MITCHELL, S.D. – The World’s Famous Corn Palace lived up to its nickname Wednesday, Feb. 3.
This time around, it held a famous memory for a visiting program.
No. 9-ranked Morningside reversed a 75-60 loss to No. 16-ranked Dakota Wesleyan University behind a red-hot 52.2 percent field goal outing coupled with a two-to-one advantage on the glass (45-27) that led to an 87-77 Great Plains Athletic Conference triumph. Head coach Jim Sykes’ squad, moving to 19-3 overall and 15-3 in the league, kept a game and a half lead on second-place University of Jamestown with two games to play on the regular-season schedule.
After a back-and-forth first half where both sides held the lead, the Tigers used a 14-4 run to begin the second 20 minutes that put them up 50-38 with 16:19 left. The three-time defending conference champions dug down, at that point, and answered with a 23-7 roll of their own for a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The rally’s highlight was a cold-blooded 12-of-13 outing from the free-throw line for the Mustangs, part of an overall 14-of-19 performance, which was suitable for 73.7 percent.
A quartet of Maroon-clad players wound up in double figures. Senior center Trey Brown (SR/Gretna, NE ) (Gretna, Neb.) picked up his 10th double-double over the last 11 appearances, producing 20 points and 12 rebounds to go with a blocked shot, steal, and two assists. Fellow Gretna resident and senior guard Zach Imig (SR/Gretna, NE ) wasn’t far from a similar situation and a potential triple-double with 13 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Sophomore guard Will Pottebaum (SO/LeMars, IA) (LeMars, Iowa) and freshman guard Joey Skoff (FR/Bellevue, Neb.) (Bellevue, Neb.) each chipped in 13 points.
The Mustangs return home for the final time in the 2020-21 regular season Saturday, Feb. 6. Doane University visits Allee Gymnasium and the Rosen-Verdoorn Sports Center for a 4 p.m. tip-off.