Last Wednesday night, on Feb. 14, Northwesetern and Dakota Wesleyan met up in Mitchell, South Dakota, in an NAIA top 10 matchup. The two teams were ranked 9th and 10th, respectively. Dakota Wesleyan’s defense, combined with the Raiders’ poor shooting, led the Tigers to an 81-60 victory. NW shot just 37% from the field for the game and was 1-18 from the three-point line, while the Tigers shot 53% from the field and 50% (12-24) from the three-point line. Junior Darbi Gustafson and senior Renee Maneman were the leading scorers for the Raiders, netting 18 and 14 points.
At halftime, NW trailed the Tigers by 11 largely due to their 27% field goal percentage in the first half. After a quick run by NW to start the second half and pull within eight, the Tigers responded with a run of their own and held a comfortable lead for the remainder of their game. NW outrebounded DWU, one of the NAIA’s top rebounding teams, by a 30-21 margin and were led by Kassidy De Yong with 10 rebounds. The Tiger “Big Three” (Bray, Cheeseman and Osthus) contributed 55 of the team’s 81 points.
The loss dropped the Raiders to 20-7 overall and to third place in the conference (15-4). NW will finish the regular season play this weekend on Saturday, Feb. 17, when they will travel to Doane College as they attempt to finish the season strong.