Dordt College News

Dordt College Claims GPAC Championship

February 11, 2012

(Saturday, February 11; Sioux Center, Iowa)

With their 85-68 win over the Concordia Bulldogs on Saturday, February 11, the Dordt College men's basketball team claimed the school's first Great Plains Athletic Conference Championship in the sport.  The win, combined with Briar Cliff's loss, gave the Defenders the outright claim to the title and the number one seed in the post-season conference tournament that goes with it.  Dordt has also earned a spot in the NAIA Division II National Tournament held at the College of the Ozarks.

The Defenders went three for three on the week, earning wins on the road against Hastings and Dakota Wesleyan before grabbing win number three in front of a packed house on Saturday in the DeWitt Gymnasium.

“It was really nice to get this GPAC conference title at home in front of our enthusiastic fans who have been amazing in supporting us all year,” said Dordt Head Coach Ross Douma. “It was a great week for Dordt College basketball and our guys really did a good job staying tough with these three games in six days.”

By grabbing the top seed in the Great Plains Athletics Conference the Defenders have secured home court for the duration of the tournament.

Trailing by three in the first half, a Dordt College three-pointer by Cliff Warner tied the game at 17-17 with 11:42 to play and the teams were tied again at 19. Six points from Chris Sievers and an Austin Katje three-pointer helped the Defenders to a seven point lead (28-21) with 8:56 to play and Dordt led by 8 (35-27) on a Shawn Keizer 3 with 5:22 left.

A 6-0 run got the Bulldogs within two (35-33) with 3:44 remaining but the Defenders answered with an 8-0 run to end the half to take a 10 point lead (43-33) in to the break.

Chris Sievers had 12 points in the first half on 5 of 7 from the floor and 2 of 2 from the free throw line while also grabbing three rebounds and the Defenders only committed one turnover in the first half while forcing the Bulldogs in to committing eight.

“We gained some momentum at the end of the first half and I didn’t feel like we ever really lost it," said Douma.

Dordt jumped out to a 14 point lead in the second half and were again up 14 (49-35) on a Jordan Vogel dunk with 18:34 left. An 8-0 Concordia run cut the Dordt advantage to six (49-43) with 15:30 to play and the Defenders still led by 6 (51-45) with just under 15 minutes to play but a 5-0 run pushed the gap to 11 (56-45).

Concordia managed to cut the lead down to five at 62-57 and again at 65-60 with 6:13 to play, both times on Joel Haywood three-point baskets, but could never get it down to a one possession game and a 7-0 Defender run gave Dordt a 12 point cushion with 4:44 to play. A three-pointer by Beau Smith cut the lead to single digits for the last time as Dordt responded with a 6-0 run and the visitors could get no closer than a dozen the rest of the way. Dordt outscored Concordia 20-8 over the final 6:15.

“It was an efficient team effort for us again tonight, nothing flashy but we executed really well," said Douma.

Topping the Defenders in scoring was Chris Sievers who finished with 22 points on 9 of 13 from the floor and 4 of 5 from the free throw line while grabbing five rebounds and handing out a pair of assists.

“Sievers has been outstanding these last three weeks and has really been one of the difference makers for us," said Douma.

Jordan Vogel had 16 points on 6 of 12 from the floor and 4 of 6 from the charity stripe while Trevor Wolterstorff ended with 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting and 4 of 5 from the line. Tyler Wolterstorff grabbed a game high 7 rebounds to go along with 6 points, an assist and a steal. Cliff Warner had 9 points, a game high 6 assists and 3 steals. Austin Katje had 9 points and Shawn Keizer picked up 8.

As a team, Dordt College shot 30 of 59 from the floor for 50.8% with 6 of 14 from beyond the arc (42.9%) and 19 of 25 (76%) from the free throw line.

The Bulldogs were led by Barrett Braun’s 15 points on 6 of 12 from the floor with 2 of 5 from three point range and 1 of 1 from the line. Porter Birtell ended the night with 12 on 4 of 5 from both the floor and the free throw line while Joel Haywood and Brent Houchin both had 10. Beau Smith and Brent Houchin both snared 6 boards and Braun dished out 3 assists.

Concordia shot 23 of 51 (45.1%) from the floor with 7 of 18 (38.9%) from three point range and 15 of 18 (83.3%) from the free throw line.

The Defenders outrebounded the Bulldogs 31-30 and turned the ball over only 3 times while forcing their opponent in to 15.

The conference title is the third in program history with the 1980-1981 team claiming the Tri-State Conference title and the 1987-1988 team earned a share of the NAIA Iowa Conference title before qualifying for the NAIA National Tournament. 

Interestingly, the 1980-1981 team featured Dayton Vogel and Kevin Wolterstorff, both of whom now have sons who play major roles for the Defenders.

Dordt College will travel to Doane in Crete, Nebraska next Saturday, February 18 to conclude the regular season and will host a GPAC Quarterfinal Round playoff game on Wednesday, February 22 at the De Witt Gym.  The NAIA Division II National Basketball Tournament will be held March 7-13 at the College of the Ozarks at Point Lookout, Missouri.  The Defenders' last trip to the NAIA National Tournament was in 2005-2006 when they earned an at-large berth to the tournament.

(Photo courtesy of Steve Hoogland and the Sioux Center News)

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