MITCHELL, S.D. – With 3:58 left to play Saturday afternoon, Eric Jackson hit a 3-pointer to put Nebraska Wesleyan University up by 14 points against Dakota Wesleyan University and give the Prairie Wolves their biggest lead of the game.
From there, however, the Tigers ended the game on a 16-2 run to end regulation tied 75-75. Both teams scored seven points in the first overtime, and in the second overtime Dakota Wesleyan went 10-for-12 from the line to pull away for a 103-97 win.
After going down by 14, Jalen Voss and Aireus Stephenson both hit a pair of free throws and Kris Menning hit a three to make it a seven-point game, 73-66, with 2:36 to play. Stephenson scored on a jumper and Carde Pennington hit a three to make it a four-point game, and Menning and Pennington both drained a pair of free throws to tie the game at 75 with 42 seconds left. Jackson missed a three with 21 seconds left for NWU and a jumper by Stephenson at the buzzer missed to send the game to overtime.
Luke Bamberg converted a three-point play to start overtime, and Voss converted a three-point play of his own to make it a four-point game, 81-77, with 2:24 left. But Jackson hit another three to make it a one-point game, and Menning hit one free throw to put the Tigers up two with 25 seconds left. Trent Scheitel scored on a layup with 13 seconds left, and Pennington missed a jumper with a few seconds left to force a second overtime.
Voss scored and Pennington hit a three to start the second overtime and give DWU its biggest lead of the game – 87-82 – with 3:42 left. Pennington scored on a jumper and Stephenson scored to put the Tigers up eight, and a pair of free throws by Stephenson later pushed the Tigers’ lead to nine, 93-84, with 1:12 to go. Stephenson finished with nine points in the second overtime to help Dakota Wesleyan hold on for the win.
Dakota Wesleyan (9-9, 4-5 Great Plains Athletic Conference) grabbed four-point lead early on a three by Stephenson, but Nebraska Wesleyan responded and took a slim lead. The Tigers grabbed another four-point lead, 20-16, with 11:21 to play on a layup by Stephenson, but the Prairie Wolves went on an 11-2 run to grab a 27-22 lead with 8:41 left in the half. Menning hit a three to put DWU up 34-31 with 3:55 to go in the half, but Jackson tied the game with a three and NWU was able to secure a 42-37 lead at halftime.
Dakota Wesleyan made it a one-point game, 47-46, on a pair of free throws by Mike Lee with 16:53 left to play, but Jackson hit back-to-back threes to make it a seven-point game and spark a 12-1 run that ended with a 59-47 lead for Nebraska Wesleyan with 11:48 to play.
Stephenson finished with a game-high 29 points for DWU. He went 7-for-12 from the field, including three long-range shots, and 12-for-15 from the line. He also had nine rebounds. Pennington added 18 points, Voss finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds and Menning added 16 points. Luke Bamberg chipped in with eight points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. The Tigers shot 45 percent from the field, went 9-for-17 from long range and 32-for-39 from the line. DWU had 50 rebounds and 12 turnovers.
Jackson hit seven 3-pointers and led NWU (8-6, 3-6) with 21 points. Trevor Johnson added 20 points and five rebounds, Jonah Bradley finished with 14 points and Trey Bardsley added 10 points. The Prairie Wolves shot 47 percent from the field, hit 13 long-range shots and went 10-for-18 from the line. NWU had 38 rebounds and 12 turnovers.
Dakota Wesleyan is on the road Wednesday, Jan. 9, when it travels to Orange City, Iowa, to take on Northwestern College.