DWU claims sole possesion of first in the GPAC

SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- Wednesday's battle for first place in the Great Plains Ath-letic Conference was everything a first-place battle should be. The Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team, ranked No. 14 in the country, and No. 15 Mornings...

SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- Wednesday's battle for first place in the Great Plains Ath-letic Conference was everything a first-place battle should be.

The Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team, ranked No. 14 in the country, and No. 15 Morningside College battled throughout the 40 minutes in regulation and the five-minute overtime, and, thanks in part to a huge three-pointer by Chase Walder, it was the Tigers that came out with the 79-72 win and sole posses-sion of first place in the GPAC.

"Our kids are really excited," DWU head coach John Hemen-way said. "It was a great win. That's the only gym we hadn't won at; we were 0-2 down there. The kids were really excited after the game."

Dakota Wesleyan is now 10-2 in the GPAC and 19-5 overall. The win -- the Mustangs' first home loss this season and sixth home loss in its last 51 games -- is the Tigers' fifth straight.

DWU went down by three right away in overtime when Mitch Carstens hit a three before Mitch Bain and Ike Muoneke scored. Brady Wiebe converted a three-point play for a four-point lead, 72-68, and, after Morningside sank two free throws, Walder hit a deep three for a 75-70 DWU lead.


"Believe it or not, Chase really hadn't made one all night, so the possession before (he hit the three-pointer) I looked at him and said 'Chase, you have to shoot one,' " Hemenway said. "The next possession, he takes a 25 footer and buries it. It was a big-time shot. That really put us over the top."

From there, Muoneke went 4-for-4 from the line and DWU held off the Mustangs for the win.

The Tigers almost didn't need overtime for the win. After the Mustangs missed a shot, DWU got the ball back with just over 31 seconds left to play. The Tigers passed the ball around and got it to Scott Nelson, who had an open look at a 3-pointer, but he missed the shot and Muoneke blocked Morningside's shot on its ensuing possession to send the game into overtime.

"We were trying to go inside to Ike," Hemenway said. "Scott had a good look, an open look, he just didn't make it. We were trying to get an isolation play inside to Ike, but Scott got a good look at it."

The game was a close one throughout. DWU took a 7-2 lead early, but Morningside fought its way back and the most the Tigers ever led by was nine points with 2:28 left in the first half after Bain sank back-to-back 3-pointers. Dakota Wesleyan held a 37-32 lead at the half.

The Tigers got up by six sev-eral times in the second half, including midway through the half when Wiebe scored eight straight points to give DWU a 51-45 lead. The Mustangs hit key three-pointers to tie the game or take the lead, but DWU always had an answer.

Eddie Marrs hit a three-pointer with 3:10 left to play to give Morningside a 63-60 lead, but Wiebe scored on a layup and drew the foul, and Mustang coach Jim Sykes was assessed a technical foul for kicking the scorers table. Wiebe sank all three free throws for the Tigers' last points in regulation.

DWU shot just 36.1 percent from the field and just over 18 percent from three-point range, but held the Mustangs to 36.5 percent shooting from the field. The Tigers also controlled the boards, 55-44.


"We played really well on the defensive end and the rebound-ing side," Hemenway said. "We didn't play great offensively. We only shot 36 percent from the field. It's not like we came down and played great offensively, we just did a really good job. We got shots and only had 11 turnovers. We did a great job in overtime after we were down."

Wiebe and Muoneke had monster games for the Tigers. Wiebe had a game-high 27 points and 15 rebounds and Muoneke grabbed 21 rebounds and scored seven points.

"Morningside's bigs are really good; they're two of the better post players in the league with Ike and Brady," Hemenway said. "We needed our two kids to play well because we knew their two kids would play well. They just made a ton of plays. Ike had 21 rebounds; that's unheard of. Brady wasn't great early, but he really played well towards the end of the second half and in overtime."

Bain finished with 17 points and Walder added 10.

Seth Atkins led Morningside with 20 points, Carstens added 18 and Marrs finished with 12. Nick Thompson, who averages 15.4 points per game, scored just seven points but had 16 re-bounds.

Dakota Wesleyan is at home Sunday to defend its position at the top of the GPAC when it hosts Mount Marty College at 3 p.m.




Dakota Wesleyan (19-5, 10-2)

Mitch Bain 6-14 3-4 17; Chase Walder 3-10 2-2 10; Brady Wiebe 8-19 11-14 27; Ike Muoneke 5-15 7-10 17; Scott Nelson 3-10 0-0 6; Rockey Nelson 0-1 0-0 0; Jordan Long 0-0 0-0 0; Jordan Miller 0-1 0-0 0; Mike Long 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 26-72 23-30 79.

Morningside (17-6, 9-3)

Brady Helmink 3-8 0-0 7; Eddie Marrs 4-14 2-2 12; Seth Atkins 8-16 4-8 20; Mitch Carstens 7-14 1-3 18; Nick Thompson 2-11 3-4 7; David Filsinger 1-3 0-0 3; Craig Doty 0-0 0-0 0; Bryan Fink 1-3 0-0 2; Mitchell Schultze 0-0 0-0 0; Adam Palmer 1-3 0-0 2; Garth Hamilton 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 27-74 11-19 72.

Halftime score: DWU 37, MC 32. Three-point goals: DWU 4-22 (Bain 2-6, Walder 2-7), MC 7-28 (Carstens 3-7). Rebounds: DWU 55 (Muoneke 21), MC 44 (Thompson 16). Turnovers: DWU 11, MC 10. Assists: DWU 10 (Bain 5), MC 13. Steals: DWU 4, MC 6 (Marrs 2). Blocks: DWU 2 (Muoneke 2), MC 6 (Thompson 6). Fouled out: Atkins. Technical fouls: Morningside team.

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