DWU pulls away from Dakota State: Zorr posts career night for Tigers
Dakota Wesleyan University was in the giving mood on Wednesday.
The Tigers handed out 14 assists on 32 made field goals en route to an 81-63 men’s basketball win over Dakota State at the Corn Palace. The Tigers (6-1) placed four players in double figures, including a career-high night from reserve forward Ace Zorr (16 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots) in 26 minutes.
“We have to find him more minutes and I am not always looking for this much production from him,” DWU coach Matt Wilber said. “But you can see how much he can do out there and how different he is.”
Zorr paced the Tigers with 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting from the field in the first half, while most of his offensive production came off assists.
“I am just trusting my other guys that they find me and I will find them,” Zorr said. “I have a lot of trust with our guards and it just works out.”
Point guard Nick Harden engineered the offense, finishing with 24 points and five assists. Koln Oppold added 16 points and nine rebounds. Jeffrey Schuch put in 10 points.
There were 10 lead changes through the first 11 minutes. The Tigers seized control with a 12-2 surge and took a comfortable 48-32 advantage into halftime.
“They had 25 points in the first 10 minutes and simple math would say that’s getting them to 100 if they continue at that pace,” Wilber said. “They got seven the rest of the way. That stretch of the 10 minutes to the next 15 were pretty good defensively for us.”
Dakota Wesleyan University also handed out 11 assists in the first half to spark the 16-point advantage.
“Eleven assists is nice because we know everybody is touching the ball and everybody is getting a good feel for the game and we can roll together,” Harden said.
The Tigers were coming off a season-high 16 assists in a win over Dickinson State on Nov. 27.
“Our guys just have plus skills with the ball and it makes it easy to run the offense we are running,” Wilber said. “I think you are going to see us hopefully continue to get better because we seem to find some good shots. We’ve got guys that are playmakers. That’s a credit to them and their abilities.”
Zorr tossed in 10 points at halftime to already surpass his career-high for points. Wilber said Zorr’s uptick in minutes stemmed from his practice production.
“Coach had a lot of faith in me tonight and we had some good matchups on our end,” Zorr said.
Dakota State’s Josh McGreal pumped in 24 points, while Gavin Schipper finished with 12 points.
The Tigers will host Doane at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The DWU women will host Doane at 2 p.m. to start the Great Plains Athletic Conference doubleheader.
Notes: Wednesday’s game was the 175th all-time meeting between the in-state foes. The Tigers now lead the all-time series 141-34.