No. 8 in the country Northwestern claimed a 65-51 road victory over Mount Marty Wednesday night in women’s basketball. It put them at 6-3 overall, 2-2 in the GPAC.
The Raiders led 36-26 at halftime but Mount Marty had a 14-2 run to start the second half, giving them a 40-37 edge.
Senior post Kendra De Jong and junior guard Mackenzie Small made consecutive baskets for the Raiders, regaining the lead, and they never looked back.
Stifling defense down the stretch kept Mount Marty from scoring a field goal for over four minutes.
Sophomore guard Karen Hutson scored a career high 21 points on 8-15 shooting. Junior guard Alli Dunkelberger and Small notched 11 points each. De Jong grabbed 11 rebounds in the contest.
“When things got tough for us we pushed through,” Dunkelberger said. “Our focus was on ourselves and what we needed to do to get better, and we executed those things well tonight.”
The Raiders hosted longtime rival Morningside College on Nov. 20 in what proved to be another classic game. Morningside prevailed and edged the Raiders out in a 72-70 victory in a game that was tied on twelve separate occasions.
Late in the fourth quarter and tied up at 68, junior post Samantha Kleinsasser hit a baseline jump shot to put the Raiders up 70-68. On the ensuing Morningside possession, the Mustangs hit a layup to tie the game up.
After both teams failed to score on their next possessions, Morningside hit a shot from the left corner to put them up 72-70 with only four seconds remaining. De Jong failed to convert on a jump shot to tie the game on the final Raiderpossession.
The game was just as close in the box score as it was on the scoreboard. The Raiders shot 46 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc compared to the Mustangs hitting 43 percent from the field and also 25 percent from three point land.
Morningside had a slim edge in rebounding, out- grabbing the Raiders 34-32 and 12-9 on offensive boards. The Mustangs used those boards to their advantage, outscoring the Raiders 16-5 on second-chance points.
Leading the Raiders in scoring was Kleinsasser with 23 points and six rebounds. De Jong chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds. Dunkelberger and Small each had eight points.
“We have some important conference games coming up, so it will be important for us to take one game at a time,” Kleinsasser said. “Our focus will be continuing to improve every time we step in the gym.”