(Point Lookout, Missouri - College of the Ozarks) - The Dordt College Defender men's basketball team used a 19-29 shooting performance in the second half to win its first round game at the NAIA Division II National Basketball Tournament on the campus of the College of the Ozarks near Branson, Missouri. The Defenders outscored Nothwest (Washington 50-39 in the second half to forge a 79-59 win.
The Defenders trailed 10-6 early in the game but used a 9-0 run over a two and a half minute stretch to take a 15-10 lead that they never relinquished. A Chris Sievers three-point play started the run with back to back bucket s by Trevor Wolterstorff adding to the lead and Jordan Vogel had a dunk to end the run.
The Defenders eventually led by 10 late in the half and went into the intermission up 29-20. Dordt scored six of the first eight points of the second half to establish a 13 point lead but Northwest rallied to within eight at 39-31 with 14:52 remaining in the game. Cliff Warner then drained a three and Vogel and Tyler Wolterstorff hit a short shot for a 46-31 advantage at the 12:58 mark.
Northwest got no closer than eight in the final ten minutes as Dordt won by their largest margin 79-59.
Dordt was 31-59 from the floor for 52.5 percent for the game and converted 11-15 free throws. Northwest was 20-55 from the field for 36.4 percent and made 9-28 three-point shots. Dordt held a 36-26 rebounding advantage and forced 16 turnovers to 15 for Dordt.
"We defended the arc very well and Trevor did a good job of limiting their post-player (Nemanja Grujicic) from setting people up," said Dordt College coach Ross Douma.
Cliff Warner scored 20 on 6-15 shooting and he hit three, three-point baskets. Trevor Wolterstorff added 15 with five rebounds and Chris Sievers had 13 points with five assists. Austin Katje added 12 and Kyle Lindbergh had a team high 10 rebounds with six points.
Northwest was topped by Ryan McIntosh with 18 and Michael Greene had 14, all in the second half.
Dordt will face Indiana Wesleyan at 10:15 a.m. Friday morning. Dordt is 27-6 entering the game while Indiana Wesleyan is 26-6.
"That's the challenge of this tournament. Now we have less than 24 hours to prepare for a very good second round opponent. They're a lot like us in that they look to get it inside and can shoot it from the outside," said Douma.