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Game Time...Northwestern College begins a two-game road trip as they head to Sioux Center, Iowa, to play Dordt on Wednesday night, Feb. 18. Tip-off at the DeWitt Gym is scheduled for 8pm. Northwestern is currently in ninth place in the conference with a 7-11 record, 14-12 overall. Dordt is tied with Hastings and Nebraska Wesleyan for sixth place with an 8-10 league record, 17-11 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the Dordt webcast at this link: Watch/listen Now! or listen to the game via the KSOU broadcast at this link: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern holds a 77-29 advantage in the all-time series and is 4-6 over the last 10 match-ups against the Defenders.
Last Time...T.J. Buyert knocked down a three-pointer with 1.1 seconds left to give Northwestern a 94-91 win over Dordt in front of a packed house at the Bultman Center on Jan. 14.
After a put-back by Tyler Wolterstorff knotted the game at 91 with 16 seconds left, Northwestern called timeout just past halfcourt with eight seconds left. The Red Raiders worked the ball over to Buyert, who drained the off-balanced three-pointer from the left wing to put NWC on top, 94-91. Dordt immediately called timeout and set up a long pass off an inbounds play but Buyert intercepted it to seal the Defenders' fate.
Both teams held the lead in a very close, competitive first half. Northwestern opened the game on a 9-3 run but Dordt came back right back, tying the game at 18 after back-to-back three-pointers by Alex Terpstra. The Red Raiders moved back in front after baskets by Levi Ettleman and Isaiah Taylor but Dordt responded with five straight points to take its first lead, 25-24, on a three-pointer by Bryan Sumner.
With Northwestern back in front by five after a Buyert three-pointer (38-33), Dordt closed the half on a 10-3 run, sparked by three-pointers by Terpstra and Andrew O'Donnell, to take a 43-41 advantage at the break.
Dordt continued to lead in the second half, extending its advantage to as many as eight points (75-67) after two free throws by Wolterstorff with 3:30 left to go. A three-point play by Nathan Wedel ignited a Northwestern comeback, however, as the Red Raiders stormed back with an 11-4 run, capped by a Taylor Francis three-pointer, to cut the deficit down to one (79-78) with 1:52 left.
Both teams came up empty on their next possessions and, after an NWC miss, the Red Raiders fouled to put O'Donnell at the free throw line where he converted 1-of-2 to put the Defenders up 80-78 with 46 left. On the ensuing Red Raider possession, Wedel drove in and drew a foul, making both free throws to tie the game at 80. Dordt had one last possession to try to win it but came up empty on a jumper as time expired to send the game into overtime.
The teams traded baskets to start the extra period and with Northwestern up one, the Defenders' grabbed their last lead, 85-83, on a three-pointer by Sumner. The Red Raiders scored the next six points on back-to-back three pointers by Kooima and Buyert to go up four, only to have Dordt come back to tie it at 89 and again at 91, setting up the game-winner from Buyert.
Northwestern shot 53% from the field and 64% (7-for-11) from beyond the arc. Wedel was among five NWC players in double figures, scoring 18 points, 14 in the final half and overtime period. Jordan Baker and Taylor Francis both scored 13 points with Francis going a perfect 5-for-5 from the field. Buyert (12) and Kooima (11) were also in double figures. Wedel pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and dished out four assists.
Dordt shot 41% for the game and 30% from the three-point line (7-for-23). Nathan Rindels led all scorers with 30 points and O'Donnell chipped in 12. Wolterstorff and David DenHerder both added 11 and Taylor Feenstra scored 10.
Both teams had 39 rebounds with Dordt owning a 18-10 edge on the offensive glass.
Scouting the Defenders...Dordt is currently tied with both Hastings and Nebraska Wesleyan for sixth place in the GPAC with an 8-10 record, 17-11 overall, with two games left in the regular season. The Defenders have lost three of their last four games, falling to ranked teams Dakota Wesleyan and Morningside, along with a 100-98 loss to Nebraska Wesleyan last time out. Dordt's lone win was an 87-69 non-conference win over Grace at home on Feb. 7.
Ross Douma is in his sixth year as the Defenders' head coach and returns two starters and eight players off a 2013-14 team that won the GPAC regular season title with a 17-3 record and finished 28-6 overall. Douma guided Dordt to its third straight national tournament berth, losing to William Penn in double overtime in the first round. They were ranked 14th in the final postseason poll.
Dordt boasts one of the top scoring offenses in the NAIA, averaging 88 points per game. They are shooting 49% from the field, 37% from beyond the arc, and rank fifth in the NAIA in rebounding (+8). Defensively, the Defenders are giving up 81 points per game.
Not only one of the top scoring offenses in the NAIA, Dordt features a balanced attack with four players scoring in double figures and eight players averaging more than six points per game. Junior guard Nathan Rindels ranks eighth in the GPAC in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per game. Rindels also leads the GPAC in assists (125) and pulls down a team-leading 5.2 rebounds per game. Senior Tyler Wolterstorff scores 13.5 points per game and is third on the team with 30 three-pointers, shooting 41% from beyond the arc. Freshman Leighton Sampson and sophomore Bryan Sumner both average 11 points per game with Sumner leading the team with 69 three-pointers.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders have dropped four of their last five games to fall into ninth place in the GPAC standings with a 7-11 record, 14-12 overall. Heading into Wednesday night, Northwestern finds themselves out of the GPAC postseason, trailing three teams (Dordt, Nebraska Wesleyan and Hastings) by one game for the final playoff spot with two games remaining.
Northwestern ranks eighth in the NAIA in scoring offense, averaging 87 points per game. The Red Raiders are seventh in the NAIA in field goal percentage (50%) and are the top rebounding team in the nation at +11. Defensively, they are giving up 81 points per game.
The Red Raiders also feature a balanced offense with three players scoring in double figures and eight players averaging six-or-more points per game. Colton Kooima leads the team at 14.3 points per game and 67 three-pointers, shooting 42% from beyond the arc. Jordan Baker scores 13 points per game and lead the GPAC in rebounding (8.2). Nathan Wedel averages 12.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and a team-high 3.1 assists per game.
Up Next...Northwestern travels to Hastings, Neb. to play the Broncos on Saturday, Feb. 21, in the final game of the regular season.
# 32 | Forward
Senior from Sioux Falls, S.D.
# 5 | Guard
Junior from Sioux Falls, S.D.
# 22 | Guard
Junior from Yale, S.D.