But their next opportunity is coming, and it started Sunday as Northwest defeated Graceland 95-57 at Bearcat Arena in their lone exhibition contest of the 2013-2014 season.
It marked the return of 2011 All-MIAA point guard DeShaun Cooper, who missed the entire 2012-2013 season due to a knee injury. The senior picked up seven points, three assist, and a rebound, but managed to foul out midway through the second half.
"In scrimmages, against other competition, he was really good... as good as he's ever been," head coach Ben McCollum said. "He'll probably struggle early with crowds and just getting into the rhythm, but he'll be fine."
Senior forward Dillon Starzl led Northwest with 21 points, while adding five rebounds. Connor Crooker posted a game-high six rebounds while posting 18 points. Grant Cozad was the other Bearcat scoring in double figures with 12.
Northwest begins the regular season this weekend with a pair of road contests Marshall, Minn., beginning Friday against Upper Iowa.