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Wesleyan men knock off No. 6 Hastings

Dakota Wesleyan's Trae Bergh celebrates after the Tigers beat No. 6 Hastings Saturday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

Sharp shooting and relentless effort propelled the Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team to its fifth-straight win.

The Tigers (10-7, 3-4 GPAC) made 14 shots from three-point range as a team in a 98-84 win over No. 6 Hastings College in Great Plains Athletic Conference action Saturday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

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“We beat a really good team,” first-year DWU coach Matt Wilbur said. “When you are making shots, guys have a lot of confidence in each other.”

Three Tigers scored at more than 20 points, led by junior forward Jalen Voss. Despite sitting for much of the first half due to foul trouble, Voss finished with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds.

DWU came out in the first half firing from beyond the arch. The Tigers made 10 of their 14 threes in the first half, building a lead of as much as 19 early. After taking a 10-point lead into the half, DWU held off numerous attempts by the Broncos to get back into the game with timely shots.

Seven different Tigers hit from long range, with Trae Bergh and Jade Miller each making four 3-pointers. Bergh and Miller each finished with 22 points.

“We came out hot and took a pretty big lead early,” Bergh said. “We knew we could beat these guys, and when we got up we knew just needed to finish strong.”

Coming into the game, Wilber said if his players didn’t step up and make plays they would get “blitzed.” The Tigers not only made plays; they outplayed the sixth-ranked team in the country from the opening tip.

The 98 points scored by DWU was the most given up by Hastings this season, as the Broncos average just 70 points allowed per game.

“We got smacked around early,” Hastings coach Bill Gavers said. “They (DWU) have a lot of players that can hurt you from anywhere on the floor, and Voss is a great big man inside.”

The Tigers got 13 points and seven assists from Kris Menning, including two 3-pointers, as the junior has stepped up since returning from an injury suffered in the preseason. Mitchell native Tate Martin had a game-high eight assists for the Tigers.

DWU outrebounded Hastings 35-27 and the Tigers had 25 assists as a team to seven for the Broncos.

“We talk about what we have to do to win games and rebounding is one of our number one keys,” Wilber said.

The Broncos were led by Brady Lollman with 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field, including three 3-pointers. Zach Lenagh added 20 points off the bench for Hastings. The loss was the second this season in the Great Plains Athletic Conference for Hastings (12-4, 6-2 GPAC).

The Tigers continue GPAC play with a matchup against Northwestern College at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Orange City, Iowa. Hastings plays Nebraska Wesleyan at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Lincoln, Neb.

Hastings College 84 Dakota Wesleyan 98

DWU (10-7, 3-4 GPAC) Jalen Voss 10-13 6-8 27; Luke Bamberg 1-2 0-0 3; Trae Bergh 9-19 0-0 22; Kris Menning 5-11 1-2 13; Tate Martin 0-0 3-5 3; Sawyer Gibson 1-1 0-0 3; Jade Miller 8-11 2-5 22; Stephen Lee 1-1 2-2 5; Totals 35-58 14-22 98.

HC (12-4, 6-2) Akeem Morissaint 0-3 0-0 0; Jake Hamburger 2-7 0-1 5; Brett Wells 3-7 3-5 9; Brady Lollman 8-9 3-4 22; Ibou Fall 1-3 0-0 2; Alex Thayer 0-0 0-0 0; Carson Blum 0-1 4-4 4; Tobin Reinwald 7-12 2-2 19; Brandon Krause 1-3 1-3 3; Zach Lenagh 8-12 4-4 20; John DeWard 0-1 0-0 0; Totals 30-58 17-23 84.

Halftime: DWU 52-42. 3-point field goals: DWU 14-29 (Bergh 4, Miller 4), HC 7-15 (Lollman 3, Reinwald 3). Rebounds: DWU 35 (Voss 9, Bamberg 6), HC 27 (Lenagh 7). Assists: DWU 25 (Martin 8, Menning 7), HC 7. Steals: DWU 6 (Bergh 4), HC 4. Turnovers: DWU 12 (Lee 4), HC 15 (Krause 3, Lenagh 3). Personal fouls: DWU 22, HC 20. Fouled out: DWU Bamberg.