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Dordt College Men's Basketball vs. Warner Pacific-NAIA National Tournanent Second Round

March 9, 2012

(College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Missouri) This morning(March 9, 2012),in front of about 500 Dordt faithful, the Defenders weathered a second half comeback by Warner Pacific to advance to the NAIA quarterfinals with a 77-70 victory over the Knights. With the win the Defenders pick up their 30th win of the season, improving to 30-4 overall while the Knights have their year come to a close with a mark of 24-9. Dordt will await the winner of the (5)McPherson/(12)St. Thomas game also being played this morning in Point Lookout, Missouri.

In the first half, Dordt overcame 14 turnovers by torching the nets from 3 point range, as the Defenders shot 7 of 13 (53.9%) from behind the arc and were 11 of 19 (57.9%) from the floor in jumping out to a 17 point (39-22) halftime lead. Austin Katje was 4 of 5 from 3 point range for 12 points in the opening 20 minutes while Cliff Warner was 3 of 5 from downtown and 2 of 2 from the charity stripe for 11 points while also dishing out 3 assists.

Warner Pacific held an early first half lead and found themselves up 7-3 on a Dane Johnson 3 pointer at 17:19. A Dordt College timeout ignited a 14-2 Dordt run that included three 3 pointers from Austin Katje that put the Defenders up by 9 (18-9) with 12:31 to play. "During the timeout we just encouraged our guys not to play tight, we needed to 'cut loose' and that is exactly what we did with Katje knocking down a bunch of threes," said Dordt Head Coach Ross Douma and Dordt led by 10 (23-13) when Katje hit his 4th three pointer of the first half with just over 10 minutes to play.

Jordan Vogel snared the rebound of his own miss and scored the put back with 4:11 to play and Cliff Warner banged home a three on the next possession to put Dordt up by 14 (30-16) with under 4 minutes left in the half. Back to back buckets by Warner Pacific got the difference back to 10 (30-20) but Cliff Warner responded with another 3 for the Defenders to put the 4th seeded Dordt College up by 13 and a pair of Cliff Warner free throws with 27 seconds left gave Dordt a 17 point (39-22) halftime cushion.

Warner Pacific, a team that relies on the three pointer, were 10 of 32 (31.25%) from the floor, 2 of 14 (14.3%) from 3 point range and didnít shoot a single free throw. The Knights had 6 turnovers in the first and were outrebounded 20-9 by the Defenders.

Warner Pacific started the second half on an 8-2 run to close to within 11 (41-30) on an Andrey Orlov old-fashioned 3 point play with 16:33 on the clock. The Defenders quickly pushed the lead back to 6 (46-30) with another Cliff Warner make from beyond the arc followed by a Trevor Wolterstorff basket at 15:32 on an assist from brother Tyler.

A 3 point play by Cliff Warner at 13:51 put the Defenders up by 18 at 52-34 but it would be exactly six minutes before the Defenders would find the basket again. During that 6 minute scoring drought for Dordt the Knights were able to go on a 16-0 run to close to within 2 (52-50) with 8:45 to play. The drought ended as it began, with a big 3 pointer by Cliff Warner that stopped the momentum and put Dordt up by 5 (55-50) with 7:51 on the clock.

A Biniam Tadele jumper from 10 feet got Warner Pacific within 3 (55-52)but back to back field goals from Lindbergh and Katje gave the Defenders a little breathing room up 7 (59-52) with just under 6 minutes to go. A 3 pointer by Orlov made it 59-55 and 3 of 4 free throws from Dordt pushed the lead to seven at 62-55 and continued to hold a 7 point margin at 67-60 on a Chris Sievers basket with 3 minutes to play. A William Sharp layup followed by a steal and layup by Doug Thomas tightened the game up with Dordt cling to a 3 point lead at (67-64).

Trevor Wolterstorff drove down the center of the lane for a layup to go up 69-64 but William Sharp responded with a three point basket for the Knights to cut it to two (69-67) with 88 seconds to play. Cliff Warner drove to the basket on the next possession and knocked down both free throws and a Jordan Vogel steal of a lob pass on Warner Pacific's next trip down the floor led to two more Cliff Warner free throws to put Dordt up by 6 (73-67). Trevor Wolterstorff blocked William Sharp's drive to the basket on the Knight's next trip and Dordt secured the ball and called time out. With 20 seconds to play, Dordt's Jordan Vogel dunked with authority to make it an 8 point game and a three pointer by Dane Johnson with 13 seconds left made it 75-70 but it would be too little, too late as Trevor Wolterstorff's finger roll with 7 seconds to play secured to 77-70 win.

"We really showed some poise down the stretch," said Douma, "we made big buckets from the perimeter against that 2-3 zone that really caused us some problems as indicated by the 22 turnovers."

The Defenders were paced by Cliff Warner's 26 points on 6 of 12 from the floor, including 5 of 11 from downtown and a perfect 9 of 9 from the charity stripe to go along with a team high 6 boards, 3 assists and a steal in 36 minutes of action. "Cliff's basketball IQ is invaluable, he is always thinking and communicating. He cares a great deal about the game of basketball and it was great to see him have such a fantastic day."

Austin Katje finished with 14 points on 6 of 10 from the floor with 5 of 9 from behind the 3 point line. Katje also grabbed 5 rebounds, had 3 assists, a block and a steal. Jordan Vogel finished with 14 on 4 of 5 from the field and 6 of 10 from the line while Trevor Wolterstorff rounded out the double digit scorers with 10 on 4 of 8 from the field and 2 of 2 from the line while handing out 3 assists and grabbing one steal.

Dane Johnson grabbed team high honors for the Knights with 19 points on 8 of 13 shooting with 3 of 5 coming from behind the arc. William Sharp had 14 and Doug Thomas finished with 11. Biniam Tadele pulled down a team high 4 rebounds.

Dordt College held a 32-22 advantage on the boards while committing 22 turnovers to just 11 for the Knights.

The Defenders shot 53% from the floor on 24 of 45 attempts with 10 of 25 (40%) coming from 3 point range. Dordt made 19 of 24 free throw attempts for 79.2%.

As a team, Warner Pacific shot 46% from the field on 30 of 65 attempts while making 7 of 23 (30%) from beyond the arc. Warner Pacific shot just 6 free throws, making 3 for 50%.

The Defenders will play in the NAIA Division 2 quarterfinals on Saturday, March 10 at 1:00 pm against 5th seeded McPherson(Kansas) who were 86-74 winners over 12th seed St. Thomas University (Florida).

Dordt's Current Record: 30-4 (17-3)
Opponent's Current Record: 24-9 (0-0)

Team 1st Half 2nd Half Final
Dordt College 39 38 77
Warner Pacific-NAIA National Tournanent Second Round 22 48 70
Dordt Rebounding Leaders Total
Jordan Vogel 6
Cliff Warner 6
Austin Katje 5
Chris Sievers 5
Team Total: 32
Opponent Rebounding Leaders Total
Tadele, Biniam 4
Sharp, William 3
Orlov, Andrey 3
Gaines, Sean 3
Team Total: 22
Dordt Scoring Leaders Total
Cliff Warner 26
Austin Katje 17
Jordan Vogel 14
Trevor Wolterstorff 10
Team Total: 77
Opponent Scoring Leaders Total
Johnson, Dane 19
Sharp, William 15
Thomas, Doug 11
Gaines, Sean 9
Team Total: 70
Dordt Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 24/45 53%
3-Point Field Goals: 10/25 40%
Free Throws: 19/24 79%
Opponent Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 30/65 46%
3-Point Field Goals: 7/23 30%
Free Throws: 3/6 50%

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