MITCHELL, S.D. - The No. 17 Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball dropped a heartbreaker to Dordt College in a Great Plains Athletic Conference matchup as they fell 87-85 Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
The Tigers (6-1, 2-1 GPAC) came right out of the gates on fire as they scored eight points in the first two minutes of the game. The Defenders (5-2, 2-1 GPAC) fought back and took the lead 14-12 with 12:42 left to play in the first half.
The Tigers were held scoreless for three and a half minutes before Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) nailed two free throws to cut the Defender lead to 16-14 with 10:51 left in the first half.
DWU once again came to life on offense as they went on a quick 7-0 run highlighted by a Collin Kramer (Volga, S.D.) 3-point basket with an assist from Hoglund. The Tigers were back out in front 21-16 with eight minutes remaining in the half.
DWU continued the offensive pressure throughout the first half as Hoglund strung together seven-consecutive points with a long 3-pointer and two trips two the free-throw line where he made both free throws.
Minutes later the Tigers went on a 10-0 run as DWU went up as much as 22 points in the closing minutes of the half. Both teams went into halftime with DWU leading 51-31.
The Tigers picked up right where they left of as Aaron Ahmadu (Houston, Texas) collected two points on a layup, followed by two free throws from Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) putting DWU up once again by 22 points.
The Defenders looked to stick with the Tigers offensively with 13:30 left to go in the ballgame. DWU answered back as Harden drove in for a layup followed by two 3-pointers from Sam McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) and Nate Davis (Watertown, S.D.) forcing a Dordt timeout. DWU maintained a lead of 69-44 with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Both teams traded baskets, but down the stretch, the Defenders were able to cut into the Wesleyan lead as Dordt went on a quick 8-0 run forcing a DWU timeout.
After a McCloud layup and a 3-pointer from Hoglund, DWU was back in front by 19 points as Dordt called timeout with 4:47 left in the second half.
In the final four minutes of the game, Dordt caught on fire and closed out the game on an 18-0 run, as the Tigers could not get the final put-back in time, as the Defenders rallied from a 16-point deficit to defeat DWU.
The Tigers had all starting five players in double-figures including Hoglund's 21-point effort, while Ahmadu tallied 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Harden finished the game with 16 points and Kramer collected 15 points and eight rebounds. McCloud chipped in 11 points and notched six rebounds.
DWU will be back at home hosting Hastings College at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.