Nebraska Wesleyan looked poised to extend their winning streak to three games and climb one game closer to the top eight in the league standings, but Morningside College overcame a 12-point halftime deficit and outscored the Prairie Wolves by 23 points in the second half for a 72-61 victory on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 2) in Sioux City, Iowa.
NWU (10-12, 5-12 GPAC) now falls three games out of eighth place as they trailed Morningside in the GPAC standings for the final spot in the GPAC Postseason Tournament.
The Prairie Wolves led 37-25 at halftime as they shot 50 percent as a team from the field. Within 2:16 into the second half, Morningside had cut the lead down to four points. NWU maintained the lead until the 10:38 mark when Morningside tied the game.
With the game tied at 54-54 at the 8:34 mark, neither team would score for the next three minutes. Danny Rudeen, the leading scorer in the GPAC, scored five consecutive points to give Morningside the lead and they never trailed again.
The NWU offense, which scored a season-high 46 points in the second half of the win over Concordia, couldn't buy a field goal in the second half against Morningside. NWU did not make a basket for nearly nine minutes going from the 9:43 mark until a Tim Schweitzer layup with 0:39 remaining.
Eric Jackson led NWU with 18 points hitting 4-12 from 3-point range. Jonah Bradley scored 12 points and Schweitzer added 10.
The biggest surprise of the game was the play of Jared Kolbush for Morningside. Kolbush came off the bench to lead the Mustangs with 16 points, hitting 4-5 from 3-point range.
Rudeen, who was held scoreless in the first half, finished with 15 points on 7-10 shooting.
The Prairie Wolves have three remaining games beginning with a trip to Hastings College on Wednesday.