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Game Time...Third-ranked Northwestern hosts Doane in another GPAC women's basketball match-up on Saturday, Feb. 8. Tip-off at the Bultman Center is scheduled for 2pm. The Red Raiders are currently in first place in the GPAC with a 13-2 league record, owning a slim 1/2 game lead over Concordia and a one game advantage over Hastings. Doane is in eighth place in the conference with a 6-10 league mark, 12-12 overall. Watch/Listen live to the game via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now! or follow the live stats here: Live Stats!
All-Time...Northwestern leads the all-time series 28-22 but has had a substantial edge in recent years, winning nine straight and 16 of the last 17 match-ups.
Leading by six (44-38) at the break, Northwestern broke up a close game with a 9-0 run to open up a 15-point lead (53-38). The Red Raiders continued to hold a double-digit lead until late when Doane managed to get within three (76-73) at the three minute mark. Coach Yaw's squad closed the game, however, on a 9-2 run to win it by 10.
Northwestern shot 47% for the game and had all five starters in double figures. Karen Hutson added 17 points while Paige O'Neal (13) and Samantha Kleinsasser (10) round out the top scorers. The Red Raiders held a 41-3 edge on the boards, led by Engebretson with nine.
Heather Broman and Hannah Dostal both scored 18 points to lead Doane. The Tigers shot 46% for the game and 41% (7-for-17) from beyond the arc.
Doane News and Notes...The Tigers have won three of their last four games to move into eighth place in the GPAC with a 6-10 record, 12-12 overall. They are coming off back-to-back wins over ranked teams, defeating #25 Dakota Wesleyan and #5 Hastings. Doane also has a road win over Mount Marty and lost to #9 Concordia over the last two weeks.
Tracee Fairbanks is in her 15th season as the head coach of the Tigers and returns three starters and six players off a 2012-13 team that finished 1-19 in the GPAC, 6-22 overall.
Doane averages 74 points per game, shooting 43% from the field and 33% from the three-point line. Defensively, the Tigers are among the best in the conference, giving up 69 points per game. They rank seventh in the NAIA in rebounding (+9).
Junior Hannah Dostal is one of four players averaging in double figures, leading the team in scoring (15.5) and rebounding (9.3). Dostal is a two-time all-conference pick and is shooting 50% from the field. Shelbi Bittinger, another returning starter, averages 14 points per game and is second in the GPAC with 69 steals. Heather Broman (13.6) and Hannah Barnard (10.8) are the other top scorers with Barnard being the team's top three-point shooter with 55.
Northwestern College News and Notes...The Red Raiders have won two straight games over Midland and Briar Cliff to reclaim the top spot in the GPAC standings with a 13-2 record. They lead Concordia by a half game and are a game in front of Hastings with five games left to play. Northwestern is ranked third in the NAIA with a 21-2 record, the ninth straight season with 20-or-more wins.
Northwestern owns the top scoring offense in the GPAC and ranks second in the NAIA averaging 92 points per game. They lead the conference in field goal percentage (48%), three-point percentage (37%) and free throw percentage (75%), ranking among the NAIA's best in all three stat categories as well. Defensively, Northwestern is giving up 69 points per game, holding teams to just 38% from the field while ranking third in the NAIA in rebounding (+11).
Three Red Raiders are among the top 10 in the league in scoring, led by Alli Engebretson at a GPAC-best 18.9 points per game. The senior also ranks second in the GPAC with 73 three-pointers and fourth in rebounding (7.4). Karen Hutson is third in the league in scoring at 17.6 points per game while leading the GPAC in field goal percentage (57%). Hutson is just 28 points shy of the 1,000-point milestone. Samantha Kleinsasser scores 16.4 points per game, fifth best in the league, and pulls down a team-best 7.5 boards per game. Mackenzie Small averages 12.6 points per game and is one the top three-point shooters (41%), making 43 this season. Paige O'Neal continues to lead the GPAC in assists (129).
Up Next...Northwestern begins a rugged two game road stretch when they head to Mitchell, S.D. to play Dakota Wesleyan on Wednesday night, Feb. 12.
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