FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University took down previously unbeaten and top-ranked Concordia University on Wednesday night in one of the biggest upsets in school history. The Bulldogs had had the Warriors number for nearly two decades with Midland’s last win coming back in February of 2001. A run of 35 straight games had gone the Bulldogs way and just about everyone outside of the Midland locker room expected that streak to continue.
“I felt like we played a complete game tonight,” head coach Shawn Gilbert commented. “Our effort was good the entire time. Even when Concordia tried to push a little bit, I was proud that our kids didn’t back down any. We did what we needed to do to get the win today.”
Midland pressured Concordia into 20 turnovers on the night. That translated into 23 points for the Warriors who also attacked the defense early. Midland shot 35 free throws in the game, hitting 23 of them. Concordia got into foul trouble early as Midland attacked their defense from the start. The Bulldogs would battle foul trouble most of the game and eventually had a pair of players foul out down the stretch.
Offensively the Warriors took balanced approach of getting the ball inside for easy buckets as well as hitting the three point shot at key times. Maddie Egr was a dominant force in the paint during the first half scoring 15 points on 5-9 shooting and converting on all five of her free throws.
In the second half, with Concordia playing more zone, Midland made six threes.
Madison Severson had three of those shots as she scored all 12 of her points over the final two quarters. The Warriors never trailed in the half and at one point, near the end of the third, held a 15 point lead.
Senior Joelle Overkamp led the Warriors in scoring with 27 points on the night. She was joined in double-figures by Maddie Egr who had 19 and Amanda Hansen and Madison Severson each had 12 points.
The win was Midland’s first over a top-five team since they defeated No. 4 Briar Cliff, 78-75 in overtime, on the road on December 19, 2015.
Up next for Midland (12-14, 7-9 GPAC) is a matchup with Mount Marty (12-13, 3-13 GPAC) on Saturday. The Warriors will honor seniors Megan Kucks and Joelle Overkamp after postgame. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. inside Wikert Event Center.
FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University earned hard-fought win over (RV) Concordia University on Wednesday night. The Warriors withstood a late surge by the visiting Bulldogs for the 67-61 victory. With the win, Midland improves to 14-12 (5-10 GPAC) on the year while Concordia falls to 16-8 (7-6 GPAC).
“I was really proud of our guys,” head coach Oliver Drake said following the game. “There were a few points were we could’ve folded, things didn’t go our way at times, and our guys kept battling. They stuck with it and really made plays when they had to. I’m really proud of them.”
Midland trailed nearly the entire first half, by as many as eight at one point, before finding their rhythm on the offensive end. Reggie Gradwell was a big part of that, hitting four three-pointers in the second half. His play on the defensive end down the stretch was just as good.
With just over two minutes to go in the game he had a big stop as he stripped the ball from the shooter’s hands along the baseline and then challenged Concordia’s final drive to tie the game with six seconds left.
“Reggie has come so far this year,” Coach Drake commented. “He hasn’t played as well consistently as he probably would’ve liked, but when we’ve needed plays made Reggie’s stepped up. I proud of the way he works hard, accepted coaching and criticism. He just keeps battling. When you do those things, good things happen in a big way and tonight he was deserving of everything he got.”
Joining Gradwell in double figures were Ryan Williams with 15 and Shak Triplett with 12 points. That duo also led the team in rebounding with 9 from Williams and 8 from Triplett. Shak seemed to grab every big rebound down the stretch and that led to him being sent to the foul line where he hit four consecutive free throws to seal the win.
“We’re trotting out a lot bigger lineup now and I think that’s effecting some teams with our length,” Coach Drake added. “We’ve got to get more in sync with this lineup offensively now but it’s really helped our defense.”
Next up for Midland is a senior day matchup with Mount Marty (5-19, 2-12 GPAC) on Saturday. The Warriors will honor their three seniors, Nick Wood, Marti Fonolla and Chase Parsons, prior to the game. Tipoff is set for 4:00 p.m. inside Wikert Event Center.