Orange City, Iowa — The Sioux County rivalry continues as the Northwestern College men’s basketball team will host Dordt on Wednesday night in the second match-up of the season between the two teams. Tip-off at the Bultman Center is set for 8pm.
Winners of five straight, Northwestern is in fifth place in the congested GPAC standings with a 10-5 record, 15-5 overall. Dordt has lost two straight and is in sixth place in the GPAC at 10-6, 15-6 overall.
Tickets are sold out for the game and you must have a ticket to attend; no tickets are available at the door.
Last time against Dordt, a late second half rally came up short in the Raiders 94-89 loss to Dordt in a game played on Dec.16 in Sioux Center.
The Raiders fell behind by as many as 17 (37-20) midway into the first half after Dordt went on a 12-0 run. Northwestern rallied behind the three-point shooting of Small, who knocked down a trio of perimeter shots during the final six-plus minutes to trim the lead to 49-41 at the half.
A three-pointer by Garrett Franken extended the Dordt back up to 14 (61-47) shortly after the 17-minute mark of the second half. From there, Northwestern began its rally, cutting the lead to single digits by the 10-minute mark and all the way down to three, 85-82, after a three-pointer by Grant DeMeulenaere with 4:44 left to play.
Northwestern missed on two chances to tie the game over the next 1:30 and Dordt pushed its lead back up to seven with under two minutes to go. The Raiders would not get closer than four the rest of the way.
Northwestern was led by the strong perimeter play of Jay Small (28 points) and the inside presence of Alex Van Kalsbeek, who continued his stellar freshman season with his second double-double (26pts, 11 rebounds). Trent Hilbrands and Craig Sterk both contrbuted 14 points for Head Coach Kris Korver’s squad.
Jesse Jansma led the hosts with 26 points, followed by Franken with 23, two of the five Defenders to score in double figures.
Following an eight-game win streak dating back to Dec.8, the Defenders lost two straight games last week, falling to Morningside at home and to Doane on Saturday. They are now in sixth place in the GPAC standings with a 10-6 record, 1/2 game in back of Northwestern and one full game in back of Concordia and Jamestown. Dordt’s most recent wins were against Jamestown and Hastings.
Van Haaften is in his third year as the Defenders head coach, taking over the program prior to the 2018-19 season. He previously served as the head of the Buena Vista men’s basketball program, guiding the Beavers to nine NCAA National Tournaments and over 400 wins during his tenure. Van Haaften returns four starters and seven players from a 2019-20 team that tied for second in the GPAC with a 13-7 record, 22-9 overall.
The Raiders have won five straight and seven of their last eight games to move up to fifth in the current GPAC standings. They are 10-5 in the league and are just one game in back of second place Dakota Wesleyan. They have wins over Mount Marty, Dakota Wesleyan, Doane, Briar Cliff and Hastings during their current streak.