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Martin's clutch free throws propel DWU men over Morningside

SIOUX CITY, IOWA--Tate Martin had the proverbial ice in his veins on Wednesday. The junior point guard was sent to the free throw line three times within the final 21 seconds of a contest against Morningside College, and went 6-of-6. The Tigers e...

Dakota Wesleyan's Jason Spicer (40) backs down a Morningside defender in the post during Wednesday night's Great Plains Athletic Conference men's basketball game in Sioux City, Iowa. (Courtesy photo by Nick Buth)
Dakota Wesleyan's Jason Spicer (40) backs down a Morningside defender in the post during Wednesday night's Great Plains Athletic Conference men's basketball game in Sioux City, Iowa. (Courtesy photo by Nick Buth)

SIOUX CITY, IOWA-Tate Martin had the proverbial ice in his veins on Wednesday.

The junior point guard was sent to the free throw line three times within the final 21 seconds of a contest against Morningside College, and went 6-of-6.

The Tigers entrusted Martin to protect a one-point lead while facing a one-and-one situation each trip to the line. Martin delivered, as the Tigers eventually won 93-90 in Sioux City, Iowa.

"Tate Martin was big-time down the stretch," DWU head coach Matt Wilber said. "Tate stepped up and made the free throws at the end of the game, we needed every one of them. We wouldn't have wanted anyone else there at the end."

With the win, the Tigers (20-8, 12-6 GPAC) remain in third place in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. DWU has now reached the 20-win mark for the second straight year.

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Senior guard Trae Bergh had an efficient 10-of-13 night from the floor for 28 points, but suffered an ankle injury late in the fourth quarter. While Wilber didn't know the full extent of the injury, he expressed concern about his star guard.

"I think he's hurt, so we'll see how it goes," Wilber said. "He has to have stuff taken care of with his trainer, and I can tell you it's not good."

DWU is off for a week, but the third-year head coach doesn't know if Bergh will be able to play at 8 p.m. on Wednesday against Northwestern College (Iowa) at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

Meanwhile, Martin finished with 15 points and 10 assists for a double-double, while Jade Miller notched his sixth consecutive contest of scoring at least 20 points, finishing with 22 on the night.

The Tigers shot 32-of-60 from the floor and were a perfect 19-of-19 from the free throw line.

"This was such a big game for us," Wilber said. "Our guys aren't stupid, they know what they're playing for right now. It would be easy to tighten up coming down on the road and not play loose. We hung on and executed some stuff down the stretch."

With two contests remaining for DWU, Wilber added his team is going to treat each game like a playoff game with GPAC tournament seeding on the line.

"We know we have two really big-time teams coming into the Corn Palace next week, regardless of what their record shows," Wilber said. "We'll get ready to go and we're playing meaningful games in February. That's all you can ask."

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Dakota Wesleyan 93 (20-8, 12-6 GPAC)

Trae Bergh 10-13 5-5 28 Terrell Newton 3-5 2-2 8 Tate Martin 3-8 6-6 15 Jade Miller 8-13 3-3 22 Kellen Barden 1-1 0-0 2 Trae Vandeberg 3-11 2-2 9 Jason Spicer 4-9 1-1 9 TOTALS 32-60 19-19 93

Morningside 90 (10-16, 6-11)

Blake Van Ginkel 3-6 2-2 8 Ryan Tegtmeier 8-19 7-7 26 Brody Van Ginkel 1-2 3-3 5 Adebayo Babalola 6-10 0-1 12 Bryce Koch 8-11 3-5 19 Brody Egger 1-4 1-2 4 Jake Nannen 0-0 0-0 0 Jared Kolbush 2-8 1-2 6 Nate Glisar 2-3 2-2 6 Wyatt Mounts 0-0 0-0 0 Evan Altenburg 1-1 0-0 2 Matthew Klemme 1-1 0-0 2 TOTALS 33-65 19-24 90

Halftime score: DWU 50-39; 3-point goals: DWU 10-24 (Bergh 3, Martin 3, Miller 3, Vandeberg 1); MC 5-19 (Tegtmeier 3, Egger 1, Kolbush 1); Rebounds: DWU 31 (Newton 8, Spicer 8), MC 33 (Kolbush 6, Tegtmeier 6); Assists: DWU 20 (Martin 10), MC 11 (Tegtmeier 5); Total fouls: DWU 19, MC 19; Turnovers: DWU 8, MC 7; A-800

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