Morningside’s men’s basketball team rallied from a 14-point second half deficit to shock the Wildcats 70-66.
Morningside’s nationally ranked men’s basketball team scored one of its biggest victories of the season when it moved up a level of competition and shocked NCAA Division II Wayne State 70-66 on Friday in Wayne, Neb.
The Mustangs, ranked 10th nationally in the latest NAIA II poll, took down a veteran Wildcat team that returned its top nine scorers from last season and took an 8-4 record into the contest.
Morningside, which climbed to 9-2, rallied from a 14-point second half deficit. The Mustangs trailed 61-47 with 7:20 left in the game before they went on a 15-1 scoring run and tied the score at 62-62 on a basket by Tyler Borchers with 1:59 left.
Wayne State took one final lead when a Kendall Jacks free throw put the hosts up 63-62 with 1:27 left.
The Mustangs answered with a conventional 3-point play by Brody Egger to go up 65-63 with 1:14 left. Morningside stretched its lead to 68-63 when Ben Hoskins, who joined the team this year as a transfer from Wayne State, burned his former teammates when he struck from 3-point range with 44 seconds left.
Wayne State closed within 68-66 on a 3-point play by Vance Janssen with 36 seconds left. Egger made a free throw with 21 seconds left to make it 69-66. Wayne State misfired on three shots on its next possession before Egger rebounded the final miss, was fouled, and made a free throw with three seconds left to account for the final margin.
Morningside converted 15 of 18 attempts from the free-throw line, where it outscored the Wildcats (six-for-10) by nine points.
The Wildcats also failed to put the Mustangs away in the first half when they led by 16 points, 29-13, with seven minutes left before freshman guard Zach Imig scored nine of his 12 first half points to rally the guests within 36-32 at the intermission.
Alex Borchers led the Mustangs in scoring with 16 points to go along with a team-high three assists and a game-high three steals. Imig was right behind with 15 points and a team-high six rebounds. Tyler Borchers joined them in double figures with 13 points behind a five-for-six shooting performance from the field. Borchers has made 32 of 37 field goal attempts for a sizzling 86.5 percent over the last four games.
Egger just missed double figures with eight points. Hoskins was next with five points, followed by Trystan Cummins, four; Trey Brown, four; Pierce Almond, three; and Matthew Hahn, two.
Imig’s six rebounds and five caroms from Tyler Borchers and Hoskins led the Mustangs to a 34-29 advantage on the boards.
Morningside will travel to Las Vegas, Nev., to compete in the Las Vegas Hoopla with games against Arizona Christian on Dec. 19 and British Columbia on Dec. 21.