MITCHELL, S.D. – After trailing by three points at halftime, the No. 18 Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team used a big second half to top Mount Marty College, 77-58 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference battle Wednesday at the Corn Palace.
The Tigers (18-8, 11-7 GPAC) scored a quick basket on the first possession of the game from Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.). But, the Lancers (6-21, 2-16 GPAC) quickly responded with a 7-0 run to take a 7-2 lead early in the first half.
DWU fought back after a long 3-pointer from Samuel McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) to tie the game. Both teams traded baskets through the middle of the first half. Moments later, MMC went on an 8-0 run forcing a Tiger timeout.
DWU answered with a 7-0 burst of their own, highlighted by a Collin Kramer (Volga, S.D.) 3-pointer to pull within two points of the Lancers.
With two minutes remaining in the first half, the Tigers forced a turnover, leading into a Tristan Teichmeier (Sioux Falls, S.D.) layup to tie the score at 31. After a 3-point basket by MMC, DWU trailed at halftime 34-31.
In the second half, both teams remained tight as neither team had a larger lead than four. The Tigers took the lead on layups from Hoglund and Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) to push the lead to 44-42.
After the Lancers responded with a 3-pointer, DWU went on a 10-0 run to grab the momentum of the game. Aaron Ahmadu (Houston, Texas) drilled a 3-point basket to cap off the run forcing an MMC timeout.
The Tigers continued to hit shots from perimeter as McCloud and Ahmadu converted on back-to-back 3-pointers to take a 10-point lead. After another 9-0 run from DWU, the Tigers held a 69-50 lead with 4:28 left to play in the game.
DWU would close out the game down the stretch, holding the Lancers to 24 points in the second half to secure the GPAC victory.
The Tigers were led by Hoglund who scored 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. Ahmadu finished with 15 points on five 3-pointers. McCloud tallied 13 points, while Harden added 11 points and six steals. Teichmeier chipped in eight points and nine rebounds and Kramer collected six points and six rebounds.
DWU is currently 18-8 overall and 11-7 in conference play. The Tigers sit in fourth place and two games behind Briar Cliff University and the University of Jamestown with two conference games left to play.
DWU will be back on the road to take on GPAC opponent Concordia University at 4 p.m. Saturday in Seward, Neb.