Crossroads League Weekly Review
The Crossroads League Review is sent in each week by some people who follow the league closely, and work hard to cover each team.
- #1 Spring Arbor came away with two wins against the likes of Ohio Christian and Great Lakes Christian. It took Senior Paul Marandet’s fade away jumper with two seconds left to win the game against OCU and bounce back from the teams OT loss against Madonna last week. The Cougars improve to 5-2 on the season.
- #4 Indiana Wesleyan faced a challenge against a familiar foe in an in state challenger #14 IU East in the Wildcats lone game of the week. IWU continued their 3-point shooting woes going just 5-22 from beyond the arc against the Red Wolves. Although All-American Kyle Mangas continues to show his dominance netting 33 points to go along with 12 rebounds and 9 assists to propel the Wildcats to a 99-89 road win over a top 15 opponent.
- #8 Mount Vernon Nazarene scored two wins on the week defeating two in state foes in the likes of Rio Grande and Ohio Christian. Both wins came in dominant fashion while the Cougars continue to be propelled by an even scoring effort from the returning core of Jevon Knox, Jacob Paul, Isaac White, and Austin Jones.
- #15 Marian faced a pair of Kentucky teams this week coming away splitting the slate at 1-1. After an impressive 121-62 win against Simmons College the Knights faced their first challenge of the year in a tough NAIA DI Thomas More Squad. The Knights would fight the Saints of Thomas More throughout the night, even taking the game to overtime. MU fell by two in the extra period. The Knights were hurt greatly by a 1-10 shooting performance from returning leading scorer Sterling Brown who also went 0-6 from beyond the arc.
- #24 Saint Francis (Ind.) The Cougars had a strong 3-0 showing this week, starting the week on the road at a tough Michigan – Dearborn squad. The long slate continued as USF hosted the Northern Lakes Insurance Classic where they faced a talented team in RV WVU Tech. The Cougars were led my Sophomore Jeff Reynolds 23 points and 10 rebounds helped by Hunter Hollowell’s 23 points on 7-9 effort from beyond the arc off the bench. The Golden Bears of WVU Tech put up a fight early but it wasn’t enough for Chad LaCross’ team who would win the contest in a 19 point decision. The Cougars moved to 7-0 on the season with a 99-68 victory against East-West to wrap up the classic.
- Bethel (IN) The Pilots made the long trip to Arkansas for the John Brown University Classic in which they but on a scoring outburst unrivaled by anyone in the NAIA thus far this year. First year Coach Steve Drabyn’s team scored a combined 223 points over the two days of the trip. The Pilots continue to be led by Senior Trevion Crews, transfer Grant Gelon, and Gavin Rasler.
- Taylor faced a tough test to start the week against #10 IU – Kokomo. The Trojans allowed the Cougars to build a lead in the first half which reached 24 points. Coach Josh Andrews team was able to bounce back in the second half using a 32-10 run to eventually tie the game. The Trojans would go on to fall to the Cougars 85-81 as free throws fell the way of IU-Kokomo down the stretch. The Trojans also participated in the Northern Lakes Insurance Classic held by fellow Crossroads League member Saint Francis. TU made easy work of East-West on night one, winning 110-74. The Trojans made their first statement win of the season on Saturday beating RV WVU Tech 90-65 as they were dominant throughout the game. TU has been led by Sophomore CJ Penha who is averaging 17 points to go along with 11 rebounds per game (3rd in NAIA DII).
- Grace The Lancers had a big week hosting the Hoops For Hope Classic. GC started the weekend with a win on Holy Family (Wis.) winning the contest 84-74. Grace ended the weekend facing NAIA DI Shawnee State. The Lancers fought through with 10 players scoring in the matchup although GC fell short losing by a score of 69-52.
- Huntington The Foresters competed alongside Grace in the Hoops For Hope Classic facing Shawnee State to open the Classic and finished the weekend against Holy Family (Wis.). Huntington was able to use a big performance from Sophomore Spencer Ballinger who gave the Foresters a 22 point and 7 rebound effort to go along with Crossroads League Freshman of the Year Caleb Middlesworth’s 13 point and 11 rebounds to make the contest interesting down the stretch. HU would eventually fall 54-50 to the NAIA D1 foe. Coach Ty Platt’s squad was able to bounce back Saturday with a 95-81 victory.
- Goshen started the week with a visit to Coach Jon Tropf’s alma mater in NCAA D1 Eastern Michigan dropping the contest 101-49. The Maple Leafs returned to NAIA competition to close the week hosting Holy Family (Wis.) GC would lose the contest by a score of 83-60.
- Indiana Wesleyan – A big performance by Kyle Mangas led the Wildcats to a big win against a top 15 team. IWU will remain stagnant this week as they look to prepare for conference play.
- Mount Vernon – A 2-0 week will keep the Cougars in the 2nd place ranking. MVNU will continue to be tested this week by #14 IU East and in state foe Northwestern Ohio.
- Marian – An OT loss to NAIA DI Thomas More, showed the Knights are strong once again. MU will continue action against NAIA DI schools this weekend with a pair of games against Lindsey Wilson and Campbellsville.
- Bethel (IN) – The Pilots continue their strong early season performance with two huge wins in Arkansas. BU will host Wisconsin based Cardinal Stritch this week.
- Saint Francis (IN) – The Cougars remain undefeated on the season with three big wins. They will be in action this week hosting Ohio Christian and Bellevue (Neb.).
- Spring Arbor – The defending National Champions add two wins this week although they fall in our ranking due to a lack of an ability to pull away in many games against lower level opponents. For the Cougars to bounce back they will need to start by using this week’s bye week to prepare for a tough start to conference play.
- Taylor– The Trojans proved they could play with the best this week going 2-1, although they didn’t do enough early against #10 IU-Kokomo to win. While the Trojans look to be back to their strong shooting ways they will be tested on the road against a talented Concordia (Mich.) team this week.
- Huntington– The Foresters go 1-1 on the week but continue to look talented, dropping a game against NAIA D1 Shawnee State. HU will receive a good test in top 10 ranked Madonna this week.
- Grace – Grace also goes 1-1 on the weekend but will need someone to step up and be a 1st option scorer as conference play approaches. The Lancers will have the week off as they prepare for the start of conference.
- Goshen – The Maple Leafs continue to grow through youth and will need to win two tough games this week to build some momentum building up to conference. Wilberforce and Central State should be good test’s for GC.
GAMES TO WATCH THIS WEEK
14 IU East @ 8 Mount Vernon Nazarene – November 19th at 7:00 PM
15 Marian @ 21 Campbellsville (NAIA DI) – November 23rd at 4:00 PM
9 Madonna @ Huntington – November 23rd at 3:00 PM