The No. 8 Northwestern women’s basketball team cruised in to the semifinals after defeating the Mount Marty Lancers 89-63 in the quarterfinals of the GPAC tournament on Wednesday night.
With the game tied at 2-2 early on, NW went on an 11-3 run to open up a 13-5 lead. The Lancers replied quickly before senior Kendra De Jong scored three straight layups to lead NW on a 16-3 run to restore their lead.
NW came out strong in the second half with a 45-32 lead and finished the game off early by opening up a 20-point gap with 10 minutes remaining and crushing any remaining hopes of a Lancer victory.
The Raiders shot 58 percent and had five players score in double figures and had a huge 48-21 advantage on the glass.
De Jong led the team with another exceptional performance and recorded her sixth consecutive double-double with 23 points and 16 rebounds. De Jong cemented her place in Raider history with 3:30 of play remaining by draining a free
throw to surpass Jaime (Woudstra) Meyer for fourth all-time in career points with 2,280.
Sophomore Paige O’Neal also reached double figures with 12 points, while junior Samantha Kleinsasser, sophomore Karen Hutson and junior Alli Dunkelberger scored 10 points each. Kleinsasser also pulled down eight rebounds.
The Raiders closed out the regular season with a satisfying 78-67 win over Midland on Saturday at the Bultman Center.
Midland scored the first basket of the game, but NW answered a 13-4 run to take a 13-6 lead. De Jong drained a three-pointer to extend NW’s lead to 37-33 at the break.
NW came out strong in the second half and opened up a 55-41 lead at the 13-minute mark, but Midland responded once more and reduced the lead to just 59-57 with nine minutes remaining.
The Raiders scored the next six, and this time it was too much for Midland, which couldn’t claw the lead back despite their best efforts.
NW shot 43 percent for the game and 39 percent from beyond the arc. Dunkelberger led the Raiders with 22 points and seven assists.
O’Neal scored a career-high 16, and De Jong also pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds.
NW heads to Seward, Neb., next to play No. 7 and second-seed Concordia in the GPAC semifinals on Saturday.