DWU men top Lancers, 84-65

YANKTON -- Knotted at 36 at halftime, the 23rd-ranked Dakota Wesleyan Tigers used a second half surge to take down the Mount Marty Lancers, 84-65, Wednesday night at Laddie E. Cimpl Arena.

YANKTON -- Knotted at 36 at halftime, the 23rd-ranked Dakota Wesleyan Tigers used a second half surge to take down the Mount Marty Lancers, 84-65, Wednesday night at Laddie E. Cimpl Arena.

After shooting 39 percent in the first half, the Tigers were able to get to the rim and convert on some easy baskets, and shot 58 percent in the second half. Six DWU players scored in double figures, with Colby Fitzgerald scoring a game-high 19 points.

DWU moves to 14-4 (5-1 GPAC) with the win and the Lancers drop to 3-15 (0-6 GPAC).

The first half started out well for the Lancers. Neither team had more than a 5-point lead in the half, and MMC was able to get some short shots to fall as the Lancers went 47 percent from the field in the opening half. Center Jared Wall led the early charge with 10 first-half points for MMC.

DWU head coach John Hemenway said a slow start by his team and strong play by the Lancers kept the score close early.


"We were a little sluggish and they played well," Hemenway said. "Their bigs hurt us. They're hard to play against because they're so patient on offense. They're always trying to really grind it out."

The Tigers came out hot in the second half. They were able to force turnovers and convert on easy transition buckets, and built a 48-40 lead after an Ike Muoneke fastbreak dunk less than three minutes into the half.

MMC cut the lead to 52-49, but a strong defensive effort by the Tigers kept the Lancers out of their offensive rhythm, and DWU doubled up MMC 32-16 the rest of the way to come away with the 19-point win.

Lancer head coach Jim Thorson said a tough start to the second half caused his players to lose much of the energy they brought to the court to start the game.

"The second half we started out with three turnovers and a bad defensive play, and our intensity just dropped off and we had a hard time scoring," Thorson said. "We just wore down."

Brady Wiebe had a solid effort for the Tigers in the second half in the post, scoring 14 of his 16 points after halftime. He was joined in double figures by Ike Muoneke (13), Scott Nelson (11), Chase Waldner (10) and Mitch Bain (10).

Hemenway said he was pleased with the intensity and the execution his players brought into the second half.

"We just needed to play better," Hemenway said. "I thought we missed some easy opportunities in the first half. We made those layups instead of missed them in the second half. We really got a good second-half performances from a lot of guys."


Justin Peters led the Lancers with 17 points and Wall finished with 15 points. Rudy Harper added 10 points for MMC in the loss.

Thorson said the play of Wall and Peters was a bright spot in the loss.

"I think that was maybe Wall's best effort," Thorson said. "Overall he was pretty solid defensively and offensively. Peters got inside and was able to get us going at the basket to get some buckets."

The Lancers will look for their first conference win of the season when they travel to Fremont, Neb., to take on Midland Lutheran Saturday.

Though Midland Lutheran is near the bottom of the GPAC, Thorson said he's expecting a performance similar to what the Lancers saw against top contenders Dordt and DWU over the past week.

"We've had a hard time playing them there," Thorson said. "They're strong and they play hard all the time too. I don't see a lot of difference in the teams the rest of the way in the conference. There's just no let up."


Colby Fitzgerald 7-16 5-6 19; Brady Wiebe 6-10 5-6 17; Ike Muoneke 6-12 1-2 13; Scott Nelson 5-6 0-0 11; Mitch Bain 5-9 0-1 10; Chase Waldner 4-8 1-2 10; Mike Long 1-3 2-2 4; Jordan Miller 0-2 0-0 0; Jordan Long 0-1 0-0 0; Rocky Nelson 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS 34-68 14-19 84.


MOUNT MARTY (3-15, 0-6 GPAC)

Justin Peters 7-11 3-3 17; Jared Wall 6-9 3-5 15; Rudy Harper 4-14 2-4 10; Spencer Yackley 4-5 0-0 8; Dan Harmon 2-6 2-4 6; Trey Krier 2-4 0-0 5; Weston Kusser 0-5 4-4 4; Bo Bruckner 0-2 0-0 0; Stephen Klekas 0-5 0-0 0. TOTALS 25-61 14-20 65.

Halftime -- Tied at 36. 3-Pointers -- DWU 2-12 (Waldner 1-2, Nelson, 1-2; Muoneke 0-1, Bain 0-2, Long 0-1, Miller 0-1, Wiebe 0-1, Fitzgerald 0-2), MMC 1-14 (Krier 1-3, Harper 0-2, Kusser 0-3, Bruckner 0-2, Klekas 0-3, Peters 0-1). Fouled Out -- DWU: None, MMC: None. Rebounds -- DWU 44 (Bain, Muoneke 6), MMC 35 (Harmon 6). Assists -- DWU 17 (Fitzgerald, Bain 4), MMC 13 (Harmon 5). Total Fouls -- DWU 17, MMC 15. Attendance -- 918.

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