Men's basketball

Northwestern @ Briar Cliff 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 4, Sioux City, Iowa


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GPAC Championship
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GPAC Tournament
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GPAC Tournament
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About BCC

Located in Sioux City, Iowa, Briar Cliff University is a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Red Raiders To Play 18th-Ranked Briar Cliff

Game Time...Northwestern College takes on its second straight ranked opponent as they travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to play #18 Briar Cliff on Wednesday, Feb. 4. Tip-off at the Newman Flanagan Center is scheduled for 8pm. The Red Raiders are tied with Nebraska Wesleyan for sixth place in the current GPAC standings, owning a 6-8 league record, 13-9 overall. Briar Cliff is currently fourth in the GPAC with a 10-4 record, 18-6 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the BCU webcast at this link: Watch/Listen Now! or follow the live stats at this link: Live Stats!

All-Time...Northwestern leads the all-time series 58-44 and is 5-5 over the last 10 match-ups against Briar Cliff. 

Earlier This Season...Northwestern College came up a bit short in its upset bid against 24th-ranked Briar Cliff, falling to the Chargers 105-101on Dec. 10 at the Bultman Center. 

Trailing by 14 (91-77) following a Shane Graves three-pointer, Northwestern rallied and outscored the Chargers 14-0, capped by an emphatic dunk by Levi Ettleman to tie the game at 91 with four minutes left to play. Nathan Wedel scored seven points and Colton Kooima drained a long three-pointer during the run.

Briar Cliff answered right back, however, scoring the next five points on a basket by Austin Homan and a three-pointer by Austin Lefler, to take the lead for good, 96-91. Northwestern did not get closer than three the rest of the way as BCU made just enough free throws to preserve the win.

Both teams shot extremely well for the game as Briar Cliff went 38-for-71 from the field (54%) and the host Red Raiders going 34-for-61 from the floor (55%). Northwestern held the advantage on the glass (45-22), including 17 on the offensive side, but the Red Raiders committed 21 turnovers compared to just seven for BCU. 

Six Northwestern players scored in double figures, led by Kooima with a career 28 points,  going 5-for-10 from beyond the arc. Wedel scored 16 points and pulled down five boards and Levi Ettleman registered his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. 

The lead switched hands 16 times in a back-and-forth, high scoring first half. Briar Cliff held the largest lead of the opening half (31-25) following a jumper by Zach Otting with 9:31 left. Northwestern came back with an 8-3 run and tied it at 34 after a Bryce Moss tip-in on a missed three-pointer by Kooima.

Tied again at 36, back-to-back lay-ups by Moss and Taylor Francis put Northwestern on top 40-39, until, still ahead by one (44-43), a three-pointer by Graves ignited a 16-7 BCU run to close the half for a 59-50 Chargers' lead at the break.

A lay-up by Wedel put NWC down seven (59-52) but Briar Cliff scored the next seven points to go up by double-digits, a lead they maintained until Northwestern's late 14-0 run.

Moss added 11 points for the Red Raiders and both Taylor Francis and Jordan Baker scored 10 points each.

Briar Cliff was led by Graves with 24 points, five assists and four steals. Bryan Forbes added 17 points while Matt Berg, Homan and Otting all scored 12. 

Scouting the Chargers...Briar Cliff won its only game played last week, defeating Dordt on the road 100-74. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Chargers, who are in fourth place in the GPAC with a 10-4 record, 18-6 overall. They moved up one spot to 18th in this week's NAIA coaches' poll. 

Nic Nelson is in his fourth season as the Chargers' head coach after spending four years prior as the top assistant under former head coach Todd Barry. Nelson led BCU to the national quarterfinals in his first season (2011-12) and guided his team to a seventh place finish in the GPAC last year with a 9-11 record, 16-15 overall. Picked fourth in the GPAC preseason poll, Nelson returns all five starters and 11 players from last year's team.

Briar Cliff comes into Wednesday night averaging 81 points per game and is one of the top three-point shooting teams in the NAIA, ranking sixth with 9.5 makes per contest. The Chargers are shooting 48% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc. Defensively, BCU is giving up 72 points per game.

The Chargers feature the top two three-point shooters in the GPAC in Shane Graves (51%) and Clay Harreld (49%), who rank first and second respectively in three-point percentage. Graves leads BCU in scoring, averaging 12.8 points per game, and assists (72). Harreld scores nearly 12 points per game and leads the team with 71 three-pointers. Both Austin Lefler and Bryan Forbes score 10 points per game and have combined for 75 three-pointers.

Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders have lost three of their last four games and are tied with Nebraska Wesleyan for sixth place in the GPAC with a 6-8 league record, 13-9 overall. They are just a 1/2 game in front of Concordia and one game ahead of Hastings heading into the final three weeks of the season. Last time out, Northwestern lost to #8 Midland 90-82 in a game played on Saturday, Jan. 31 in the Bultman Center.

Northwestern is one of the top scoring teams in the NAIA, ranking fourth in the NAIA at 89 points per game while shooting better than 50% from the field. They are the top rebounding team in the NAIA, owning a +12 advantage on the boards. Defensively, Northwestern is giving up 81 points per game.

Like Briar Cliff, the Red Raiders feature a balanced offense with three players scoring in double figures, led by Colton Kooima at 14.8 points per game. The freshman leads the team with 60 three-pointers, shooting 44% from beyond the arc. Jordan Baker averages 13.8 points and a GPAC-leading 8.6 rebounds per game, shooting 52% from the field. Baker has six double-doubles this season, tied for first in the conference. Nathan Wedel scores 12.8 points per game and leads the team with 77 assists and 29 steals.

Up Next...Northwestern heads on the road again this weekend as they play Doane on Saturday, Feb. 7 in Crete, Neb.

Taylor Francis

# 10 | Guard
Senior from Hull, IA

Jordan Baker

# 32 | Forward
Junior from Sioux Falls, SD

Bryce Moss

# 20 | Forward
Senior from Hull, IA

Colton Kooima

# 5 | Guard
Sophomore from Sioux Falls, SD

Nathan Wedel

# 22 | Guard
Sophomore from Yale, SD