The University of Concordia tightened up the GPAC standings by knocking off NW, 99-93 in overtime Feb. 7 in Seward, Neb. The loss put an end to the Raider men’s four game conference winning streak.
The Bulldogs nearly led wire-to-wire, but the Raiders rallied late in the second half to force overtime. The Raiders took their first lead of the game in the overtime period 84-82, but Concordia outscored the Raiders 17-11 in the extra frame to pick up a big home win.
“Concordia was a good team, but we had our chances to win and we let it slip,” said sophomore Jeff Schaap.
The loss spoiled a terrific second half effort from junior Cody Kuipers. Kuipers scored 31 of his game-high 33 points in the second half of the Red Raider rally. The conference leader in three point field goal percentage hit 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and was a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line.
Senior Marcus Leloux scored 23 points and led the Raiders with four assists. Junior Corey Winterfeld scored 13 points before fouling out. On the glass junior Kyle Hiemstra and Schaap each grabbed seven rebounds.
For the game the Raiders out rebounded the Bulldogs 30-23, but were plagued by the turnover bug. NW had 23 turnovers to just 11 assists. Concordia spread the ball around the court with 21 assists and five players scoring in double figures on the evening.
“When you’re the reigning champs, people make it their goal to beat us. It’s their biggest goal,” said Schaap.
vs. Dakota Wesleyan
The Red Raiders were able to rebound from Saturday’s loss to Concordia by defeating Dakota Wesleyan, 81-70 Wednesday night at the Bultman Center.
The Raiders and Tigers played a back and forth first half. Neither team was able to build more than a six point lead in the first half. The half featured nine ties and eight lead changes, but the visiting Tigers went into the locker room with a 44-41 halftime lead.
Midway through the second half, the GPAC leaders were finally able to pull away from Dakota Wesleyan. The Raiders used a 15-2 run to push their lead out to 15 points with five minutes remaining.
Leloux led the Raider scoring attack with 21 points including four three-pointers. Kuipers was the only other starter in double-figures for the Raiders with 18. Freshman Blake Reinke provided a spark off the bench with 10 points. Sophomore Blayne Van Marel scored 9.
Dakota Wesleyan entered the game 5-8, but that was no reason to take them lightly, according to Schaap. “Nothing is a guarantee. We need to play hard against everyone. We need to take one game at a time and not overlook anyone,” he said.
The win improved the Raiders to 12-3 in the conference, 19-6 overall. NW dropped three spots to number 12 in the NAIA national rankings this week.
They played last Saturday against Midland Lutheranm, but statistics were not available at print time. Their next game is Wednesday at Mount Marty