The No. 10 Northwestern men’s basketball team lost 90-87 to No. 23 Dakota Wesleyan on Wednesday night. Chase Walder of the Tigers drained a 30-foot three-pointer with .3 seconds left in regulation to pick up the win, which dropped the Raiders to 21-6 overall, and 14-3 in the conference. The benefactors of a late game trey only three weeks ago against Dordt, the Raiders were on the other side this time, mounting a late comeback that just wasn’t enough.
With 1:14 left to play, the Raiders were down 84-78. Key buckets by sophomore Ben Miller, junior Walker Seim and senior Ryan Hoogeveen got the Raiders within striking distance, down just 87-85. With four seconds left, senior Brent Dunkelberger capitalized on a Tiger turnover and made a floater to tie it at 87. Head Coach Kris Korver said, “[Dunkelberger] came off the bench and played really well, especially in the second half.” Despite the Raiders’ best efforts, DWU inbounded the ball to Walder, who hit the game-winner.
Many stats indicate just how close of a battle the contest was. There were 16 lead changes and 15 ties from the squads. Both teams shot 47 percent from the field and went 29-37 (78 percent) from the free throw line. The Raiders held a slight advantage on the glass of 35-34. Perhaps the deciding difference of the game, DWU shot an efficient 43 percent from behind the arc, and NW could only muster 27 percent on 4-15 shooting from downtown. Korver said, “We put ourselves in a position to send this game into overtime with great execution . . . [Walder] misses that shot, and it is overtime; and I like our chances.”
Seim’s 21 points led the Raiders, while Miller put in 18 and Hoogeveen and Dunkelberger racked up 14 of their own. Sophomore Daniel Van Kalsbeek ripped down nine boards to lead NW before fouling out. Sloppy defense haunted the Raiders, as sophomore Stu Goslinga and Seim also fouled out of the contest.
Head Coach Kris Korver commented, “At the end of the day, we played hard but we did not defend the way we needed to all game long.”