MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team split a pair of nonconference games on a California road trip recently. Friday, the Tigers beat San Diego Christian College 87-81 in El Cajon, Calif., before falling 85-70 to California Baptist University – an NCAA Division III school – Saturday in Riverside, Calif.
Dakota Wesleyan is now 8-8 overall heading into the second half of the season.
Friday against San Diego Christian, the two teams traded the lead several times throughout the game. SDCC led by one, 72-71, with just over six minutes left to play, but Mike Lee and Jalen Voss scored to give the Tigers a lead they wouldn’t give up again. A 3-pointer by San Diego Christian made it a two-point game, 81-79, with 2:10 left to play, but Dakota Wesleyan hit key free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Lee finished with 20 points to pace Dakota Wesleyan, which shot 58 percent from the field. Voss added 18 points and 10 rebounds, Aireus Stephenson had 13 points, Carde Pennington chipped in with 12 points and Luke Bamberg had 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Tigers went 20-for-24 from the line and had 38 rebounds and 22 turnovers.
Derek Dickerson led SDCC (3-5) with 19 points. Peter Beale-Wirsing added 14, Raphael Rodriguez 13 and Kwaminique Brandon and Andy Saharan each had 12 points. SDCC shot 41.4 percent from the field, went 14-for-18 from the line and had 31 rebounds and 16 turnovers.
Saturday night, Cal Baptist used its size to take away DWU’s inside game. The Lancers had 52 points in the paint to the Tigers’ 26. DWU held a slim lead early in the first half, and made it a four-point game – 55-51 – with 15:28 left to play, but Cal Baptist used its size inside to widen the margin and hold on for the win.
Stephenson finished with 15 points to pace Dakota Wesleyan. Bamberg added 13 points, Lee had 10 and Voss had 10 points – all in the second half – to go along with 14 rebounds. The Tigers shot 40.7 percent from the field, went 15-for-24 from the line and had 27 rebounds and 12 turnovers.
Anthony Cosentino paced the Lancers with 19 points and Kevin Crabb had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Wong finished with 14 points and Anthony Romero added 13. Cal Baptist shot 56.4 percent from the field, went 20-for-26 from the line and had 39 rebounds and 17 turnovers.
The Tigers return to Great Plains Athletic Conference action Wednesday, Jan. 2, when they travel to Fremont, Neb., to take on Midland University.