Mitchell, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan men’s basketball team made the second half comeback after trailing by 13 points. The Tigers defeated Briar Cliff 79-78 after a huge performance from freshman Randy Rosenquist Jr. Rosenquist put the game away as he banked his game winning layup off the glass in the closing seconds and the Tigers tough defense locked up the BCU offense. The Tigers had lost the first meeting 83-80 way back in November where Randy scored a career high 39 points. DWU now holds onto the number six spot in the GPAC.
Highlighted Player – Randy Rosenquist Jr. – 19 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals
Points – Randy Rosenquist Jr. (19)
Assists – Randy Rosenquist Jr. (7)
Blocks – Samuel Aslesen (3)
Recap – Dakota Wesleyan came back to Mitchell after defeating Hastings and Done on the road and were looking to scratch another game in the win column. It was a slow start for the Tigers, as they didn’t score for the first three minutes of the contest when Blaze Lubbers swished a three from the left wing. That got the lid off the bucket for the DWU offense as they went on a 13-3 run in less than four minutes and Briar Cliff was forced to take a timeout. Dakota Wesleyan held onto a slim lead before BC would go back and forth with the Tigers. Briar Cliff finally grabbed a five-point lead with seven minutes left in the half. Randy Rosenquist Jr. drilled a triple to tie it back up at 6:20 but that would be the last time the score would be tied for almost 20 minutes. DWU would go into the locker room trailing by three after Jakob Dobney made a three-point bucket as the buzzer sounded.
As the teams came back for the second half of play, the Chargers took control. The leading scorer for Briar Cliff had put up 23 first half points and just kept it going. BCU took a commanding 10-point lead at the fifteen-minute mark. Coach Wilber did not like seeing the subbed out all the starters. Oliver Vincent came into the came with no fear and drilled a step back three over a defender. On the other end of the floor, Diang Gatluak made his presence known sending a Charger shot attempt back where it came from and then he would drill a three pointer of his own in the next possession to cut the Briar Cliff lead to just six points. DWU’s bench put up 14 total points in the game and kept the Tigers in the game in the second half before Briar Cliff regained their ten-point lead.
Now with a fire lit under them, the DWU starters came back in and were ready to get back into this game. With ten minutes remaining and a 13-point deficit, the Tigers went on the aggressive. The Tigers, led by Rosenquist’s efforts, went on a huge run that included a Samuel Aslesen triple to get it started. Kallan Herman came to life in the second half and scored 12 points from three-point range in the second half alone after only getting one free throw to fall in the first half. Down one with five minutes left on the score board, the Tigers came down on offense and after a break down of the play, Rosenquist found Aslesen for another triple to take the lead, 70-68.
As the two squads transitioned down the floor, the Chargers tried to get to the rim but none other than Rosenquist was there to stop his man and swat the shot away. Herman made his fourth three pointer off a Rosenquist feed and this gave DWU the five-point advantage over Briar Cliff. The Chargers went to their main scorer, and he was able to tie up the game with a tough and one layup plus the free throw and then a pair of free charity stripe shots the pursuing possession. With the game all tied up, the Tigers went to Jakob Dobney for an answer. With an isolation play call, Dobney sized up his man, drove to his right down the lane and hit a mid-range jump shot and swished through the net to give DWU the advantage. BCU went down to other end and drilled contested a three-point ball to take a one-point lead with twenty-three seconds remaining.
Coach Wilber called a full timeout and drew up an offensive set for the Tigers. With time winding down, Rosenquist had the ball at the top of the key, hit his defender with a quick crossover and went to the rack and banked the game winning layup off the glass! Briar Cliff had no timeouts and less than six seconds to get up the floor and the Tigers smothering defense held off and last chance attempt to win the game. DWU pulled off the comeback win in stellar fashion to defeat the Chargers 79-78 in the Corn Palace. Rosenquist finished the game flirting with a triple double with 19 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Dobney, Lubbers, and Herman all scored in double figures and Aslesen was one bucket away from being in that category. The Tigers split the season series with Briar Cliff and sit in sixth place in the GPAC standings.
Up Next for the Tigers – The Tigers will be back in the Corn Palace on Sunday to take on the Bulldogs of Concordia. Tip off is set for 2:45 p.m. on February 11th.