MADISON, S.D. – After Dakota State (S.D.) held a slim one-point halftime advantage over No. 12-ranked Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) Monday evening in a men’s basketball non-conference rivalry game at DSU Fieldhouse, the Trojans used strong closing finish to post their second straight victory over an NAIA’s Top 25 nationally-ranked team by the score of 76-67.
Dakota State earned their fourth win in the last five games, including two straight over NAIA’s Top 25 teams (defeated No. 15-ranked York, Neb. 82-74 in the Mike Miller Classic for DSU’s head coach Gary Garner’s 500th career victory. The Trojans raised their overall record to 8-10, ending their seven-game losing streak in the series meeting with DWU (last win was on Jan. 16, 2013 in Mitchell, S.D.).
Dakota Wesleyan’s seven-game winning streak was snapped and suffered the first loss of the 2017 season. The Tigers fell to 15-4 overall record.
Both teams were playing their third game in a span of five games (both teams were playing in the Mike Miller Classic last week). The Trojans and Tigers were 2-0 record in the Mike Miller Classic, but DSU claimed the Mike Miller Classic trophy with better point differential than DWU.
The Trojans opened up the game with a pair of field goals by Justin Folkers and Kyle Kilgore for a 4-0 lead with eighteen minutes and thirty-one seconds on the clock. The Tigers rallied back and knotted the game at 9-9 after a 3-pointer by Trae Vandeberg with 15:29 left in the first-half.
DSU would extend their lead to 17-11, forcing DWU to call its first timeout of the game with 12:08 left after a fast-break lay-up by Tanner Heiser (assisted by Kilgore). The Tigers answered back with a basket by Ty Hoglund and a 3-pionter by Kaleb Johnson to cut DSU’s lead to 17-16 with 11:28 left in the first period.
Dakota State had the largest lead of the first-half at 25-18 after Kevin Daniels hit a field goal with 7:21 on the clock.
DWU went on a 12-2 scoring surge to grab their first lead of the game, holding a 30-27 lead with 2:19 remaining before halftime.
The Trojans responded back with a 7-0 run to regain their lead at 34-30 with less than 35 seconds to play in the first-half, thanks to a field goal by Bobby Farquah, a 3-pointer by Ian Barse and a pair of free-throws by Kilgore.
Tate Martin drained a 3-pointer as Dakota Wesleyan trimmed Dakota State’s lead down to 34-33 by intermission.
DWU was 12-of-26 from the field in the first-half (46.2 percent) compared to DSU 14-of-32 field goals (43.8 percent). The Tigers were 5-of-13 from the 3-point line and 4-of-6 free-throws, while the Trojans were 4-of-8 3-pointers and made both free-throw attempts.
Hoglund opened up the second-half with a lay-up to give DWU 35-34 lead with 19:50 remaining, but that was the last lead held by the Tigers for the rest of the game.
The Trojans quickly answered back with a 6-0 spurt – with four points from Kilgore and two points from Folkers – for a 40-35 lead with 17:36 left.
DSU maintained their lead between one- and four-points, while DWU tied the game twice for the majority of the second-half. The Tigers tied the game at 45-45 with 14:16 left and 61-61 with less than eight minutes to go.
Holding on to a 64-63 lead, Dakota State went on a 6-0 lead (4 points from Kilgore and 2 points from Heiser) to widen their lead to 70-63 with 3:34 remaining.
The Tigers then trimmed Trojans’ lead to 70-67, but DSU shut down DWU in the final 1:25 of the game. Barse made a clutch 3-point shot (assisted by Heiser) to put Trojans’ lead up to 73-67 with 52.8 seconds left.
After a 3-point miss by DWU’s Vandeberg, Dakota State extended their lead to 75-67 when Daniels knocked down a pair of free-throws with less than 42 seconds left.
On the next possession, Tiger Martin missed a 3-pointer going out-of-bounds with the ball going back to DSU with less than 35 seconds remaining in the game. Daniels added a free-throw as the Trojans secured the victory with the biggest lead of the game at 76-67 with less than 35 seconds to go in the game.
Dakota State outscored Dakota Wesleyan 42-34 in the final twenty minutes of the game. The Trojans shot a blazing 51.7 percent from the field (15-of-29) in the second-half compared to the Tigers 42.4 percent (14-of-33).
DSU was 6-of-10 from the 3-point arc in the second-half while holding DWU to 1-of-14 3-pointers.
Five Trojan players scored in double digits, led by Kilgore with 19 points. He was 8-of-16 from the field and 3-of-4 free-throws. Daniels scored 16 points off the bench (3-of-4 3-pointers). Barse added 15 points where he drained 5 3-pointers in the game. Hesier was 5-of-6 from the field and collected 12 points. Folkers scored 10 points. Farquah had four points.
Kilgore grabbed eight rebounds and stole the ball three times for DSU. He led the Trojans with five assists. Barse added seven boards.
Hesier dished out three assists for Dakota State. Brendon Boomsma, Barse and Daniels each contributed three assists.
Spicer scored a game-high 24 points for the Tigers. He was 9-of-14 field goals and converted 6-of-8 free-throws. Martin posted a double-double of 16 points and dished out a game-high 10 assists. Vandeberg had 14 points.
Vandeberg collected nine rebounds for DWU. Spicer added six rebounds. Martin and Kaleb Johnson each had five rebounds.
Dakota State shot 47.5 percent overall from the field (29-of-61), including 10-of-18 from the 3-point line. Dakota Wesleyan was 44.1 percent from the field (26-of-59) and 6-of-27 from the 3-point arc.
DWU made 9-of-11 free-throws while DSU was 8-of-12 free-throws.
The Trojans had a slim rebounding advantage, outrebounding the Tigers 35-34.
DSU’s bench outscored DWU’s bench 20-7 in the game.
Dakota State returns back to North Star Athletic Association conference action Friday evening, visiting Mayville State (N.D.). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at Lewy Lee Fieldhouse in Mayville, N.D.
Dakota Wesleyan stays on the road Saturday as they head to No. 4-ranked Northwestern (Iowa) in the Great Plains Athletic conference action.