LAS VEGAS, Nev. – With the clock winding down and the Tigers leading by a point, Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) blocked a last-second layup to secure the overtime victory as the No. 18 Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team defeated the University of Antelope Valley, 92-91 at the Trip Sports Las Vegas Hoopla Thursday in Las Vegas, Nev.
After trailing 8-1 in the opening minutes of the contest, Collin Kramer (Volga, S.D.) notched the first field goal for DWU. Later in the half, Samuel McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) blocked a shot that led to a Harden layup to tie the game, 8-8.
The Tigers (11-3) continued their run over the next eight minutes with a 23-9 spurt to hold a commanding lead. However, the Pioneers (2-9) came storming back with a 9-4 run of their own to make it a 28-23 game.
After UAV tied the game, Ahmadu drove past his defender and kissed the ball off the glass for a layup to give DWU a 41-39 lead at halftime.
Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) gave the Tigers a boost to open the second half with a 3-point shot to hold a 44-41 lead. On the following possession, Kramer drove through the lane and found Harden for the easy layup.
After five minutes into the second half, Hoglund fired up the Tiger faithful who made the trip as he made back-to-back layups to push the lead to nine points. Moments later, Harden nailed a 3-point shot to give DWU a 57-47 lead.
The Tigers turned the ball over on three-consecutive possessions that allowed Antelope Valley to cut the lead to five points with 6:50 to play. After putting full-court pressure on, the Pioneers tied the game at 62 with five minutes to play. However, Hoglund put an end to the UAV run with a layup and a free throw after getting fouled to regain a three-point lead. But the Pioneers would not be denied as they took a lead for the remainder of the second half.
But, DWU put together a run of their own to tie the game at 80. With time running out, Harden stole the ball and drove the length of the court but had the ball knocked out of bounds. With 0.2 seconds left, Hoglund tipped the ball in but the basket didn't count as time ran out prior to the basket.
In the overtime period, Hoglund made three field goals, including a 3-point basket that gave the Tigers a five-point lead with a minute to play. However, the Pioneers tied the game at 91 with less than 30 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Kramer was fouled and made one free throw to put DWU up by a point. On the final possession of the game, Harden denied the last-second layup as the Tigers prevailed in overtime.
Hoglund notched a career-high 45 points including nine points in overtime and seven rebounds, along with 13-of-16 shooting from the free-throw line. Harden tallied 24 points and six assists, as Tristan Teichmeier (Sioux Falls, S.D.) recorded 11 rebounds and five points. The Tigers shot 49.2 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from beyond the arc.
DWU returns home to take on Peru State College in the Hoop City Classic at 8 p.m. on Dec. 29 at the Corn Palace.