CRETE, Neb. – Midland University’s men’s basketball team took care of business, and the ball, on Wednesday night to win its second straight game and earn a regular-season sweep of its in-state rival.
The Warriors (9-15, 5-12 GPAC) committed just three turnovers and shot their way to an 83-73 win on the road over the Doane Tigers (7-20, 2-15 GPAC). The win is the second-straight for the Warriors since ending a six-game slide.
“Our guys are battling hard and continuing to grow together,” said Midland head coach Oliver Drake. “We had a total team effort once again to earn this road win.”
Midland’s win did not come about because of any obscure stat or complicated game plan. The Warriors shot the ball well on Wednesday, and didn’t turn the ball over. It’s hard to find a flaw when a team does those two things successfully.
The Warriors shot 48.4 percent (30-for-62) from the field and 44.1 percent (15-for-34) from three-point range. In the first half alone, Midland was 10-for-19 from three. Most impressively, the Warriors committed a season-low three turnovers in the game, one of which game on a shot clock violation in the final seconds as the Warriors ran the clock down.
In an evenly matched first half, the lead changed six times as neither team could go on a long run. Midland finally managed to gain momentum late in the half as the Warriors connected on six of their final seven field goal attempts and ended the half on a 14-2 run to take a 14-point lead into halftime.
Midland kept the energy going and extended the lead to as high as 18 points in the second half, but the Tigers never went away and twice cut their deficit to single digits during that time. During a long dry spell for the Warriors, the Tigers went on a 10-1 run and cut the lead to just eight points.
With the momentum on their side, the Tigers appeared to be on the comeback trail, but a three-pointer from sophomore Bowen Sandquist got the lead back to double figures and re-ignited the Warrior offense as they held off the charge and held on for the win.
Sandquist led all scorers with 20 points on 7-for-17 (5-for-12 3FG) from the field while adding five rebounds. He got plenty of help from freshman Arturo Montes, who notched a career-high 18 points on 4-for-7 shooting from three-point range.
The freshman had only scored in double figures once in his career entering the game, but has been a key contributor as of late, averaging 11.7 points in the last three games.
“Arturo was huge off the bench tonight and he really sparked us,” Drake said.
Junior guard Laurence Merritt also scored in double figures for the fourth straight game as he totaled 14 points thanks to three made three-pointers.
The success was truly a team effort as everyone in blue and orange did their part on Wednesday. Freshman Samuel Mailloux registered an astonishing seven blocks to tie Brian Rundell (1999-2000) for the most in a game in program history. Freshman Jake Rueschhoff led the team with five assists while committing zero turnovers, and sophomore Emanuel Bryson led the team with six rebounds.
With the No. 8 seed in the upcoming GPAC Tournament still within reach, the Warriors have to take care of business the rest of the way if they want to extend their season. The next game is the final of four straight road games as they travel to Orange City, Iowa to face the Northwestern College Red Raiders on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 4:00 p.m.
Then-No. 19 Northwestern defeated Midland 99-86 in the season’s first meeting back on Dec. 14.
CRETE, Neb. – Midland University’s women’s basketball team pushed its winning streak to three-straight after a 70-65 decision over Doane University in Wednesday night Great Plains Athletic Conference action. The win lifts Midland to 11-16 overall and 7-12 in the league while Doane falls to 2-22 on the year and 1-18 in the conference.
The Warriors shot 36.8 percent (25-of-68) from the field compared to 48 percent (24-of-50) for the Tigers. Doane outrebounded Midland 43-27, but Midland’s defense covered ground in other areas. Midland recorded a season-high 17 steals on the night and forced 28 turnovers while committing five of their own (season low). Midland benefitted from a 33-2 edge in points off turnovers.
Senior Amanda Hansen led the charge with 21 points, six rebounds, and four steals. Freshman Lexi Kraft followed with nine points to go along with three rebounds. Senior Maddie Meadows and sophomore Lexis Haase each collected seven points. Three players recorded three steals on the night.
Midland built an 8-4 lead to open the contest after a pair of threes from Kraft and Meadows. The lead continued to grow as a Haase jumper brought the score to 13-4 with four minutes to go. Haase would grab her first steal of the game which resulted in a layup from sophomore Sam Shepard to bring the score to 20-9. Doane ended the opening quarter on a five-point run to bring things to 20-14 heading into the second quarter.
The Tigers carried over the momentum into the second quarter as a 7-2 run had Midland’s lead at just 22-21. A jumper from Meadows was followed by a three for Doane that tied things up at 24-24 with 8:32 on the clock. Points were hard to come by through the middle part of the quarter before a Kraft jumper knotted the score at 26-26 with 4:38 to go. The Warriors managed to build a five-point lead before a layup for Doane brought the score to 35-32 heading into intermission.
The Tigers were able to reclaim the lead early in the third quarter before a pair of free throws from Hansen gave Midland the slight 39-38 edge with seven minutes to go. The teams traded points before an 11-2 run saw Doane up 53-45 with 2:30 remaining. Late turnovers plagued the Tigers as the Warriors were able to convert for a pair of layups to pull within four points. Doane free throws closed out the third quarter as the Tigers led 55-49.
Hansen took things into her own hands as she scored each of Midland’s five points to open the final quarter to bring the score to 58-54. Back-to-back steals by Haase resulted in points to tie the score at 58-58 with 7:14 on the clock. A layup from junior Makenna Sullivan gave Midland the 60-58 lead with six minutes to go. Midland’s defense forced three turnovers over a three-minute stretch to help build a 64-58 with 3:26 to go. Turnovers continued to be the Achilles heel for Doane as several down the stretch assisted in building Midland’s lead to 68-61 with just over a minute remaining. Free throws brought the Tigers within three, but Kraft would seal the deal from the charity stripe as Midland ran away with the 70-65 victory.
Midland (11-16, 7-12 GPAC) will look for its fourth-straight road win as the team travels to Orange City, Iowa to take on (RV) Northwestern College (15-9, 10-9 GPAC). Tipoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 15. Northwestern topped Midland by a score of 95-87 when the teams faced on December 14.