The Pipers took an 8-5 lead in the first five minutes of the game,
with six of those points coming from Carl Hipp (Jr., Little Canada,
Minn.) under the basket. The Eagles then tied it at 9-9 on a lay-up from
Nathan Thompson (Jr., Fergus Falls, Minn.) at 14:14.
Northwestern took their first lead nearly a minute later when Thompson hit a three-pointer for a 12-11 Northwestern lead.
The Eagles upped their lead to 23-16 with a shot from outside the arc
by Lance Westberg (Fy., River Falls, Wis.) at 10:36. But the Pipers
answered quickly, as Jordan Schmidt (Fy., Northbrook, Ill.) sandwiched a
Christian Taber (Fy., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) three-pointer with baskets
from inside the paint and outside the arc. Those eight points gave
Hamline a 24-23 lead at 9:46.
Taber extended that lead to four points with another trey just 20 seconds later.
Thompson once again tied the game for the Eagles on a short basket
with under two minutes to play, 37-37, but the Pipers out-scored their
visitors 5-2 in the final two minutes of the half to lead 42-37 at
Schmidt had 13 points and Taber had 11 heading into the locker room
at halftime. Thompson had nine for the Eagles after 20 minutes.
Eric Garst (Sr., Mesa, Ariz.) started off the second half with a
baseline three-pointer from near the Northwestern bench to tie the game
at 42-42. The Eagles used that basket to start a 13-2 run that gave them
a 52-44 lead three and a half minutes into the second half.
They held control of the scoreboard for much of the second half,
until the Pipers began to claw away at the deficit in the final five
minutes. A pair of layups from Hipp, followed by a Brandon Rieg (So.,
Riverside, Calif.) steal that he took in to the basket to get two free
throws, got the Pipers to within one at 72-71 with 3:30 to play.
Levi Wenrich (So., Newhall, Calif.) tied the game at 3:05, 72-72,
with a free throw, but Brian Lecheler (Jr., Abbotsford, Wis.) drained a
three-pointer for the 75-72 Northwestern lead.
Hipp made another shot inside the paint to get the Pipers to 75-74,
then was fouled while grabbing a rebound on the opposite end of the
court. He made one of two free throws to tie the game again, 75-75, with
two minutes to play.
Reid Berens (Sr., Lino Lakes, Minn.) regained the two-point Eagles
advantage with a lay-up on their next possession. Northwestern then got
the ball back on a Piper turnover, and Berens was fouled and sent to the
line, making one shot to put Northwestern up by three, 78-75, with 1:14
Wenrich spent some more time at the foul line, cutting the Eagles' lead to one with 1:02 to play on a pair of free throws.
A wild scramble at mid-court found the ball back in Northwestern’s
possession with 45 seconds to play. However, with 30 seconds on the game
clock and the shot clock running out, Hipp blocked an Eagles shot and
recovered the rebound under the basket.
A pair of Hamline timeouts had the Pipers in-bounding the ball under
the basket. Hipp was fouled along the baseline, and sank both free
throws for a 79-78 Hamline lead with 16 seconds on the clock.
On the responding Northwestern possession, Hamline’s defense held the
Eagles out along the perimeter. Wenrich pressured for, and received, a
jump ball, stopping the clock with four seconds to play in the game and
getting the ball back for Hamline.
Wenrich was fouled after receiving the in-bounds pass, but missed
both shots. Berens rebounded the ball and the Eagles called a timeout
with 3.1 seconds on the clock. They in-bounded the ball on the far
baseline, but couldn’t get past Hipp, who recorded a steal to end the
Hipp finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds (three offensive), and two
blocked shots. Schmidt had 16 points and Taber finished with 11.
Northwestern was led by 20 points from Berens, 15 from Lecheler, and 11 from Gabe Jefferson (So., Lincoln, Neb.).
The Pipers move to 1-1 overall with the non-conference win.
Northwestern opens the season at 0-1 overall. Hamline will next host
Buena Vista on Sunday, November 29, at 3:00 p.m.