SEWARD, Neb. –Midland University opened up conference play on Tuesday night as they traveled to face the 2019 NAIA Division II National Champions in No. 1 Concordia University. The Warriors entered the matchup riding a two-game winning streak over teams ranked or receiving votes, but could not pull off the upset and fell to the Bulldogs by a score of 93-70. Concordia moves to 5-0 on the year with a 1-0 record in Great Plains Athletic Conference play while Midland falls to 3-3 (0-1 GPAC) overall.
Midland shot 31.8 percent (21-of-66) from the field compared to 48.1 percent (39-of-81) from Concordia. The Warriors outrebounded the Bulldogs 56-40 including a 19-9 edge in offensive rebounds, but the difference came by way of turnovers as Concordia forced 37 from the Warriors. Senior guard Amanda Hansen and freshman guard Emma Shepard each contributed 11 points while Hansen chipped in seven rebounds and five assists. Sophomore guard Sam Shepard totaled eight points and led the Warriors with three steals. Sophomore guard Peyton Wingert chipped in seven points and a team-best nine rebounds.
Concordia got off to a fast start before a three-pointer from Hansen cut the Bulldog lead to 18-5 with just under six minutes to go in the quarter. A three from sophomore guard Lexis Haase and layup from Prusa brought the score to 20-10 with 3:47 on the clock. Concordia converted three Midland turnovers down the stretch and held a 27-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Early miscues for the Warriors saw the deficit grow to 38-16 midway through the second quarter. The Warriors scored seven-straight to chip away at the lead, but every attempt would garner a response from the Bulldogs. Neither team could find a way to score in the final minute of the half as Concordia would carry a 50-26 lead into intermission.
Midland opened the third quarter with a 9-5 run to bring the score to 55-35 after a free-throw from Hansen. The Warriors would score the final four points of the quarter by way of free-throws to head into the final ten minutes training 72-46. The third quarter saw Midland going 3-of-5 from three and outrebounding Concordia 16-11.
Emma Shepard began the final quarter with four points bring the score to 72-50 with 8:53 to go. The Warriors responded to each shot made by the Bulldogs and a three from senior guard Jada Simpson brought the score to 85-59 with under five minutes to go. Midland would get points from freshman Casey Thompson, Emma Shepard, and Wingert in the final minute, but fell by a final score of 93-70. The Warriors outscored the Bulldogs 24-21 in the final ten minutes of play.
Midland (3-3, 0-1 GPAC) will face another tough team on the road as they are slated to take on No. 7 Dakota Wesleyan (3-0, 0-0 GPAC) on Saturday, November 16. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.in Mitchell, S.D. The Tigers face No. 5 Dordt to open their GPAC schedule prior to the matchup with the Warriors.
SEWARD, Neb. – Midland University’s men’s basketball team began conference play on Tuesday night, and the young team quickly got a taste of how difficult conference play can be on a nightly basis.
The Warriors (2-3 overall, 0-1 GPAC) struggled defensively and fell 95-71 to the Concordia Bulldogs (5-0 overall, 1-0 GPAC) by a 24-point margin.
“We got our tails kicked tonight,” said Midland head coach Oliver Drake. “We learned a lot about GPAC road games and the edge that we have to approach them with in order to compete.”
Midland simply couldn’t contain Concordia’s high-powered offense as the Bulldogs put up 47 points in the first half alone. Multiple big scoring runs continued to widen the gap to as many as 23 points late in the opening period.
Concordia’s Carter Kent got off to a big start that set the tone for the rest of the game as he scored his team’s first 20 points of the game. Some of those contributed to a 12-2 run that put the Bulldogs up 18-8, while another big scoring run, this one being 15-4, expanded the lead to 37-19 with under four minutes to play.
Kent finished as the game’s leading scorer with 28 points (22 in the first half) on 11-for-15 shooting from the field, including going 3-for-3 from three-point range. He also tied for the team lead with six assists.
Freshman Hunter Mengel came off the bench early in the half and tried to keep the Warriors close as he scored seven straight points for Midland, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Bulldogs. Concordia ended the half on a 10-2 run to take a 23-point lead into the locker room.
The Bulldogs started fast again in the second half as Tanner Shuck connected on a pair of three pointers to get the charge started and extend the margin to 27 points. Midland managed to keep pace from that point on and even rattled off a 13-3 run to bring the score to 67-51 with 11 minutes left, but couldn’t get closer than that as the first half hole proved to be too deep.
Midland struggled from the floor and connected on 36.2 percent (25-for-69) of their field goal attempts, which included a 27.3 percent (6-for-22) clip from three-point range. The Warriors connected on 15 of their 16 free throw attempts and outrebounded the Bulldogs 42-29 to provide some bright spots.
“We played a lot of guys that gained their first GPAC experience,” Drake said, “and we will be better off as long as we respond the right way.”
Mengel led the Warriors with a career-high 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field while adding nine rebounds to his line. Junior Laurence Merritt was the only other Warrior in double figures as he finished with 15 points.
The Warriors don’t have much time to hang their heads as they play again this Saturday, November 16, on the road at No. 7 Dakota Wesleyan. With the Warriors riding a cold streak when it comes to shooting the ball, defense will have to be the focal point as they prepare for a difficult task.
Tipoff in Mitchell, South Dakota on Saturday is set for 6: 00 p.m.