MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team picked up its biggest win of the year Saturday afternoon when it upset No. 8 Doane College 75-72 at the Corn Palace. The loss was just the second of the season for Doane, which was on a four-game winning streak heading into Saturday.
The Tigers – coming off a road loss to Mount Marty College Wednesday – were down by as many as 12 in the first half, and were down seven, 54-47, with 11:48 to play. But Danny Maman hit a three to spark a 10-0 DWU run to give the Tigers their first lead of the game, 57-54, with 9:32 to play.
DWU pushed its lead to five, 61-56, with just under seven minutes to play, but Doane came back to take the lead three more times in the next several minutes. Doane took a 67-66 lead with 2:45 to play on a layup by Jens Scholl, but Mike Lee scored back-to-back buckets to put the Tigers up 70-67 with 1:29 to play. Scholl hit a pair of free throws with 1:15 left to make it a one-point game, but Lee scored on a layup with 48 seconds left to push DWU’s lead back to three.
Nick Reed hit the first of a pair of free throws for Doane with 36 seconds left, and Jalen Voss was fouled on the rebound. He hit one free throw to make it a three-point game again, 73-70, with 34 seconds left. Reed scored on a layup with 15 seconds left, but Carde Pennington was fouled on the Tigers’ next possession and he hit both free throws with six seconds left. Dominique Smith put up a 3-pointer with two seconds on the clock, but Luke Bamberg got a hand on the ball to block the shot and seal the win.
Dakota Wesleyan (6-7, 3-4 Great Plains Athletic Conference) hung with Doane early, tying the game at nine on a three by Aireus Stephenson with 15:07 left in the first half. DWU tied the game again at 14, and it was a three-point game, 22-19, midway through the half, but Doane went on a 9-0 run to go up 12, 31-19, with 5:43 left in the half. Lee hit a three to make it a nine-point game, and Doane led by eight, 39-31, at halftime. Doane pushed its lead to 10 once more early in the second half before the Tigers made a comeback.
Lee led DWU in scoring for the third straight game Saturday with 21 points. He went 6-for-12 from the field and 8-for-9 from the line. Stephenson added 15 points, Pennington finished with 11 and Voss had 10 points and five rebounds. Bamberg had a team-high eight rebounds and two blocked shots. DWU shot 44 percent from the field, went 18-for-25 from the line and had 14 turnovers.
Reed paced Doane (13-2, 6-2) with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Connor Beranek had 19 points, Scholl finished with 15 and Smith added 10 points. Shavontae Samuels had six assists. Doane shot 41.4 percent from the field, went 16-for-21 from the line and had 19 turnovers. Doane held a 42-31 advantage on the boards.
DWU is on the road Monday, Dec. 17, when it travels to Salina, Kan., to take on Kansas Wesleyan University in a nonconference game at 7 p.m.