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DWU men head to Vegas for two non-conference games

The Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team will see a change of scenery and style of play this week. Powered by 18 3-pointers, the No. 18 Tigers won their third straight game with a 105-56 win over Concordia University on Dec. 15. Dakot...

Dakota Wesleyan University's Nick Harden (3) glides in for a layup over Concordia University's Zach Auguste (11) during a Great Plains Athletic Conference game on Saturday at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Dakota Wesleyan University's Nick Harden (3) glides in for a layup over Concordia University's Zach Auguste (11) during a Great Plains Athletic Conference game on Saturday at the Corn Palace. (Matt Gade / Republic)

The Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team will see a change of scenery and style of play this week.

Powered by 18 3-pointers, the No. 18 Tigers won their third straight game with a 105-56 win over Concordia University on Dec. 15.

Dakota Wesleyan (10-3) will now jump out of Great Plains Athletic Conference play for the next four games, starting Wednesday and Thursday at the Trip Sports Las Vegas Hoopla. The Tigers will play California Miramar University and University of Antelope Valley (California) on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

"That's obviously going to be a great experience and playing new teams, but we are going to approach it like every other game," DWU guard Ty Hoglund said. "We have to go out there and we have to compete. We have to play defense, bang out some shots and hopefully come home with a couple of wins."

DWU will face two teams with a different brand of basketball than what the Tigers are used to facing in league play, said DWU coach Matt Wilber.

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"It's no question the GPAC has a very unique style of play, and the West Coast has a unique style of play," Wilber said. "You watch every level of basketball from (NCAA) Division I on down and you see trends in different areas of the country. We are definitely going to see a fly around, up and down and very active teams."

California Miramar competes in United States Collegiate Athletic Association, while Antelope Valley is an NAIA Division II program, like the Tigers. Antelope Valley is currently 2-8 and has lost to three nationally ranked teams. The Pioneers have played in the last two national tournaments.

Antelope Valley is powered by 6-foot-9, 230-pound Christian Drayton, who leads the team in points (16.4), rebounds (10) and blocked shots (two) per game. He's one of the top shot blockers in the country and the Pioneers rank No. 4 nationally in blocks per game (4.3).

"They are a very good basketball team and big and athletic," Wilber said. "We will have our hands full with a style of play and we will see what we are made of getting out of the GPAC."

NOTES: DWU point guard Nick Harden ranks No. 1 nationally in total steals (38). ... Hoglund is No. 7 in the nation in points per game with a 24.1 average. Hoglund has scored 1,487 career points and is No. 18 on the DWU all-time scoring list. Elton Byre (1956-60) is No. 17 on the list with 1,489 points. ... After the trip to Las Vegas, DWU will play in the Hoop City Classic on Dec. 29-30 at the Corn Palace. The Tigers play Peru State (Nebraska) and St. Mary (Kansas) on Dec. 29-30, respectively.

Related Topics: DAKOTA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
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