Hastings College upsets ninth-ranked Dakota Wesleyan

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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hastings College men's basketball team made it back-to-back wins to help secure a spot in the GPAC Conference Tournament with a victory over No. 9 Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon. This is the first home win over DWU since Jan. 2016.

Mason Hiemstra (FR/Alliance , NE) would again decide it was his turn to take over for the Broncos as he managed to set a career high of 27 points. This is his second time setting a career high against the Tigers, first came earlier in the year when he put up 24 in the Corn Palace.

It started off as a dogfight between the teams, going back and forth as Brendan Lipovsky (SR/Fairfield, NE) was able to give his team 7-3 lead just three minutes into the game. The Tigers would out score the Broncos 6-2 to take the lead with 11:24 left in the first. After being tied 19-19 with 9:00 till half, Hastings would put together an 8-0 run that was sparked by a three-pointer from Logan Cale (SR/Lincoln, NE).

A three-pointer from Lipovsky would extend their lead to double-digits as they led 32-21 just under five minute to play until half. The Broncos would go and drain three straight three pointers, first one coming from Lipovsky, then Bart Hiscock (SR/Bennington, NE), and then Hiemstra's dagger would push Hastings lead to 17 with 2:03 left on the clock. Dakota Wesleyan would make the final basket of the half but still trailed HC 38-24.

Coming out the break, the Tigers would control the first part of the second half as they were able to slowly cut into the Broncos lead. A big second chance three by DWU would cut the lead to under double-digits with 15:10 left to play. Another three-pointer from Hiemstra would bring the lead back to double-digits. Down by eight, the Tigers would go on a 7-0 run to make it a 51-50 score forcing the Broncos to take a timeout.

The timeout seemed to be what they needed, as Lipovsky was able to drain a three right after the timeout and sparked a 9-0 run to give Hastings 59-50 lead with just under seven minutes left to play. Cale would hit another three to push the lead back to double-digits as HC led 62-52. Free throws from Hiscock would extend the lead up to 13 but back-to-back baskets by the Tigers would cut the lead to just nine with under four-minute left. From there on out the Broncos would be shooting from the free throw line as DWU would hope for some misses, but HC would go 5-for-6 to finish out the game and would hang on to a 70-62 victory.

Hiemstra would lead the way for the Broncos scoring, as mentioned he set a career high with 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting and would grab three rebounds. Hiscock would be the next Bronco up as he finished with 14 points on 4-for-16 shooting and he would lead the team in rebounds with 15 to also secure his 11th double-double of the season and also dished out five assists. Lipovsky would go on to add 12 points and pulled down six rebounds. Logan Cale would add 11 points and Zach Kitten (SR/Hastings, NE) was able to bring down nine rebounds as well.

Hastings improves to 15-15 on the year and will be back in action Wednesday Feb. 26th as they go on the road and take on No. 2 Morningside College with a tip off set for 8:00 pm CT.