The Dordt College Defender men's basketball team won its first ever Great Plains Athletic Conference Post-Season Tournament Championship with a 75-63 win over the Morningside Mustangs in front of a capacity crowd at the De Witt Gym in Sioux Center, Iowa.
The Defenders jumped in front from the start and never trailed in winning their 26th game of the season and seventh game in a row.
Dordt 27-49 from the floor for 55.1 percent and made 24-31 two-point shots. The Defenders also converted 18-22 free throws. Morningside was limited to 28-68 shooting for 41.2 percent and she was 4-7 on free throws. Dordt held a commanding rebounding edge of 40-25 but turned the ball over 19 times to nine for the visitors.
Trevor Wolterstorff and Jordan Vogel had 16 each to pace the Defenders and both had eight rebounds with Vogel going 7-7 from the floor. Kyle Lindbergh added 13 points while going 6-6 from the field and had five rebounds. Morningside was topped by Danny Rudeen with 17 points and Kyle Nikkel scored 14 with seven rebounds.
Dordt earns the automatic berth that goes with the post-season title while Morningside's run through the tournament ends with an 18-15 mark.
The NAIA Division II Men's National Basketball Tournament field will be announced by 4:00 Wednesday afternoon, February 27 and the 32-team bracket will be released at 7:15 pm.
Morningside added the GPAC Post-Season Tournament Championship to its regular season GPAC title when the second-ranked Mustangs edged No. 8 Northwestern 78-73 on GPAC Championship Tuesday.
The Mustangs defeated the three-time reigning NAIA Division II National Champion Red Raiders for the third time this season and for the sixth time in a row dating back to last season.
Morningside improved its record to 28-4 and will take a 12-game winning streak into the upcoming NAIA Division II National Tournament slated for March 6-12 in Sioux City's Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena. Northwestern had an eight-game winning streak snapped and will take a 23-7 record into the national tourney.
Shelby Beaudette led the Mustangs with 16 points.
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