DWU men throttle Morningside 85-68
Dakota Wesleyan University head coach Matt Wilber called Wednesday's contest the biggest game of the season thus far for the Tigers. No. 15 DWU appeared to take its coach's statement to heart, blowing out No. 11 Morningside 85-68 at the Corn Palace.
Dakota Wesleyan University head coach Matt Wilber called Wednesday's contest the biggest game of the season thus far for the Tigers.
No. 15 DWU appeared to take its coach's statement to heart, blowing out No. 11 Morningside 85-68 at the Corn Palace.
"I'm just happy that our guys played basketball the way we play basketball," Wilber said. "Morningside is extremely good. I think everybody saw that, but when you see guys guard with the intensity they have, you know you have a focused group. I didn't think our guys thought the game was too big for them. I'm just really proud of the way we sustained consistent effort all the way through the game."
DWU (10-0, 3-0 GPAC) jumped out 16-8 early, and didn't allow Morningside (7-2, 3-2 GPAC) to pull within more than four points for the remainder of the contest.
Wilber was pleased with the Tigers' rebounding effort, as DWU outrebounded Morningside 32-25.
"I just thought we were in pretty good position tonight," he said. "When you stay in good position, you have a chance to rebound. When you're out of position, you're going to get in trouble. Morningside has a ton of guards that come at you, but we kept our position and stayed in front of them."
At halftime, the Tigers led 46-38. Coming out of the break, DWU went on a 6-0 run, highlighted by a Kris Menning 3-pointer. After Morningside scored a basket, Menning drained another three, which forced a Mustang timeout and had Wilber and the rest of the Tiger bench fired up.
The Tigers shot 60 percent from the floor in the second half to seal the victory.
Joey Mitchell led the way offensively for the Tigers, as he scored 21 points and dished out three assists. Menning contributed 20 points, and had a thunderous block against Morningside' Steve O'Neill which made the student section erupt.
Senior forward Jalen Voss chipped in 17 points and grabbed five rebounds to round out the scoring for the Tigers.
"It's a group effort," Mitchell said. "Anyone can go off offensively any night on this team, we're just so balanced. It's one through 10."
Leading Morningside in scoring was O'Neill, who finished with 18 points.
The Mustangs seemed to have a tough time penetrating the Tigers' defense, as DWU had nine blocks. Morningside head coach Jim Sykes said DWU was a difficult matchup to compete against.
"It was a tough task no question about it. We knew it would be coming into it," Sykes said. "We got their best shot and I didn't expect anything different. They played lights out and shot the ball well. They seemed to get every 50-50 ball. We were just a half step behind them. There's no way you can compete with a team like that if you're not playing your best basketball."
It doesn't get any easier for the Tigers, as they host No. 2 Midland at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Corn Palace. According to Mitchell, the Tigers will be ready for a heavyweight fight.
"We're just going to go in and play Dakota Wesleyan basketball," he said.
Steve O'Neill 7-16 0-0 18, Ryan Tegtmeier 4-11 2-3 10, Tanner Miller 4-11 4-5 13, Andrew Christen 1-5 1-4 3, Kyle Nikkel 6-7 3-4 15, Blake Van Ginkel 2-6 0-0 4, Brody Van Ginkel 0-0 0-0 0, Jared Kolbush 0-4 3-4 3, Bryce Koch 0-1 0-0 0, Storm Throne 1-1 0-0 2, James Wright 0-0 0-0 0
Dakota Wesleyan (85)
Jalen Voss 6-13 5-9 17, Luke Bamberg 3-5 0-0 7, Trae Bergh 3-6 5-5 13, Kris Menning 6-12 3-4 20, Joey Mitchell 6-9 6-8 21, Jon Vorwald 0-0 0-0 0, Kellam Karst 0-0 0-0 0, Tate Martin 0-0 0-0 0, Jade Miller 3-3 0-0 7, Terrell Newton 0-1 0-0 0, Luke Carr 0-0 0-0 0, Stephen Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Jason Spicer 0-0 0-0 0-0
Morningside .........36 32 68
Dakota Wesleyan.. 44 41 85
3-point field goals -- Morningside 6-17 (O'Neill 4-7, Tegtmeier 0-2, Miller 1-1, Christen 1-4) DWU 12-26 (Voss 0-2, Bamberg 1-3, Bergh 2-4, Menning 5-9, Mitchell 3-6, Miller 1-1, Newton 0-1). Rebounds -- Morningside 25 (Nikkel 5), DWU 32 (Bamberg 9). Assists -- Morningside 7 (O'Neill 2, Tegtmeier 2, Miller 2), DWU 21 (Bergh 6). Total fouls -- Morningside 21, DWU 17. Fouled out -- Morningside 1 (O'Neill) DWU 0. Technical fouls -- Morningside 1, DWU 0.