#1 Morningside started their week with an 81-46 victory over Nebraska Christian. Junior guard Zach Imig joined Tyler and Alex Borchers in the 1,000-point club at Morningside. The game was never in question. Imig finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Tyler Borchers went 4-6 with 10 points and 5 rebounds. The Mustangs picked up yet another top 25 victory, knocking off #19 Northwestern 98-69. Morningside used an early 12-0 run to take control of a tight game. The shooting for the Mustangs was unbelievable, as the shot 64.4% from the field and 58.3% from deep. Imig was on point again, going 6 for 9 with 15 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. Tyler Borchers was 5 for 8 with 13 points and 4 rebounds. Trey Brown had 14 points on 6 of 7 shooting off the bench. The Mustangs finish off the first half of the GPAC season unblemished, 10-0 in league play and 18-0 overall. Morningside is the only undefeated team in NAIA Division II. The Mustangs host Doane on Wednesday before traveling to take on RV Dordt on Saturday.
#7 Dakota Wesleyan had a solid bounce back win against #19 Northwestern, winning 73-69 in Orange City. The Tigers played without guard Nick Harden, who completed a two-game suspension, and guard Tyson Smiley, who has been suspended for the season. This is a big blow to DWU, but they still have quality competitors on that team. The first half was very tight, as the teams exchanged leads throughout the half. Jeffrey Schuch hit a deep three to close out the half, pulling the Tigers within two, 40-38. The Raiders hit shots early in the 2nd half to take a 55-48 lead with 14:30 left in the game. Samuel McCloud’s back to back three pointers with under 5 to go gave DWU the lead, and free throws Koln Oppold iced the game, as the Tigers went on a late 8-0 run. Schuch was the leading scorer off the bench, going 8-10 with 19 points and 3 rebounds. Samuel McCloud went 5-11, 4-8 from 3 with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Koln Oppold was 7-12 with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. The Tigers regain 2nd place in the GPAC outright, going to 15-3 overall and 7-2 in the conference.
#19 Northwestern faced some difficult tests this week, and they were unable to pick up a victory. The competed tightly with #7 Dakota Wesleyan, falling 73-69. The Raiders were up late, leading 65-61 on Trent Hilbrands’ free throws with 7:12 left, when DWU went on an 8-0 run as the Raiders did not score for nearly 4 minutes. Northwestern was led by Jay Small, who was 8-15, 5-11 from3 with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Hilbrands also scored 20 points and 5 rebounds. The Raiders were unable to compete with top ranked Morningside, falling 98-69. It was close early on, but Morningside ran away with it going on 22-7 and 14-5 runs late in the first half. The Raiders were never with 19 in the second half. Craig Sterk was 6 for 10 with 17 points. The Raiders fall to 14-6 and 6-4 in the GPAC. Their lone game next week is an important game at #23 Mount Marty on Wednesday.
#23 Mount Marty suffered a setback, falling 107-82 against RV Dordt in Sioux Center. The Lancers did not provide a recap for the game. Chris King had 19 points on 7 of 16 shooting. Colby Johnson had 15 on 6-11 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3. The Lancers bounced back with a 96-89 home victory over Midland. The Lancers were hot early on, leading 50-32 at halftime. The Warriors played a tough second half, but never got back into the game. Colby Johnson went 9-13 and 4-7 from 3 with 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Jordan Johnson had 20 points on 9 of 14 shooting while adding 5 assists and 3 rebounds. Jailen Billings contributed 16 points on 6 of 12 shooting off the bench. The Lancers are 15-4 and 7-3 in the GPAC. They host #19 Northwestern on Wednesday before travelling to Hastings on Saturday.
RV Dordt had an offensive outburst at the expense of #23 Mount Marty, winning 107-82. The Defenders fell behind 20-11 early, before clawing within 30-27 with 6:40 left in the half. Ben Gesink tied the game with a three then hit another to give Dordt the 33-30 lead. A three point basket by Garrett Franken gave Dordt a 51-39 halftime lead. Dordt started the 2nd half on a 9-0 run, and Mount Marty couldn’t get back in the game. Dordt shot 41-66 (62%) and 14-29 (48%) from 3. The offense was clicking in their massive victory. The Defenders were led by Garrett Franken, who went 10 for 14 with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Jesse Jansma went 6 for 8 with 17 points and 5 assists. Ben Gesink was 4 for 7, 3 of 4 from 3, with 14 points and 6 rebounds. The Defenders also knocked off Nebraska Christian 87-42 in Omaha. Dordt led 24-10 midway through the opening half, and never really let Nebraska Christian any closer. Dordt was led by Marcus Winterfeld going 5 of 6 with 14 points and 6 rebounds. The Defenders improve to 15-5 and 6-4 in the GPAC. They have the tough slate this week, Wednesday at #7 Dakota Wesleyan, Saturday home against #1 Morningside.
Briar Cliff had a rough loss in their lone game, falling 81-71 in Crete against Doane. The Chargers have lost their last six road games. The Chargers, a regular contender for the national tournament, is on the bubble of making the conference tournament. The Chargers continued their defensive struggles, as they’ve been a top offensive team this season, but a bottom team defensively. Jackson Lamb scored 17 points on 6 of 16 shooting and added 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Austin Roetman was 6 for 11 with 13 points. Ethan Freidel returned to action after missing 9 games, he went 4 for 13 with 12 points. The Chargers fall to 11-8 and 2-7 in the GPAC. BCU is at Jamestown on Wednesday before hosting Concordia on Saturday.
Jamestown knocked off Presentation 85-54 to start the week. The Jimmies opened fast, leading 18-8 early, and 26-17 after a 7-0 run. The Jimmies lead 43-32 at halftime. A late 12-0 run by Jamestown turned it into a blowout. Devan Parska had a big game for the Jimmies, going 4-9 with 14 points and 13 rebounds for his first career double double. Brady Birch was 6-8 with 12 points. They fell in Seward against Concordia 86-74. The Bulldogs jumped on Jamestown early, going up 32-24. After trailing 41-30 at halftime, the Jimmies gave up an 8-0 run out of the break. The Jimmies weren’t within 13 in the last ten minutes of the game. Brady Birch had a big game off the bench, going 10-13, 8-8 at the free throw line for 28 points and 10 rebounds. Jamestown is 12-7 and 3-6 in the GPAC. Home games against Briar Cliff on Wednesday and Doane on Saturday this week.
Concordia continues a strong stretch with an 83-62 victory over Hastings. The Bulldogs were without Chuol Biel in the lineup for this game as well. The Bulldogs showed great efficiency, with several players contributing to the victory. Carter Kent was 6 for 12 with 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Brevin Sloup went 6 for 13 with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. The Bulldogs ran their win streak to six with an 86-74 victory over Jamestown. The Bulldogs offense was on fire, effectively using the three ball to bury Jamestown, building a 23 point lead late before giving up a late run to make it seem closer. Tanner Shuck poured out a season high 26 points on 9 of 15 shooting, while adding 7 rebounds. Carter Kent was 6 for 11 with 17 points. The Bulldogs improve to 13-5 and 6-4 in the GPAC. They are at Briar Cliff on Saturday.
Hastings struggled from the field in an 83-62 loss to Concordia. The Broncos were just 2 out of 20 from three-point range. They fell behind big early on and their lack of shooting prevented them from ever making this one a game. Concordia lead 39-27 at halftime. Zach Kitten led the Broncos shooting 5 for 8 with 15 points and 4 rebounds. Hastings falls to 9-10 and 2-7 in the GPAC. They travel to Fremont against Midland on Wednesday before hosting #23 Mount Marty.
Midland started the week with an 80-72 victory over Doane. The first half was up and down, seeing the Tigers take a 33-32 lead into the break. It was a close first half, but Midland never led in the period. Midland did a solid job of preventing Doane from extending a double-digit lead. The Warriors went on a 14-0 run midway through the 2nd half to take an 8 point lead, which they defended. Emanuel Bryson scored a career high 26 points on 10 of 19 shooting while adding 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Bowen Sandquist added 23 points on 5 of 9 shooting, all threes. Sandquist was also a perfect 8 for 8 at the line. The Warriors lost to Mount Marty 96-89 in their other game. The Warriors trailed by as much as 21 in the first half, but a very strong second half effort made it a game. The Warriors got to within one point with just over six minutes to play but could never draw even. Kylan Smallwood had a big game, going 8 for 10 with 26 points and 5 rebounds. Laurence Merritt scored 22 points on 7-15 shooting. Midland is 7-10 and 3-7 in the GPAC. They host Hastings on Wednesday and #7 Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.
Doane lost to Midland 80-72. It was a competitive game, as Doane was close , especially early on. The Tigers jumped out to a 17-7 lead. Doane led 42-39 early in the first half, when the Warriors went on a 14-3 run. Doane tried to chip away, but free throws late sealed the game for the Warriors. Miguel Lopez led the Tigers with 24 points, all in the second half, on 9-13 shooting while adding 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Garran Pauli was 6-8 with 16 points. The Tigers picked up their first GPAC victory, upsetting the visiting Chargers 81-71. It was competitive in the first half, as it was 27 all with 5:52 left in the first half. BCU led 35-29 before Joe Burt and Anthony Laravie hit back to back threes to tie it. Joe Cox gave them the lead with a put back. It was 45-41 at halftime. Doane extended their lead in the second half. With 11:28 left in the game Anthony Laravie drained a 3 to register his 1,000th career point. He’s the 39th Tiger to accomplish this feat. He finished 7 for 20 with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. Joe Burt was 6 for 15 with 15 points. The Tigers are 5-14 and 1-9 in the GPAC. They have road games against #1 Morningside on Wednesday and Jamestown on Saturday.
TAD’S POWER RANKINGS
Morningside (-) – 18-0 with 8 wins against teams ranked during the game.
Dakota Wesleyan (+1) – Big time victory over Northwestern while playing undermanned
Mount Marty (-1) – Disappointing defensive showing against Dordt.
Dordt (+1) – Upset over Mount Marty is a much-needed win
Northwestern (-1) – No shame in losses against Mside and DWU
Concordia (-) – Hottest team in the conference outside of Morningside
Jamestown (-) – Rough loss against Concordia
Briar Cliff (-) – Brutal loss at Doane. Turnovers are becoming an issue
Hastings (-) – Fell below .500
Midland (-) – The offense is starting to look better
Doane (-) – Got in the win column in conference play