the way as he scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Spicer tallied a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists, while notching six boards. Vandeberg added 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Kramer chipped in six points along with nine rebounds. The Tigers shot 52 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range. DWU finished with 21 assists to six assists by the Jaguars and 32 bench points to 18 bench points from Governors State.
The Tigers return to the hardwood at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow against the No. 1 seed in the Duer Bracket, the College of Idaho at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.