MITCHELL, S.D. - Dakota State shot 53.6 percent from the field (15-for-28) and converted 14-of-21 free-throws in the second-half to help the Trojans defeat in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan 78-73 Monday night at the Corn Palace. DSU ended their 12-game losing streak versus the Tigers and earned a season split with DWU. The last DSU's win versus Dakota Wesleyan was on Nov. 19, 2002 when DSU recorded a 92-85 win in Madison.
Dakota State, receiving votes to the latest NAIA Division II men's basketball national poll, raised their overall record to 8-5. Dakota Wesleyan, a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, dropped their record to 7-8, their fourth straight loss and sixth loss in the last seven games.
The Trojans and Tigers battled through the first seven minutes of the game with five ties and three lead changes. With the game tied at 13-13, DSU used a 13-4 run to build a nine-point lead at 26-17 with 6:48 remaining in the first-half.
DWU rallied back with a 12-2 run to regain their lead at 29-28 with 2:04 left before intermission.
Dakota State tied the game at 33-33 as Keith Biggers made a lay-up as time expired in the first-half.
With the 13th tie of the game at 54-54 with less than ten minutes remaining in regulation, the Trojans went on a quick 5-0 run to take a 59-54 lead with 8:06 left.
Dakota State was able to extend the lead to six points (67-61) with 4:22 remaining in the game.
DWU could get no closer than two points (67-65 with 3:14 left). DSU sealed the win by converting 9-of-12 free-throws in the final 2:25 of the game.
Jesse Bean led the Trojans with 18 points. He made 12 free-throws in 15 attempts. Biggers recorded a double-double of 15 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds (nine offensive rebounds). He was 7-for-13 from the field. Yusef Gray and Spencer Adams each added 10 points. Adams dished out six assists. Cameron Krump added eight points. Donald Stewart earned six rebounds.
Mike Lee scored 17 points for DWU. Kris Wilson added 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He dished out five assists. Jalen Voss and Jordan Long each added 11 points. Long had six rebounds.
Dakota Wesleyan shot 47.1 percent overall from the field (24-for-51) compared to the Trojans' 44.1 percent (26-for-59). DSU was 24-for-34 (70.6 percent) from the free-throw line, while DWU converted 22 free-throws in 30 attempts (73.3 percent).
The Tigers had a slim rebounding advantage over the Trojans, 35-34. DSU recorded 18 offensive rebounds in the game compared to the Tigers' 11.
Dakota Wesleyan committed 16 turnovers in the game, while the Trojans had 10 turnovers.
Dakota State returns back to action on Friday, Dec. 30. The Trojans host AIB (Iowa) at DSU Fieldhouse. The game will tip-off at 7:30 p.m., or approximately 25 minutes after the completion of the women's game.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director