The Northwestern men’s basketball team captured an 84-81 road victory over Dakota State on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Thanks in part to late game heroics by freshman guard Colton Kooima, who sank in a three-point shot just before time expired, the Raiders improve to 4-1 on the year.
With 13 seconds remaining and trailing by one (79-78), Kooima drilled a three-pointer to put the Raiders on top 81-19. Dakota State drove the full length of the court in mere seconds and hit a floater in the lane to put the score even at 81. Four seconds remained on the clock, but Kooima wasn’t finished. As time expired, Kooima hit a three right in front of the NW bench to avoid an overtime period.
The Raiders went into halftime on top 46-39 thanks in part to a trio of Raiders reaching double figures. Freshman guard Nathan Wedel shot a red-hot 5-7 from the field and scored 12 points. Junior guard Taylor Francis and sophomore forward Jordan Baker added 10 each.
In the second half, Dakota State rallied for a 16-6 run, putting themselves up 55-52. The Trojan’s largest lead of the night was 12 (70-58) at the seven and a half minute mark. The Raiders embarked on a 16-2 run of their own, which included a pair of three-point shots from freshman guard Riley Francis, to give the Raiders a late 74-72 lead. The teams exchanged baskets for the few remaining minutes until the clutch scoring by Kooima.
Leading the Raiders in scoring was Baker with 22 points on 11-14 shooting. Baker also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Wedel added 16 points on 7-13 shooting. Kooima scored 15 points on 5-11 shooting. Taylor Francis finished with 10 points on 3-8 shooting.
NW shot 54.2 percent from the field compared to 51.6 from Dakota State. On the glass, NW held a 32-28 advantage including a 13-6 offensive rebounding edge.
NW has won consecutive games against ranked teams.
The young Raider squad will host Hastings on Saturday, Nov. 15 with tip-off at 4 p.m.