On Wednesday, the men’s basketball team fought hard but lost 91-80 to arch-nemesis Dordt. With the loss, the Raiders fell to 7-12 in the conference and 14-15 overall with one conference game remaining. It also marked the fourth-straight loss for Northwestern.
The Defenders jumped out to a 47-38 lead at halftime, but NW rallied in the second half to eventually take a 55-49 lead off of a 17-2 run that culminated in a jumper by senior guard Zack Leeper. Dordt went on a run to recapture a 57-56 lead. Sophomore guard T.J. Buyert put NW back on top one final time with a three-pointer to bring the score to 59-57.
“Going into the game, coach (Korver) told us we needed to give a 120-percent effort,” freshman post Jordan Baker said. “We had the No. 1 team in the GPAC on our home court and a chance to beat them.”
Over the next four minutes, Dordt went on a 14-0 run and never looked back. The Defenders were up 71-59 after a bad defensive spell for the Raiders.
“We executed very well for the most part, but we had a few lapses that cost us in the end,” Baker said.
Baker led the charge for NW with 20 points and shot 10-13 from the field. Baker also led the team with eight rebounds. Leeper added 19 points and four assists. Sophomore point guard Joey Habtemariam scored 12 points. Junior forward Levi Ettleman rounded out double-figure scoring with 10 points.
“My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball in positions where I could score,” Baker said. “Most of their attention was on Zack, which helped free things inside.”
For the game, NW shot 43 percent from the field and only 22 percent from
three-point. In comparison, the Defenders shot a red-hot 47 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point. Dordt also outscored NW 44-36 in points in the paint.
Last Saturday, NW fell 95-75 on the road against conference foe Concordia.
It was a neck-and-neck game most of the contest, NW was tied at 58-58 with the Bulldogs before they went on an 11-3 run.
Leeper led the Raiders with 17 points, and Habtemariam added in 15. Baker scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
For the contest, NW shot a respectable 47 percent but only 35 percent in the second half. In contrast, Concordia shot 53 percent for the game and was lights-out in the second half at 63 percent. In addition, the Bulldogs shot 63 percent from three-point.
The Raiders will close out the regular season with a home matchup Saturday against Hastings. Tipoff will be at 4 p.m.