The Northwestern men’s basketball team lost its second game in a row after Morningside College whipped the Raiders 97-65. NW is now 11-10 on the season (4-7 in the GPAC).
On Wednesday, the men traveled to Sioux City to avenge a home loss to Morningside, but their efforts were not enough. Morningside jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, then extended the spread to 18-2 after the first five minutes of play. The Raiders made a short-lived run, but the Mustangs continued to dominate rebounding and hit shot-after-shot. The first half ended with a 23-point lead for Morningside. In the second half, Morningside extended its lead to 40 twice.
Although NW shot the ball better than 40 percent for the first time in the past six games, missed free-throws, rebounds and second-chance points were the difference in the game.
Senior Zack Leeper led NW with 19 points and four rebounds. Sophomore Isaiah Taylor was the only other Raider in double figures with a career-high 11 points.
“We just didn’t get it done defensively,” head coach Kris Korver said after the tough loss. “We did not get it done.”
Last Wednesday the Raiders went to Sioux Center to play against rival Dordt, which was ranked fifth in the country and sat atop the GPAC. The Defenders continued their run against NW and won 78-64.
The teams traded baskets early on, but Dordt went on a quick 11-2 run to take the lead for good with 12 minutes left in the first half. Dordt’s largest lead was 26 points. NW went on a late run to bring the game within 14, but that was as close as it would get.
BY ISAIAH TAYLOR
Sophomore Joey Habtemariam led NW with 13 points, followed by Leeper with 12 and Taylor with nine off the bench. Senior Rob Gill and junior Levi Ettleman each had six rebounds.
Free-throws again seemed to be the Achilles heel for the Raiders, who went only 16 of 25 from the line.
“We have some good things going for us; we just have to focus on not getting discouraged at this point in the season,” Habtemariam said. “We still have a lot more games left to play and a lot more improving to do as the conference tournament gets closer.”
NW will play again at 4 p.m this Saturday against Nebraska Wesleyan in the Bultman Center.