Dordt def. Northwestern 79-66
No.22 Dordt University earned a 79-66 win over No.12 Northwestern in a conference showdown between ranked teams played tonight at the DeWitt Gym.
Dordt improved to 2-4 in the GPAC, 7-5 overall, while handing Northwestern its second consecutive defeat. The Red Raiders are now 4-2 in league play, 10-2 overall.
Ashtyn Veerbeek poured in a game-high 28 points, her seventh 20+ output of the season. Veerbeek pulled down eight rebounds and dished out a game-high five assists. Bailey Beckman netted a career-best 22 points, draining 4-of-6 three-pointers.
The Defenders limited Northwestern to its lowest scoring output of the season, holding the Red Raiders to a season-low 38% from the field.
In contrast, Dordt shot 44% for the game, 38% from the three-point arc, both season-bests. The Defenders were clutch from the free throw line, making good on 14-of-15 attempts.
The Defenders surged ahead for good after an 11-0 run to put the hosts in front 18-11 at the end of the first quarter. Beckman and Veerbeek both hit three-pointers during the scoring run.
Dordt extended its lead to as much as 17 (37-20) on a three-pointer by Hayden Heimensen with 1:34 left and led 42-27 at the half.
Another Beckman three-pointer capped a string of six consecutive points and gave Dordt its largest lead (52-31) midway in the third quarter. The teams traded baskets over the final four-plus minutes as the Defenders led 61-46 with one quarter left.
With Dordt leading by 21 (69-48), Northwestern responded with its best scoring run, an 11-0 surge, to cut the deficit to 10 (69-59) on a three-pointer by Jada Cunningham with four-minutes left. Following baskets by both teams, Beckman iced the game with a three-pointer from the top of the key with 1:30 left to go.
Northwestern was led by Jada Cunningham with 25 points and Molly Schany contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds.
COACH BILL HARMSEN SAID
“Defensively I thought we did an outstanding job in the first half and I thought we set the tone pretty well and through the third quarter I was really happy with the effort that we gave. Coach Bernbeck was spot on with our scouting for this game and I thought our team was really dialed in. To have Karly (Gustafson) back to help defend on post players and to have Hayden (Heimensen) back to run the show…..that was a really good thing. We had a really tough three weeks with Karly’s concussion, Hayden turned up sick on the trip to Midland and Riley (Van Hulzen) hurt her knee and those things take an emotional toll on a team. Then to play three good teams in Briar Cliff, the College of Saint Mary and Midland and take losses and then to respond and come out and compete and defend for 40 minutes against a really good Northwestern team…..I’m almost speechless.”
The Defenders will host Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 2pm.