SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Scoring the first 10 points as part of a 27-3 game-opening run helped National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II second-ranked Morningside College soar in Great Plains Athletic Conference action Saturday, Jan. 5.
The Mustangs, rebounding from a midweek loss at the hands of Dakota Wesleyan University, didn’t allow many open offensive chances for the visiting Mount Marty Lancers. Head coach Jim Sykes’ charges didn’t allow the visitors to reach double digits until the midway part of the first half, upping the lead at every turn in route to a decisive 94-49 victory in front of 700 happy fans at Allee Gymnasium inside the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center.
“We just wanted to see a more intense effort on both sides of the ball (after Wednesday’s loss),” the Maroon skipper said. “Myself and our coaching staff wanted to see guys cutting harder for the ball, making the good pass, taking good shots … all the way down the line.
“It’s just like it’s been all year,” he added. “It has to start with defense. When we get out and guard tough, it leads us to more opportunities on offense.”
A quick check of the final boxscore proved Sykes’ point. Twenty-one Lancer turnovers led to 28 Mustang points. Beyond that, a 38-29 advantage off the boards led to a 21-5 second-chance points margin and helped fuel a 48-22 runaway in the paint for the home team.
Junior forward/center Tyler Borchers (JR/Le Mars, IA ) (LeMars, Iowa) led Morningside in several statistical categories including points (14), rebounds (seven) and blocked shots (two). He even got his name in the assist and steal sections with two of each. Senior guard Brody Egger (SR/Urbandale, IA) (Urbandale, Iowa) drilled three treys in route to a 13-point late afternoon, and sophomore guard Zach Imig (SO/Gretna, NE ) (Gretna, Neb.) tallied his usual steady line with 11 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists. Sophomore forward/center Trey Brown (SO/Gretna, NE ) (Gretna, Neb.) nearly produced a double-double to guide the bench totals, winding up with nine points and seven rebounds in 14 minutes of action.
Improving to 15-1 overall and 10-1 in the conference, Mside gets set for the second half of league play to begin Saturday, Jan. 12. Dordt College visits Sioux City for a men’s and women’s doubleheader.
“The intensity needs to continue,” Sykes stated as he looked ahead. “I think (the coaching staff) has gotten (the team’s) attention. There was some need for stepping things up but today is only the first step (in that direction).”
SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Four players finishing in double figures coupled with stifling defensive pressure were a recipe for victory for National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II No. 8-ranked Morningside College Saturday, Jan. 5.
Head coach Jamie Sale’s squad, wishing to conclude the first half of the 2018-19 Great Plains Athletic Conference, got just what the doctor ordered in front of a happy home crowd at the Allee Gymnasium inside the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center. The Mustangs, moving to 14-4 overall and 7-4 in the conference, scored 28 of the first 35 points and didn’t look back, romping past visiting Mount Marty 89-63.
At the forefront of the Maroon roll was a bench that tallied 50 points compared to the Lancer reserves compiling 23. Freshman guard Taylor Rodenburgh (FR/Hawarden, IA) (Hawarden, Iowa) sparked the attack with 11 points which featured three three-point baskets, while fellow freshman Sophia Peppers (FR/Exira, IA) (Exira, Iowa) knocking down two treys as part of a 10-point afternoon from a guard slot.
“We feel like we can go 10-to-12 deep in games,” Sale pointed out. “There are many people we can count on, so it’s good to be able to use that depth. Our second five and beyond have been able to give us a lift when we needed it.”
Twenty turnovers that led to 23 points coupled with a large 46-26 advantage on the glass added to the game’s storyline. Junior forward/center Sydney Hupp (JR/O’Neill, NE) (O’Neill, Neb.) used those positives towards a 14-point, five-rebound outing, and sophomore guard Sierra Mitchell (SO/Pleasant Hill, IA) (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) tallied 11 points to go with a team-best three assists.
“Hey, we’re 7-4 through the first half but you’re going to have some losses (in a conference as tough as this),” Sale commented. “We’re going to get some chances at home against some teams that we lost to early on, so we need to make the most of that. It’s all about being better (the second time around).”
The Mustangs step out of league play to resume a three-game homestand Wednesday, Jan. 9. Dakota State University of the North Star Conference comes to town for a 7 p.m. game.
NOTES: A special moment occurred in the second half as junior guard Abby Drieling (JR/Emerson, NE) (Emerson, Neb.) appeared in a nine-minute span. It was her first opportunity since the 2017 national tournament. “It was great to be able to get Abby back playing again,” Sale said. “We knew she would be an important part of the program when she arrived, and she played during her freshman season. An injury has sidelined her since, but now we’re able to utilize her skills.”