Nebraska Wesleyan scored just six points in the final 10:15 of the game and blew an 18-point first half lead as Dakota Wesleyan University rallied for a crucial 67-62 victory over the Prairie Wolves in GPAC men's basketball action on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 12) at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.
The loss drops the Prairie Wolves to seventh place in the GPAC standings, a half game ahead of three other teams. DWU moves past NWU into sixth place in the league standings.
This sets up a huge game on Wednesday night when NWU travels to Crete, Neb., to face rival Doane College.
It looked great for Nebraska Wesleyan early as they jumped out to a 12-0 lead and held DWU scoreless for the first five minutes of the game. The Prairie Wolves then extended their lead to as many as 18 points in the first half leading 31-13 with 6:01 before halftime.
DWU clawed back and hit two big 3-pointers, including one at the halftime buzzer to make the score 38-32 at halftime.
NWU maintained the lead throughout the second half until the 7:14 mark when the Tigers tied the game. DWU got their first lead of the game at the 6:16 mark as Justin Nelson hit a 3-pointer from the wing.
The score was 63-62 Dakota Wesleyan with under two minutes to play. The Tigers then converted a pair of free throws to go up by three points with 1:27 remaining.
A steal by Andy Schweitzer gave the Prairie Wolves the ball, but Trevor Johnson missed a pair of shots in the lane.
DWU hit another free throw to go up 66-62 but Nebraska Wesleyan still had time to rally. Unfortunately, the Prairie Wolves missed a lay-up inside a open 3-pointer as the Wolves could not put the ball in the basket.
The Prairie Wolves shot just 38.1 percent for the game and 26.7 in the second half. Eric Jackson led the way with 16 points. Nick Dinan had 11 and Trevor Johnson scored 10.
Carde Pennington came off the bench to score 17 and lead DWU.