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Dordt College Men's Basketball vs. Dakota Wesleyan-GPAC Quarterfinals

February 26, 2009

(Mitchell, SD) A win by the Dordt men's basketball team would have completed the clean sweep by the road teams in the GPAC as 3 of the top-seeded teams in the conference had already fallen to their visiting opponents this evening in quarter-final action. The #7 Defenders, however, were unable to complete the sweep, narrowly falling to the #2 Dakota Wesleyan Tigers by a score of 67-65 in the Corn Palace tonight to end the Defenders season at 15-14.

A see-saw battle would best describe the first half of play which featured 9 ties. A jumper by DWU's Brady Wiebe gave the Tigers the biggest lead of the half at 28-21 with 8:39 but the Defenders came roaring back, scoring the next 10 points to give Dordt a 3 point lead at 31-28 with 4:26 remaining in the half and the Defenders carried a 3 point lead into the locker room at 35-32.

The Tigers opened up the second half scoring to cut the Dordt lead to one and eventually tied the game at 39-39, the 10th tie of the tilt. Dordt answered with another 10 point run and a Michael Eekhoff jumper pushed the score to 49-39 with 14:15 to go. The Tigers responded by outscoring Dordt 13-4 over the next 5 minutes to narrow the Dordt lead down to one point at 53-52 with 9:37 on the clock. Eekhoff then nailed a 3 pointer to give Dordt the 4 point cushion at 56-52. The two tightly matched opponents found themselves tied yet again at 61-61 with 3:24 left and Ike Muoneke broke the tie with a made free throw at 62-61. The teams then exchanged baskets on two occassions and a Muoneke lay-up put the Tigers up 66-65 with a little over a minute to go.

Down 67-65 with the ball, Dordt looked like they might be able to be the fourth spoiler of the night but Brandon Oldenkamp's 3 point attempt with 4 seconds left was tipped and the Tigers secured the rebound and the victory becoming the only team seeded in the top 4 to advance.

Junior point guard Michael Eekhoff had another excellent night for the Defenders scoring 24 points to go with 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and no turnovers in 37 minutes played. Logan Kingma had 15 points, a team high 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 blocks and a steal.

Brady Wiebe led the Tigers with 17 points and a game high 13 rebounds to go along with 5 blocks and 2 steals. Mitch Bain added 14 and 11 rebounds and Ike Muoneke had 10 points.

Dordt was outrebounded 45 to 37 on the night, while giving up only 10 turnovers to the Tigers 11, both teams had 6 steals and 7 blocked shots. Shooting percentages were close with Dordt shooting 40.6% to to 42.2% for the Tigers who are ranked 14th in the NAIA Division 2 poll.

"Our effort was good all night," said Coach Van Soelen, "they did a nice job on the offensive boards, especially Wiebe. We had them on their heels a little in the first half and got the lead by getting out in transition. Our seniors have all been a big part of this team, they all had different journeys and have all dealt with some adversity. Rowenhorst is a fighter, a tough hard-nosed kid that has done great things for us and really fought hard to get back from injury. Taatjes is an undersized inside player and it is amazing what he can do inside. He has played a valuable role on the team and is a good motivator in the locker room also. Miedema really worked hard every day in practice to get better himself and to make others better. He just loves the game of basketball. Lance Dieleman has been a joy to have around as a manager and I just appreciate everything he has done."

Dordt College Head Coach Greg Van Soelen will hang up the whistle for the Defenders after 14 years of faithfully serving the men's basketball program. Van Soelen exemplified what it means to be a Christian coach and was an excellent ambassador for Dordt College. Mike Byker summed up the sentiments of the Dordt athletic department in regard to Coach Van Soelen: "It has been an honor and a privilege to work with you and I(we)wish you all the best."

GPAC Quarter-final Scores:
#9 Sioux Falls 63 at #1 Morningside 61
#7 Dordt 65 at #2 Dakota Wesleyan 67
#6 Concordia 101 at #3 Briar Cliff 97 in OT
#5 Hastings 89 at #4 Northwestern 70

GPAC Semi-finals on Saturday, February 28:
#9 Sioux Falls (17-15)at #5 Hastings (18-14) #6 Concordia (20-11)at #2 Dakota Wesleyan (24-7)

Dordt's Current Record: 15-14 (8-10)
Opponent's Current Record: 24-7 (0-0)

Team 1st Half 2nd Half Final
Dordt College 35 30 65
Dakota Wesleyan-GPAC Quarterfinals 32 35 67
Dordt Rebounding Leaders Total
Logan Kingma 10
Michael Eekhoff 5
Mark Rowenhorst 5
Mark Taatjes 5
Team Total: 37
Opponent Rebounding Leaders Total
Wiebe, Brady 13
Bain, Mitch 11
Nelson, Scott 6
Muoneke, Ike 5
Team Total: 45
Dordt Scoring Leaders Total
Michael Eekhoff 24
Logan Kingma 15
Mark Taatjes 7
Mark Rowenhorst 6
Team Total: 65
Opponent Scoring Leaders Total
Wiebe, Brady 17
Bain, Mitch 14
Muoneke, Ike 10
Walder, Chase 9
Team Total: 67
Dordt Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 26/64 41%
3-Point Field Goals: 7/15 47%
Free Throws: 6/10 60%
Opponent Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 27/64 42%
3-Point Field Goals: 7/23 30%
Free Throws: 6/14 43%

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