#2 Morningside capped off their incredible regular season with another impressive offensive performance, knocking off RV Northwestern 96-71 in Orange City. They used an early 16-2 run to jump out to a 43-30 lead at the break. Tyler Borchers tied Phil Wiggins’ program record with 911 career rebounds. He finished with 10 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. Zach Imig was 8-11 with 19 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. The Mustangs are 26-2 and 18-2 in the GPAC. They will host 8 seed Hastings in the first round of the GPAC Tournament on Wednesday. They have already secured the GPAC’s regular season bid to the NAIA DII National Tournament.
#9 Dakota Wesleyan started the week with an important 93-76 win over RV Northwestern. This win allowed the Tigers to clinch the 2 seed in the GPAC Tournament. The Tigers jumped on Northwestern early, starting the game on an 11-2 run, and quickly building their lead to as much as 14. Late in the half, Ty Hoglund hit a clutch three extending the lead to 16. The Tigers lead was 13 at halftime, with a Collin Kramer layup at the buzzer making the score 41-28. Northwestern could never really cut into the lead in the 2nd half. Koln Oppold had a big game for DWU, scoring 32 points on 10 of 15 shooting, while adding 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Ty Hoglund added 21 points and 6 rebounds. In their final game of the regular season Dakota Wesleyan was upset by Hastings, falling 70-62 on the road. The game was fairly back and forth early in the first half. Hastings lead early on, but a three by Hoglund put DWU up with 11 minutes before halftime. Hastings ended the half on a dominant note, going on a 23-7 run to go up 38-24 at halftime. The Tigers would answer, using an 11-2 run to cut the Hastings lead down to a single point. Hastings closed the game out from that point. Mason Larson led the Tigers with 19 points. Ty Hoglund had 16. Dakota Wesleyan finishes at 21-8 and 13-7. They are tied with #21 Dordt at 13-7 for 2nd in the GPAC, winning the tiebreaker due to their victory over top seed Morningside. As the 2 seed in the tournament, they will host Jamestown. Dakota Wesleyan is very safe to receive an at large bid to the NAIA Tournament. A win or two in the GPAC tournament could go a long ways to improve their seeding.
#21 Dordt closed out the season with a 92-86 victory at RV Mount Marty. The Lancers started fast, taking an early 22-14 lead. The Defenders would respond with a 23-9 run to go up 37-31. Mount Marty got back in front late in the half, but a runner by Jesse Jansma gave Dordt the 46-45 halftime lead. The lead switched hands several times in the 2nd half. The game was within 6 points for the vast majority of the 2nd half. The final lead change occurred with 5:23 left, with a Jansma three giving the Defenders a 77-75 lead. Marcus Winterfeld was 7 for 9 with 18 points and 4 rebounds. Jansma finished with 15 points. The Defenders close the regular season at 22-8, 13-7 in the GPAC. They will be the 3 seed in the tournament, hosting 6 seed Mount Marty. As they’re currently ranked 21st, they have a good chance of receiving an at large bid to the NAIA tournament. Winning against RV Mount Marty again would likely seal the deal.
Concordia started their week with a tough 89-83 road win over a hot shooting Midland squad. The Bulldogs were without Chuol Biel for the game. The Bulldogs looked like they may roll to an easy victory early on. Brevin Sloup drained a three late in the first half to put CUNE up 31-17. Midland was lights out from three in the 2nd half. Midland used 10 threes in the second half to take the game over, taking a 79-73 lead in the last four minutes of the game. From there, Sloup ignited a 12-0 run that allowed Concordia to ice the game. Sloup finished 7-13 with 22 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. Tanner Shuck was 7-10 with 18 points. The Bulldogs closed their season with a very impressive come from behind OT victory at Jamestown, winning 101-92. This was another come from behind victory for the Bulldogs. Concordia found themselves in a 58-40 hole with 16:01 left in the game. The Bulldogs scored the next 10 to make it 58-50. The Bulldogs rallied to take a 90-87 lead late in the half. A late three from the Jimmies forced overtime. After Jamestown scored the first basket, the Bulldogs scored 11 in a row to ice the game. Sloup had 5 of those points. He finished 7-9 with 28 points and 8 rebounds. Justin Wiersema was 6-13 with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. The Bulldogs finish the regular season at 21-9 and 12-8 in the GPAC. They finished tied for 4th with RV Northwestern, winning the tiebreaker thanks to a season sweep of the Raiders. As the 4 seed in the GPAC Tournament, they will host the 5 seed Northwestern. With the Bulldogs not being mentioned in the national polls, it seems they will need to win the GPAC Tournament to receive a bid to the NAIA Tournament, though a run to the final could get them back in the bubble picture.
RV Northwestern started their week with a 93-76 loss at #9 Dakota Wesleyan, ending their 5-game winning streak. The Tigers scored the first 8 points and lead throughout the game. They could not get closer than 11 in the second half. Despite the loss Trent Hilbrands posted a career high 38 points on 13-21 shooting. The Raiders ended their season with a home loss to #2 Morningside, 96-71. After the Raiders opened the game with back to back threes from Craig Sterk for a 6-2 lead, the Mustangs went on a 21-4 run, allowing them to take control of the game. The Raiders were down 43-30 at halftime. Trent Hilbrands scored a pair of baskets early in the 2nd half to cut the lead to 48-40. The Raiders never could get any closer. Craig Sterk was 7-14 (6-12 from 3) with 22 points. Jay Small had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The Raiders finish the regular season at 20-10, 12-8 in the GPAC. They will be the 5 seed in the tournament, playing at 4 seed Concordia. As they will finish the season above .600, they will receive the host bid to the NAIA DII Tournament.
#RV Mount Marty ended their strong comeback season on a sour note. They fell in their first game against #21 Dordt, 92-86. The Lancers were tough in the first half, building a lead, before Dordt stormed back and took a 46-45 lead at halftime. Mount Marty again retook a lead early in the 2nd half, but they were unable to finish the deal. Jordan Johnson was 5-7 (3-3 from 3, 9-9 at the line) with 22 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. Chris King Scored 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. They closed their season with an upset loss at Midland, falling 106-93. They did not provide a recap for the game. Colby Johnson was 9-14 with 28 points and 13 rebounds. Chris King posted 19 points on 6-10 shooting. Jailen Billings added 17 with a 6-11 effort. Even with the late season slide, this is still the Lancers’ best regular season finish since 2004. They are 19-11 and 10-10 in the GPAC. They will be the 6 seed in the GPAC tournament, playing at #21 Dordt. With the late season struggles, it is likely they will need to receive an auto bid. They can do this either by winning the tournament or losing to #2 Morningside in the GPAC championship. If Morningside wins the tournament, the tournament auto-bid will go the tournament runner-up.
Jamestown opened the week with a 91-83 loss at Briar Cliff. Jamestown led for a majority of the first half. Briar Cliff rallied to tie it at 29, before Jamestown went on a 7-1 run with back to back threes from Terrell Alfred to take a 36-30 lead into halftime. The early parts of the 2nd half were back and forth. The Chargers were up 48-47, but another basket by Alfred gave Jamestown the lead. The game was tied at 61 with 10:20 remaining, when BCU went on a 7-0 run. The Jimmies could not get within 4 for the remainder of the game. Jack Talley led the Jimmies with 31 points on 12-23 shooting, 7-11 from 3. He also added 6 rebounds. Mason Walters was strong off the benching, scoring 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Jimmies also lost their last game of the season, falling 101-92 against Concordia in overtime. The Jimmies dominated the early portion of the game, going up 29-17 early. They kept their led with a pair of threes by Isaiah Dobson to led 46-31. They led 48-35 at halftime. With 8:14 left, things seemed great for Jamestown as they had a 10-point lead. The Bulldogs used an 11-2 run to trim it to 1. The Bulldogs took their first lead of the 2nd half with 1:49 left. With 7 seconds left and the Jimmies down three, Terrell Alfred drained a three that forced overtime. The Bulldogs dominated overtime. Alfred led the Jimmies, going 10-23 (8-17 from 3) with 28 points. Mason Walters was back in the starting lineup, going 8-15 with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. Isaiah Dobson added 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. The Jimmies finish their season at 18-12 and 9-11 in the GPAC. They will be the 7 seed in the GPAC Tournament, playing at #9 Dakota Wesleyan. They will need to either win the GPAC Tournament or lose to #2 Morningside in the championship to secure an automatic birth to the NAIA DII Tournament.
Hastings extended their season with a 2-0 week. They started out by defeating Doane 84-74, snapping their 5-game losing streak. Doane jumped out to a surprising 21-9 lead with a 15-0 run. Hastings got within 3 late in the half with a three from Logan Cale, before Doane answered with a 3 of their own to go up 40-34 at halftime. A basket from Mason Hiemstra sparked an early 8-0 run from Hastings, with a three from Logan Cale tying the game at 56. From there the Broncos dominated. They took the lead on threes from Logan Cale and Shane Chamberlain. A three-point play by Bart Hiscock with 8:50 left put Hastings up 9. Cale led the Broncos, going 8-14 (8-13 from 3) with 24 points. Bart Hiscock was 6-9 with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Mason Hiemstra had 14 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds. The Broncos followed that up with a massive home upset of #9 Dakota Wesleyan, winning 70-62. After back and forth play early on, threes from Logan Cale and Brendan Lipovsky put the Broncos up 32-21. The lead was extended to 17 with 2:03 left. They led 38-24 at halftime. Dakota Wesleyan was strong early in the 2nd half, using a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 51-50 midway through the half. From there Hastings went on an 8-0 run to go up 59-50 on a three from Lipovsky. DWU could not get back in the game. Hastings finishes their season at 15-15 and 8-12 in the GPAC. They will be the 8 seed in the GPAC tournament, playing at top seed Morningside. They need to win the GPAC tournament to make the NAIA Tournament.
Didn’t Qualify for GPAC Tournament
Briar Cliff started their week off with a solid 91-82 win over Jamestown. Things started slowly for BCU, falling behind 9-0 quickly. The Jimmies played well in the first half, holding a 36-30 lead at halftime. The Chargers offense was the story in the second half, as they shot 64%, scoring 61 points. They took the lead midway through the half and would not relinquish it. Jackson Lamb, the GPAC’s leading scorer, finished his career with a very strong 8-12 shooting effort, for 26 points and 10 rebounds. Jaden Kleinhesselink was 9-18 with 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Briar Cliff ended their season with a 74-66 win over Doane. This game was played without senior leader Jackson Lamb as he was unfortunately injured. The Chargers did their heavy lifting in the first half this time, as they jumped out to a 42-24 lead with strong first half efforts from seniors Austin Roetman and Tony Bonner. Doane managed to get within 4 late in the 2nd half, but the Chargers made enough plays to close it out. Roetman led the Chargers with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Tony Bonner was 6-7 with 12 points. BCU finishes their season at 16-14, 7-13 in the GPAC. They did not qualify for the postseason.
Midland fell 89-83 against Concordia to start their week. They played very tough, and despite a poor first half rallied to take a lead late in the 2nd half. The Warriors could not close it out. They were led by Bowen Sandquist’s 22 points. The Warriors ended their season with a high scoring 106-93 upset over RV Mount Marty. Both teams traded runs in the first half, with the Lancers having the led with 6 minutes left. The score was 53-47 MMC at halftime. Early threes from Sandquist and Jake Rueschhoff tied it for Midland after halftime. They managed to build a 12-point lead with 11:06 left. After the Lancers got back within 3, Emanuel Bryson scored back to back baskets to extend the lead. Midland iced the game by going 11-12 at the line. Laurence Merritt and Bowen Sandquist each scored 26 to lead the Warriors. They close their season at 10-17 and 6-14 in the GPAC. They did not qualify for the postseason.
Doane was again competitive despite losing a pair of games against Briar Cliff and Hastings. They fell to the Broncos 84-74. They built a 13 point lead in the first half, but could not maintain it. Miguel Lopez scored 17 points and 7 rebounds. Anthony Laravie was 7-12 with 16 points and 4 rebounds. Garran Pauli was 6-7 with 12 points and 7 rebounds. They closed their season with a 74-66 loss at Briar Cliff. After a poor first half saw them down 42-24, they battled to within four points in the 2nd half. Anthony Laravie led the Tigers with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Doane closes at 7-23 and 2-18 in the GPAC. They did not qualify for the postseason.
TAD’S POWER RANKINGS
Morningside (-) – Should be heavily favored in the GPAC tournament.
Dakota Wesleyan (-) – Offense struggled mightily against Hastings
Northwestern (-) – Rough week against DWU and Morningside
Dordt (+1) – Earns the 3 seed with a tough win over Mount Marty
Mount Marty (-1) – This team can be a problem in the GPAC tournament if they get hot
Concordia (-) – Massive victory over Jamestown nets a home tournament game
Jamestown (-) – Some tough losses late in the season
Hastings (+1) – Upset over DWU earns them a tournament spot
Briar Cliff (-1) – Ended on a high note after a slow conference start
Midland (-) – Ends the season with momentum after the upset over MMC