YANKTON-The Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team competed in another back-and-forth affair on Wednesday at the Laddie E. Cimpl Arena, taking down Great Plains Athletic Conference foe Mount Marty, 86-80.
"It's a tough team, they're a lot better than they used to be," DWU forward Samuel McCloud said. "We came down here with that mindset, knew it was going to be tough and did what we needed to get it done."
In DWU's fifth straight game decided by single digits, it didn't wait to take the momentum following halftime as it erased its final deficit of the game, a 35-34 Mount Marty lead.
The Tigers' stifling defense, along with McCloud's emergence, helped the Tigers go on a 13-0 run. That said, it was back-to-back 3s from Aaron Ahmadu and Nick Harden which capped the run to give the Tigers a 47-35 lead.
"Guys stuck with it," DWU coach Matt Wilber said. "... Our guys just showed a lot of composure and made some plays down the stretch when I thought Mount Marty was playing really well."
The Lancers (3-9, 1-6 GPAC) chipped away at the lead, bringing it down to as little as three points with 1:50 to play. Although, the 3-pointers which didn't fall for DWU in the first half started to go in, extinguishing any momentum Mount Marty started to build.
McCloud finished with 16 points, including one of his five 3s of the second half, with 1:30 left, extending DWU's lead to 72-66. The Lancers made it a four-point game with 19.3 seconds to play when Colby Johnson, who had 26 points and 10 rebounds, made a driving layup, but the Tigers didn't miss a free throw in the final minutes to ice the game.
"(Johnson) is big and athletic," Wilber said. "If he's making pull-up jumpers, you're going to have a hard time with him."
It was more than just McCloud down low, though. Tristan Teichmeier recorded a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double, with Wilber saying, "I thought our (centers), McCloud and Teichmeier, won us that basketball game."
Nick Harden also finished with 16 points, five steals and four assists, while only turning it over once. As a team, the Tigers only committed seven turnovers.
Wilber said Mount Marty is a "tough place to make shots on the road," which showed early as the Tigers missed their first seven 3-point attempts and finished just 4 of 18 (22.2 percent) in the first half. Wilber felt his team still had good shot selection, though.
However, when attacking the basket, they oftentimes found themselves at the charity stripe as Mount Marty committed nine first-half fouls. DWU went 9-for-11 from the free-throw line in the half, including Ty Hoglund, who had 27 points, making all six of his free throws. The Tigers finished 27-for-29 at the line.
Jailen Billings added 17 points for the Lancers.
"Every win is a good win," Wilber said. "... I thought Mount Marty played a great game. I thought they played great defense on us in the first half and their playmakers made a bunch of plays."
DWU (8-3, 4-3 GPAC) plays Doane University at 4 p.m. on Saturday in Crete, Nebraska.
Dakota Wesleyan 86, Mount Marty 80
Dakota Wesleyan (8-3): Tyus Arends 6-13 15-15 27, Nick Harden 4-8 7-8 16, Samuel McCloud 5-11 1-2 16, Tristan Teichmeier 4-7 4-4 12, Aaron Ahmadu 3-8 0-0 9, Koln Oppold 1-3 0-0 3, Nate Davis 1-6 0-0 3, Collin Kramer 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 24-60 27-29 86.
Mount Marty (3-9): Colby Johnson 10-15 4-4 26, Jailen Billings 5-12 5-7 17, Logan Fleming 6-7 2-2 14, Jonah Larson 4-9 2-2 11, Saba Gvedashvili 2-5 1-2 6, Chase Altenburg 1-4 0-0 2, Reily Devine 1-4 0-0 2, Jaron Zwagerman 0-1 2-2 2, Jason Moore 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-58 16-19 80.
DWU 31 55 86
MM 31 49 80
3-point field goals: DWU 11-36 (McCloud 5-11, Ahmadu 3-7, Oppold 1-2, Harden 1-3, Davis 1-5, Kramer 0-3, Arends 0-5); MM 6-14 (Johnson 2-3, Billings 2-4, Gvedashvili 1-3, Larson 1-3, Devine 0-1). Fouled out: McCloud. Rebounds: DWU 29 (Teichmeier 10); MM 39 (Johnson 10). Assists: DWU 18 (Arends 4, Harden 4, Teichmeier 4); MM 14 (Altenburg 4); Blocked shots: DWU 2 (Harden 1, Oppold 1); MM 2 (Johnson 1, Gvedashvili 1). Steals: DWU 9 (Harden 5); MM 2 (Billings 1, Gvedashvili 1). Turnovers: DWU 7; MM 15. Total fouls: DWU 19; MM 15. Attendance: 1,019.