DWU edges Doane in GPAC action

Harden pours in 26 points

Dakota Wesleyan University's Nick Harden (3) keeps the ball inbounds while Doane's Joe Burt (21) failed to knock it out of his possession during a Great Plains Athletic Conference game on Sunday at the Corn Palace.

Good luck trying to tame a pair of Tiger guards on Sunday.

Dakota Wesleyan University’s Nick Harden poured in 26 points to offset Doane University’s Anthony Laravie’s 32 points and DWU snuck out a 93-88 win at the Corn Palace.

The two senior guards traded shots throughout most of the Sunday matinee and both pumped in a season-high for points. Laravie finished 11 of 20 from the field and hit five 3-pointers, while Harden went 9 of 12 from the field and nailed four 3-pointers.

“It’s always a good time to play him,” said Harden after his fourth 20-point game this season. “He’s very competitive. We just know how to carry our teams.”

The individual performances set the tone for their team’s offensive outbursts. DWU (7-1, 4-0 GPAC) placed five players in double figures, while Doane (4-7, 1-5 GPAC) had four players crack double digits. DWU shot 32 of 64 from the field (50 percent). Doane was just behind at 31 of 66 for 47 percent.


“I thought Doane played really well,” DWU coach Matt Wilber said. “I thought we helped that at times, but we got enough done to get a win and especially on the offensive end.”

Koln Oppold added 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Jeffrey Schuch (14 points), Sawyer Schultz (11 points) and Mason Larson (10 points) also scored in double figures.

But DWU was slow coming out of the gates and played from behind most of the first half. Doane pressured DWU full court and used a 2-3 zone.

“They are good in that zone,” Oppold said. “But I think early we were just stalling too much. We didn’t really get it into the middle, but once we figured out how to get it to the middle, we opened things a lot. Offense wasn’t really our problem. We just couldn’t get stops.”

DWU got enough stops to close the first half. Doane’s Jaxon Harre put his team up 35-22 with 4-minutes and 25 seconds left before halftime. But DWU’s 19-5 run was capped by Larson’s breakaway jam and foul for a 41-40 halftime lead.

“We just made plays and shots and we are capable of that,” Wilber said about the surge. “But the big key was we didn’t turn it over. We strung some stops together as we got going and made some plays and finished on the other end.”

Laravie got going early and finished with 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field in the first half.

“He was cooking,” Wilber said. “He saw the ball go in early and it was going in a lot. That’s tough when jump shooters are making jump shots. It’s hard to get them guarded.”


DWU never trailed in the second half and withstood numerous Doane runs down the stretch. Laravie’s two free throws and Trey Winkler’s 3-pointer cut DWU’s lead to 83-81 with 3:51 left.

However, after Oppold’s old-fashioned 3-point play, Drew Cole’s two free throws and Schuch’s field goal, DWU stretched it to 90-81.

Doane had one last-gasp effort after Laravie made it 91-88 with 32 seconds left. After Schuch was whistled for an offensive foul, Harre misfired on a 3-pointer and Oppold closed it out at the free-throw line.

Dakota Wesleyan University 93, Doane University 88

Doane (4-7, 1-5 GPAC): Anthony Laravie 11-20 5-6 32, Joe Burt 6-10 5-5 20, Jaxon Harre 6-11 0-0 12, Nick Saiz 2-3 0-0 5, Trey Winkler 6-15 5-5 19. Totals 31-66 15-16 88.

Dakota Wesleyan (7-1, 4-0 GPAC): Koln Oppold 5-12 6-7 18, Nick Harden 9-19 4-5 26, Jeffrey Schuch 6-7 2-3 14, Mason Larson 4-11 1-2 10, Sawyer Schultz 3-5 2-2 11, Bradley Dean 0-1 0-0 0, Ace Zorr 3-5 0-0 6, Drew Cole 2-4 2-2 8. Totals 32-64 17-21 93.

Halftime: DWU 41-40. 3-point field goals: Doane 11-29 (Laravie 5-13, Burt 3-5, Harre 0-1, Saiz 1-1, Winkler 2-4); DWU 12-27 (Oppold 2-3, Harden 4-9, Larson 1-5, Schultz 3-5, Dean 0-1, Cole 2-4). Rebounds: Doane 29 (Harre 11); DWU 32 (Oppold 12). Assists: Doane 7 (Burt 3); DWU 19 (Harden 6). Steals: Doane 8 (Winkler 3); DWU 5 (Oppold 1, Harden 1, Schuch 1, Schultz 1, Cole 1). Blocked shots: Doane 1 (Saiz 1); DWU 5 (Larson 3). Turnovers: Doane 11; DWU 11. Total fouls: Doane 24; DWU 16. Officials: Chad Slagle, Jacob Studer, Christopher Janisch.

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