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Game Time...Northwestern plays host to fourth-ranked Dordt College in a GPAC men's basketball match-up Wednesday night in the Bultman Center. The Red Raiders have lost three straight games and are in eighth place in the current GPAC standings with a 7-11 record, 14-14 overall. Dordt is in first place in the GPAC standings with a 16-2 league mark, 25-3 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern leads the all-time series 76-27 against the Defenders but are 11-12 against Dordt over the last 10 years.
Last Time vs Dordt...The Defenders began each half with a substantial run to earn a 78-64 win over Northwestern on Jan. 15 in Sioux Center.
Northwestern held a brief lead (9-8) early but Dordt responded with an 11-2 run to pull out to a 19-11 lead. A couple of T.J. Buyert three-pointers put Northwestern within five (27-22) but the Red Raiders struggled to score over the final six minutes as Dordt stretched the lead to 39-25 at the break.
Dordt blew the game open with a 21-9 spurt to start the second half and led by 14 or more points for the duration of the game.
Joey Habtemariam led the Red Raiders with 13 points, going 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. Zack Leeper put in 12 points while Isaiah Taylor scored nine. Northwestern shot 38% for the game, 44% (8-for-18) from the three-point line.
Kyle Lindbergh was among five Dordt players who scored in double figures, netting a game-high 17 points and nabbing a game-high 13 rebounds. Dalton Franken chipped in 16 points and Nathan Rindels had 14. Both Austin Katje and Alex Terpstra put in 12 points each.
Scouting the Defenders...Ranked fourth in the NAIA with a 25-3 overall record, Dordt is in first place in the GPAC with a 16-2 league mark. They own a two-game lead over both Midland and Morningside with two games left in the regular season, clinching at least a tie for its second regular season conference title in the last three years. Dordt's three losses are to #9 Davenport and two loses to #18 Morningside.
Ross Douma is in his fifth season as the Defenders' head coach, beginning his tenure in the 2009-10 season. Douma has guided Dordt to four 20+ win seasons in his first five years, including a school-record 30 wins (30-5) in 2011-12 where they lost to McPherson (Kan.) in the national quarterfinals. He led the Defenders to the GPAC regular season title that season and the postseason title last year, finishing 28-7 and losing to Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) in the national quarterfinals. He returns two starters and five players off last year's squad.
Dordt boasts the highest scoring offense in the GPAC, ranking fourth in the NAIA at 90 points per game. They are shooting 49% from the field and 39% from the three-point line, making 6.5 three-pointers per game. The Defenders are the top rebounding team in the conference (+10) and are one of the top offensive rebounding teams in the NAIA.
Kyle Lindbergh is among the GPAC's leaders in nearly statistical category, averaging 16 points (10th) and leading the league with 10.5 rebounds per game. The senior is shooting 51% from the field and also ranks second with 40 blocks and eighth in steals (33). Lindbergh has 12 double-doubles this season and was a the GPAC defensive player of the year in 2012. Another senior, Austin Katje, is one of the top shooters in the NAIA, making 71 three-pointers this season and shooting 46% from beyond the arc. Katje scores 15.1 points per game and is three-time all-GPAC pick. Dalton Franken scores 15.5 points per game in his first season with the Defenders while both Nathan Rindels (12.3) and Tyler Wolterstorff (10.9) are the other top scorers as all five starters average in double figures.
Northwestern News and Notes...With three straight losses, Northwestern has fallen back to eighth place in the GPAC standings with a 7-11 record, 14-14 overall. They are just one game in front of ninth place Doane for the final spot in the upcoming GPAC men's basketball tournament that gets underway next week. Since earning a home win over Briar Cliff, Northwestern has lost to Doane, Dakota Wesleyan and Concordia.
Northwestern ranks ninth in the GPAC in scoring (75ppg) and field goal percentage (44%). They shoot 32% from beyond the arc, making 5.8 three-pointers per game. Defensively, the Red Raiders are giving up 77 points per game and are second in the conference in field goal percentage defense (44%).
Zack Leeper leads the team in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game, sixth most in the conference. The senior has a team-high 48 three-pointers and is second on the team with 5.4 rebounds per game. Jordan Baker has averaged 11.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in his first season at NWC. Baker is shooting 56% from the field and leads the team with four double-doubles. Joey Habtemariam scores nearly 10 points per game and leads the team in steals (39) and assists (99).
Up Next...Northwestern concludes the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 22, when they host Hastings for parent's/senior day.
# 14 | Guard
Junior from Sioux Center, Iowa
# 24 | Guard
Sophomore from Loma Linda, Calif.
# 32 | Forward
Sophomore from Sioux Falls, S.D.