On Wednesday, Northwestern men’s basketball team opened their GPAC play against cross-town rival Dordt College. The Red Raiders lost 89-80, falling to 3-2 on the season (0-1 in GPAC).
NW started the game strong with solid play from sophomore guard Colton Kooima who scored 10 points in the first half. The Red Raiders led by as many as 11 points before the Defenders came charging back. After being up 30-19, Dordt ended the half on a 20-4 run, leading 39-34 at the break. Both teams traded baskets to start the half and NW went on a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game at 53. Following a Dordt score on the next possession, the Defenders went on a 15-0 run that would keep them ahead for good.
“We showed that we were not ready to play,” said junior forward Jordan Baker. “We took the lead and thought it would be easy. They wanted it more than us, and now we have to make adjustments.”
Kooima led the Red Raiders’ offensive efforts with 21 points, including three three-pointers. Senior guard Taylor Francis and junior post Mading Thok each had 10 points off the bench. The Red Raiders shot 44 percent from the field and were just 9-for-14 from the foul line. Senior forward Bryce Moss led the defense with four blocks. Baker was the only Red Raider with double-figure rebounding with 11. NW was outrebounded in the game 50-36.
“We hate to lose, especially to Dordt,” Baker said. “We knew this would be a tough week, and now we need to bring a great focus and prepare for our next opponent. We have a long season ahead of us.”
NW’s women’s team also played Dordt on Wednesday. The Red Raider women lost 64-53.
Senior guard Hailey Birks led the Red Raiders in scoring with 14 points, followed by senior guard Morgan VanDerSloot and freshman guard Kassidy DeJong with eight points each and freshman post Darbi Gustafson with six points. NW shot only 24 percent on the evening.
NW’s men’s and women’s teams will hit the road again tomorrow as they travel to face Hastings College in Nebraska. The women will tip off at 2 p.m. followed by the men’s game at 4 p.m.