SIOUX CITY – Tyler Borchers had no trouble coming down from the ultimate thrill of hitting a game-winning basket at the buzzer.
The Morningside College sophomore scored 27 points and raked down 12 rebounds, leading the 10th-ranked (NAIA Division II) Mustangs to an 86-68 victory over Concordia Saturday at the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center.
Borchers, a 6-foot-7 post from Le Mars, Iowa, made a layup as the horn sounded on Wednesday night, capping a furious comeback in an 84-83 win over Dakota Wesleyan.
“That was awesome, Alex (Borchers) somehow found me and I got it up there in the last second,” Borchers said. “We had a lot of fun, played well as a team and stuck it out until the end. They (Dakota Wesleyan) are a good team and you have to give all the credit to them, but when our team sticks together we’re really tough.”
The Mustangs did just that on Saturday, pulling away in the second half to secure an unbeaten record at home. Morningside clung to a 40-39 halftime lead after Concordia rained in 10 3-pointers, but outscored the Bulldogs 46-29 in the second half.
“When we find the open guy or find the hot hand, really move the ball on offense and really sit down and defend we’re tough to battle,” said Borchers, who made 11 of 13 shots and put an exclamation point on his double-double with a thunderous two-handed dunk in the closing seconds. “We tried to amp it up a little more in the second half, get out in the passing lanes and defend and try to make it uncomfortable for them.”
Brody Egger added 22 points and Matthew Hahn 14 for the Mustangs, who are 11-0 at Allee Gym this season. Morningside (21-6) remained tied with Briar Cliff for first place in the Great Plains Athletic Conference with a 13-4 mark.
After making 10 of 17 3-pointers in the first half, Concordia (16-11, 7-9) was 3-for-13 in the second half.
“It’s been a long time since we were unbeaten at home during the regular season,” Morningside Coach Jim Sykes said. “The fact that we were able to do that keeps you in contention for the title. You have to steal some on the road and Wednesday will be tough at Dordt but we were worried about today and we’ll worry about that Monday.”
The Mustangs play their final conference game Wednesday at De Witt Gymnasium on the Dordt College campus.
“We knew we couldn’t give them layups (in the second half) but we had to chase them off the arc, make sure our help was there and force them to do something they weren’t comfortable with because they are obviously a very good shooting team. We needed to get out in transition and run and we made better reads on offense.”
Morningside outscored the Bulldogs 12-4 in the first five minutes of the second half, capped by a pair of 3-pointers from Hahn. That opened up a nine-point cushion and the Mustangs went on 10-3 spurt late in the game to secure the win.