On Jan. 20, Northwestern’s women’s basketball team opened the night with an exciting game that came down to the wire against rival Dordt College. NW opened up the game on a roll, leading 29-16 after the first quarter and 39-34 at the half. With a strong showing in the first half, NW was looking to start the second half where they left off. But the Defenders had other plans. After a 7-2 run by Dordt, NW capped off the quarter by extending their lead and ending the third quarter ahead 51-46. While NW had the lead going into the fourth quarter, it didn’t last long as Dordt put up 20 points. NW was able to put up 13 points, but it was not enough as the Red Raiders fell to Dordt 66-64. Freshman Kassidy De Jong led the team in scoring with 18 points and contributed seven rebounds.
“We always know it’s going to be a tough game when we play Dordt so that was a tough loss for us,” sophomore Renee Maneman said.
The men’s basketball team also had an exciting game on Jan. 20 against the Dordt Defenders. After a loss to the Defenders in early November, NW had a chip on their shoulder to prove to their cross-town rival there was no way they were going to be swept.
“The individual play from everyone is important,” junior Jordan Baker said. “But if Colton [Kooima] and [Nathan] Wedel get going during a game, it opens up things for everyone else.”
Baker proved to be correct, as the play of sophomores Nathan Wedel and Colton Kooima helped launch the Red Raiders to a 99-86 victory over Dordt. Kooima had a career-high 35 points while Wedel posted a double-double scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Dordt started off with an early lead in the first 12 minutes of the first half, leading NW 31-22. NW bounced back and finished the final eight minutes going on a 22-10 run to end the first half ahead of Dordt, 44-41. After the first half, the Red Raiders never looked back. Wedel scored 19 points in the second half and helped lead NW to their 12th win of the season.
“It was a big win for us,” Baker said.w “Dordt was our third GPAC win in a row so it keeps us on our momentum.”
A big win over Dordt was instrumental in preparing the Red Raiders for a good spot in the GPAC playoffs.
“If we can manage to end the season well, then we will be sitting in a good position in post-season play,” Baker said.
Women’s Saturday game
On Saturday, the College of Saint Mary Flames traveled to Orange City to take on the Red Raiders. The 15 points by De Jong wasn’t enough for the Raiders as they fell to Saint Mary 84-76.
The two-game skid has been rough, but that hasn’t changed the mindset of the Raiders.
“Our conference is very competitive and has a lot of good teams, so we are focusing on taking each day one-by-one,” Maneman said. “We feel like we have the potential to make it to the National Tournament.”
Both men’s and women’s teams will be traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska, tomorrow to take on the Nebraska Wesleyan Prairie Wolves. The women’s game will tip off at 2 p.m. followed by the men’s game at 4 p.m.