POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – No. 10 Dordt College (Iowa) used a big second half to pull away and defeat Northwest (Wash.) 79-59 in the first round of the 22nd annual NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship.
The 2013 event is being held at the Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks.
Cliff Warner paced a balanced Defenders’ offense with 20 points, draining three from beyond the arc. Trevor Wolterstorff recorded 15 points and five rebounds while Chris Sievers and Austin Katje also netted double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Scoring was at a premium early as both teams set the tone on the defensive end. Trailing by four, Dordt ran off nine straight points to take the lead for good, 15-10, with 10 minutes left in the first half. The Defenders stretched the lead to nine (29-20) at the break.
The teams traded baskets throughout the first portion of the second half until, leading by eight, Warner hit a three-pointer to spark a 7-0 run that put the Defenders up 55-40 with eight minutes to go. Dordt had at least a 15-point cushion the rest of the way.
Dordt shot 53% for the game and held a 36-26 advantage on the glass, limiting Northwest to just five offensive rebounds.
Dordt advances to the second round with a 27-6 overall record and will play #7 Indiana Wesleyan on Friday at 10:15 a.m. The 32-team, single elimination tournament concludes Tuesday, March 12, with the championship game to tip-off at 8 pm.