January 11, 2018 - 8:42 am - Posted in Sports

Colton Kooima scored a game-high 38 points in leading 10th-ranked Northwestern College to a 95-86 home win over No.19 Dakota Wesleyan in a key GPAC match-up between ranked teams.

The Red Raiders push their win streak to eight and improve to 7-2 in conference play, 17-2 overall.

Kooima registered his sixth 30-point game of the season, 17th of his career, going 13-for-25 from the field and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line. Both Nathan Wedel (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Riley Francis (15 points, 10 boards) posted double-doubles and Derek Buysse chipped in 16 points, including a game-clinching three-pointer with two minutes left in the contest.

Dakota Wesleyan used the hot-shooting of Collin Kramer, who drained a trio of three-pointers in the opening minutes, to jump out to a 17-10 lead. Baskets by Steven Kragt and a three-point play by Buysse began a 19-4 Northwestern surge that put the hosts in front 29-21 at the nine-minute mark. The Red Raiders held the lead for the rest of the half, an advantage that ranged from 3-7 points and ended 45-40 at the break.

Another three-pointer by Kramer made it a one-point game in the opening moments of the second half. The teams traded runs over the next five minutes, until, with Northwestern up by two (55-53), Kooima carried the offensive load with 17 straight points for the Red Raiders as the hosts gradually pulled away to an 81-70 advantage. Still a 10-point game with three minutes left, Buysse knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key to seal DWU’s fate.

Northwestern shot 52% from the field, 40% (8/20) from the three-point arc, and went 17/21 from the free throw line. The Red Raiders used a commanding 39-28 edge on the boards, pulling down nine offensive boards, and committed eight turnovers compared to 14 by DWU.

Jason Spicer missed just two shots from the field (11/13) en route to a 31 point, seven assist effort to lead DWU. Nygel Drury scored 20 and Kramer netted 19, draining five three-pointers.

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