DWU men open GPAC season with loss to Chargers

Jalen Voss

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team led by eight points with just over six minutes to play Saturday afternoon against Briar Cliff University, but a 10-0 run that spanned nearly four minutes ultimately doomed the Tigers as they fell 76-71 to the Chargers in Sioux City, Iowa.

Saturday’s game was the Great Plains Athletic Conference opener for the Tigers, who are 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the league. Briar Cliff is 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

After a low-scoring first half that ended in a 29-29 tie, Dakota Wesleyan came out and took the lead right away on a jumper by Mike Lee and a pair of free throws by Jalen Voss. The Tigers pushed their lead to seven, 38-31, on a three by Lee, and eventually made it a 10-point game, 47-37, on a three by Carde Pennington with 12:26 to play.

The Chargers used a short run and a three by Taylor Murren to make it a two-point game, 51-49, with 9:22 to play, but Danny Maman answered with a three to push DWU’s lead back to five, and the Tigers made it an eight-point game, 54-62, with 6:04 remaining. From there, however, Briar Cliff outscored the Tigers 22-9 in the final six minutes of the game, including a 10-0 run that spanned from 6:04 until Voss scored on a dunk with 2:12 to play to tie the game at 64. Briar Cliff took a 66-64 lead on a jumper by Zach Otting and never gave up the lead again.

The Tigers grabbed an early first-half lead, but Briar Cliff tied the game at 10 and neither team pulled away by more than four the rest of the first half.

Voss finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds – his fourth straight double-double – to pace Dakota Wesleyan. He also had three blocked shots. Maman and Pennington each added 12 points and Bo LaCroix finished with 10. Luke Bamberg had six rebounds and Maman had three assists. The Tigers shot 46.8 percent from the field and went 7-for-12 from the line. They had 39 rebounds and 12 turnovers.

Jake Shipley led all scorers with 22 points for BCU. Otting added 18 points and John Engler and Ricky Torres each finished with 10 points. Engler and Torres had six rebounds and Turner Fahey had four assists. The Chargers shot 42.4 percent from the field, went 16-for-19 from the line and had 39 rebounds and nine turnovers.

Dakota Wesleyan is back in action Friday, Nov. 23, when it travels to Rapid City, S.D., for the South Dakota Tech Thanksgiving Classic. The Tigers play the University of Great Falls at 5 p.m. CDT and then play Tech at 8 p.m. CDT on Saturday, Nov. 24.