MITCHELL, S.D. – After forcing two turnovers and scoring two layups in less than 35 seconds, the No. 18 Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team overcame a late deficit to force overtime. However, the late comeback was not enough as Peru State College, the No. 17 ranked team in the NAIA DI, downed DWU, 112-110 Saturday in the Corn Palace.
DWU jumped out to an early 8-2 lead thanks to precision shooting from beyond the arc by Aaron Ahmadu (Houston, Texas) and Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.). After the Bobcats (9-4) pulled within three points, Samuel McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) answered back with a 3-point shot of his own to push the lead back to six points.
On the ensuing possession, the Bobcats hit a 3-point shot to take their first lead since 2-0. But, the lead would not last long as Ahmadu drove to the basket and got fouled after making his layup. He went on to tie the game at 25 with a free throw.
With a minute left to play in the first half, Kramer found Hoglund behind the 3-point line as he hit the shot from downtown to give the Tigers a 45-40 lead at halftime.
After PSC tied the game minutes into the second half, Harden helped DWU regain the lead with a layup and a free throw after getting fouled. The Bobcats put together a quick 6-0 run to take their first lead since the first half with a 53-51 advantage.
They continued to build on their lead until the Bobcat lead turned into double digits at the midway mark of the second half. The Tigers continued to chip away at the deficit, but each time they pulled within a few scores, PSC made a shot to keep DWU at a distance.
With two minutes left, the Tigers went on a 17-6 run to tie the game, thanks to a pair of turnovers by the Bobcats and a layup by Hoglund and Harden to force overtime.
In overtime, PSC scored six-straight points to take a 100-94 lead in the opening minutes. But the Tigers would not be denied as Harden and Hoglund scored five-straight points for DWU to make it a 100-99 game.
As the Bobcats held a five-point lead, Harden dribbled down the court and swished a basket from deep to make it a two-point game. On the following possession, Harden made two free throws to tie the game at 110. On the next possession, PSC made a layup with 2.3 seconds remaining to hold a two-point advantage. With the clock winding down, Harden was unable to get a shot off to tie the game as the Tigers fell in overtime.
Harden tallied a career high with 35 points, six rebounds and five steals. Hoglund fell two points shy of tying a career high as he scored 43 points along with seven rebounds and five steals, as McCloud chipped in 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field. The Tigers shot 49.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.
DWU takes the floor against the University of Saint Mary in the final game of the Hoop City Classic at 4 p.m. tomorrow at the Corn Palace.