Danny Rudeen missed a 3-point attempt with 0:02 remaining in the game as Nebraska Wesleyan was able to hold off Morningside for a 66-63 victory in Great Plains Athletic Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 4) at Snyder Arena in Lincoln, Neb.
It marks the first victory for Nebraska Wesleyan over Morningside since the 1972-73 season as the Mustangs had won 13 straight against the Prairie Wolves and NWU had never beaten Morningside in GPAC play.
Nebraska Wesleyan led by as many as 18 points in the first half and 13 (35-22) at halftime before Morningside mounted a fierce comeback. The Prairie Wolves maintained the lead through the midway part of the second half. The Mustangs tied the game at 52-52 with 8:15 to play and got their first lead of the game at the 5:34 mark on a pair of free throws by Bryce Borchers.
NWU responded and took the lead back on a 3-point play by Andy Schweitzer with 4:30 remaining and the Mustangs would never lead again. Kevin Zoz tied the game at 60-60 on a 3-pointer with just under 4:00 remaining.
With NWU up by one point in the final two minutes, Trevor Johnson drove into the paint and made a basket with 1:32 to play to put NWU ahead 64-61. Neither team would score on the next two possessions.
Morningside trailed by three points with ball and under 20 seconds remaining. Rudeen missed a long 3-point attempt but a foul was called putting Rudeen to the line for three shots. Shooting into the NWU student section, Rudeen missed his first attempt. He hit the next two attempts to pull within one point at 64-63.
Eric Jackson was fouled immediately for the Prairie Wolves on the inbound pass. Jackson calmly stepped to the line and nailed a pair of free throws to put NWU by three and the Mustangs were forced into the long 3-point attempt that missed giving NWU the much-needed victory.
NWU improves to 10-12 overall and 6-11 in the GPAC to remain in the hunt for a spot in the GPAC postseason tournament. Morningside falls to 14-12, 9-8 GPAC.
Sophomore forward Trevor Johnson scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Prairie Wolves. Andy Schweitzer and Trent Scheitel each added 11 points for the Prairie Wolves.
Morningside was led by Rudeen with 21 points and eight rebounds.