FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University was back on the court for the second day in a row as they faced Morningside College in a Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) matchup on Saturday afternoon. The Warriors showed resiliency, competing throughout against the 7th-ranked Mustangs before falling by a score of 77-73. Midland falls to 3-7 overall and 1-6 in conference play while Morningside improves to 8-1 and 4-1.
The Warriors dug themselves a big hole in the early going as the Mustangs raced out to a 21-2 lead in the opening eight minutes. They responded after a timeout with a run of their own. Sparked by a three-pointer by junior Bo Sandquist and a tough and-one layup from junior Emanuel Bryson, Midland would go on an 8-0 run to cut into the deficit.
They would continue to find success behind the arc after starting the half 1-of-10 from long range. Midland converted on six of their next twelve attempts including a trio from sophomore Arturo Montes, pulling even closer to the talented Mustangs.
Morningside was paced in the first half by Trey Brown. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds, leading the visitors from Sioux City to a 39-28 at the break.
To begin the second half the Warriors connected on their first three shots from behind the arc. A pair from senior Laurence Merritt and another from Sandquist. The hot shooting fueled the Warriors as they quickly erased their halftime deficit with a 13-3 run, clawing back to within one, 42-41.
Morningside maintained their composure and their lead, extending it to as much as eight points multiple times. The Warriors didn’t throw in the towel though, battling back each time.
Down 70-62 with 3:19 to go, junior Jake Rueschhoff banked in an acrobatic layup while being fouled. That sparked a defensive stand followed by a pair of free throws from freshman Colby Tichota, pulling Midland back within in three-points.
After Morningside made just 1-of-2 from the free-throw line, Merritt tracked down an offensive rebound and found Sandquist for a three-pointer to make it a one-point game with 2:24 remaining.
The Mustangs countered with a jumper on their next trip down the court and then both teams traded empty possessions down the stretch.
Forced to foul, Midland sent the Mustangs to the line with 30-seconds left, and once again the visitors left the door open, making just 1-of-2 from the charity stripe.
Merritt and the Warriors took advantage, hitting a three-pointer with 16 seconds remaining. However, that was the closest they got as Morningside converted on three of their next four free-throw shots to seal the 77-73 win.
The Warriors (3-7, 1-6 GPAC) will be back in action next Saturday when they host Briar Cliff (4-5, 2-3 GPAC). The teams are slated for a 4:00 p.m. tipoff inside Wikert Event Center in Fremont on December 12.
FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University’s women’s basketball team fell short Saturday afternoon, losing 84-77 against No. 24-ranked Morningside College.
During the first quarter, both teams showed to have a burst scoring, going back and forth. Midland went on a run to make it 14-6, forcing a Morningside timeout. After that stoppage, Morningside responded by going on a 14 point run of their own to help them close out the first quarter with a 22-19 lead.
The Mustangs continued to garner the lead throughout the second quarter until Makenna Sullivan went on an individual run for the Warriors to tie the game at 34. A free-throw from Erin Prusa helped Midland gain the lead back, 35-34. Then Kennedy Darner drained a three-pointer with two seconds left in the half to make it 40-40 going into halftime.
The Warriors outshot the Mustangs from the floor 17-41 (41.5 percent) to 12-31 (38.7 percent) at the break while the Mustangs held an advantage from behind the arc, shooting 5-12 (41.7 percent) compared to Midland’s 4-18 (22.2 percent).
In the third quarter, Midland came out and took a four point lead before back-to-back turnovers led to a lead change. Morningside was able to capture the lead after the game was tied at 49. The Mustangs did so in part by changing their defensive style. One that the Warriors didn’t have an answer for. Morningside outscored Midland 25-19 in the quarter to take a six point lead into the final period.
Over the final 10 minutes of action, the Warriors made a comeback to retake the lead at 70-67. However, Morningside went on a key 8-0 run to take the final lead back and was able to close out the game with a seven point victory, 84-77.
Sullivan posted her fifth double-double of the season with 23 points along with 16 rebounds. While the only other Warrior in double-digits scoring was Lexis Haase with 10 points.
Midland (8-2, 5-2 GPAC) will have a full week of practice before their next game. They’ll play host to Briar Cliff (7-1, 5-0 GPAC) on Saturday, December 12 at 2:00 p.m. inside Wikert Event Center. Wednesday’s originally scheduled game against the College Saint Mary has been postponed to January 4, 2021.