The Northwestern men’s basketball team was defeated 75-65 by No. 11 NAIA Morningside on Wednesday, Jan. 21. The Raiders had won five of their previous six games, including a dramatic buzzer-beating shot against Dordt by junior guard T.J. Buyert on Jan. 15. NW fell to 5-6 in the GPAC and 12-7 overall.
A layup by junior guard Taylor Francis tied the game at nine points early, but the Mustangs went on a 17-6 run that made the score 26-15. Down 33-20 after a Morningside dunk, the Raiders scored eight consecutive points to cut their deficit to only five at 33-28. Morningside got the final push of momentum inside the final two minutes that gave them a 40-29 lead at halftime.
In the early minutes of the second half, NW again exchanged blows on a run of their own that brought the score back to within four points at 42-38 following a bucket from sophomore forward Jordan Baker. At the 10 minute mark, NW saw its first lead of the game since the opening score after a pair of free throws from Taylor Francis that brought the score to 48-47.
The Mustangs countered with an 8-0 run of their own that proved to be too much for the Raiders. A dunk from junior forward Bryce Moss brought the game to within four at 65-61, but the Mustangs preserved their win with a 10-4 run to close out the contest.
Freshman guard Nathan Wedel led the Raiders with 18 points on 7-10 shooting. Wedel also collected eight rebounds. Buyert added 11 points that included three three-point shots. Taylor Francis rounded out double figure scoring with 10 points.
NW shot 44 percent from the field compared to 39 percent from Morninsgide. However, the Mustangs out rebounded the Raiders 41-34.
“We didn’t rebound well enough defensively to win the game,” Buyert said. “We got a lot of open looks in the second half, so I don’t think we were taking bad shots. We were just missing the opportunities we had.”
The Raiders will look to get back on track on Saturday, Jan. 24 against Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln, Neb. The game will start at 4 p.m.