JOLIET, Ill. – The No. 6 Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball team hung on to defeat Lincoln College, 74-70 in the opening night of the St. Francis Thanksgiving Classic Saturday in Joliet, Ill.
The Tigers (7-0) got off to a hot start as a Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) jump shot put DWU up 11-2 early on. However, the Lynx (4-7) climbed back into the game with an 11-3 run.
Both teams played a close game the remainder of the half as the Tigers held a slim 31-29 lead at halftime.
Samuel McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) kicked off the second half with a 3-pointer to give DWU a 34-29 lead. After Harden made consecutive baskets, Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) nailed a shot from downtown to push the lead to 10 points.
Just like they did in the first half, the Lynx fought back to pull within a point with 15 minutes to play in the game. McCloud found his rhythm from beyond the arc as he connected on back-to-back 3-pointers. But the Lynx answered with a pair of 3-pointers.
On the ensuing DWU possession, Hoglund was fouled on a 3-point attempt, as he made all three free throws. McCloud continued his hot shooting with another 3-point basket to extend the lead back to six points.
With eight minutes to play, Collin Kramer (Volga, S.D.) made a layup to give DWU a two-point advantage. However, Lincoln took its' first lead of the half on a 3-pointer on the following possession.
Lincoln held a 66-64 lead for two and a half minutes of game time until Tristan Teichmeier (Sioux Falls, S.D.) made a pair of free throws to tie the game.
With a minute to play and the score tied at 70, Kramer drove to the basket and made a layup to give the Tigers a slight advantage. The Lynx could not tie the game on their next possession, as they fouled Hoglund who made both free throws to ice the game and give DWU the victory.
Hoglund led the team with 23 points and nine rebounds, while McCloud shot 6-of-11 from beyond the arc to finish with 18 points. Harden tallied 17 points and four assists, while Kramer added 10 rebounds and seven points. The Tigers shot 47.5% from the field and 31% from 3-point range, while tallying 39 rebounds. They also held the Lynx to just 38.4% shooting from the field and 34.8% shooting from 3-point range.
DWU battles the University of Saint Francis (Ill.) at 2 p.m. today in Joliet, Ill.