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(RV)Mount Mercy University
Men's Basketball - Sat, Dec. 19, 2015

December 19, 2015

Photos credits by Kaden Huntrods and Donald Weideler

MADISON, S.D. – Mount Mercy (Iowa) and Dakota State (S.D.) battled back-and-forth in a high-scoring non-conference affair Saturday afternoon at DSU Fieldhouse with 14 ties and 12 lead changes.  Leading 84-82, the Mustangs pulled away by scoring the final six points of the game for a 90-82 victory over the Trojans.

Dakota State fell to 6-7 overall record.  Mount Mercy, receiving votes in the latest NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, raised their overall record to 9-3.

The Trojans made nine of the first ten shots to earn a 20-14 lead over the Mustangs with fourteen minutes and six seconds on the clock.  MMU was 5-of-7 from the field.

The Mustangs answered back with an 8-2 scoring run to knot the game at 22-22 with 10:44 left before intermission. 

With DSU leading 40-35, MMU scored its final seven points of the first-half to regain a 42-40 lead by halftime.  A total of six ties and six lead changes were featured in the first twenty minutes.

Mount Mercy shot 55.6 percent from the field (15-of-27) and 11-of-15 free-throws in the first-half.  Dakota State was 54.8 percent shooting from the field (17-of-31), including 4-of-13 from the 3-point line.

Both teams continued to tie or trade leads in the second-half.  Trailing 71-70, the Mustangs went on a 9-2 scoring spurt to grab a 79-73 lead with less than six minutes remaining in the game.

The Trojans answered back with a 6-0 run with a 3-pointer by Tanner Heiser and a basket by Derek Meger, cutting MMU's lead to 79-78 with 3:37 left.

After a field goal by Kyle Kilgore to cut the Mustangs' lead to 84-82 with 1:07 remaining, Mount Mercy secured the victory by scoring the final six points in the last 48 seconds of the game.

Mount Mercy was 21-of-41 from the field in the second-half (51.2 percent) compared to Dakota State 15-of-33 (45.5 percent). 

Kyle Kilgore scored 22 points on his 8-of-10 field goal shooting and 6-of-8 free-throws for the Trojans.  Heiser added 18 points (6-of-12 field goals and made all three free-throw attempts).  Meger and Brendon Boomsma each added 12 points.  Adam Hofer scored nine points.  Ian Barse had seven points off the bench.

Kilgore pulled down a game-high nine rebounds for DSU.  Meger added six rebounds.

Heiser produced six assists for Dakota State.  Hofer added five assists.  Kilgore had four assists.

Meger registered two blocked shots for the Trojans.  Kilgore and Taylor Zirbel each had a block.

Kilgore, Boomsma, Hofer and Zirbel each had a steal for DSU.

Alex Houston was 12-of-17 from the field and 3-of-5 free-throws to earn 27 points for Mount Mercy.  He grabbed seven rebounds.  CJ Parker added 13 points.  Tre Wagner scored 10 points.  Ben Struss had nine points off the bench.  Mychael Brawner and Derik Gogg each had seven points.

Chris Ford and Antwain Strong each dished out five assists for the Mustangs.  Parker had four assists.  Ford and Parker each had two steals.

Mount Mercy shot 52.9 percent overall from the field (36-of-68) compared to Dakota State 50 percent (32-of-64).  The Mustangs were 5-of-14 from the 3-point arc (35.7 percent), while the Trojans were 7-of-26 3-pointers (26.9 percent).

MMU went to the free-throw line 18 times, making 13 free-throws (72.2 percent).  DSU was 11-of-13 free-throws (84.6 percent).

The Mustangs had 41 rebounds (15 offensive) compared to the Trojans 27 rebounds (6 offensive).  Mount Mercy outscored Dakota State 18-6 in second-chance points.

MMU's bench outscored DSU's bench 32-9.

Both teams will play for their second meeting of the season on Jan. 2, 2016 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Dakota State plays its final game of the 2015 calendar year as they attempt to return back in the winning column on Dec. 30, visiting Northwestern (Iowa) for the second meeting of the season.  Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at Bultman Center in Orange City, Iowa.

Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director

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