Raiders Use the Three to Down No. 18 Morningside

December 11, 2021 6:54pm

Hilbrands Morn 12 11

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The (RV) Northwestern College men's basketball team (10-5, 3-3 GPAC) picked up their second straight Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) victory with a relentless attack from 3-point range to down No. 18 Morningside (7-3, 5-2 GPAC).

"Trent is a veteran. He provided a lot of veteran leadership tonight," said head coach Kris Korver. "Our guys did a great job getting him the basketball where he could succeed."

Senior Trent Hilbrands (Remsen, Iowa/Le Mars Community) was lights out in the contest, dropping 30 points to lead all scorers, shooting 11-21 (52.4%) from the floor. He was red hot from deep, nailing a new career-high eight 3-point baskets in 14 attempts.

Hilbrands would open the scoring with a three, little did Raider fans know they would see many more from him. Morningside would go on a quick 8-0 run to take an 8-3 lead. Hilbrands and company wouldn't let that stay for long as a 17-4 Northwestern sprint featuring two threes from Grant DeMeulenaere (Sr., Altoona, Iowa/Grand View Christian) and a Matt Onken (R-So., Marshall, Minn./Marshall) three, giving the Raiders a 20-12 advantage with 13 minutes to play in the half. The two teams would trade baskets for a while, but Northwestern was able to extend their lead to 15 at 49-34 at the half, thanks to six more 3-pointers.

As a team, Northwestern was 10-16 from deep in the opening 20 minutes, shooting 51.4% overall from the floor. Morningside struggled from deep (0-8), while only shooting 37.8% from the floor, allowing the Raiders to build their lead to 15 at the break. Hilbrands scored 20 of his 30 on the game in the first half, as Alex Van Kalsbeek (So., Orange City, Iowa/MOC-Floyd Valley) also notched double digits with 10 points in the half.

"It is a good win against a good team, it wrapped up a good week for us. Our guys prepared well and executed," said Korver. "Now, finals week and prep to go on the road at Viterbo. We will need to continue to prepare well."

The second half started the same as the first half did with a three from Hilbrands. DeMeulenaere followed up with a three of his own the very next possession, as 12-4 run to open the half extended the lead to 61-38. Northwestern would keep the pressure on all half, leading by as many as 27 points in the second half. Van Kalsbeek was the hot hand in the last 20 minutes, scoring more points (14) than Morningside's leading scorer on the night (Will Pottebaum, 13 points) in the second half alone. The Raiders shot 52% from deep (13-for25) and 54.1% (33-for-61) from the floor.

"Our bench was outstanding tonight," concluded Korver. "They gave us the lift we needed!"

Van Kalsbeek dropped 24 points, six assists, five rebounds, and blocked two shots in the contest. DeMeulenaere notched 15 points with six rebounds. Onken had nine points but a game-high 10 rebounds.

Up Next: The Raiders will prepare to take on the Viterbo (Wis.) V-Hawks for the second time this season, traveling to La Crosse, Wis. next Saturday, December 18 for a 3:00 p.m. tip. Northwestern defeated the V-Hawks 96-83 back on November 12 at the Pizza Ranch Classic.