MITCHELL, S.D. – In a game that saw 17 lead changes, the No. 18 Dakota Wesleyan men's basketball team came away with an exciting 86-82 victory over No. 2 Morningside College in a Great Plains Athletic Conference bout Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
The Tigers (13-4, 7-3 GPAC) opened up the game with two-straight 3-point baskets from Samuel McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) to keep pace with the Morningside (14-1, 8-1 GPAC) offense in the early going of the game.
Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) made his presence known early as he drove to the basket for two-straight layups along with free throws opportunities to give DWU a 15-13 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the first half.
After the Mustangs took their biggest lead of the night at 24-16, the Tigers came roaring back on a 10-2 run highlighted by a layup and 3-pointer from Collin Kramer (Volga, S.D.) to lock up the score at 26.
Both teams continued to go back-and-forth down the stretch in the first half. But DWU made a late push with seconds remaining in the first half. Tristian Teichmeier (Sioux Falls, S.D) notched a layup and then Aaron Ahmadu (Houston, Texas) hit a jump shot at the buzzer with an assist from Cooper Williams (Vermillion, S.D.) to give the Tigers a 44-43 lead at halftime.
Both teams began the second half trading baskets, but DWU went on a quick 7-0 run highlighted by 3-pointers from Ahmadu and Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) to push the Tiger lead to 60-53.
The Mustangs would not go away as they came within one point of the DWU lead, but Mason Larson (Langford, S.D.) connected on a 3-point basket to end the Morningside run.
With eight minutes remaining in the game and the Tigers leading 66-62, Hoglund connected on a basket and on the next possession drove the lane and converted on a layup and was fouled to send him to the free-throw line. After the made free throw, DWU held a 71-62 lead.
Hoglund nailed a 3-pointer with just under a minute remaining to cap off the win for the Tigers over the Mustangs.
DWU finished with four players in double-figures including 30 points from Hoglund on 10-of-17 shooting from the field. Harden finished with 13 points, while Ahmadu tallied 12 points. Teichmeier chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds while Kramer added eight points and nine rebounds.
The Tigers will be back in action to take on Dordt College at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Sioux Center, Iowa.