CEDAR RAPIDS – A second-half surge lifted Mount Mercy University to an 89-78 victory over the Waldorf College men's basketball team in the ActionCOACH Shootout on Friday.
The Warriors (1-2) owned a 36-29 lead at halftime, but were outscored 60-42 in the final 20 minutes of the game. It was a big second half for the Mustangs (3-1) as they shot 70 percent from the field while burying eight 3-pointers.
"They made a couple of early threes in the second half and got their confidence going," Waldorf coach Nigel Jenkins said. "After that, they practically couldn't miss."
Erik Brewer scored a game-high 29 points for the Warriors. The 6-foot-6 junior forward from Las Vegas is averaging 30.6 points through the first three games of the season.
Brewer turned in an impressive 69-percent shooting performance, going 9-of-13 from the field. He went 2-of-3 (67 percent) from the perimeter and 9-of-11 (82 percent) from the free-throw line.
Jordan Nelson added 19 points and a team-high eight rebounds to give Waldorf a 38-34 advantage on the boards. The senior center from Neenah, Wis. finished with two steals and two blocks.
Brewer battled foul trouble all night, picking up two early fouls in the opening half. Nelson scored 12 first-half points to help Waldorf take a seven-point lead into the locker room.
"Jordan carried us when [Eirk] was out," Jenkins said.
"We had some timely shots by Adev and DJ," Jenkins said. "DJ had a pretty good first half. Those young guys just have to keep learning, keep growing and get better each game."
Mount Mercy turned in a very balanced effort with five players scoring in double figures. Da'Quan Moore led the Mustangs with 14 points. Dondre Osborne and James Boonstoppel netted 12 points each, Kevin Price-Majors scored 11 points and Alex Houston had 10 points.
Waldorf shot 50 percent, going 28-of-56 from the field and 7-of-18 (39 percent) from behind the arc. The Warriors committed 16 turnovers in the loss, coming off a tough day of practice on Thursday.
"It was a result of that," Jenkins said. "I thought we were flat throughout the entire game. We didn't come out with any passion or energy."
Mount Mercy finished 25-of-55 (46 percent) from the field and went 9-of-26 (35 percent) from downtown. The Mustangs turned the ball over 11 times.
Earning 43 trips to the foul line, Mount Mercy knocked down 30 (70 percent) of its attempts. The Warriors turned in a 15-of-20 (75 percent) effort from the charity stripe.
Waldorf closes out the ActionCOACH Shootout on Saturday in a 1 p.m. battle against St. Ambrose University (3-0). The Fighting Bees are ranked No. 14 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II poll and are coming off Friday's 82-76 win over No. 2 Midland University (2-1).
"We've got to find a way to bounce back," Jenkins said. "They've got a very good ball club and we're going to have our hands full."