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Waldorf pulls past Mount Marty in overtime

By Aaron Schneider

YANKTON, S.D. – Erik Brewer eclipsed the school record for most points in a career as the Waldorf College men’s basketball team pulled away from Mount Marty College in a 78-68 overtime victory on Saturday.

“I’m very proud of him that he has achieved this accomplishment,” Waldorf coach Nigel Jenkins said. “He has been here for four years and worked his tail off.”

Brewer scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds while shooting 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) at the free-throw line. The senior from Las Vegas has now accumulated 1,332 points and broke the previous mark of 1,325 points established by Jordan Nelson last season.

“It’s been an honor to coach him,” Jenkins said. “He isn’t done yet. There are more goals that he has on his radar for his career and most importantly, this team.”

The Warriors (3-1) trailed 57-49 with 59 seconds remaining in regulation. They rallied behind an 11-3 run, which was capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from June Prowell to send the game to overtime.

“We found a way to win,” Jenkins said. “We competed until the final buzzer and that’s what happened. We executed, forced some turnovers late by pressing, we made our free throws and gave ourselves a chance.”

Prowell led all scorers with 29 points, playing a big-time role in crunch time with seven points in the final minute of regulation. The junior from Atlanta attacked the basket and earned 19 trips to the free-throw line. He shot 73.7 percent at the charity stripe, knocking down 14 attempts. Prowell also went 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) from the field.

“He was aggressive and he did a good job of pushing the tempo and taking what they gave him,” Jenkins said. “Whenever he lets the game come to him, he does pretty well.”

Junior Tyler Parrish added 18 points off the bench, scoring nine points in the second half and nine more in overtime. Parrish finished the night 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) from the floor, 2-of-4 (50 percent) from 3-point range and 6-of-8 (75 percent) at the foul line.

“Tyler is a veteran,” Jenkins said. “He stepped up, made big shots, got offensive rebounds and put-back scores. He scored every way possible.”

Sophomore Kaden Verdin dropped in nine points for the Warriors. Junior Michael Morgan scored four points while sophomores Kaimen Slay and Eric English contributed three points apiece.

Morgan collected a team-high eight rebounds while Prowell pulled down seven boards.

Waldorf showed up defensively, outscoring Mount Marty 23-4 in points off turnovers. The Warriors came away with 10 steals and forced the Lancers (0-5) to commit 20 turnovers.

“Defensively, we did pretty well,” Jenkins said. “To go into overtime and still hold a team under 70 points is pretty solid.”

Waldorf turned the ball over 10 times.

The Warriors shot 21-of-59 (35.6 percent) from the field and 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) behind the arc. Mount Marty converted on 24-of-61 (39.3 percent) attempts from the floor while shooting 7-of-20 (35 percent) from the perimeter.

Waldorf made an impact at the charity stripe by creating 44 free-throw opportunities and sinking 33 of them (75 percent). The Lancers went 13-of-24 (54.2 percent) at the line.

Mount Marty had four players score in double figures. They were led by Derec Denning and Alex Irvine with 14 points each. Cody Willett and Taylor Millay also contributed with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Lancers controlled the game for most of the first half and owned a 29-25 halftime lead. The offense was slow to start the second half as each team added just three points in the first 5 minutes, 50 seconds. Following a Morgan dunk to cut Mount Marty’s lead to two points, the lead never grew larger than three points for the next 9 minutes, 36 seconds. The stretch included two lead changes and six ties.

A couple of missed jumpers from Waldorf in the closing minutes allowed the Lancers to build an eight-point advantage with 59 seconds remaining. When the Warriors fouled to prevent Mount Marty from running out the clock, the Lancers could not seal the win, shooting only 3-of-8 (37.5 percent) in the closing 59 seconds of regulation. Prowell made all four of his free-throw attempts in the closing minute. Parrish knocked down a 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining. After the Warriors got the ball back for one final possession, Prowell sank the game-tying 3-pointer to force overtime.

Waldorf wasted no time gaining the upper hand, opening the overtime period with an 11-0 run. When the Warriors were sent to the foul line, they took full advantage of every opportunity, sinking 13-of-14 (92.9 percent) attempts in the extra period.

Saturday wrapped up Waldorf’s first back-to-back contests of the season. With the first two-day stretch of consecutive games concluding on the road against the Lancers, it was a learning process for the Warriors.

“That’s the part that we’re still trying to learn as a team is to play well on the road,” Jenkins said. “We’re going to take other teams’ best shot. We’re not sneaking up on people anymore. We’ve got to learn to execute and really defend.”

Waldorf resumes play next weekend with a pair of exhibition games against NCAA Division II opponents. On Friday, the Warriors face Minnesota State University (1-1) in Mankato, Minnesota at 7 p.m. Waldorf takes on the University of Sioux Falls (1-0) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Minnesota State is currently receiving votes in the NCAA Division II preseason poll.

“The exhibition games are fun,” Jenkins said. “It’s a true test for us against teams who are sometimes bigger than us. We want to try to push those teams to the limit, compete the best we can and learn from each game.”