Nebraska Wesleyan did not score for the first 6:40 of the game and they never recovered as 19th-ranked Sioux Falls defeated NWU 68-57 in GPAC men's basketball action on Wednesday night (Jan. 26) at Snyder Arena in Lincoln.
USF (16-6, 8-3 GPAC) got ahead 10-0 as NWU did not get on the board until Brett Potter made a lay-up at the 13:20 mark of the first half. The Prairie Wolves battled back and got within three points at 13-10 with just over 10 minutes to play before halftime. NWU then went on another scoring drought as they did not hit another field goal until Nick Dinan connected on a 3-pointer with 5:24 to play as USF had gotten back up by 10 points.
The Cougars led 33-24 at halftime, but for the second consecutive game Nebraska Wesleyan came out slow to start the second half.
Sioux Falls outscored NWU 17-5 to start the second half and built up a 21-point lead as the Prairie Wolves made just one field goal in the first seven minutes of the second half. NWU closed the gap down to 11 points midway through the second half and got within nine points in the final minute but it was not enough.
Sioux Falls shot 53.3 percent from the field for the game, including 61.1 percent in the second half. Matt Malloy and David Maxwell both scored 14 points to pace USF.
For NWU, Jim Lance came off the bench to score a season-high 16 points with eight rebounds. Nick Dinan added 13 points for the Prairie Wolves who shot 37.3 percent from the floor.
Nebraska Wesleyan will now face their third straight ranked team on Saturday when they take on No. 8 Briar Cliff.