Morningside’s men’s basketball team used a big second half to blow out fourth-ranked Bellevue on the road.
Morningside’s men’s basketball team scored an early season signature victory with a 75-57 upset win against fourth-ranked Bellevue on Tuesday in Bellevue, Neb.
The Mustangs, who improved their record to 3-0, broke away in the second half after they took a slim 34-31 advantage into the intermission. Morningside outscored the Bruins by a 41-26 margin over the final 20 minutes and led by as many as 22 points, 75-53, when Zach Imig drilled a 3-pointer with 2:47 left in the game.
Pierce Almond knocked down five 3-point field goals in 13 attempts en route to a game-high 19 points. He was joined in double figures by Imig with 15 points and Brody Egger with 13 points, followed by Alex Borchers with seven points, Tyler Borchers and Ben Hoskins, each with six, Matthew Hahn with five and Trey Brown with four.
Tyler Borchers was a defensive intimidator with five blocked shots and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to help the Mustangs battle the Bruins to a 40-40 standoff on the boards. The Mustangs also received sizable board contributions from Imig with seven rebounds and Almond with six.
Aside from his 15 points, the freshman Imig dealt a game-high nine assists to finish one shy of his first career double-double.
Morningside shot 43.3 percent from the field and committed only eight turnovers. Bellevue had only nine turnovers, but shot a chilly 36.5 percent from the field.
Bellevue led for less than two minutes of the contest. The Bruins took a 3-0 lead on a 3-point field goal by Jalen Hall with 18:23 left in the first half before Egger made a layup and Almond made a 3-pointer to put the Mustangs in front 5-3 with 16:36 left in the half. The Bruins tied the score at five on a basket by Richard Reed with 16:17 left before the Mustangs took the lead for good, 8-5, on a 3-pointer by Almond with 14:52 left in the first half.
The Mustangs led by as many as nine points on two occasions in the first half, the last time at 34-25 after a pair of free throws by Brown with 3:01 left, before settling for a 34-31 edge at the break.
Morningside took control of the contest with a 20-10 scoring run to open the second half and went up 54-41 on a 3-pointer by Almond with 11:42 left in the game. The Mustangs held a double figure lead the rest of the way.
The Mustangs will travel to Storm Lake, Iowa, on Saturday for a 4 p.m. game against Buena Vista.