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College basketball: Dordt upends Minnesota West men

Kuol Chol of Minnesota West goes up for a score in Saturday's men's basketball game against Dordt JV. (Aaron Hagen/The Globe)

BY AARON HAGEN

The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- Angel Arroyo had a good warmup before Saturday’s men’s basketball game.

And that warmup carried into the game as the freshman guard scored a team-high 28 points for Minnesota West.

“It was pretty good, it was the good warmup I had,” Arroyo said of his night. “We just didn’t play defense like we’re supposed to. We have to stop the 3 and the open shots. Our offense was pretty good. It was just our defense.”

The Dordt JV used sharp shooting from long range in a 100-87 victory, dropping the Bluejays to 0-2 this season.

“Nobody wants to go 0 and anything,” MW head coach Aaron Poor Bear said. “But we’ll get better. The idea is to eventually get to the goal of playing at full capacity, knowing our hard rotations, running our offense like a machine. Once we get to that point, I think we’ll be a lot more competitive.”

The Bluejays suffered an 84-81 defeat to Northwestern JV the previous night.

“Last night I slept bad thinking about that,” Arroyo said. “We have talent on the team. I bet we have the best point guards in the conference. But we don’t have a center. That’s going to hurt us a little bit.”

The main thorn in West’s side on Saturday was Derrick Ogechi. The freshman guard was 12-for-20 from 3-point range to score a game-high 36 points.

“We didn’t close our right,” Arroyo said. “We didn’t close out how we’re supposed to.”

Arroyo and Alex Brown accounted for much of the MW offense against the Defenders. Brown finished with 27 points as the two combined for 55 points.

“The offense is designed to try to get some ball movement and try to get opportunities for all the guys to get some shots off,” Poor Bear said. “Hats off to Alex and Angel, they did a fantastic job of taking the ball to the basket. Our shooting wasn’t a good as we wanted it to be, if that was on it could be a different game.”

Arroyo scored 11 of West’s first 15 points as the game was close throughout the first half. With less than a minute until halftime, Ogechi made a 3 to push the lead to 10, 49-39. DeShawn Pickford made two free throws and Jeffery Hudson had an offensive rebound putback at the buzzer to cut the deficit to six at the break.

Out of halftime, MW went on a 13-6 run to take a 56-55 advantage. However, that lead didn’t last long as a 7-0 spurt gave Dordt the lead.

Midway through the second half, a shot by Arroyo pulled West within eight, 74-66. However, led by the shooting of Ogechi, Dordt went on a 20-6 run to put the game away. In the stretch, Ogechi made three 3-pointers in a 2:30 span.

“You’re going to get those shots, you have to knock them down and he did,” Poor Bear said. “It’s good shooting. If he shoots that way all season, he’ll be fantastic.”

The Bluejays are at Iowa Lakes on Tuesday.

“It’s going to be a process for us to learn new offenses, to learn new defenses, to adjust to coach, to adjust to each other,” Poor Bear said. “Hopefully that comes sooner than later. It’s a good group of guys. I appreciate that they work hard.”

Dordt JV 49 100

Bluejays 43 87

DORDT JV (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Van Kekerix 3-1-4-15, Eckels 2-0-4-10, Ogechi 12-0-0-36, Vandekamp 0-1-2-4, Lambert 2-4-2-16, Steele 0-0-2-2, Dracon 0-3-0-6, Brouwer 0-2-1-5, Marra 0-3-0-6. Totals 19-14-15-100

BLUEJAYS (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) -- Chol 0-3-2-8, Carter 2-0-0-6, Pickford 0-1-2-4, Hudson 0-1-0-2, Ojulu 1-0-0-3, Preston 1-0-0-3, Brown 2-10-1-27, Syph 0-3-0-6, Arroyo 0-13-2-28. Totals 6-31-7-87.

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