MITCHELL, S.D. – Third time was a charm for the No. 14 Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team.
With 13:27 to play in regulation, the Tigers (23-8, 13-5 GPAC) stormed to a 10-point lead and never looked back as they topped Concordia University 98-90 on Wednesday night at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.
Despite being down for much of the first half, hot shooting from freshman Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) and Vandeberg kept the Tigers within reach of Concordia (21-10, 10-8 GPAC), who had beaten DWU in the previous two meetings.
"I thought we made a lot of big shots, and Tate Martin (Mitchell, S.D.) made some, but Ty and Trae really stepped up and made some big time plays for us," Head Coach Matt Wilber said.
Coming out of the gates in the second half, Martin put the Tigers within one after a made 3-pointer. Shortly after, the Tigers went on an 8-0 run that sparked some momentum into the Tiger offense. Three-point shots were key for DWU as it went on to shoot 7-of-11 from beyond the arc in the second half, thanks to Hoglund and Vandeberg who combined for 4-of-7 from 3-point land. Ultimately, the Tigers shot 63 percent from the field in the final stanza.
The Tigers were able to close out the Bulldogs in front of a nearly sold-out Corn Palace crowd after back-to-back 3-pointers from Martin and Hoglund.
"It's tough to get tired when you are playing in front of a crowd like this, the energy transfers to us well and it's a lot of fun playing for these guys," Hoglund said.
Hoglund netted a new career-high 37 points, while grabbing seven boards. Vandeberg chipped in 24 points and seven rebounds, while Jason Spicer (Sioux Falls, S.D.) added 17 points, seven boards and five assists. Martin rounded out the Tiger scoring with 12 points and seven assists.
The Tigers shot 57 percent from the field, 53 percent from beyond the arc and 70 percent from the charity stripe.
DWU moves on to the GPAC semifinals, taking on Northwestern College at 3 p.m. Saturday in Orange City, Iowa.