College basketball: Ridgewater's shooting woes lead to its first loss
Warriors fall to North Dakota College of Science 97-70 in Wahpeton.
WAHPETON, N.D. — In a battle of undefeated teams, North Dakota State College of Science reigned supreme over Ridgewater College with a 97-70 victory on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats (7-0) outscored the Warriors (3-1) 55-32 in the first half and 42-38 in the second.
“There’s always going to be adversity in a game like this and it’s just like how you respond to it,” Warriors coach Nathan Thooft said. “If you let two mistakes become three, four, five, or how you back each other up, that’s what you’re looking at in a game like that.”
The Warriors struggled against the Wildcats’ bigs, particularly 6-foot-10-inch Noah Christensen, shooting 44.1% from the field, and struggled to find their range from the 3-point land, connecting on 9 of 25 attempted 3-pointers.
Sophomore Cartier Bickley led the Warriors with 18 points on 57% shooting.
Four of five Wildcats’ starters finished with double digits in points. Guard Micah Swallow led the team with 14. The Wildcats’ fast pace and ball movement led to 56% shooting from the field and 44% from the 3-point line.
“We couldn’t quite get the spots that we wanted to,” Thooft said. “But as we adjusted to moving the ball a bit quicker, to playing with more of a purpose and being shot ready, things get easier.
Thooft says Thursday practice will tell a lot about how the Warriors will respond to Wednesday’s loss.
“You always learn better out of a loss,” he said. “They exposed the little stuff that we struggle with in practice and it looks way worse in a game like that. Their length and how good they are is going to expose when you’re not shot ready or when you drive into the wrong gap.
“It makes it very easy to head into practice tomorrow to change some stuff and hopefully you turn around and apply that day-to-day and it kind of grows into getting better.”
The Warriors play Central Lakes College at 3 p.m. Saturday in Brainerd.