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Tiger men wrap up GPAC season with win over Lancers

Dakota Wesleyan’ Jade Miller dunks the ball in a Great Plains Atheltic Confernece game against Mount Marty Wednesday in Yankton. The Tigers won 87-52. (James Cimburk/Press & Dakotan)


Yankton Press & Dakotan

YANKTON — Not even a hot-shooting second half was enough for the Mount Marty men to avoid a lop-sided loss.

And their ninth defeat in 10 games.

The latest team to victimize the Lancers was Dakota Wesleyan, which hit 11 three-pointers on the way to an 87-52 GPAC win Wednesday night at Cimpl Arena.

More than just the three-pointers, the visiting Tigers (17-13, 10-10) attempted 28 more shots than Mount Marty — which still out-shot DWU 49 percent to 47 percent.

“With all those offensive rebounds and our turnovers, that’s a ton of extra possessions,” said MMC head coach Andrew Baker, whose team fell to 4-23 overall and 2-17 in the GPAC.

“That’s the difference right there.”

And if Tigers’ three-point shooting wasn’t enough to deal with, they were opportunistic. DWU had a 14-2 edge on the offensive glaass and scored 33 points off 17 Mount Marty turnovers.

“Our guys did a great job crashing the boards,” DWU head coach Matt Wilber said. “That was one of those games where you work hard to get a good shot every single time.”

It didn’t take the Tigers six minutes to drain four three-pointers, and the visitors’ margin was 24-9 at the midway point of the first half.

The Lancers got as close as 11 points, but DWU kept the pressure on and took a 46-23 lead into the halftime break.

Both teams were over 50 percent in the second half, but the Lancers could do nothing to close the large gap.

“They’ve got good players and they played harder,” Baker said. “We weren’t physical and weren’t dedicated to being gritty.”

The biggest thorn in Mount Marty’s side was DWU sophomore guard Trae Bergh, who scored 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists — all team highs.

“Trae’s been tremendous for us,” Wilber said. “I don’t know how the all-conference stuff is going to shake out, but he’s been at an all-conference level for us.”

On the flip side for the Lancers, sophomore Alex Irvine scored 12 points, junior Chris Richardson had 11 points and nine rebounds, while juniors Bud Smith and Lorenzo Davis both added eight points.

With new head coaches on either side of the Lancers-Tigers rivalry, it could reach a new level in the coming years, Wilber said.

“I’m smart enough to know what this series means,” he said. “Our guys were excited to come here and play these guys.”

While Dakota Wesleyan is trying to ready itself for a post-season tournament run, Mount Marty is left to finish on a strong note.

The Lancers close their season Saturday at home against Nebraska Wesleyan — one of the league teams they’ve beaten.

“That’s a team we’ve beaten, so we feel good about what we can do against them,” Baker said. “You would just hope we have the confidence to get the job done.”

Dakota Wesleyan 87

Mount Marty 52

DWU (17-13, 10-10 GPAC)

Jalen Voss 5-10 4-4 14; Luke Bamberg 4-8 1-1 11; Trae Bergh 8-15 4-4 23; Kris Menning 6-11 1-1 15; Tate Martin 1-3 0-0 3; Kellam Karst 0-0 0-0 0; Sawyer Gibson 1-2 0-0 2; Jade Miller 6-14 0-0 15; Eric Warkenthien 0-1 0-0 0; Jon Vorwald 0-1 0-0 0; Stephen Lee 1-3 0-1 2; Matt Henriksen 1-3 0-0 2. TOTALS 33-71 10-11 87.

MM (4-23, 2-17 GPAC)

Bud Smith 2-6 4-6 8; Chris Richardson 3-8 4-4 11; Tyler Payer 3-7 0-0 6; Alex Irvine 6-6 0-0 12; Patrick Ciganovic 0-2 0-0 0; Lorenzo Davis 2-2 1-3 5; Grant Flicek 0-0 0-0 0; Nermin Krdzalic 4-7 0-0 8; Zach Telles 0-1 0-0 0; Sam Forrer 0-1 0-0 0; Anthony Stransky 0-1 0-0 0; Ben Hegge 0-0 0-0 0; Mitchell Newhouse 1-2 0-0 2. TOTALS 21-43 9-13 52.

Halftime: DWU 46-23. Three-Pointers: DWU 11-31 (Bergh 3-6, Miller 3-8, Bamberg 2-3, Menning 2-6, Martin 1-2, Gibson 0-1, Vorwald 0-1, Lee 0-2, Henriksen 0-2), MMC 1-11 (Richardson 1-3, Smith 0-1, Ciganovic 0-1, Krdzalic 0-1, Tellse 0-1, Stransky 0-1, Payer 0-3). Total Rebounds: DWU 36 (Bergh 8), MMC 27 (Richardson 9). Assists: DWU 13 (Bergh 4), MMC 13 (Payer 3). Turnovers: DWU 5, MMC 17. Personal Fouls: DWU 10, MMC 12. Fouled Out: None. Attendance: 789.