UD's Upset Bid of #1 Nebraska Wesleyan Falls Short

Dec 1, 2018

The Spartans bench had alot to cheer about as they watched teammate Marcus McDaniel break the school record
with nine 3pt field goals against #1-ranked Nebraska Wesleyan University Prairie Wolves.

Box Score

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The University of Dubuque men’s basketball team tried to knock off their second ranked team of the week on Saturday afternoon but #1 Nebraska Wesleyan pulled away in the second half to beat the Spartans 92-78 and avoid the upset.

The Spartans came out of the gates blazing, making their first eight shots to build early leads of 7-0 and 16-5 before the game was five minutes old. The explosive Prairie Wolf offense would not be able to be held down as they flipped the script quickly and had a four point lead of their own just five minutes late.

The UD defense limited Nebraska Wesleyan to just nine points over the final ten minutes of the first half as Marcus McDaniel carried the UD offense. The Spartans slowly built their lead back up to ten at 41-31 but over the final four minutes of the half Nebraska Wesleyan closed on a 6-0 run to cut the UD lead to 41-37 at the break.

McDaniel could not be stopped in the first half, scoring 24 points in the half on 8-11 shooting, with seven three pointers made. As a team in the first half, UD shot 50% from the field and beyond the arc, making 10 of 20 threes. Meanwhile, the UD defense held the Prairie Wolves to just 38.7% shooting in the half.

The Spartans opened up the second half making a free throw to push their lead back to five, which would be their largest lead for the remainder of the contest. Nebraska Wesleyan regained the lead at the 16:01 mark, but moments later another Marcus McDaniel three put UD back up one but it was the last lead UD would have. The defending national champions showed why they are the number one team in the nation by quickly extending their lead to 14 points with 9:36 remaining and never let that lead shrink below ten.

In the second half, Nebraska Wesleyan shot a staggering 62.9% (22-35) to finish the game above 50% from the field.  The Spartans  finished at 45.2% shooting, including 17 three pointers but they were not enough in the 92-78 loss. UD once again struggled from the free throw line, making just 5-13, while NWU made 14 of 19.

Marcus McDaniel set the school record for threes in a game with nine made.

The Spartans will travel to Decorah on Wednesday to take on Luther College at 8:00 p.m.