The Daily Dive is your deep dive into the news and notes from around the NAIA Hoops World. Every day we will highlight some of the top headlines, conference updates, player accolades, coaching milestones and more. This used to be our Morning Bullet Points series. We went away from it this year, as others were doing similar things and we didn’t want to step on any toes. At the request of many, we have elected to bring it back for the second half of the season. Feel free to DM us on Twitter (@NAIAHoopsReport) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend stories to be included into this segment.
It is Saturday morning and we can’t be more stoked then to have 52 NAIA games on tap for today. This is the biggest game day slate we have had this season and we are finally getting some looks at several teams across the country who are just getting their season started. We mostly have conference games on today’s slate, but there are a couple non conference games to keep an eye on as well. It’s going to make for a great Saturday across the NAIA!
A review of our January 8th Games of the Day:
#1 Indiana Wesleyan 84 vs #16 Faulkner 82 (Full Recap)
Great bounce back win for IWU. After a loss to Grace earlier in the week, the Wildcats bounce back with another Top 25 win. In the game Kyle Mangas surpassed 3,000 career points. What an amazing milestone as he becomes just the 2nd player in IWU history to go over 3,000 points. Midway through the 2nd half it looked as though IWU was going to run away with this game as they saw themselves up by as much as 15pts. This talented Faulkner squad though was not about to go down without a fight. They battled themselves back to down 1 with 5 seconds left, but missed back to back FT’s to take the lead. IWU ended up holding on in this one, but both of these teams are really good.
#5 Arizona Christian 81 vs #7 Lewis-Clark State 76 (Full Recap)
Lewis-Clark State came out of the games with the hot hand in the first half. This was a super chippy game which helped make this game even more fun. This looked and felt like a game you see at the National Tournament. Physical, chippy and a game that went back and forth between two teams that refused to back down. The fun part is that we actually get a rematch of this game today!
Stillman 86 vs William Carey 83 (Full Recap)
We circled this game as it was an opening night Southern States Athletic Conference matchup for both teams. William Carey had eight games under their belt, while Stillman just had one, but it didn’t seem to matter as Stillman got some big buckets late and came away with the SSAC home win. Devin Merriweather finished with a game high 20pts in the win for Stillman. These two teams will face off again tonight.
Other notable scores:
Valley City State got their 9th win of the season with a 75-53 win over Dakota State. The nine wins matches their entire win total from last season.
The Lincoln Lynx pulled out a nice 86-84 win over RV Bethel (IN). Bethel was primed to jump into the Top 25 next week after beating #20 Saint Francis (IN).
News and Notes:
As we mentioned in the game recaps, Kyle Mangas hit the 3,000 career point mark in yesterday’s game. One of the most impressive small college resumes you will ever see.
For you coaches out there who are looking for jobs. The Friends Falcons have posted their Head Coaching job for next season.
Be sure to check out our newest Podcast episode that was released this morning!
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No matter what your beliefs are with Covid, the fact of the manner is that administrators and coaches are doing what they feel is best for their student-athletes and athletic personnel. Not everyone’s situation is the same, so hard to judge others situations when they don’t match your own. With that, it is so great to see so many new teams starting their season off, or returning back today off of a long layoff. We just love NAIA basketball, so we are excited to catch up on watching a few teams today that we haven’t seen play in awhile!
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