SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – A clutch second-half performance enabled top-ranked National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II Morningside to move into rarified air Saturday, Jan. 18.
Locked in an intense back-and-forth battle with Great Plains Athletic Conference Siouxland rival Dordt University at its DeWitt Gymnasium, head coach Jim Sykes‘ Mustangs worked their way through various Defender offensive attacks over the 40-minute battle. In the end, a 15-of-17 free throw effort that included a nine-for-10 string in the final 2:54, coupled with a critical nine-point run midway through, spotlighted a 46-39 second 20 minutes that led Mside to an 88-81 conference road victory.
All five Mustangs starters found themselves in point double figures. Senior center Tyler Borchers (SR/Le Mars, IA ) (LeMars, Iowa) topped the group with 20 points to add to a stat line that included four rebounds, three assists, and a blocked shot. Senior guard Alex Borchers (SR/South Sioux City, NE ) (South Sioux City, Neb.), who went six-for-six at the charity stripe and hit three three-pointers, finished with 17; freshman guard Will Pottebaum (FR/LeMars, IA) (LeMars, Iowa) wound up with 14, five rebounds and three steals; senior forward Matt Hahn (SR/Fremont, NE ) (Fremont, Iowa) canned three treys and nearly turned in a triple-double with 11 points, eight assists and eight rebounds; and junior guard Zac Imig (Gretna, Neb.) tallied 10 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. Freshman guard Trey Powers (FR/Omaha, NE) (Omaha, Neb.) put his name in the headlines, too, coming off the bench for seven points in 11 minutes of action.
Morningside (20-0 overall, 12-0 GPAC), reaching 20-victory territory for the fourth straight year, winds up back-to-back road tests Wednesday, Jan. 22. They travel to Seward, Neb., and Concordia University’s Walz Performance Center for an 8 p.m. tip-off.
SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – A monstrous 40-11 run over the final 13:30 of the first half tipped the scales of a pivotal Great Plains Athletic Conference battle Saturday, Jan. 18
Visiting Morningside College, ranked No. 7 on the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II poll, rebounded from an eight-point deficit midway through the first quarter behind that epic surge to hold a large 50-29 halftime cushion at No. 9-ranked Dordt University’s DeWitt Gymnasium. Head coach Jamie Sale‘s squad, improving to 17-4 overall and 11-2 in the conference with their sixth successive victory, repelled a Defenders’ answer attempt in the second half that cut the margin to 14 by scoring 18 of the game’s final 25 points over the last eight minutes for a convincing 90-65 win.
Junior guard Sierra Mitchell (JR/Pleasant Hill, IA) (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) led four Mustangs in double figures. Adding another game to her string of consecutive double-digit contests (eight) and successive outings with multiple three-point baskets (18), she finished an impressive night with 30 points which included five treys to go with four assists and a pair of steals. Senior forward/center Sydney Hupp (SR/O’Neill, NE) (O’Neill, Neb.) added 19, five rebounds, two assists, one steal, and a blocked shot; sophomore forward Sophia Peppers (SO/Exira, IA) (Exira, Iowa), hitting double digits for the 13th time in her last 14 opportunities, registered 13 points, grabbed a team-leading eight rebounds and dished out four assists; and senior guard Jordyn Moser (SR/Harlan, IA) (Harlan, Iowa) added 10 points to go with five assists, which was good for a team leader spot, and four rebounds. Sophomore forward Taylor Rodenburgh (SO/Hawarden, IA) (Hawarden, Iowa) nearly made it five in points’ double figures with nine while compiling six boards.
Mside’s stifling pressure defense contributed to the outcome. The Maroon had a helping hand in 28 home team turnovers and limited the Defenders to less than 40 percent overall field goal shooting and a tepid 14.3 percent effort from beyond the arc.
Morningside wraps up a brief two-game road set Wednesday, Jan. 22. It’s another loop top 10 meeting with a trip to Seward, Neb., and Concordia University’s Walz Performance Center on the docket. Game time is 6 p.m.