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Dordt College Men's Basketball vs. Sioux Falls-GPAC Semifinals

February 25, 2006

Game Media

(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) The Dordt College Defender men's basketball team earned their second trip to the Great Plains Athletic Conference title game in four years with a 68-67 win over the Sioux Falls Cougar at the Stewart Center in Sioux Falls Saturday night.

The Cougars led early, riding the shooting of Ryan Millsap to build a 29-19 lead with 5:27 left in the first half. The Defenders scrapped their way in with six points in a row by Luke Ruter to make it 31-28 and the Defenders hung tough to stay within four at halftime 36-32.

The Defenders got back to back buckets by Luke Ruter and Scott Van Zanten to open the half and the score was tied again at 38, 40 and 42 before Dordt took the lead for good at 44-42. The Defenders took a ten point lead, their biggest of the game, at 60-50 with 7:43 left on a three-pointer by Luke Ruter. The Defenders were able to maintain the ten point lead at 66-56 with 5:05 left before Sioux Falls put together the charge everyone knew was coming. Nine unanswered points made it 66-65 with 3:13 left. Dordt snapped the string when Mark Rowenhorst scored on two free throws after getting fouled on the perimeter with 2:35 left. Dordt would not score again. Sioux Falls got their final points on an Eric De Pue lay up with 1:38 remaining. Sioux Falls had the last possession and with :08 remaining and got a shot from Dylan Kvaale that missed and a De Pue putback was off the mark and Dordt had their 22nd win of the season.

Dordt made 25-52 shots from the floor for 48 percent including 12-24 in the second half and were paced by Luke Ruter with 19 and Brandon Haan with 14. Rowenhorst had seven points, all in the second half and Jim Brinks and Scott Van Zanten added six each. Derek Keizer ahd a team high three assists and Haan had two assists and two steals. Dordt was 15-15 from the floor.

Sioux Falls got 17 points from Ryan Millsap, all in the first half while De Pue had 13 points and Eric Ables 11.

The win avenged two regular season losses by Dordt at the hands of the Cougars.

Morningside beat Northwestern in the other semifinal 99-98 in overtime in Sioux City.

Dordt's Current Record: 22-8 (12-6)
Opponent's Current Record: 22-8 (15-3)

Team 1st Half 2nd Half Final
Dordt College 32 36 68
Sioux Falls-GPAC Semifinals 36 31 67
Dordt Rebounding Leaders Total
Luke Ruter 6
Scott Van Zanten 5
Brandon Haan 4
Team Total: 24
Opponent Rebounding Leaders Total
Eric DePue 4
Alvin Gunter 4
Team Total: 28
Dordt Scoring Leaders Total
Luke Ruter 19
Brandon Haan 14
Mark Rowenhorst 7
Scott Van Zanten 6
Team Total: 68
Opponent Scoring Leaders Total
Ryan Millsap 17
Eric De Pue 13
Eric Ables 11
Team Total: 67
Dordt Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 25/52 48%
3-Point Field Goals: 3/10 30%
Free Throws: 15/15 100%
Opponent Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 24/48 50%
3-Point Field Goals: 8/19 42%
Free Throws: 11/15 73%

For more information, please contact Mike Byker, Sports Information Director, at mbyker@dordt.edu or (712) 722-6301.