SIOUX CITY, IOWA – A pair of spectacular double-doubles highlighted a balanced scoring attack for National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II No. 8-ranked Morningside College Wednesday, Feb. 26.
In the end, head coach Jamie Sale‘s Mustangs needed every bit of a single-game career-high in points and rebounds from sophomore forward Taylor Rodenburgh (SO/Hawarden, IA) (Hawarden, Iowa) (23 points and 11 boards) and an evening in which senior forward/center Sydney Hupp (SR/O’Neill, NE) (O’Neill, Neb.) became the 11th player in program history to reach 1,500-or-more points (22 points and 11 rebounds) coupled with three more Maroon ending in double-digits. A game sixth-seeded Northwestern College squad gave the third seed all it could handle and more inside Allee Gymnasium and the Rosen-Verdoorn Sports Center.
The two Siouxland rivals took turns taking haymakers at each other throughout. Mside got it going with a 19-8 stretch in the first period which they extended to as much as 13 in the second frame (37-24). However, the Red Raiders responded with the final 14 points of the half and entered the break with a 38-37 edge. The third quarter saw both sides hold the advantage before Morningside, to the delight of its home crowd, built a six-point lead (61-55) as the final seconds ticked off. NWC answered the bell again with a 12-2 run and maintained as much as a four-point lead until the Mustangs tallied 13 of the final 22 points to force overtime.
A rare site for Mside, the first home extra session contest in nearly 12 years to the day was determined by a 5-0 roll to begin. From that point, Sale’s team didn’t surrender the lead en route to a 90-87 victory. Junior guard Sierra Mitchell (JR/Pleasant Hill, IA) (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) (14 points), sophomore forward Sophia Peppers (SO/Exira, IA) (Exira, Iowa) (13 points which featured a critical three-of-four charity stripe total in the final 12 seconds), and junior guard Faith Meyer (JR/Pomeroy, IA ) (Pomeroy, Iowa) (10 points) added their names to the Mustangs’ double-figure scoring annals.
The Maroon, moving to 23-8 and increasing their current win streak to four, advance to the semifinal round of the 2020 league postseason tournament. They will travel to Hastings College’s Lynn Farrell Arena Saturday, Feb. 29, for a 3 p.m. tip-off against the second-seeded and fourth-ranked Broncos with a spot in the tourney championship game on the line.
NOTES: Mitchell added another game to spectacular run of outings with multiple made three-pointers (28) … Hupp is also closing in on yet another personal milestone this weekend, needing only three boards to become the ninth player in program history with 800-or-more.