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Dordt College Men's Basketball vs. Morningside-GPAC Finals

March 4, 2014

(Sioux Center, IA) For the third time this season, Morningside was able to topple the Dordt College Defenders, as the Mustangs secured the GPAC Championship with an 87-85 win this evening in Sioux Center. Both teams will advance to the NAIA Division II National Tournament which begins next week in Branson, Missouri and the schedule will be released on March 5. The Mustangs, currently ranked 15th in the NAIA, broke an 85-85 tie with a Steve O’Neill jumper with three seconds to play and the Defenders were unable to get a last second opportunity to go. Only three times in the history of the GPAC has a team managed to haul in both a regular season and post-season title. Dordt College will enter the national tournament with a 28-5 record while the Mustangs improve to 25-8 on the season.

Morningside finished the evening shooting 57.9% from the floor, hitting 33 of 57 while converting 7 of 23 (30.4%) on threes and 14 of 19 (73.7%) from the charity stripe.

The Defenders dropped in 28 of 62 (45.2%)from the field with 4 of 17 (23.5%) on three pointers and 25 of 34 (73.5%) from the free-throw line.

Tied at 25-25 midway through the first half, Morningside went on a 7-0 run with a Tanner Miller three pointer putting the Mustangs up 32-25 with nine minutes to play. Dordt responded with a 20-2 run over a five minute stretch that had the Defenders leading 45-34 after a Sumner layup with 4:25 left and the Defenders owned a 52-39 advantage with 2:42 to play but the Mustangs ended the half outscoring Dordt 9-1 to put a dent in the Dordt advantage, with the Defenders clinging to a 53-48 lead at the half.

The Defenders were up 57-50 early in the half when a 7-0 Mustang run tied the game at 57-57, the seventh tie of the contest. Knotted at 59-59, Dordt would outscore the Mustangs 13-6 over a five minute span, taking a 72-65 lead on a Lindbergh free-throw with 11:27 to play. A pair of Tanner Miller free-throws at 7:29 had the Mustangs within a point (74-73) but Wolterstorff answered with a three pointer to put the Defenders ahead 77-73. Tanner Miller cut the gap in half with a layup but Lindbergh pushed the Dordt lead back to five (80-75) with a dunk and made free-throw. An old-fashioned three point play by Kyle Nikkel and a Steve O’Neill jumper deadlocked the game at 80-80. A Steve O’Neill layup with 47 seconds left put the Mustangs up three (85-82) but Bryan Sumner came up with a big three pointer for the Defenders, tying the game at 85-85. With the shot clock off, the Mustangs’ ran the clock down and Steve O’Neill drove to left and hit a pull-up jumper with less than three seconds to play.

Dordt called time out to set up the in-bounds play and were able to get the ball over half where they quickly called another time out with 1.3 seconds showing on the game clock. Standing in front of the scorer’s table, Nathan Rindels launched the inbounds pass up to the rim and Kyle Lindbergh was able to get two hands on the ball but couldn’t get the game tying shot to fall.

“Morningside flipped the script on us in the second half,” stated Dordt Head Coach Ross Douma, “in the first half we were the ones getting to the free-throw line, and that’s our game, but in the second half they owned the bonus early. They started penetrating on us and got the line and that was the difference in the game. (The Defenders went to the free-throw line 25 times in the first half, converting 17 but were limited to just eight of nine from the line in the second half. Morningside, on the other hand were just five of six in the first half but went thirteen times in the second half, making nine.) I thought we played really well and hard and only turning over the ball seven times was great. They are an awfully good team that happened to be two points better than us tonight. Kyle was phenomenal this evening and really played like an all-American. I am really proud of this entire group.”

Kyle Lindbergh added another double double to his impressive resume, scoring 26 points on nine of fifteen from the field and eight of twelve from the line with a dozen rebounds, five assists and two steals. Dalton Franken was seven of fourteen from the floor and four of five from the stripe for 18 points while also snaring four boards, dishing out three assists and a steal. Tyler Wolterstorff added 17 points on four of eight from the floor, with two of four from three point range and seven of ten from the free-throw line and grabbed five boards. Nathan Rindels contributed 16 points on five of nine from the floor and six of seven from the line with five rebounds and five assists.

Dordt edged out the Mustangs in the rebounding department 34 to 32 and the Defenders forced the Mustangs into 13 turnovers, while committing just seven of their own.

Kyle Nikkel topped the Mustangs with 20 points on eight of ten from the field and four of four from the line, while also grabbing seven boards and dishing out five assists. Tanner Miller ended with 19 points on six of eleven shooting, making three of eight from three point range and was four of four from the line. Steve O'Neill, who had the game winner, finished with 15 points, seven boards and five steals while Danny Rudeen had 11 points and five rebounds.

Dordt edged out the Mustangs in the rebounding department 34 to 32 and the Defenders forced the Mustangs into 13 turnovers, while committing just seven of their own.

The final coaches' poll will be released on Wednesday, March 5 with the pairings announced at 8:00 Wednesday night.

Dordt's Current Record: 28-5 (17-3)
Opponent's Current Record: 24-8 (0-0)

Team 1st Half 2nd Half Final
Dordt College 53 32 85
Morningside-GPAC Finals 48 39 87
Dordt Rebounding Leaders Total
Kyle Lindbergh 12
Tyler Wolterstorff 5
Nathan Rindels 5
Dalton Franken 4
Team Total: 34
Opponent Rebounding Leaders Total
Kyle Nikkel 7
Steve O'Neill 7
Danny Rudeen 5
Bryce Koch 4
Team Total: 32
Dordt Scoring Leaders Total
Kyle Lindbergh 26
Dalton Franken 18
Tyler Wolterstorff 17
Nathan Rindels 16
Team Total: 85
Opponent Scoring Leaders Total
Kyle Nikkel 20
Tanner Miller 19
Steve O'Neill 15
Danny Rudeen 11
Team Total: 87
Dordt Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 28/62 45%
3-Point Field Goals: 4/17 24%
Free Throws: 25/34 74%
Opponent Team Shooting Pct
Field Goals: 33/57 58%
3-Point Field Goals: 7/23 30%
Free Throws: 14/19 74%

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