SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game at 79 with less than 10 seconds to play. However, the No.15 Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team fell short to Dordt College, 81-79 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference tilt in Sioux Center, Iowa.
Both teams got off to a quick start, but it was Aaron Ahmadu (Houston, Texas) who led the way with back-to-back 3-pointers early on.
The Tigers (13-5, 7-4 GPAC) took the shot clock all the way down as Harden missed a 3-point attempt, but Mason Larson (Langford, S.D.) grabbed the offensive rebound and put a layup back up. The Defenders (13-7, 6-5 GPAC) tied the game moments later with tight defense that turned into quick offense.
Later in the first half, Koln Oppold (Sioux Falls, S.D.) was open from beyond the 3-point line and took advantage as he sank the shot from downtown. On the next possession, Ahmadu nailed a 3-point basket of his own to give the Tigers a 28-22 lead.
DWU continued an 8-0 run as Teichmeier snagged another offensive rebound and put a layup up. With less than five minutes left in the first half, Kramer received a pass in the corner where he found nothing but net for his first 3-pointer of the game.
After Dordt ended the DWU run, Harden pulled up for a deep two-point basket, followed by a 3-pointer by Oppold on the next possession to extend the lead to 11 points. The Defenders made a 3-point basket of their own to cut into the deficit as the Tigers held a 38-30 lead at halftime.
Dordt began the second half quickly with four-straight points, but Samuel McCloud (Rapid City,S.D.) nailed a long 3-pointer to extend the Tiger lead to six points. A few possessions later, defense led into offense as Mason Larson (Langford, S.D.) connected on a reverse layup.
Later in the half, the Tigers began stroking the 3-pointers as McCloud and Oppold converted on deep 3-pointers to give DWU their biggest lead of the night, 51-38.
Dordt College began to climb back in the game, but it was Harden who stole the ball and finished on the other end to silence the Defender run. Dordt went on another quick 5-0 run until Kramer tallied a 3-pointer to get the Tigers back up by five points.
After a 3-point basket by the Defenders, the Tigers found themselves trailing by one point. In the midst of a 6-0 run for Dordt, Harden notched two free-throws to pull DWU within one point.
Minutes later, Kramer made a two-point basket followed by a layup. Ahmadu made a breakaway layup and was fouled, as he made the ensuing free throw and the Tigers found themselves down by two points with four minutes remaining.
Moments later, Harden tallied a big 3-point basket to cut the Defender lead to two points. On the next possession, Harden weaved his way through the defense for the layup to tie the game at 71.
After Dordt was able to connect on two free throws, Harden stole the ball and was all alone for an easy layup to pull the Tigers within one point. The Defenders once again converted on two free throws and were leading 79-76 with 19 seconds remaining.
On the next possession, Harden drilled a 3-pointer to knot the game at 79 with under 10 seconds left to go. The Defenders tallied a layup, and the final heave at the buzzer fell short as Dordt came away with the victory.
Harden led all scorers with 25 points, while Ahmadu tallied 16 points. Kramer collected a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Oppold and Teichmeier each added nine points, while McCloud finished with six points.
DWU will be back at home to battle Midland University at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.