SIOUX CITY, IOWA – Fans in attendance at a clash between a pair of top 20-ranked National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II conference foes received their money’s worth and more Saturday, Nov. 23.
No. 16-ranked Hastings College, entering unbeaten overall and in conference action, left Allee Gymnasium and the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center in similar standing but not after a white-knuckle 40-minute ride. Head coach Jamie Sale‘s No. 19-ranked Mustangs, looking to move to 4-0 in Great Plains Athletic Conference play, turned up its defensive pressure in the final quarter and nearly overcame what had been a 17-point third-period deficit.
After senior forward/center Sydney Hupp (SR/O’Neill, NE) (O’Neill, Neb.) brought the crowd to fever pitch on a successful three-point play conversion to make the count 64-63 with 2:21 left, Hastings answered back with a three-point basket, a stop and a basket in the paint to extend the margin back to six. Hupp drained a late trey to keep the Maroon within four with 27 seconds left but the visitors went seven-for-seven at the free-throw line to ice the 76-69 decision.
Hupp’s afternoon was a masterful one. She scored 26 points on red-hot 11 of 14 field goal shooting to go with 13 rebounds for a fourth double-double while adding in a blocked shot, two steals, and an assist. Sophomore guard Taylor Rodenburgh (SO/Hawarden, IA) (Hawarden, Iowa) had another big bench effort with 12 points, seven rebounds, two steals, two assists, and a blocked shot. Junior guard Sierra Mitchell (JR/Pleasant Hill, IA) (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) and sophomore forward Sophia Peppers (SO/Exira, IA) (Exira, Iowa) tallied 10 points each, while Peppers dished out a team-high six assists and picked up a squad-leading three steals.
Morningside (6-3 overall, 3-1 GPAC) faces another ranked league opponent Tuesday, Nov. 26, when top-ranked defending national champion Concordia University visits Allee Gymnasium for a 6 p.m. tip-off.
SIOUX CITY, IOWA – A top-notch field goal shooting evening and more balanced points distribution from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Division II No. 4-ranked Morningside College led to a Great Plains Athletic Conference victory Saturday, Nov. 23.
Head coach Jim Sykes crew, improving to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the league, hit at a high-flying 58.6 percent clip which included 11 three-pointers and committed only nine turnovers in route to a 95-77 win over visiting Hastings College. The Broncos made it anything but easy on the two-time defending conference champions, keeping the Maroon within range throughout a good share of the first 20 minutes. It wasn’t until a 16-4 stretch that closed the opening half that Morningside fans could breathe somewhat easier with a 49-35 halftime advantage.
The margin continued to grow in the second half. Mside led by as much as 27 before Hastings pieced together a late rally to close the final verdict inside of 20 points. Senior center Tyler Borchers (SR/Le Mars, IA ) (LeMars, Iowa), with a few rim-thumping dunks thrown in for good measure much to the delight of the home crowd, led the points chart with 20 and was only a rebound short of a double-double. Junior guard Zach Imig (JR/Gretna, NE ) (Gretna, Neb.) continued to be one of the main assist contributors with seven to go along with 18 points and four steals, and senior guard Alex Borchers (SR/South Sioux City, NE ) (South Sioux City, Neb.) finished with 16 points, four assists, two steals, and four rebounds. Freshman guard Will Pottebaum (FR/LeMars, IA) (LeMars, Iowa) and senior forward Trystan Cummins (SR/Ankeny, IA ) (Ankeny, Iowa) were just outside of double figures with nine points apiece. Pottebaum’s outing included a perfect three-of-three performance from outside the arc.
The Mustangs conclude their pre-Thanksgiving schedule Tuesday, Nov. 26. The Concordia University of Nebraska comes to town for a 6 p.m. women’s and 8 p.m. men’s doubleheader.