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.
The new NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll came out yesterday. A few well deserved big jumps by Shawnee State and Science & Arts (OK). The Crossroads League leads the way with four teams ranked, while the Mid-South and Red River both have three teams ranked. We are entering the heart of Conference play right now and several teams have games to make up yet, so eager to see how teams play when they have 3 or 4 games in a week. Speaking of which, a quick shoutout to the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference who is hosting Pod/Group play for it’s conference schedule. This week group play is at Talladega. Every team from the GCAC met in Talladega to play games Mon-Thu. At the end of today there will have been twelve conference games played this week, all of which were at one site. Quite the creative way to get games in!
Review of our Games of the Day from yesterday:
RV Saint Ambrose 63 @ RV Saint Francis (IL) 62 (Full Recap)
This game was as expected, great! In the two games between these two squads, Saint Ambrose is now 2-0, but have won by a combined SIX points. Mister Reliable, John Kerr had another monster game with 20pts and 15rebs for the Bees in the win. Joey Buggemi paced Saint Francis (IL) with 17pts in the loss.
8 Marian 81 @ 24 Saint Francis (IN) 74 (Full Recap)
Coming off a loss you had the feeling that Marian would go to Cameron Wolter early and often to help set the tone in this game. Wolter had 12 of his teams first 15 points on his way to 24 for the game. It was Saint Francis though, who took the 31-26 lead into half time. The second half was all Marian though as they out scored Saint Francis (IN) 55-43 to take home the win.
25 Bethel 84 @ RV Oklahoma Wesleyan 69 (Full Recap)
The Threshers left no doubt about who was the top team in the KCAC as they pushed their win streak to 10 with a big KCAC road win against Oklahoma Wesleyan.
Other Notable Scores:
– Northwestern (IA) got a nice 86-73 home upset over #11 Dakota Wesleyan.
– #1 Indiana Wesleyan did what IWU does, and went on one of their big runs in the second half to blow this game open. IWU beat Huntington 97-89 as Mangas dropped 43pts and put on an absolute show in the second half!
– Southwestern (KS) got a 70-68 KCAC road win over Kansas Wesleyan on this game winner:
– Rio Grande outlasted Alice Lloyd 97-96 in THREE Overtimes.
– Matt Jennings of Grace joins the 1k Club! Congrats again!
– Earlier in January, Mike Newell of Dillard got his 100th at Dillard.
– Speaking of coaching wins, over on the women’s side, Jamie Sale of Morningside gets career win #600!! What a great accomplishment!!
We talked about the Bethel (KS) win tonight over OKWU earlier. The win was #1,000 for the program. They celebrated with this awesome video:
Must see Video:
– Great piece here on Nick Harden of Dakota Wesleyan. Really recommend everyone watch it.
– We will end this segment today with news out of the Red River Athletic Conference as two teams, thus far, have elected to opt out of the season.