Bergh scores 43 in DWU men's win in season opener
Trae Bergh stepped up with a record performance, as the short-handed Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team topped Trinity Bible College 92-68 in the regular-season opener Monday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
Bergh tied a school record with 10 3-pointers en route to a game-high 43 points for the Tigers (1-0) in the coaching debut for DWU’s Matt Wilber.
“I can’t explain it,” Bergh said. “The guys kept finding me and that hoop looked big.”
Bergh now shares the record with Dan Duffy, who accomplished the feat in 1982-83.
“He got open shots and kept knocking them down,” Wilber said. “When a guy gets hot like that, you want to just keep feeding him the ball.”
The performance from Bergh was needed as DWU’s starting lineup has been riddled with injuries in the early part of the season. The Tigers were without starters Jalen Voss, Kris Menning and Luke Bamberg against the Lions.
“Coach told me to be aggressive and take my shot with those guys missing from the lineup,” Bergh said.
A trio of Mitchell natives — Tate Martin, Jade Miller and Matt Henriksen — started against Trinity with the injuries to some of the Tiger regulars.
Martin took over at point guard and Bergh moved to shooting guard with the absence of Menning. Martin finished with a game-high 14 assists and was the key facilitator of the DWU offense in the win.
“Tate is one of those guys that’s slippery and quick,” Wilber said. “Guys love playing with him because they know they are going to get the ball.”
Miller also stepped up for the Tigers, contributing 20 points, including three 3-pointers and a team-high 10 rebounds for a double-double. On defense, Miller added four steals to lead DWU.
Henriksen added 11 points, three 3-pointers and six rebounds in the win.
The game started slow for the Tigers and Trinity took an early 11-2 lead, but after a timeout, DWU took over, with Bergh, Miller and Henriksen heating up from the outside.
After taking a 25-23 lead midway through the first half, the Tigers never trailed again, eventually taking a five-point lead into the locker room.
The Tigers came out in the second half and shot 48.6 percent from the field and outscored the Lions 52-33. Bergh poured in 22 of his 43 points in the second half.
“The injuries to DWU gave us a bit of life in the first half, but in the second half they just steam-rolled us,” Trinity coach Jordan Nowell said.
Trinity (0-1) was led by Nick Lentz with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, five rebounds and three blocks. A.J. Anthony added 21 points, eight rebounds and four steals in the loss.
DWU will be without Menning for an extended period of time after the junior guard fractured his thumb on a freak play, according to Wilbur, in the Tigers’ exhibition game against South Dakota State University Friday. Menning is scheduled to have surgery today and Wilber is uncertain if he will be back this season.
“The toughest injury for us is Kris because he was poised to have a great year,” Wilber said. “He does everything right for our team.”
Voss is dealing with a sprained ankle and Bamberg has a back issue, but both are day-to-day and should be back soon, said Wilber.
DWU plays Presentation College at 8 p.m. today at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. The Tigers will play at the Corn Palace five times over the next eight days.
Trinity Bible College 68
Dakota Wesleyan 92
Jaylen Uthe 0-1 0-0 0; Sawyer Gibson 2-3 0-0 5; Trae Bergh 15-22 3-3 43; Tate Martin 2-9 0-0 4; Jade Miller 7-17 3-4 20; Eric Warkenthien 0-2 2-2 2; Jon Vorwald 1-3 0-0 2; Stephen Lee 1-5 2-2 4; Matt Henriksen 3-9 2-2 11; Jon Alford 0-0 0-0 0; Landon Fischbach 0-0 1-2 1.
Trinity Bible (0-1)
A.J. Anthony 8-18 3-3 21; Ben Bighorn 2-6 0-0 4; Friscoe Erdahl 1-6 2-5 4; Nick Lentz 9-14 4-4 22; Joshua Bialik 2-6 2-2 6; Jon Kimball 0-1 0-0 0; Jaden Shockley 2-6 0-2 4; Jake Shockley 3-6 0-0 7; Grant Belgarde 0-1 0-0 0; Nathan Sandoz 0-0 0-0 0.
Halftime DWU 40-35. 3-point field goals: DWU 17-40 (Bergh 10, Miller 3, Henriksen 3, Gibson 1), Trinity 3-17 (Anthony 2, Jake Shockley 1); Rebounds: DWU 49 (Miller 10, Bergh 8), Trinity 31 (Anthony 8, Lentz 5); Steals: DWU 10 (Miller 4), Trinity 12 (Anthony 4, Erdahl 4); Assists: DWU 21 (Martin 14, Miller 3), Trinity 11 (Anthony 3, Erdahl 3); Turnovers: DWU 16 (Martin 3, Miller 3), Trinity 13 (Bighorn 3); Total fouls: DWU 12, Trinity 14.