No. 6 Tigers kick season off with rivalry win

No. 6 Tigers kick season off with rivalry win

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – It was the first game of the season for the Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team and they dominated in-state rival Dakota State University, 80-62 Saturday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.

 The Trojans (0-5) came out hot to begin the game as they took an early 7-2 lead in the first two minutes. However, Samuel McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) connected on back-to-back baskets, while Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) returned the lead to DWU at 8-7.

 DSU hung around until midway through the first half. With the Tigers (1-0) leading by five points, Tyson Smiley (Omaha, Neb.) tallied three points the old-fashioned way after getting fouled on a made basket and connecting on his free throw.

 The Tigers took their first double-digit lead of the game with 3:36 left in the first half after Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) knocked down a 3-point shot. DSU kept hanging around until the final minute of the half as Harden converted another basket and Koln Oppold (Sioux Falls, S.D.) nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give DWU a 43-29 advantage at halftime.

 With the Trojans within 10 points in the early moments of the second half, Harden and Hoglund combined for 18-straight points for the Tigers as they held an 18-point lead with just over eight minutes to play.

 The Tigers slowly and consistently held their lead around 20 points thanks to accurate free-throw shooting, and clutch baskets when they need them en route to an 18-point season opening victory.

 Hoglund led all scorers with 29 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the charity stripe. Harden added 25 points, four rebounds and three steals, while Smiley chipped in nine points and five rebounds. The Tigers shot 45.3 percent from the field, while recording 41 rebounds.

 DWU takes on Presentation College at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Sanford Pentagon.