Midland University was handed a tough, 66-63, loss by Dakota Wesleyan University on Wednesday. The Warriors had a shot at the win in the game’s fleeting seconds, but the Ben Imig shot fell short. A Midland foul on the rebound attempt gave Dakota Wesleyan the victory.
“We were a step behind tonight,” said Todd Eisner, Midland University men’s basketball head coach. “We let a game slip through our fingers, because we were out-worked. We have to bounce back on Saturday.”
Ben Imig led the Warriors with 16 points and two assists. Marcus Messersmith added 11 points, and Zach Rosenboom led the Warriors rebounding with six boards and four points.
The two squads went back and forth early, with a Marcus Messersmith three cutting Dakota Wesleyan’s lead to 8-7. The Tigers built a 17-9 lead at 13:34, but the Warriors fought back with a 13-5 run to tie the game, 24-24. After a pair of Tiger buckets, Midland’s Jerome Vaughn hit back-to-back layups to make the score 28-28 with 3: 50 in the first half. After more back-and-forth, a Jalen Hueser three-pointer sent Midland University into the locker room ahead, 34-33. The Warriors were out-shot 56 percent to 44 percent from the field in the first half. They hit five of 10 from beyond the arch and were five of six for 83 percent from the line.
The score remained tight in the second half. A Marcus Messersmith three-pointer at 15:31 in the second half tied the game, 43-43. A Jalen Hueser three put Midland ahead 54-53 at 6:10. After Dakota Wesleyan took a 63-59 lead with 1:12 left, Alex Knobbe scored a pair of free throws to bring Midland within two. Dakota Wesleyan was fouled on the following possession, but hit only one of their free throws. A pair of Ben Imig free throws cut the Tiger lead to 64-63. A missed free throw on Dakota Wesleyan’s next possession gave Midland a shot at the lead, but the Warriors were unable to score. A Warrior foul would seal the Tiger victory.
Midland was out-shot 50 percent to 47 percent from the field in the loss. They hit 45 percent from beyond the arch and 66 percent from the line.
The loss drops the Warriors to 10-6 on the season and 5-4 in the GPAC. Midland University will host Dakota State University on Saturday, Jan. 7. Tipoff is set for 4:00 p.m.