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No. 10 Midland beats DWU men

Dakota Wesleyan’s Stephen Lee (32) holds the ball on the perimeter against Midland Saturday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

After a furious comeback in the second half, the Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team could not close out No. 10 Midland University Sunday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

The Tigers fell 82-71 to the Warriors in Great Plains Athletic Conference action.

Down 45-36 at halftime, the Tigers stormed back to tie the game at 50, and took the lead at 57-55 with just over 11 minutes to go.

But Midland would separate itself from DWU with an 11-0 run to top the Tigers for the second time this season.

“I hope that we can learn from this game,” first-year DWU coach Matt Wilber said. “I thought we lost our composure at times in the first half with the way the game was going.”

The loss ended the Tigers’ four-game home-winning streak and evened their record in the GPAC at 6-6 (13-9 overall).

The Warriors shot 55 percent from the field, while holding the Tigers to 36 percent.

“When that is going on a loss is exactly what is going to happen in that type of a game,” Wilber said about his team’s shooting woes.

The Tigers were led by junior forward Jalen Voss, who finished with a team-high 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field.

The Warriors clamped down on Voss inside in the second half, forcing the Tigers to play from the perimeter.

“They did a good job of denying me the ball in the post in the second half,” Voss said.

DWU shot 21 of its 35 three-point attempts in the second half. The team was 34 percent from beyond the arc.

Kris Menning hit six three-pointers on 16 attempts, while finishing with 20 points in the loss. Trae Bergh added 10 points, while Voss pulled down eight rebounds.

Mitchell native Tate Martin, who came into the game leading the NAIA in assists per game, was held to just one assist by a swarming Midland defense. Luke Bamberg led DWU with six assists.

Midland had four players finish with double-digit scoring, including Ben Imig, who scored a game-high 28 points on 10-of-23 shooting.

Marcus Franklin added 20 points for the Warriors, 18 of which came in the first half. Franklin left the game and did not return after taking a finger to the eye early in the first half.

“Marcus was felling it in the first half, keeping us in the game early and helping us build a lead at halftime,” Midland coach Todd Eisner said about Franklin. “After he left, we had others step up down the stretch.”

The Warriors outrebounded DWU 43-33. Alex Starkel finished with a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with 10 points for the double-double for Midland.

The schedule get no easier for the Tigers, who play Morningside College, which is receiving votes in the NAIA poll, at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Sioux City, Iowa.

Midland (19-3, 10-3 GPAC) plays Nebraska Wesleyan at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Fremont, Neb.

Midland 82

Dakota Wesleyan 71

DWU (13-9, 6-6 GPAC)

Jalen Voss 9-16 7-7 26; Luke Bamberg 1-4 3-4 5; Tare Bergh 3-10 1-2 10; Kris Menning 6-18 2-3 20; Tate Martin 0-5 0-0 0; Sawyer Gibson 0-1 0-0 0; Jade Miller 2-6 0-1 5; Stephen Lee 2-4 0-0 5; Totals 23-64 13-17 71.

MU (19-3, 10-3 GPAC)

Ben Imig 10-23 5-6 28; Marcus Franklin 10-11 0-0 20; Galen Gullie 4-9 4-5 13; Montrel Billups 0-1 0-0 0; Alex Starkel 4-6 2-4 10; D.J. Vaughn 0-0 0-0 0; Avery Langford 1-4 0-0 3; Jalen Hueser 0-2 0-0 0; Jordan Flynn 1-1 0-0 2; Trevor Bryant 0-1 0-0 0; Brandon Williams 3-3 0-0 6; Totals 33-61 11-15 82.

3-point field goals: DWU 12-35 (Menning 6, Bergh 3), MU 5-12 (Imig 3). Rebounds: DWU 33 (Voss 8), MU 43 (Starkel 12, Gullie 6). Assists: DWU 16 (Bamberg 6), MU 7. Steals: DWU 5 (Bergh 2), MU 2. Turnovers: DWU 7, MU 11. Personal fouls: DWU 17, MU 17. Technical fouls: DWU Miller, MU none.