DWU men lose thriller to No. 4 DordtThe absence of Jalen Voss was ultimately too much.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
The absence of Jalen Voss was ultimately too much.
The Dakota Wesleyan University freshman post was on the bench in the second half with a swollen right eye, trying to watch his Tigers upset No. 4 Dordt Wednesday night in a Great Plains Athletic Conference men’s basketball game at the Corn Palace.
Dordt rallied from an eight-point deficit with less than 5 minutes to play to defeat Dakota Wesleyan 61-58.
“The big guy, Jalen Voss, he’s our anchor,” said DWU guard Mike Lee, who finished with 10 points. “It was kind of tough for us down low with him out.”
Voss received a large bump above his eye late in the first half after hitting the floor on a loose ball. He never returned to the playing court, and nine of Dordt’s final 12 points came from the inside the paint.
Lee hit a cross-over free-throw line jumper with 4:41 left to play that put the Tigers up 57-49. But DWU scored only one point from there on. Lee hit the back end of a pair of free throws that got the Tigers within 59-58, and Dordt answered with an easy lay-in on a drive through the lane by Trevor Wolterstorff.
DWU’s final possession resulted in a long 3-point attempt that hit the rim by Mitchell native Jordan Long.
Voss didn’t have any points in the game, but had five blocks in the first 20 minutes. After DWU coach Shane Murphy realized he wouldn’t have Voss in the second half, Murphy used a rotation of forwards on Dordt’s post players.
“We had to go smaller,” Murphy said. “We tried to spread the floor out more and utilize our guards and our half-court offense.
“You expect your big guy to be there. We’re thin up front, and nobody replaced him.”
Murphy said the timetable for Voss’ return is unknown and that more information could be available after Voss gets looked at by medical personnel today.
DWU had a 26-25 lead going into the break after Luke Bamberg converted a three-point play for the Tigers to close the first half.
Dordt took advantage of DWU’s lack of size immediately to open the second half. Dordt’s first eight points after intermission came from 6-foot-7 forward Chris Sievers.
“Voss is a very good player for them,” Dordt coach Ross Douma said. “He’s obviously a difference-maker, and with him not in there we felt we had a little bit of an advantage inside.”
But the Tigers had six-point leads on three separate occasions in the second half, including a 55-49 lead when Lee hit a 3-pointer with 6:44 to play. About two minutes later, Lee hit another jumper to stretch the Tigers’ lead to eight, their biggest of the game.
Dakota Wesleyan shot 32 percent from the field and was outrebounded 46-33. Dordt had 18 offensive rebounds and shot 54 percent in the second half.
The Tigers’ Jake Kneeland had 10 points and Jordan Long finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Nearly half of his points came from a four-point play in the second half at the 7:59 mark that swung the momentum back in DWU’s favor.
Sievers had a game-high 15 points and added seven rebounds. Jordan Vogel had eight points and 10 rebounds.
The loss drops DWU to 6-11 in the conference and 14-13 overall. The Tigers are tied with Concordia and Mount Marty in the GPAC standings for the seventh, eighth and ninth spots. Only the top eight teams get postseason conference tournament spots.
DWU hosts Nebraska Wesleyan, which is 7-11 in the GPAC, at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
No. 4 DORDT 61,
DAKOTA WESLEYAN 58
DWU (14-13, 6-11 GPAC)
Kris Wilson 1-6 4-4 6, Bo LaCroix 1-5 0-0 2, Mike Lee 4-16 1-2 10, Jalen Voss 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan Long 3-6 1-1 9, Justin Nelson 2-5 2-2 6, Carde Pennington 2-9 2-2 7, Kris Menning 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Bamberg 3-6 2-2 8, Jake Kneeland 3-5 2-2 10. Totals: 19-60 14-15 58.
Dordt (24-3, 15-3 GPAC)
Cliff Warner 1-6 2-2 5, Austin Katje 2-9 3-4 9, Trevor Wolterstorff 6-11 2-6 14, Kyle Lindbergh 1-2 0-0 2, Jordan Vogel 3-12 2-4 8, T.J. Malone 1-1 0-0 2, Shawn Keizer 1-2 0-0 2, Matt Vande Kamp 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Wolterstorff 2-4 0-1 4, Chris Sievers 6-12 3-3 15. Totals: 23-59 12-20 61.
Halftime: DWU 26-25. 3-Point Goals: DWU 6-20 (Kneeland 2-4, Long 2-4, Pennington 1-2, Lee 1-4), Dordt 3-14 (Katje 2-8, Warner 1-4). Rebounds: DWU 33 (Long 7), Dordt 46 (Vogel 10). Blocks: DWU 8 (Voss 5), Dordt 3 (Three with 1). Assists: DWU 11 (Long 5), Dordt 12 (Vogel 3, Warner 3). Total Fouls: DWU 18, Dordt 19. Fouled Out: LaCroix – DWU. Technical fouls: None.