MBB: #7 Tigers cruise past Trojans

MADISON, S.D. – The No. 7 Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team rang in the New Year with a victory over in-state rival, Dakota State University. DWU finished with 12 different players recording a point en route to an 88-59 victory Wednesday in Madison, S.D.

It was Samuel McCloud (Rapid City, S.D.) and Collin Kramer (Volga, S.D.) who kicked off the game for DWU as they sank three 3-pointers to put the Tigers (14-2) on top, 9-6.

Minutes later, Mason Larson (Langford, S.D.) nailed another 3-pointer to push the lead to double digits. On the next possession, Tyson Smiley (Omaha, Neb.) made a shot from beyond the arc, forcing a Trojan (3-12) timeout.

After a scoreless drought of three minutes, McCloud made a basket to extend the DWU lead to 33-14. With the first half winding down, Smiley scored six-straight points to give the Tigers a 20-point lead at halftime.

The Trojans began the second half on a 7-2 run to pull within 15 points, followed by a DWU timeout. Moments later, McCloud hit another 3-pointer to push the lead back to over 20 points.

Midway through the second half, Tristan Teichmeier (Sioux Falls, S.D.) made a layup to give the Tigers a 31-point advantage.

With only minutes to play, Sawyer Schultz (Emery, S.D.), Ace Zorr (Harrisburg, S.D.) and Drew Cole (Brookings, S.D.) made 3-point baskets to finish the game with a flurry of points.

Smiley and McCloud led the Tigers with 18 points each, as McCloud added eight rebounds and Smiley chipped in four rebounds. Nick Harden (Chicago, Ill.) tallied 17 points, three steals and three blocks, while Ty Hoglund (Dell Rapids, S.D.) finished with 10 points and five assists.

The Tigers shot 45.6% from the field and 30.6% from 3-point range. They forced the Trojans into 16 turnovers and notched 12 steals.

DWU begins a three-game stretch of playing top-25 or receiving votes teams. The first game of the stretch comes Saturday as the Tigers battle No. 1 Morningside College at 4 p.m. in Sioux City, Iowa.