Bulldogs make Elite Eight in NCAA Tournament

The men’s basketball team has undertaken postseason tournament play and the Bulldogs competed in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals Wednesday night where their season was ended by Flagler College in a hard fought 69-70 game.

The Bulldogs’ road to postseason success took an early hit when the team suffered a nail biting two-point defeat to the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds in the GLVC quarterfinals.

Forward Elijah Hazekamp has been a key player on the team this season, his first as a Bulldog.

In his redshirt sophomore season here, the North Dakota University transfer has experienced the ups and downs of postseason play immediately.

“It was definitely disappointing to lose in the GLVC tournament,” Hazekamp said. “However, we had to move on with the NCAA tournament ahead.” 

Hazekamp finished with 12 points and five rebounds against the Greyhounds and knocked down three triples.

The redshirt sophomore elaborated that the team couldn’t lose sight of its goal and the minor setback would lead to a major comeback.

“Seeing that we still were given the [No.] 1 seed in the national tournament was motivating for sure as well,” Hazekamp said.

The Bulldogs rolled past their first round matchup at Ashland University, where the team out-rebounded Ashland 32-27. 

Hazekamp said his main skills on the court are being a rebounder and an effective offensive player. 

“Rebounding takes effort, and I really have found my niche in it,” Hazekamp said. “I’m letting the offense flow naturally when it does.” 

The big time transfer put up 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the Bulldogs’ Midwest Regional championship game.

Forward Dylan Peeters attempts to block
against SBU earlier this season. The men’s basketball team lost in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals last night. Photo by Oliver Malone

Guard Turner Scott is the floor general for the Bulldogs, and in his redshirt senior season has enjoyed making it back to the national tournament. 

“This tournament run means a lot to not only me but also to my fellow class members,” Scott said. 

Scott was a freshman during a season where the Bulldogs reached an NCAA tournament, but the following season finished with a below 500 record. 

The guard credited previous basketball alumni for putting in the framework that has always been built upon to get the team to this point. 

“We’ve been building this type of run up for a while now,” Scott said. “All that work is finally paying off.”

Scott has been putting in his fair share of work in postseason play, averaging 13 points and seven assists over the last three games.

Fellow guard Masen Miller has also been putting up numbers for the squad, all while being a freshman this season.

“[Miller] has been huge for us this season,” Scott said. “Anybody who watches our games knows that he is a true shooter.”

The guard tandem has been a staple for Coach Horner this season, and Scott also credits Miller for his excellent defense.

The Bulldogs scraped past Michigan Technological University in the Midwest Regional Championship game and lost to Flagler College in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. 

“This week we have to make sure our minds are right as well as our bodies,” Scott said. “Staying focused and prepared will give us our best shot.”

The senior guard specifically laid out the importance of staying on top of academics, as the team will be locked in on Monday.