The Red Raider women closed out their regular season by toppling the Cougars of the University of Sioux Falls, 96-86, on Feb. 21 at the Bultman Center.
The game was tight much of the first half, but the Raiders opened up some breathing room before the end of the second half. A jumper in the lane by senior Kristy Schmidt with 2:18 left in the half capped off a 12-0 Red Raider run as the Raiders opened up a 45-35 halftime lead.
The strong play continued in the second half as the Raiders continued to blitz the visiting Cougars. NW led by as many as 21 points with 3:29 remaining before holding on for the ten point victory.
“It was gratifying as a coach to see the way this team developed over the last half of the season,” said Head Coach Earl Woudstra. “The women committed themselves to one another and really worked hard.”
Senior Jaime Woudstra put on one last show for the crowd in her final home game. Woudstra scored 33 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and dished out eight assists.
In the paint, junior Carli Blom scored 20 points while ripping down eight rebounds. Junior guard Lindsay Kropf scored 17.
By virtue of their fifth place finish in the GPAC, the Lady Raiders traveled to Seward, Neb. to take on Concordia in the first round of the post-season tournament. The 9th rated Bulldogs sent the Raiders back to Orange City with a 96-83 setback Feb 25.
Concordia led by just 3 points at the halftime break but outscored the Red Raiders 50-40 in the second half.
Kropf scorched the nets for 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting on the evening. She also chased down seven boards and had two steals. Blom scored 21 points and Woudstra chipped in 17 points and 14 rebounds.
The Red Raiders held a 37-27 advantage on the glass, but committed 18 turnovers in the ballgame.
The NAIA Selection Committee passed over NW for the National Tournament field of 32 teams. The Red Raiders finished the season with a record of 18-11 overall, 12-6 in the GPAC.
Coach Woudstra is confident the Raiders could have competed with the teams in the Women’s National Tournament. “We were definitely as good as the teams in the final 16 and we knew we could compete with the teams in the elite 8.”
Woudstra was named 1st Team All-America for the 3rd consecutive year as well as earning 1st team GPAC. Kropf was recognized as 2nd Team GPAC. Blom was an honorable mention All-GPAC choice.
Four members of the NW women’s basketball team were named to the NAIA Basketball Scholar-Athlete All-American list. Woudstra and Blom, along with juniors Carrie Stromley and Mary Kummerfeld were honored by the NAIA.
“Jaime also won the Liston Award which honors the student for excellence on the court and in the classroom,” mentioned Woudstra. Blom, Kummerfeld, and Stromley are to be applauded for balancing the demands of a long basketball season with excellence in the classroom.”