Morningside’s men’s basketball team broke five school records during the 2014-15 season.
Morningside broke five school records during the 2014-15 men’s basketball season.
The Mustangs broke two school records in a 106-85 victory against Nebraska Wesleyan University on Jan. 31 in Sioux City. Morningside shot a sizzling 67.9 percent from the field with 38 field goals in 56 attempts to break its former single-game shooting standard of 66.0 percent set against Midland University last season. Morningside also dealt a school-record 30 assists in the triumph to top its former record of 29 assists against Wayne State College during the 1990-91 campaign.
Morningside dealt a school-record 532 assists for the season to top its former record of 519 assists by last year’s team.
Kyle Nikkel, a 6-6 junior center from Pella, Iowa, was the Mustangs’ individual record breaker. Nikkel drilled 153 of 227 field goal attempts for 67.4 percent this season to break the former Morningside shooting accuracy mark of 64.6 percent set by Jason Siemon during the 1990-91 season. Nikkel also broke the former Morningside career field goal percentage record of 59.4 percent set by Bob Conaway from 1981-85. Nikkel made 432 of 701 floor shots for 61.6 percent during his three-year Morningside career.
Aside from leading the Mustangs in field goal accuracy, Nikkel was the Mustangs’ co-rebounding leader with an average of 5.7 caroms per game and the team’s second leading scorer with an average of 12.4 points per contest. Nikkel grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in a 112-100 victory against William Penn University on Oct. 31 for the Mustangs’ highest individual rebound total of the season.
Nikkel scored 1107 points during his career for the 20th highest scoring total in Morningside career.
Steve O’Neill, a 6-0 senior guard from Council Bluffs, Iowa, was the Mustangs’ leading scorer with an average of 18.3 points per game. O’Neill scored in double figures in 31 of the Mustangs’ 33 contests and had their highest single-game scoring performance of the season with 31 points in their 112-100 victory against William Penn. He had a team-high 13 scoring performances of 20 points or more. O’Neill made a team-high 70 3-point field goals in 183 attempts for 38.3 percent and was the nation’s third best free throw shooter in the NAIA Division II ranks with a team-high 145 free throws in 164 attempts for 88.4 percent.
Aside from his scoring and shooting exploits, O’Neill also led the Mustangs with 124 assists for an average of 3.8 per game.
O’Neill finished his Morningside career with 1139 career points for 18th place on the college’s all-time scoring list.
Tanner Miller, a 6-1 senior guard from Gretna, Neb., led the Mustangs with 71 steals for an average of 2.2 per game and dealt 105 assists for a norm of 3.2 per contest. Miller finished the season tied for third place on the Mustangs’ scoring list with an average of 11.5 points per game.
Miller also went over the 1000-career point milestone this season to give the Mustangs three 1000-point scorers. Miller finished his career with 1121 points for the 19th highest total in Morningside history. He also amassed 228 career steals for the second highest total in the Mustangs’ record book and finished just seven thefts shy of the school-record total of 235 career steals set by his brother Trent Miller from 2009-13.
Ryan Tegtmeier, a 6-0 sophomore guard from Davenport, Iowa, averaged 11.5 points per game to tie Miller for the Mustangs’ third highest scoring average. Tegtmeier finished second on the team with 106 assists for an average of 3.2 per game and was the Mustangs’ best 3-point shooter. Tegtmeier drilled 49 of 119 3-point field goal attempts for a team-high 41.2 percent and was the Mustangs’ second leading free throw shooter with 90 free throws in 107 attempts for 84.1 percent.
Andrew Christen, a 6-5 senior forward from Anselmo, Neb., grabbed a team-high 188 rebounds for an average of 5.7 caroms per game to tie Nikkel for the highest rebounding average on the team. Christen also topped the Mustangs with 50 blocked shots for an average of 1.5 rejections per game. He averaged 10.2 points per game to give the Mustangs five double figure scorers in their starting lineup.
Bryce Koch, a 6-6 sophomore center from Dell Rapids, S.D., was the top scorer and rebounder off the Mustangs’ bench with averages of 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Koch had one of the team’s top individual performances of the season when he grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in the Mustangs’ 94-67 win against Grace University on Jan. 13 to match Nikkel’s 16-rebound effort against William Penn on Oct. 31 for Morningside’s top individual rebound total of the season.
Morningside finished the 2014-15 season with a 28-5 record for its second highest victory total in school history. The Mustangs posted a 17-3 record in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) to share the league championship with Dakota Wesleyan University. The Mustangs made their fifth NAIA Division II National Tournament appearance in the last 10 years, where they defeated Tabor College 86-79 in the opening round before they suffered a 72-70 setback against the University of Saint Francis in the second round.