Tigers open with 16-1 run, beat Dakota State

MADISON -- The Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team wanted to erase the memories of two straight losses with a good performance at Dakota State University on Monday night. And with the way the 23rd-ranked Tigers came out in the first ...

MADISON -- The Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team wanted to erase the memories of two straight losses with a good performance at Dakota State University on Monday night. And with the way the 23rd-ranked Tigers came out in the first half, those bad memories were long forgotten by halftime.

DWU opened the game with a 16-1 run over the first seven minutes of the game. The Tigers' (9-4, 3-2 GPAC) lead never fell below double digits the rest of the night, as they cruised to an 83-62 non-conference win to snap out of a mini losing streak. The win comes directly on the heels of Saturday's ugly loss at Concordia University.

"We didn't do much of anything right on Saturday, so we were looking for some positives," said DWU head coach John Hemenway. "We found some there in the first half. I liked the way we came out. Anytime you get a 23-point lead in the first half, you're doing something right."

The Tigers built their lead by pounding the ball down low to a trio of forwards -- Preston Broughton, Ike Muoneke and Brady Wiebe. Broughton had a monster game with 25 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, Muoneke finished with eight points, five rebounds and five steals, and Wiebe, a freshman from Madison, got his first career start in his hometown with Marcus Vontz nursing a foot injury. Wiebe responded by putting up 14 points and eight rebounds.

"I thought we did a good job of getting the ball inside," Hemenway said. "We did a good job of attacking and we got to the freethrow line. Preston played well, but we were pretty balanced. We had a lot of different contributions from a lot of different guys."


Chase Walder and Scott Nelson both came off the bench to contribute to the win. Walder scored 15 points and Nelson added 13 after leading the team with 20 points on Saturday. Hemenway said he likes Nelson's role as the sixth man because he can play so many different positions and can help with in-game adjustments.

"Marcus was out, so I wanted to throw Brady in there," Hemenway said of his starting lineup. "I wanted to go with a bigger lineup to start. That way, we could bring Scott in for some scoring punch off the bench. Scott can come in at a couple different positions, so I like to bring him in at the position of need."

DWU used an aggressive defense to force DSU into 20 first-half turnovers, and 30 in the game. The Tigers generated 17 steals in the win, and held DSU to just 36.5 percent shooting from the floor.

"I thought our defense was good, in the first half especially," Hemenway said. "They had 20 turnovers so we were obviously more aggressive and forcing the issue a little bit."

DSU was led by its star forward, Joe Backus, who finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Brian Bolin added 10 points for the home team. DSU got frustrated as it failed to mount a comeback in the second half, and things started to get chippy. The result was 31 total fouls on Dakota State as DWU shot 45 free throws, including 33 after halftime.

"It was very physical at the end there," Hemenway said. "I was a little concerned to be honest with you. I did not want to take one of our kids to the hospital. You try to play through it and you try not to react and just make your free throws."

The win sends the Tigers into a nine-day break with a little boost of confidence. The time off will also be good for DWU's health. Broughton has been nursing a sore back all season, and the team would really like to get Vontz back in the starting lineup. The diagnosis Monday is that he has a pulled muscle in the bottom of his foot. Hemenway said that he was told he'll likely be out two weeks, but the team hopes with the break, he'll be able to get healed up in time for the St. Xavier University Tournament in Chicago on Dec. 19-21.

"We're going to take a couple days off here," Hemenway said. "Marcus needs to get healthy. We'll take some time off and we have finals coming up. We'll pay attention to our academics and get a few other things straightened out here."




Dakota Wesleyan (9-4, 3-2 GPAC)

Brady Wiebe 5-10 4-6 14, Preston Broughton 5-12 14-19 25, Ike Muoneke 2-9 4-6 8, Colby Fitzgerald 1-7 1-2 3, Andrew Lasche 1-4 0-1 3, Rocky Nelson 0-0 2-2 2, Taylor Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Chase Walder 4-7 5-6 15, Kevin Ball 0-1 0-0 0, Scott Nelson 5-9 2-3 13. Totals 23-59 32-45 83.

Dakota State University (2-9)

Joe Backus 8-15 3-7 20, Brian Bolin 3-7 4-4 10, Sean Baitinger 1-8 1-1 3, Derek Powell 3-10 1-3 9, Brett Gardner 1-2 0-1 2, Jason DeZeeuw 0-5 0-0 0, Jordan Hughes 1-1 0-0 3, Addison Kisling 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Lawson, 1-1 0-0 2, Josh Boyer 0-4, 0-0 0, Derek Kreutzfeldt 1-2 1-1 3, Andy Hansen 0-1 1-2 1, Bryce Snyder 4-7 1-2 9, Eric Bauder 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-63 12-21 62.

Halftime score-DWU 49, DSU 26. Three-point goals-DWU 5-19, DSU 4-11. Rebounds-DWU 44 (Broughton 12), DSU 42. Assists-DWU 14, DSU 15. Turnovers-DWU 17, DSU 30. Steals-DWU 17, DSU 7. Blocks-DWU 6, DSU 6. Technical fouls-none.

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