SIOUX FALLS-The Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team had an off night from the 3-point line, but Ty Hoglund made up for it.
The Tigers tied for a season-low with six made 3-pointers, but Hoglund poured in 43 points to propel DWU to a 74-65 win over Warner (Fla.) University in the opening round of the NAIA Division II tournament at the Sanford Pentagon.
"We have a special player in Ty Hoglund and big-time players shine when the lights are brightest," DWU coach Matt Wilber said. "He was just absolutely big time and special."
The Tigers (23-9) will now play No. 1 overall seed and defending national champion Indiana Wesleyan at noon Friday in the second round of the tournament.
Playing in front of a DWU-heavy crowd, Hoglund recorded his fifth 40-point game of the season. Hoglund's 43 points are tied for the fifth most in an NAIA Division II national tournament game.
Hoglund finished 13 of 26 from the field, 13-for-18 at the foul line and hit four 3-pointers. The junior now has 1,994 career points. Hoglund's 26 field goal attempts are tied for seventh most in an NAIA Division II tourney game.
"You just have to find a way to win and that's what we did tonight," Hoglund said. "... It was big getting to the rim and getting to the free-throw line, but if we can win a ballgame only making six threes, I think that is promising looking forward."
Aaron Ahmadu added 13 points for the Tigers, while Tristan Teichmeier provided a nice boost off the bench. The Sioux Falls Roosevelt graduate finished with 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds against the Royals.
"He's our best rebounder in a game when we needed rebounds and he got offensive and defensive ones when we needed them," Wilber said. "He competed his tail off. I am just tremendously proud of Teich."
The Tigers were still out-rebounded by a 46-40 margin, but they neutralized the bigger and athletic Warner front line.
"Teichmeier was huge," Hoglund said. "We knew the key coming into this game was going to be stopping their bigs. Our bigs-Sammy McCloud, Collin Kramer and especially Teichmeier-they did that. That's what essentially won us that game."
Teichmeier said Wilber harped all week about battling on the glass and he answered the challenge. Warner (21-11) senior post Trae Graham finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out late.
"We know they have the player of the year in their conference," Teichmeier said about Graham. "That dude is tough. All those guys are tough. We battled hard. We fought for every board. We put everything out there and we came out on top."
Hoglund netted 19 points in the first half to spark a 32-23 advantage. The Tigers built a 13-point lead early in the second half, but they couldn't shake the Royals. Warner got within 59-55 with 6:11 left. DWU freshman Mason Larson canned a 3-pointer out of a timeout and the Tigers pulled back ahead 62-55 with under six minutes left.
"That was the shot of the game and he's been like that for us," Wilber said. "I am proud of him. He came out with no fear and knocked it down."
Hoglund later hit a runner in the lane and Ahmadu converted a layup for a 68-57 advantage with 3:18 left. Hoglund later hit DWU's sixth 3-pointer for his 40th point on a night when the Tigers' opportunities were limited from beyond the arc. DWU finished 6 of 16 from beyond the arc.
"Our guys were smart about the shots we needed to get and moving the ball when we needed to," Wilber said. "It was a low-scoring game. So casting threes at inopportune times wasn't going to be the play. ... This was a possession, grind it-out game and there were times when we didn't do great, but we made enough plays."
Dakota Wesleyan 79, Warner University 65
Warner (Fla.) (21-11): Jalen Williams 4-7 0-0 8, Darryl Mercer 1-10 5-6 7, Austin Walker 1-4 0-0 3, Bart Schild 3-9 2-2 8, Trae Graham 5-14 1-2 12, Jaylan Shelton 2-7 1-4 5, Samuel Schobben 0-4 0-0 0, Joseph Martz 4-7 0-0 12, Jaquez Dickerson 4-5 2-3 10. Totals 24-67 11-17 65
Dakota Wesleyan (23-9): Aaron Ahmadu 4-9 4-4 13, Ty Hoglund 13-26 13-18 43, Collin Kramer 0-1 2-2 2, Samuel McCloud 0-3 0-1 0, Mason Larson 1-2 0-0 3, Nick Harden 2-12 2-2 6, Tristan Teichmeier 1-4 10-12 12. Totals 21-57 31-39 79
Halftime: DWU 32-23. FG%: Warner (Fla.) .358, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) .368. 3-pt FG:Warner (Fla.) 6-21 (Williams 0-2, Mercer 0-3, Walker 1-4, Schild 0-1, Graham 1-2, Schobben 0-3, Martz 4-6), Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 6-16 (Ahmadu 1-1, Hoglund 4-10, McCloud 0-3, Larson 1-2). Rebounds: Warner (Fla.) 46 (Graham 11), Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 40 (Teichmeier 15). Fouls Warner (Fla.) 28, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 16. Fouled out: Graham McCloud . Technical: MCCLOUD, Schild. Assists: Warner (Fla.) 10 (Williams 5), Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 13 (Ahmadu 3, Hoglund 3, McCloud 3, Harden 3). Steals: Warner (Fla.) 7 (Williams 3), Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 3 (Kramer 2). Blocked shots: Warner (Fla.) 6 (Graham 3), Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 6 (McCloud 2, Harden 2). Turnovers: Warner (Fla.) 17, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 9.