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November 15, 2012 9:14 am

NWC Trapper men taste first defeats

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Williston tournament unkind to NWC men

The Northwest College men’s basketball team dropped its first decisions of the 2012-13 hoop season last weekend in North Dakota with tournament losses to North Idaho and Williston State College. Despite the results, Trapper head coach Brian Erickson was pleased with the effort showcased by his squad.

“Both games, I thought we played hard,” said Erickson. “I’m happy with the effort the guys showed out there.”

Indeed, the Trappers were up by eight points in the first half of their game against North Idaho, a contest the team eventually lost by a 75-64 final count. Against Williston State, Northwest was tied with the Tetons until a late first-half run by the host college sent NWC to a double-digit deficit they never overcame, eventually losing 88-69.

In both cases, the culprit was the Trappers’ outside shooting.

“We struggled,” said Erickson. “We couldn’t hit an outside shot for anything.”

The Trapper head coach noted his staff charts the team’s shooting percentage for shots taken beyond 17 feet from the bucket. In that area, the Trappers were a frigid 2-for-24 against North Idaho. That improved only slightly to 6-for-21 against Williston State.

“Part of that is we were rushing shots too quickly instead of running through our offensive progression one more time and seeing if we couldn’t get the same or a better look at the bucket,” said Erickson. “But it also comes down to just needing to hit an outside shot and being more patient before taking that shot.”

The Trappers were also victimized by their opponents’ accuracy at the foul stripe. North Idaho and Williston collectively hit 53 of the 60 free throws attempted against Northwest over the weekend. By contrast, Northwest went 28-for-44 at the charity stripe.

Junior Coleman led the way for Northwest in Friday’s game against North Idaho. The Trapper sophomore buried 21 points while also leading the team in assists. Coleman’s team-high total was achieved in just 19 minutes of court time.

Jefferey Solarin added 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Pietro de Andrade narrowly missed double figures, ending the night with nine points.

The Coleman-Solarin combo also paced the team against Williston as Coleman again posted a 21-point night. Solarin added 19 points. Freshman Gabe Solarin, Jefferey’s younger brother, came off the Trapper bench to contribute eight points in just 11 minutes of action.

The losses drop Northwest to 3-2 overall this season. The Trapper men host Williston State College on Friday, followed by a contest against Region IX South foe Northeastern on Saturday.

“I’m excited to be back at home and in front of our Northwest Trapper fans,” said Erickson. “Our student section has been outstanding at volleyball and soccer this fall. It will be good to have that plus our community support behind us this weekend.”

Both men’s games will tip off following the conclusion of the NWC women’s basketball contests on Friday and Saturday.

Williston St. 88, Northwest 69

Carabagiale 6, J. Solarin 19, Beehler 3, Coleman 21, de Andrade 7, G. Solarin 8, Uzonwanne 2, Newsom 3.

N. Idaho 75, Northwest 64

J. Solarin 18, Beehler 6, Coleman 21, de Andrade 9, G. Solarin 3, Uzonwanne 1, Newsom 6.

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