In a game where neither team could gain a strong advantage, the Northwestern men earned the victory on Saturday, Feb. 9. NW won 88-85, splitting the season series with Hastings after dropping the first matchup with the Broncos in December. Following the win, the Raiders are 16-11 overall and 10-8 in the GPAC while Hastings fell to 17-11, 8-10 in the conference.
Hastings held their largest lead of nine points with 13 minutes remaining in the first half, but NW used an 11-2 run to tie the game with 9:40 left in the quarter. NW redshirt, freshman Craig Sterk was placed in the starting lineup for the first time this year, providing an early spark with 10 first half. Early into the second half, the Raiders held a 12-point lead, the largest for either team. The remainder of the game was very competitive as the score was tied five times in the final 12 minutes. NW sealed the game with a pair of free throws from senior Chris Borchers, who had seven points to go along with four rebounds.
The Raiders held an advantage in the paint, scoring 38 points in the paint compared to 28 for Hastings. Sophomore Trent Hilbrands led all scorers with 29, and Sterk added 17 points and five boards. Senior Parker Mulder nearly notched a triple-double as he finished with an impressive stat line of 15 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Hastings was led in scoring by Bart Hiscock, who scored 25 points, including a perfect 10-10 mark from the free-throw line. Both teams were evenly-matched from the field as NW finished shooting 50 percent and Hastings 46.7 percent overall.
The Raiders enter the final week of the regular season in fifth place in the GPAC standings. If the season were to end today, NW would travel to Mitchell, SD to face #18 Dakota Wesleyan. Wednesday, Feb. 13, the Raiders fell to #15 Jamestown 98-85 in Orange City. Next, NW will travel to face Midland University on Saturday, Feb. 16. to close out their regular season schedule.