ORANGE CITY, Iowa – A 16-0 run in the first half gave the Northwestern College (12-5, 4-3 GPAC) basketball team their third straight win at the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) from a double-double by Matt Onken.
The postplay led the Raiders to victory tonight when Northwestern scored 34 of their 69 color points, compared to just 22 color points from Dakota Wesleyan.
Onken (R-So., Marshall, Minn./Marshall) made himself felt on the boards in the first half and collected nine of his 15 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of the game. During the night he collected 14 points – more rebounds than points scored.
Dakota Wesleyan took the first five points of the competition and built a 10-4 lead early on, but this was the only time the Tigers held a lead in the competition. Dakota Wesleyan’s top scorer Mason Larson at 11:42 at halftime conceded his second foul and put him on the bench. That would spur the Raiders on to do a 16-0 run for six and a half minutes, the same stretch the Tigers would go ice cold if they hit the ground 0-10. The Raiders would take the lead at 12:10 with 10:33 to go, in the middle of the run, and would never give up that lead. Northwestern would lead 30-21 into the locker room.
Alex Van Kalsbeek (Sun., Orange City, Iowa / MOC-Floyd Valley) scored 10 points in the first half and led the Raiders, while Onken got eight points.
Van Kalsbeek started the second half with a bang and threw a dunk to give the Raiders the biggest lead of the competition at 13 (34-21). Dakota Wesleyan did her best to fight her way back into the game after that cold spell in the first half but never took the lead again. The Tigers reduced the lead to two at 49-47 with 8:10 playing time, but the Raiders traded baskets with the Tigers and eventually increased their lead to seven with four minutes remaining. With just over a minute left, the Raiders increased their lead from the charity strike back to double digits and resulted in an 11-point win at 69:58.
During the night, three raiders scored in the double-digit range. Van Kalsbeek reached the Raiders with 23 points (5v6 from the free throw line), Onken had 14 and Trent Hilbrands (Sr., Remsen, Iowa / Le Mars Community) scored 13 (4v4). from the free throw line). Jesse Van Wyk (Sr., Sully, Iowa / Lynnville-Sully) distributed the ball well and scored five assists that night.
Next up: Northwestern is gearing up for a tough two-day track with back-to-back games this coming weekend. On Friday, January 7th, the number 12 Jimmies arrive to town from Jamestown (15-2, 5-2 GPAC), followed by a contest against the Hastings Broncos (6-10, 1-5 GPAC) on Saturday January 8.