No. 10 Northwestern couldn’t overcome poor shooting in the second half, and dropped their last regular season game to No. 20 Sioux Falls 71-75 on Saturday night. Though the Raiders had clinched the GPAC Championship after their win over Morningside on Feb. 9, the men were hoping to send seniors Ryan Hoogeveen, Brent Dunkelberger and manager Andrew Ulibarri out with a win on Senior Night.
This USF squad looked very different from the two teams’ first meeting, with their top two scorers suspended three weeks earlier. It looked as though the Cougars couldn’t find a way to replace them as the Raiders took control of the contest early and held a 12-point lead with seven minutes to go in the first half. The advantage was 38-28 in favor of NW at half.
“We did a very good job in that first half moving the basketball and being unselfish,” said Raiders head coach Kris Korver. “We moved the ball, made extra passes and got some easy baskets and rhythm shots.”
Coming out of the locker room, the Raiders could not match the Cougars shooting, managing only 29 percent from the floor, compared to 60 percent from USF. The Cougars shot 52 percent on the game and NW only put in 41 percent of their attempts. The Raiders had opportunities, but could not capitalize to regain the lead after USF took it 66-65 with 3:21 left in the game. A variety of players contributed to the USF scoreboard, with four starters putting up double figures.
“Sioux Falls came out of the gate in that second half, made a couple of shots, gained some confidence and played with a really high level of energy,” Korver said. “We did not make them match our energy, and we became impatient and settled on the offensive end.”
Sophomores Daniel Van Kalsbeek and Ben Miller tied for the lead in Raider scoring, by dropping 15 points each. Junior Walker Seim added 13 points. The 37-33 advantage that NW held on the boards was largely thanks to the nine and seven rebounds that Van Kalsbeek and sophomore Stu Goslinga pulled down, respectively.
The Thursday night game between Mt. Marty and NW was a much more pleasing outcome as the Raiders ran away with their GPAC first round game with a score of 93-70.
The Raiders did not trail throughout the entire contest, and were started off by Seim hitting three treys to take a 9-0 lead. The scoring then spread around as the Raiders went 46 percent from downtown to take a 38-29 lead into the half.
The second half saw the Lancers make a run at the NW lead, but the defense and rebounding in the paint by the Raider post players held the counter-attack off. The big lead provided by the starting lineup allowed every player in a Raider uniform to get at least four mintues of playing time.
Van Kalsbeek and Hoogeveen scored 15 points apiece, while Miller and Seim added 13 points each. Junior Ryan Stock came off the bench to drop 12.Van Kalsbeek grabbed 11 boards to secure a double-double, and Goslinga collected 10 of his own.
The Raiders will play Dordt at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Bultman.