Holding onto a great winning streak of six consecutive games the red Raider women’s basketball team hosted the rival school Dordt Defenders on Jan. 27. Northwestern has been battling hard these past few days as their season is starting to wrap up
At the beginning of the game the Defenders won the jump ball leading to a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Raiders fought hard tightened up the score at half to be 27-31 with the Defenders still in the lead. Determined to keep fighting, NW came back in the third quarter swinging, with the end score of 46-46, tying up the game. During the fourth quarter, NW went on an 8-2 run to close the game and defeated Dordt with a final score of 64-58 in a conference match-up.
Tied during the final quarter at 56 points, junior Taylor VanderVelde knocked down a three-pointer off of a pass from sohomore Maddie Jones to put NW in front for good with 2:11 to go. The Defenders’ next possession got them one point behind the Raiders but, following a timeout, freshman Molly Schany converted a floater on a pass by Jones to put NW in a further lead by three at 61-58. The Raiders then forced a turnover on the defensive end and VanderVelde drained a pair of free throws to put her team up, 63-58, with 15 seconds left. Following another defensive stop Schany closed out the scoring by making one-of-two free throws.
NW showed up defensively in the final quarter, limiting the defenders to only two field goals over the final seven-plus minutes. Rebounding was a key factor for the victory as they held an outstanding 43-34 edge on the glass and limited Dordt. Schany led NW with 16 points, scoring double digits for the 14th time this season. VanderVelde held 12 points, 10 coming in the final half, and senior Sammy Blum contributed nine points, three rebounds and three assists.
After a great victory against the Defenders, the Raiders traveled down to Midland on Saturday, Jan. 30 where they won 70-56. After defeating Dordt and Midland, NW is on its longest winning streak since the 2018-19 season (12 straight) improvingto 13-5 in the GPAC and staying tied with Concordia for second place in the current standings. The Red Raiders hope to continue their winning streak on Saturday, Feb. 6 against Mount Marty held in the Bultman Center.