The Raider basketball teams closed their 2020-21 season at the national tournament. Both the men and women teams had a strong end to their season but did not finish with the result they were hoping for.
The women’s team started their season 0-6 but were able to conclude the season with an 18-11 overall record.
“Starting 0-6 was not ideal. A wise man once told me that it doesn’t matter how you start, but rather how you finish,” freshman Molly Schany said.
The women’s team, coached by Chris Yaw, saw their season come to end after a 95-82 loss to number eight seed, Clarke University. Finishing a close first half holding a 43-40 lead, the Raiders were optimistic going into the second half. In the third quarter the Pride took the lead with a 14-2 run for which the Raiders had no response. After a hard-fought game, the Northwestern women saw their season close.
The men’s team, under leadership of Coach Kris Korver, ended their season 23-6 after a 13-game win streak. Due to this outstanding season the Raider team not only win the GPAC tournament but was able to gain an automatic bid into the national tournament.
“It was good just to get validation of all of our hard work that we had put in before and during the season,” senior Craig Sterk said.
The NW men’s team had quite the rally in the final minutes of their last game. Down by 14 with nine minutes left, the Raiders were able to gain momentum to shorten Bethel’s lead by one. Bethel responded by scoring the next six points. The Raiders were not able to gain the lead despite their efforts.
“We needed to get that lead. Had we done that – it likely would have changed the entire complexion of that game,” Coach Korver said.
Both teams have been motivated by the experience of the tournament. Although the men’s team is graduating six seniors and the women one, due to COVID-19, seniors will have the opportunity to come back for another season if they so choose. Regardless, both teams have key players returning and hope to make it even further in the seasons to come.