MITCHELL, S.D. – Facing a 10-point deficit with eight minutes left, the Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team battled their way back to force overtime. However, the comeback was not enough as DWU fell to Concordia University, 109-106 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference showdown Sunday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
The Tigers (21-8, 12-5 GPAC) were down 80-70 with eight minutes remaining when they ignited their offense during a 13-3 run after Tate Martin (Mitchell, S.D.) nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 83. Jason Spicer (Sioux Falls, S.D.) knocked in a layup to give DWU their first lead since the 18:59 mark of the second half. However, 20 seconds later the Bulldogs (19-8, 8-7 GPAC) would retake the lead.
With 2:07 left Martin reeled off 10-straight points capped by a 3-point shot to tie the score with 20 seconds remaining and send the game into overtime. Martin continued his streak into overtime as he scored four straight points to give the Tigers the two-point lead early. Trae Vandeberg (Madison, S.D.) hit a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left to give DWU the 106-105 lead. Concordia scored four unanswered points down the stretch to hand the Tigers the overtime loss.
In the opening 10:27 of the game, the lead changed hands 10-times to set the pace for a back-and-forth game. The Tigers took their largest lead of the game, 43-38 with 1:20 left in the half following a Nate Davis (Watertown, S.D.) 3-pointer. Heading into the break, DWU took a 45-43 lead.
Concordia built their lead to as much as 11 points in the second half. The Tigers narrowed the gap to five points following a Martin layup before the Bulldogs re-took a double-digit lead with 12:07 remaining. DWU continued to chip away at the Concordia lead as they sent the game into overtime. The loss put the Tigers at 12-5 in conference play with one game remaining.
Martin finished with a career-high 35 points and added 12 assists for a double-double. Spicer added 29 points and nine rebounds while Vandeberg netted 17 points and nine boards, each just shy of a double-double. Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) tallied 16 points and Davis scored nine points to round out the starters.
The Tigers finish the regular season in a GPAC showdown against No. 20 Northwestern College at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.