That was Thursday night in a nutshell. Not much finesse in either the women’s or men’s basketball tournament games. Women lost a 47-40 decision to Sioux Falls. Two opponents that had become far to familiar with each other, meeting for the third time in 15 days. That translates into no secrets and for Dordt the going got really tough in the first ten minutes of the second half. Competed hard and still found a way to stay in the game. Still a four point difference with a little over a minute left and a three-point chance to cut it to one. Was not to be. Women close the season 17-13…..more thoughts next week when things are quite as pressing.
Men withstood two Briar Cliff charges to take a 69-63 win. Led by seven and got comfortable and Briar Cliff rattled the Defender cage with a bucket and back to back three’s for a one point lead. Field goals by Kyle Lindbergh and Trevor Wolterstorff restored order. 20 points by Cliff Warner and 14 by Chris Sievers. Not much finesse in this one either with post players leaning, bumping and pushing inside the lane on every possession. Next up, Northwestern as the Defenders are in the semifinal round for the first time since 2007. Tip off at about 4:00 Saturday afternoon in Orange City.
Here are the capsules for tomorrow’s games. Winners advance to title games on Tuesday, March 1.
Dordt-Northwestern men –check the website, the preview is there.
Dakota Wesleyan (12-6, 23-7) @ Sioux Falls (13-5, 22-8)-Sioux Falls is the #2 seed and beat Dakota Wesleyan in both meetings this season. 54-51 final at the Corn Palace on December 8. Matt Malloy 14 and Eric Tisby for the Cougars while Wesleyan was paced by German Madueno with 13 and 10 points by Brady Wiebe. Meeting number two had the Cougars prevailing in double overtime. Kelly Hubbard put up 30 and David Maxwell had 21. Ronnell Grant chipped in with 20. WEsleyan got 31 poitns by Wiebe and Larry Swann tacked on 28. Chase Walder also hit for 14 points. Sioux Falls got to this point with a 78-71 win over Morningside while Dakota Wesleyan had no troubles with Midland 81-69. Both teams are ranked in the top-20 and will likely get an at-large berth in the NAIA National Tournament.
If Northwestern wins they would host Tuesday night’s title game. If Dordt wins they would travel to either the Corn Palace or the Stewart Center.
Top four seeds held true in the women’s tournament.
Briar Cliff (20-11, 12-6) @ Northwestern (28-1, 18-0). Teams played once with Northwestern winning in Orange City 98-76. Northwestern was up 44-31 at halftime and got 29 points by Becca Hurley and 13 each by Kendra De Jong and Val Kleinjahn. Briar Cliff’s leading scorer was Kela Cihak with 15 and Kelsey Evans had 11. Northwestern is already in the national tournament with the conference regular season title. Briar Cliff is probably in as well.
Sioux Falls (25-4, 14-4) @ Morningside (25-4, 15-3). Looks like a potential dandy based on the first two meetings. Morningside won on a buzzer beater 62-61 on December 1 in Sioux Falls. Emily Christen had 15 for the winners and Chelsie Trask knocked down 14. Sioux Falls got 16 from Vanessa Johnson and Holli Aggen put in 10. Sioux Falls earned a 70-66 win over Morningside on January 15 with Holli Aggen and Jamey Hofer topping Sioux Falls with 19 and 17 points each. Shelby Beudette contributed 20 and Bobbi McManaman had 14 for the Mustangs.
Same story, Northwestern wins and they host on Tuesday. A Briar Cliff win puts them on the road to either Sioux Falls or Morningside on Tuesday night. I believe the three teams other than Northwestern are safe for at least at-large berths.
Time to stand in line for basketball tomorrow………