FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University’s men’s basketball team never quite got going on Sunday evening as the Warriors dropped a close game to a well-balanced, nationally-ranked Dakota Wesleyan team.
The Warriors (7-12, 3-9 GPAC) dropped their third straight game as a result of a difficult shooting night while the No. 10 Tigers (17-3, 9-2 GPAC) escaped with a well-deserved 73-59 win.
“Our guys did a good job battling against a really good DWU team,” said Midland head coach Oliver Drake. We had some really good possessions, but unfortunately we were not able to string together enough sound and solid possessions that were necessary tonight.”
Neither team put together what they would call a great offensive effort, but the Tigers did enough to keep the Warriors in check and pull away late. DWU shot just 27.8 percent (5-for-18) from three-point range, but made up for it by shooting a stellar 85.7 percent (24-for 28) from the free throw line.
On the flip side, Midland only attempted 12 free throws in the game and knocked down eight of them. Both teams turned the ball over 15 times each, but the Tigers held a 25-19 advantage on rebounds and were whistled for six fewer fouls than Midland.
The Warriors never led aside from a 3-0 advantage to start the game, but never let the Tigers get too comfortable of a lead in the first half. DWU’s lead got as high as 11 in the opening half, but never went on a spectacular scoring run and never looked dominant.
Just before the half, a three-pointer from junior Laurence Merritt cut the deficit to just seven points, and that momentum carried Midland into the second half. Midland’s defense played with increased intensity to start the second half, and a three-pointer from Kylan Smallwood cut the lead to 32-28.
Despite forcing three turnovers and holding the Tigers scoreless in the first three minutes of the half, that was the closest the Warriors could get to the lead as Dakota Wesleyan regrouped and settled back in.
After the early momentum shift, the Tigers held a lead that hovered around eight points for much of the rest of the game. Thanks in part to their stout free throw shooting, the lead grew to be as large as 15 in the final minutes. An alley-oop dunk from Jeffery Schuch to Mason Larson in the final minute put the exclamation point on the hard-fought win for the Tigers as they head back to Mitchell, South Dakota with a 73-59 win.
Larson led the way for DWU with 23 points on an efficient 7-for-8 performance from the field, but he was not alone. Koln Oppold pitched in 18 points while Ty Hoglund added 14 – 10 of which came at the free throw line – and Schuch added 10 off the bench.
Sophomore guard Emanuel Bryson came off the bench and led Midland with 21 points. As the only Warrior in double figures, Bryson used his usual dribble penetration to open the floor and get to the bucket in the second half when the Warriors needed to find offense.
Freshman Jake Rueschhoff was the closest to getting to double-digits as he totaled nine points on 3-for-3 shooting from three-point range.
The stat sheets don’t look as good as the Warriors would like, but their effort and intensity never wavered on Sunday. By doing the little things like sprinting back on defense, the Warriors stayed within striking distance and never let the game get out of hand.
After a handful of players got banged up and played extended minutes, the Warriors will get a whole week to regroup and prepare for a long road trip to Jamestown, North Dakota next Sunday, Jan. 26. The Warriors and the Jimmies are scheduled to tip off at 2:00 p.m. Jamestown narrowly escaped Fremont with a 72-69 win on Jan. 2 in the season’s first meeting.
FREMONT, Neb. –Midland University’s women’s basketball team fell in Sunday afternoon Great Plains Athletic Conference action to No. 12 Dakota Wesleyan University by a score of 80-62 despite a career-high 27 points by senior guard Amanda Hansen.
Midland falls to 7-14 on the year with a 3-10 record in GPAC action while Dakota Wesleyan improves to 14-6 overall and 7-5 in the league.
The Warriors shot 34 percent (17-of-50) from the field compared to 57.4 percent (31-of-54) for the Tigers. The Tigers held an advantage from beyond the arc as the team shot 42.1 percent (8-of-19) compared to 35 percent (7-of-20) for the Warriors. Midland made up some ground at the charity stripe as they shot 77.8 percent (21-of-27) versus 62.5 percent (10-of-16) for Dakota Wesleyan. The Tigers won the rebound battle with a 35-20 advantage.
Hansen’s 27 points led all players, and she held her own on the defensive end after coming away with six rebounds. Freshman Emma Shepard came off the bench to record 13 points after going 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. Shepard came away with a team-best five steals. Senior Maddie Meadows was good for six rebounds while junior Makenna Sullivan led the team with four assists.
The first quarter looked to be closely contested after a three by Hansen knotted things up at 6-6 with eight minutes to go. The Tigers would pull away for a narrow lead as free-throws by sophomore Sam Shepard brought the score to 12-10. Dakota Wesleyan would benefit from Midland turnovers and enjoyed a 15-1 scoring run to take a 27-11 lead heading into the second quarter.
Midland faced a tall task in attempting to mount a comeback, and Hansen got the team off to a good start as she opened the second quarter with four unanswered points. The Tigers dropped in a pair of layups, but a Hansen layup and extra point brought the score to 31-18 with 5:25 to go. Emma Shepard found a spark and hit two three pointers down the stretch as Midland trailed 40-27 going into the break.
Scoring was plentiful in the early goings of the third quarter as free throws by Gathje capped off a 10-5 scoring run which found Midland down 45-37 with 6:50 to go. Turnovers by the Warriors would allow the Tigers to build another sizeable lead before free throws by sophomore Peyton Wingert brought the score to 56-42. Three Warriors would find success down the stretch, and a three from Hansen capped off the third quarter as Midland was down 58-50. The Warriors outscored the Tigers 23-18 in the third quarter.
Gathje dropped in a layup with eight minutes to go as Midland trailed just 60-53 in the fourth quarter. The Tigers turned up the defense and forced several Midland turnovers to build the lead back to double-digits. Emma Shepard continued to be a spark plug for the Warriors as six-straight points brought the score to 70-61 with 3:14 on the clock. Dakota Wesleyan would go on a ten-point run before a free throw by freshman Lexi Kraft brought the final score to 80-62.
Midland (7-14, 3-10 GPAC) looks to pick up a road win as the team travels north to face (RV) University of Jamestown. Tipoff is slated for Sunday, January 26 at 12:00 p.m.