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Koln Oppold leads Dakota Wesleyan men past Doane as home opener goes to overtime

Oppold posted 34 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as DWU took the win in their first game at the Corn Palace this season

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Dakota Wesleyan's Koln Oppold drives along the baseline during a Great Plains Athletic Conference men's basketball game against Doane on Dec. 2, 2022, at the Corn Palace.
Landon Dierks / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — Playing at home for the first time this season, the Dakota Wesleyan men's basketball team used a big night from Koln Oppold to knock off Doane in overtime.

Behind Oppold's 34 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, DWU flipped a seven-point halftime deficit to control most of the second-half action before fending off a final Doane salvo to emerge with an 85-77 Great Plains Athletic Conference victory on Friday night at the Corn Palace.

"Koln Oppold just won a basketball game when nothing else was going right for us," said DWU coach Matt Wilber in a postgame radio interview. "... It was one of those game's where it was like, 'OK, how many sets can I run for him? What can we do next to keep getting him touches?'"

The win was Wilber's 200th as DWU's head coach, becoming the third Tiger coach to reach that threshold with the school, joining Gordie Fosness and Doug Martin.

A quick 9-2 start by DWU turned in favor of Doane during the opening minutes of play before the sides settled in to trade baskets through much of the first half. But a 12-3 push by the visitors helped them create a lead of as much as 10 points on the way to a 44-37 score at the break.

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It took less than three minutes at the start of the second half for DWU to pull level, as a 20-4 run turned the seven-point hole into a nine-point cushion. Much of it was driven by Oppold, who at one point scored 18 straight DWU points as the score flipped from 46-41 in favor of Doane to a 59-52 DWU lead.

Doane chipped away until a Cooper Sheldon with 71 seconds to play in regulation brought the game back to level terms. Oppold put DWU ahead once more with two free throws at the 50-second mark, but a Brady Timm jumper with 27 ticks left sent the game to overtime tied at 72.

DWU never trailed in the extra period, building a lead as large as nine was a 10-1 run to secure the win.

"We just made enough plays down the stretch," Wilber said. "That was a big win."

Alongside Oppold's big night, DWU got 12 points, four assists and three rebounds from both Blaze Lubbers and Jakob Dobney, while Samuel Aslesen chipped in 11 points off the bench. DWU out-rebounded Doane 37 to 32 and committed two fewer turnovers to help offset a 50.8% to 45% shooting edge for Doane.

Doane (5-5, 3-2 GPAC) got a game-high 36 points from Timm, who also had six rebounds and four assists. Alec Oberhauser posted 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists, as Sheldon and Nick Saiz each had 10 points.

"Brady Timm was out-of-control good," Wilber said. "... We couldn't guard him, but we got enough stops down the stretch."

DWU (4-5, 2-2 GPAC) hosts Hastings at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at the Corn Palace.

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