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DWU men use season-high point total to turn back Midland

Jan. 28—MITCHELL — Not even a clanker of a 3-point shooting display could restrain the Dakota Wesleyan men's offense on Sunday afternoon at the Corn Palace.

With a sustained effort of attacking the basket as a catalyst, the Tigers shook off a 20 percent 3-point shooting effort to score their season high in points for a 92-80 win over Midland (Neb.) at the "Pink the Palace" game.

The win pushes DWU (11-10, 6-7 GPAC) back over .500, and marks revenge for the Tigers' 67-57 road loss to Midland in December.

"This week was a tough week (shooting), we went 15-of-61 from the three this week," coach Matt Wilber said. "We talked about how this game has been and how Midland's been defensively. I was hopeful we could get some stuff at the rim and our guys did that running their offense."

The Tigers, who went 30-of-43 from 2-point range (69.8 percent), used their hot shooting at the basket to take a commanding 51-37 lead early in the second half. Midland, however, challenged the hosts with a steady run of their own, cutting the lead to 72-68 with just 5:21 remaining.

But DWU responded to the run resoundingly.

In crunch time, the Tigers switched back to their zone defense to stymie the Warriors. On offense, Randy Rosenquist Jr. and Jakob Dobney fought to the hoop for layups, Kallan Herman hit a jumper, then Rosenquist punctuated the moment with an and-one layup to lift the Tigers' lead to 85-73 with 2:23 remaining.

"(Midland) got going in the second half. That run, from 15 minutes to five, they were cooking, and we were shuffling," Wilber said. "We went back to our zone, which was the right play — we had run it in the first half. And our guys got some stops out of it ... And then we made some plays down the stretch."

Jakob Dobney scored a game-high 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting, Samuel Aslesen tabbed 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Randy Rosenquist Jr. had 16 points and Blaze Lubbers notched 12 points.

The Tigers' scoring was steady from the start of the game, despite DWU shooting just 1-of-12 from 3-point range in the first half. Behind 10 first-half points from Aslesen, DWU led 31-20 with six minutes remaining in the half, then following a mini run by Midland, led 41-35 at the break.

To open the second half, DWU immediately jumped on the Warriors with a 10-2 run, including a Dobney 3-ball. The hosts shot an improved 3-of-8 from the three in the final 20 minutes, though they largely went away from shooting from deep.

"It's tough because all of them are good threes and open looks and we want to bang them because we got good shooters shooting them and guys I trust," Wilber said. "But today was about Jacob Dabney, Sam Aslesen, Randy Rosenquist at the rim, and then Blaze Lubbers got some stuff down there. So, those guys really carried us offensively."

Leading Midland (9-11, 4-8 in GPAC play) was Derek Merwick, who scored 20 points, while Ryan Larsen added 18 points.

DWU will travel to playing Hastings at 6:45 p.m. Friday in Hastings, Nebraska.