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Dakota Wesleyan Men Win Double Overtime Thriller At Dordt

Tigers Win 80-78 In Fifth Straight Meeting Between Schools Decided By Two Points Or Less
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 11:20 PM CST
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SIOUX CENTER, IA (Dakota News Now) - For just the third time in 14 years, the Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team came away victorious in arguably one of the toughest venues in NAIA basketball. It took two overtimes, but DWU walked away with an 80-78 win over Dordt University in Great Plains Athletic Conference action on Wednesday in the De Witt Gymnasium in Sioux Center, Iowa.

It was a quick give-and-go from Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) to Jeffrey Schuch (Dell Rapids, S.D.) for an easy layup to open the scoring on the first possession. The Defenders (5-1, 1-1 GPAC) answered with a 10-2 run to gain control of the opening minutes.

After trailing 17-10, the Tigers (3-1, 2-0 GPAC) went on an 11-2 run thanks to consecutive 3-pointers made by Ace Zorr (Harrisburg, S.D.) to give DWU a 21-19 lead. After Dordt tied the game, Zorr knocked down his third-straight shot from beyond the arc.

Next, it was the Harden and Bradley Dean (Pierre, S.D.) show as Harden scored six of the next eight points, while Dean nailed a 3-pointer to push the DWU lead to seven points.

The Tigers continued to build on their lead as Schuch made back-to-back shots, while Harden made a basket with 30 seconds to play in the half. DWU took a 39-30 advantage into the locker rooms.

The Defenders opened the second half with a strong offensive performance, pulling within three points after a 10-4 run over the first five minutes of the half. However, a Mason Larson (Langford, S.D.) 3-pointer quickly ended the Dordt run to push the Tiger lead back to six points.

Koln Oppold (Sioux Falls, S.D.) joined the scoring with a 3-pointer of his own to extend the lead back to nine points. DWU could not put the Defenders away as Dordt clawed its way back into the game and pulled within two points after a long 3-pointer with nine minutes to play.

The score remained 55-53 in favor of DWU for the next four minutes, until Dordt tied the game with a basket. Larson put an end to the Tiger scoring drought with a shot to return the lead to DWU.

After the Defenders tied the game moments later, neither team made a basket for the remainder of regulation as the game headed to overtime, tied at 57.

After Harden made a layup and free throw to open the overtime period, Sawyer Schultz (Emery, S.D.) buried a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 63-60 advantage.

With just seconds remaining and the shot clock running down, Harden threw the ball up towards the basket, but missed the rim. However, Schuch snagged the rebound and tossed the ball up and made his shot. With six seconds to play and the length of the floor to go, Dordt did the improbable and drove the court and made a 3-point basket to send the game into a second overtime.

After Larson made a 3-pointer to begin the second overtime, Schultz made one of his own, followed by a Harden layup as the Tigers held onto a 75-71 lead.

With just over a minute to play, the Defenders knocked down a deep 3-pointer to take their first lead since the first half. However, layups by Schuch and Larson and a free throw by Dean gave the Tigers a two-point lead with seconds to play. In its final possession of the game, Dordt sent a 3-pointer towards the basket for the win, but the shot came up short, ending the marathon of a game.

As a team, DWU shot 47.8% from the field and held Dordt, a team averaging 85.6 points per game entering the night, to 57 points in regulation. The Tigers also forced 18 turnovers and held the Defenders to just 26.9% shooting from 3-point range.

Harden scored a game-high 21 points, while securing four assists and three steals. Schuch added 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting, as Larson notched a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

-RECAP COURTESY DWU ATHLETICS

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