SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Thanks to a 43-point outing by Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) the Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team downed Warner University (Fla.), 79-65 in the opening round of the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Tournament presented by Athletic Care, Wednesday at the Sanford Pentagon.
Both teams began the game slow on offense as the first basket was scored by the Royals (21-11) after three minutes of play. The Tigers (23-9) would answer with a layup and a foul by Hoglund to make the score 3-2.
Both teams would trade baskets, but Warner connected on a 3-point basket to force a DWU timeout. Following the timeout, DWU went on a 9-0 run to grab a six point lead.
With under 10 minutes to play in the first half, Hoglund caught fire, knocking down consecutive three-pointers to get the Tiger faithful on its feet.
DWU continued to maintain the lead throughout the first half relying on ball movement and strong defense. The Tiger offense found their rhythm down the stretch as they held a 32-23 lead at halftime.
Following a foul by Warner, Samuel McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) found Hoglund who dished the ball to Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) for the fast-break layup to put the Tigers up 37-25 in the opening minutes of the second half.
Moments later, McCloud blocked a shot that turned into a Hoglund layup on the other end. With 16 minutes to play, Tristan Teichmeier (Sioux Falls, S.D.) snagged an offensive rebound and tossed the ball out to Hoglund, who drilled a long-distance 3-pointer to put DWU up by 11 points.
After the Tigers took a 12-point lead, the Royals went on a quick run to cut the lead to six points. However, DWU weathered the storm thanks to tight defense and accurate free-throw shooting as they cushioned their lead back to nine points.
But Warner would not be denied as they stayed within striking distance thanks to a 3-pointer with six minutes left to make it a four-point game. Freshman Mason Larson (Langford, S.D.) knocked down a 3-point basket to liven the Tiger faithful and spark the DWU offense.
With under four minutes left to play, the DWU defense led to a quick layup as Aaron Ahmadu (Houston, Texas) connected on a layup to put the Tigers up, 68-57.
Minutes later with the shot clock running down, Hoglund found Teichmeier who made a layup to put the Tigers up by 10, giving him a double-double. With under two minutes to play, Hoglund nailed a 3-point shot to put him over 40 points for the fifth time this season, guiding the Tigers onto victory.
Hoglund led the team with 43 points on 13-of-26 shooting from the field. Ahmadu added 13 points, as Teichmeier tallied a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds. DWU shot 36.8 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from 3-point range. The Tiger defense forced 17 turnovers and held the Royals to 35.8 percent shooting.
DWU takes on overall No. 1 seed, Indiana Wesleyan University at noon on Friday at the Sanford Pentagon.