Morningside def. Dordt 85-79
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Defenders jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the early moments of the game, and Ashtyn Veerbeek scored 6 of the first 8 points for Dordt. It was a back-and-forth battle through most of the first quarter, but Morningside jumped out to a 6-point lead with 3:15 to go. Dordt answered with a 7-0 run, which included a made three from Macey Nielson. Later in the quarter, Erika Feenstra broke an 18-18 tie to give Dordt a 20-18 lead after the first.
The second quarter advantage belonged to Morningside, as the Mustangs generated a double-digit lead off of a steal and score by Grace Meyer. After extending the lead to as much as 12, Erika Feenstra was first to score in a trio of made three-point baskets. After Morningside's Tayte Hansen made a three to push the lead back to 12, Bailey Beckman returned the points with a trey just before the halftime buzzer.
The second half opened with a three from Morningside's Sophia Peppers to give the Mustangs a 48-35 lead. Both teams traded points throughout the third quarter, but Dordt cut into the lead in the closing minutes. Back-to-back threes from Macey Nielson and Ashtyn Veerbeek halved the deficit, bringing the Defenders within 6. Dordt came as close as three points, as Veerbeek's three in the final minute of the quarter brought the score to 62-59 after the 3rd quarter.
Morningside made a couple three-point shots of their own to bring their lead back to 12 as Faith Meyer and McKenna Sims both scored. The Mustangs took a 79-72 lead with 2:11 left in the game when Mya Chmielewski answered with a corner three to make the score 79-75 with 57.1 left. The Defenders nearly forced a turnover and Morningside drew a foul, making both shots at the free throw line. Bailey Beckman made a layup out of the timeout for one final chance at a comeback, but Morningside secured the game with two more free throws.
Ashtyn Veerbeek scored 27 points and had 10 rebounds
Bailey Beckman finished with 13 points
Five Defenders scored in double figures
Dordt shot 51.7% and Morningside had a 48.3% shooting percentage
The Defenders made 11 of their three-point attempts
Dordt outrebounded Morningside 40-23
Morningside was led in scoring by Sophia Peppers with 25 points
COACH HARMSEN SAID
"I'm really proud of our team's effort. I thought we left it out on the floor tonight. We moved the ball confidently, shot the ball confidently, and Morningside is a tough team to beat on their home court. Mya had a couple of travels in the first half, but came out and did a fantastic job in the second half. She hit a few huge shots from the three point line and played well defensively. I'm really proud of how Ashtyn finished around the basket. She's starting to settle in and we're starting to play well with her. It's great to be back in the gym practicing together. The enthusiasm is great, and we're really looking forward to getting back to work as we prepare for Doane."
Dordt is now 2-5 and Morningside is 5-1
The Defenders will return back to De Witt Gymnasium for a matchup with the Doane Tigers on Saturday, December 5. Tip-off is set for 2:00 pm.