MITCHELL, S.D. – The No. 18 Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team hit the century mark for the fifth time this season on their way to a 100-77 victory over the University of Saint Mary (Kan.) Sunday at the Corn Palace.
Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) picked up where he left off in the previous game as he scored two quick layups to give the Tigers (12-4) a 4-3 lead. On the following two possessions, Samuel McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) hit back-to-back 3-pointers to kick start the Tiger offense.
McCloud added another basket, this time by driving to the basket and scoring a layup to push the lead to five points. Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) joined the scoring with a 3-pointer of his own, assisted by McCloud.
Harden helped extend the DWU lead with another 3-point basket five minutes into the game, followed by another shot from deep by Hoglund moments later.
Midway through the first half, Aaron Ahmadu (Houston, Texas) found McCloud on consecutive possessions for 3-point baskets to give DWU a 17-point lead. The Spires (5-9) tried to cut into the DWU lead down the stretch, but the Tigers continued to hit shots from deep as DWU held a 21-point advantage at the break.
Five minutes into the second half, Koln Oppold (Sioux Falls, S.D.) attempted a shot from beyond the arc but missed, as Tristan Teichmeier (Sioux Falls, S.D.) snagged the offensive rebound and followed it up with a layup. Oppold made up for the miss on the next possession as he drove past his defender and connected on a layup.
With 6:26 left to play, Cooper Williams (Vermillion, S.D.) found his way into the scoring as he nailed a 3-point shot to push the Tiger lead to 22 points. With less than a minute left, Noah Vettrus (Hartford, S.D.) added the 15th 3-pointer of the game for the Tigers to push DWU over the century mark and onto victory.
McCloud finished with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from downtown and 7-of-10 shooting from the field. Hoglund notched 29 points and six rebounds, while Harden tallied 11 points and five assists. Teichmeier collected a season-high 20 points along with eight rebounds off the bench.
The Tigers shot 59.3 percent from the field and 48.4 percent from 3-point range in the contest. DWU outrebounded the Spires 31-22 and finished with 22 assists to seven by USM.
DWU returns to conference play against No. 2 Morningside College at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Corn Palace.