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Midland Men win season opener over Grand View

Midland Men win season opener over Grand View

DES MOINES, Iowa – Midland University tipped off their 2017-18 campaign with an 88-78 win at Grand View University on Wednesday night. The Warriors and the Vikings are both coming off successful season with appearances in the NAIA National Tournament.

“We were really proud of the way our guys competed against a really good NAIA D1 team,” stated coach Oliver Drake. “They returned two All-Americans from last year’s national tournament team and will have a good season again.”

Midland led 48-32 at the half as they seemed to be hitting on all cylinders in the early going. Ryan Williams and Darrin Clark both were in double figures at the break with 15 and 12 points respectively. Clark would finish with a team-high 20 while Williams ended with 16 points.

The second 20 minutes of action though saw the Viking threaten as they pull within single digits midway through and got as close as three points a few times.

Midland held an advantage at the charity stripe as they hit 16 of 23 free throws (69.6%) while Grand View attempted less than half of that going 7-9 (77.8%).

Bench play was another big key for the Warriors as they had 32 points off of the bench. TK Dixson had 16 points, all in the second half, off of the bench.

Joining Clark, Williams and Dixson in double-figures scoring was Reggie Gradwell who had 14 points off the bench. Nick Wood led the team with 10 rebounds. Clark was the leading assist man with five.

“We saw some good things but have a lot to clean up as we go into a tough weekend of basketball,” Coach Drake added.

Up next for the Warriors (1-0) will be a pair of games at the Cattle Classic hosted by Concordia University. Midland will take on Evangel on Friday at 3:00 p.m. and Mount Mercy on Saturday at noon. Both games will be played at the Walz Arena in Seward, Nebraska.

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