MITCHELL, S.D. The Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball kicked off the home slate and Great Plaines Athletic Conference play with an 88-75 victory over Northwestern College on Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
The Red Raiders (3-1, 0-1 GPAC) scored on their first possession of the game, but the Tigers (4-0, 1-0 GPAC) responded quickly with a Collin Kramer (Volga, S.D.) 3-pointer to regain the lead. Through the first five minutes of the game, Northwestern jumped out to a five-point lead at 11-6 thanks to a scoreless drought of nearly three minutes by DWU. But the Tigers broke the drought after Sam McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) nailed a three to begin a 15-0 run, forcing a Red Raider timeout.
Later in the half, the Tigers defense forced two turnovers that led to a Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) 3-point basket and a Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) layup to give DWU its' biggest lead of the night to that point, 31-19.
The Tigers then went on another scoreless drought, this time a five-minute drought that saw the Red Raiders claw back into the game after two free throws to cut the DWU lead to three points with five minutes remaining in the first half.
In the closing minutes of the first half, Harden gave the Tigers a lift hitting three 3-pointers to extend the Tiger lead. After a Hoglund layup, DWU went into the locker room with a 46-39 lead.
In the opening minutes of the second half, both teams traded buckets. After the Red Raiders came within five points, Kramer hit a three from the top of the key followed by a Hoglund 3-pointer to extend the DWU lead to 11 points.
Northwestern was never able to pull back within ten points as DWU continued to keep the offensive pressure on. The Tigers pulled away to win 88-75 in front of a packed Corn Palace.
DWU was led offensively by Hoglund who tallied 30 points and six rebounds in the contest. Harden delivered an all-around game for the Tigers, scoring a career-high 27 points, five rebounds, and three steals. McCloud was 4-of-8 from the 3-point line to finish with 12 points and four steals. Kramer grabbed eight rebounds and scored nine points, while Koln Oppold (Sioux Falls, S.D.) scored eight points and notched seven rebounds off the bench.
DWU will hit the road once again to battle Midland University at 4 p.m. Saturday in Fremont Neb.