The Northwestern College men’s basketball team used a great defensive and rebounding effort to down Bellevue 76-60 in the final game of the 2020 Pizza Ranch Classic played tonight at the Bultman Center.
The Raiders move to 2-0 on the young 2020-21 season; Bellevue is now 4-3.
Alex Van Kalsbeek led Northwestern for the second consecutive night, scoring a game-high 21 points to go with 10 rebounds, for his first career double-double. Craig Sterk contributed a double-double as well, coming off the bench to score 13 points and pull down 10 rebounds.
Tied at 29, Northwestern scored the final nine points over a 3+ minute span for a 38-29 advantage at the half. Grant DeMeulenaere and Sterk combined for seven of the nine points during the surge.
The Raiders continued with a 7-0 run at the onset of the second half to extend the lead out to a 45-29 score, following a basket by Van Kalsbeek. A three-pointer from Jay Small and another basket by Sterk put the hosts lead to 21 (58-37 and 60-39) with eight minutes left. Bellevue made one last charge, cutting the lead down to nine, but would get no closer.
Northwestern held Bellevue to 38% from the field, 29% (10/34) from the arc, and had a commanding edge, 45-30, on the boards.
The Raiders had a total of five players score in double figures; in addition to Van Kalsbeek and Sterk, Trent Hilbrands netted 15, Keegan Van Egdom 13 and Small finished with 10.
Bellevue was led by Keshawn Bruner with 15 points.