Freshman Eric Jackson stole the ball from All-Conference player Trevor Wolterstorff with four seconds remaining and NWU hit 3-4 free throws in the final two seconds to seal the 80-76 overtime victory over Dordt College on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 5) in GPAC men's basketball action.
Dordt trailed 77-76 and had the ball with 20 seconds left in overtime to set up a potential game-winning play. Wolterstoff drove the lane, but Jackson picked his pocked and threw a lead pass down to Nick Dinan. Dinan was intentionally fouled and hit 1-2 free throws. On the ensuing inbounds play, Jonah Bradley was immediately fouled and calmly hit 2-2 free throws to seal the win.
The end of regulation also was intense as NWU led 67-65 with under 10 seconds to play when Mitch Liberty fouled Wolterstorff. Wolterstorff hit both free throws to tie the game at 67-67.
NWU had a chance at a game-winner, but Jonah Bradley missed a step through 15 foot jump shot to send the game to overtime.
On a day when NWU honored its lone senior Jim Lance, a trio of freshman played huge roles in the win. Freshmen Trevor Johnson, Eric Jackson and Jonah Bradley all scored double figures and helped NWU get off to a good start. Jackson had 10 of his 12 points in the first half, while Johnson was 4-5 for eight points in the first 20 minutes. Bradley, one of the smallest players on the court, ended with 12 points and had a game-high nine rebounds.
Lance also stepped up his play on the special Senior Day. He led the Prairie Wolves with 15 points and also pulled down nine rebounds while shooting 6-8 from the floor.
In the end, six different NWU players scored in double figures. Lance had 15, Nick Dinan 13, the three freshman had 12 and Bryce Arp scored 10.
For Dordt, two players scored 20 points each as Wolterstorff had 22 and Austin Katje hit 21.
NWU has now won two straight games after a nine-game losing streak. The Prairie Wolves will hope to carry over the momentum to next Wednesday's final home game against Midland University