Hot shooting propels Morningside past DWU men

Trae Bergh

Trae Bergh

Jade Miller

Jade Miller

Luke Bamberg

Luke Bamberg

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team shot the ball well Monday night, but Morningside College shot better.

The Tigers shot 50 percent against Morningside in a makeup game from December, including nearly 56 percent in the second half, but she Mustangs shot 58.3 percent, including almost 62 percent in the second half. That hot shooting lifted the Mustangs to a 101-82 win Monday in Sioux City, Iowa.

DWU is now 13-12 overall and 6-9 and in seventh place in the Great Plains Athletic Conference with five conference games remaining on the schedule. Morningside, which is receiving votes in the NAIA, is 16-8 overall and 10-4 and in fourth in the league.

This was the second meeting in five days for the two teams, and the Mustangs scored the first basket of the game and never trailed at any point in the game. Dakota Wesleyan kept the game close early, and stayed within five points for the first five minutes of the game. A basket by Jade Miller made it a four-point game, 11-7, with 14:33 left in the first half, but Morningside pushed its lead to six, and then nine on a 3-pointer by Tanner Miller. Jade Miller answered with a three to make it 18-12 with 12:26 left in the half, but the Mustangs hit a pair of free throws and a layup to go up 10, 22-12, with 11:36 remaining in the first.

A three by Danny Rudeen put Morningside up 13, but Kris Menning scored and Trae Bergh hit a three to get DWU within eight, 27-19, with 10:29 left in the half. The Mustangs responded with a 10-4 run to go up 14, 37-23, and a three by Shane Hennen made it a 20-point game for the first time with 4:20 left in the half. Morningside led 61-34 at halftime.

The Mustangs pushed their lead to 31 early in the second and maintained that lead much of the half. Back-to-back threes from Jon Vorwald and Bergh made it a 15-point game, 91-76, with 6:40 left, but it wasn’t enough to make a comeback.

Bergh finished with a team-high 20 points for DWU, including an 8-for-8 clip from the line. Miller added 19 points, Tate Martin finished with 12 points and seven assists and Luke Bamberg had 10 points. Jalen Voss was in foul trouble early in the game and finished with just six points in 13 minutes. The Tigers hit nine threes and went 19-for-22 from the line. They had 15 turnovers.

Rudeen led all scorers with 32 points for the Mustangs, and he also had six rebounds. Miller added 16 points, Kyle Nikkel finished with 14 and Steve O’Neill had 13 points and six assists. Morningside hit nine 3-pointers, went 22-for-26 from the line, outrebounded DWU 33-23 and had 10 turnovers.

The DWU men are back on the road Wednesday, Feb. 5, when they travel to Sioux Center, Iowa, to take on No. 5 Dordt College at 8 p.m.