MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team completed a season sweep and snapped a three-game losing skid with a 79-63 win over Concordia University Sunday afternoon at the Corn Palace.
The Tigers – who also beat the Bulldogs 75-65 Dec. 8 in Seward, Neb., are now 10-12 overall and 5-7 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Neither team led by more than four points for the first 10 minutes of the game, and the lead exchanged hands several times. A three by Danny Maman tied the game at 22 with 7:19 left in the half, and that sparked a 10-0 DWU run that ended with a 29-22 lead for the Tigers with 5:05 to go in the half. A jumper by Aireus Stephenson and a layup by Jalen Voss pushed DWU’s lead to 11, 35-24, and Stephenson made it a 13-point game on a jumper with 1:09 left in the half. The Tigers led 39-27 at halftime.
The Bulldogs went on an 8-2 run to start the second half and cut Dakota Wesleyan’s lead to six, 41-35, but Kris Menning hit a three that started a 10-2 run and included a long-range shot by Mike Lee to put DWU up 51-37 with 12:31 to play. Concordia made it an eight-point game, 51-43, on a layup by Porter Birtell with 11:11 to go, but the Tigers used another short run to grab a 15-point lead, and they were able to maintain their lead and hold on for the win.
Voss scored a game-high 26 points and pulled down eight rebounds for Dakota Wesleyan, which shot 49 percent from the field. Stephenson added 21 points and Lee had 16 points and six assists. The Tigers went 18-for-22 from the line and had 36 rebounds and 11 turnovers.
Beau Smith led Concordia with 19 points, including three long-range shots. He also had five rebounds. Brent Houchin and Birtell also had 12 points, and Robby Thomas had nine points and six rebounds. The Bulldogs shot 42 percent from the field, went 11-for-18 from the line and had 31 rebounds and 12 turnovers.
Dakota Wesleyan is back at home Wednesday, Jan. 23, when it hosts Mount Marty College at 8 p.m. at the Corn Palace. The Tigers are calling for a whiteout, and encourage fans to wear all white to support the team. Dakota Wesleyan is also calling for a silent night – fans are encouraged to make noise during intros, but once the game starts, should stay silent until the Tigers score their 10th point of the game, at which point they want the crowd to get loud and stay loud throughout the game. An example of a silent night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNo9x7KQ4ZI.