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Vandeberg leads DWU men in rout of Lancers

Dakota Wesleyan's Trae Vandeberg drives to the basket as Mount Marty's Jesse Scarber, right, defends him during a Great Plains Athletic Conference men's basketball game on Wednesday at Cimpl Arena in Yankton. (Eric Mayer / Republic)

YANKTON — Shooting an uncharacteristic 23 percent from behind the arc after 12 games, Trae Vandeberg picked a good time to break out of his shooting slump.

The 6-foot-3 senior from Madison lit up the Cimpl Arena scoreboard, knocking down 6-of-8 3-pointers and finishing with a game-high 20 points, as the Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team routed rival Mount Marty 72-41 Wednesday in Yankton.

“It’s been rough for me the first part of the season, I haven’t been hitting a lot of shots. I haven’t been hitting shots for (Jason) Spicer. He always finds me, but I finally hit some tonight,” Vandeberg said. “I have to give credit to my teammates, they were finding me when I was open.”

Vandeberg got it going early for the Tigers, scoring 18 points in the first half as DWU took a 42-23 lead into halftime. Trailing just once in the first half, the Tigers jumped out to an early 21-9 lead. DWU (9-4, 3-2 GPAC) increased its 11-point lead to a 19 in the final seven minutes of the first half.

“The ball just went in,” DWU head coach Matt Wilber said about Vandeberg. “His shots have looked good all year and he’s taken good shots all year. He stayed with it, he’s gotten in the gym more. He’s a shot-maker, he got going tonight and we needed it.”

After Vandeberg led the Tiger offense in the first half, DWU’s defense did the rest. In the first 10 minutes of the second half, DWU’s defense held the Lancers to just six points. Defensively, DWU held Mount Marty to 18 points in the second 20 minutes and 28 percent shooting overall (16-of-57). The Tigers also won the rebounding battle 47-33 in the blowout.

“I thought our energy of the defensive end was really good and I was proud of that,” Wilber said. “We’ve been moving to that. We’ve been an offensive-minded team, but we only scored 72 points. That’s 20 below our average, but I think we can be a defensive team with the guys we have out there.”

Jason Spicer added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Nygel Drury finished with 11 points and Ty Hoglund chipped in 10 points. Tyson Smiley grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, the Tigers nailed 13 3-pointers in the contest and shot 44 percent from the field.  

The Tigers hold a 55-31 all-time advantage over their rivals to the south and DWU hasn’t lost to Mount Marty since 2012.

“Dakota Wesleyan, Mount Marty, that’s a rivalry game,” Wilber said. “We approach it as a rivalry game. It’s another game on our schedule, but it’s one of those (important) games. As long as I’m here, it’s always going to get that attention.”

For the Lancers (2-9, 0-5 GPAC), Sheldon Siemonsma had a team-high 11 points, drilling three 3-pointers. Marcus Mathieu added six points and Drew Cheskie led with seven rebounds.

The Tigers will face Hastings on Saturday in Hastings, Nebraska.

DWU men 72, Mount Marty 41

Dakota Wesleyan (9-4, 3-2 GPAC): Trae Vandeberg 7-10 0-0 20; Jason Spicer 7-12 0-0 14; Nygel Drury 3-8 3-3 11; Ty Hoglund 4-9 0-0 10; Collin Kramer 3-6 0-0 7; Tyson Smiley 2-7 0-0 5; Samuel McCloud 1-5 0-0 3; Kellen Barden 1-4 0-0 2; Jacob Hinker 0-1 0-2 0; Aaron Ahmadu 0-0 0-0 0; Zachery Treiber 0-1 0-0 0; Carter Brewster 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-63 3-5 72.

Mount Marty (2-9, 0-5 GPAC): Siemonsma, Sheldon 4-9 0-1 11; Scarber, Jesse 2-7 2-4 6; Mathieu, Marcus 3-10 0-0 6; Schumaker, Zane 2-7 0-0 5; Callahan, Conlan 2-11 0-0 4; Martin, Hunter 1-3 0-0 3; Wilson, Trent 1-2 1-4 3; Cheskie, Drew 1-5 0-0 2; Fleming, Logan 0-1 1-2 1; Bloch, Shaye 0-0 0-0 0; Fiegen, Cole 0-1 0-0 0; Savary, Keegan 0-0 0-0 0; Koupal, Aaron 0-0 0-0 0; Rennie, Ben 0-1 0-0 0; Billings, Jailen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-57 4-11 41.

Halftime: DWU 42, Mount Marty 23. 3-point goals: DWU 13-31 (Vandeberg 6-8; Hoglund 2-5; Drury 2-6; Kramer 1-3; Smiley 1-1; McCloud 1-5; Barden 0-2; Spicer 0-1), MMC 5-19 (Siemonsma 3-6; Schumaker 1-3; Martin 1-2; Callahan 0-4; Rennie 0-1; Mathieu 0-2; Scarber 0-1). Fouled out: none. Rebounds: DWU 47 (Smiley 11), MMC 33 (Cheskie 7). Assists: DWU 16 (Spicer 6), MMC 6 (Schumaker 3). Total fouls: DWU 13, MMC 15. Technical fouls: none.