SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Trailing 40-32 at halftime after being limited to less than 45 percent field goal shooting and surrendering eight three-point baskets would be plenty for a team to overcome.
Enter National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II third-ranked Morningside College. Head coach Jim Sykes’ squad turned up the defensive pressure on visiting and No. 17-ranked Dakota Wesleyan which led to an offensive carnival that saw the home-standing Mustangs post 55 points, missing only 11 field goal chances in the process (23 of 34) while draining seven treys and holding a 24-9 rebounding advantage. A 12-0 roll midway through the second half turned a four-point deficit into an eight-point lead as Morningside didn’t look back in route to an 87-72 victory before a loud and proud crowd inside Allee Gymnasium at the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center.
Gaining revenge for their lone loss of the 2018-19 campaign, the Maroon, improving to 20-1 overall and 13-1 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, received three 20-point-plus outings from junior forward Matt Hahn (JR/Fremont, NE ) (Fremont, Neb.), junior forward/center Tyler Borchers (JR/Le Mars, IA ) (LeMars, Iowa) and sophomore guard Zach Imig (SO/Gretna, NE ) (Gretna, Neb.). Hahn scored 22 and finished just three boards shy of a double-double; Borchers was tough on the Tigers points and rebounding-wise with 22 and 15 for an impressive double-double that included two blocked shots, four steals, and two assists; and Imig was also three rebounds away from a double-double totaling 20 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Brody Egger (SR/Urbandale, IA) (Urbandale, Iowa) hit four three-pointers and dished off six assists to conclude the double-figure parade.
Morningside, holding a two-and-a-half game lead on the loop chart with six games to play, takes to the road Wednesday, Jan. 30, for an 8 p.m. start against Midland University.
SIOUX CITY, IOWA – A pair of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic Division II top 10 programs and Great Plains Athletic Conference powers went nose-to-nose in a white-knuckle ride at Allee Gymnasium at Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center Saturday, Jan. 26.
Morningside College, No. 9 on the current poll, gave visiting Dakota Wesleyan University, the D2 national champions and currently fourth-ranked squad, all it could handle before the Tigers held on late for an 82-76 decision. The largest advantage cobbled together by either team was 16 by DWU in the second stanza, but, just as happened throughout the contest whenever a lead was forged, the opposition managed to come back.
Despite a third successive loss that dropped them to 17-7 overall and 9-7 in the league, balanced scoring keyed Mside’s attack. Sophomore guard Sierra Mitchell (SO/Pleasant Hill, IA) (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) drilled five three-pointers, increasing her personal streak of games with a three-point bucket to 37, in route to a game-high 25 points, and junior forward/center Sydney Hupp (JR/O’Neill, NE) (O’Neill, Neb.) finished with 24 points to go with five rebounds to top the scoring column. Junior guard Jordyn Moser (JR/Harlan, IA) (Harlan, Iowa) added 11 as part of a game line that included four assists and four steals, and sophomore guard Faith Meyer (SO/Pomeroy, IA ) (Pomeroy, Iowa) led the bench figures with 10 to end a strong afternoon’s effort that included five rebounds and a pair of steals.
The point-counterpoint theme was seen in a noticeable ebb and flow. Head coach Jamie Sale’s crew pieced together the first answer, rallying from a five-point deficit late in the first quarter to take a 27-24 lead after Moser hit a three-pointer much to the joy of the home crowd. Dakota Wesleyan countered by scoring 17 of the final 22 points in the first half for a 41-32 halftime lead. The visitors upped that ante to 15 (57-42) before the Maroon reeled off eight in a row towards the end of the third quarter to trail only 59-50 going into the final stanza. Morningside whittled their disadvantage to as little as six (61-55) before DWU used its patented three-point shooting and tough half-court defense to develop a 10-0 stretch. The never-say-die Mustangs charged back, getting it down to two possessions (80-74) with 15 seconds left but could get no closer.
Mside takes to the road Wednesday, Jan. 30, for a 6 p.m. tip-off at Midland University. The clash versus the Warriors begins two in a row away from Allee.