#15 Morningside extended their GPAC lead with a pair of wins. They had a very solid 84-80 victory at Dordt, just the second team to win at Dordt this season. It was a very tight game. Trey Brown had a big impact in the victory. The game was tied 78-78 with 3:21 left. The Mustangs would score 6 of the last 8 from there, all by Brown. He broke the tie with a three-point play, then sealed the deal with 3 free throws in the closing minutes. Brown finished 8-13 (7-9 free throws) with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Zach Imig was 6-8 (2-2 from 3) with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. The Mustangs also defeated Midland 98-72. There was much less drama in this victory, as Mside started 7-9 from 3, opening up a 30-15 lead. They had a dominant first half led by 22 points from Will Pottebaum, which was enough for his career high. The Mustangs finished the deal in the 2nd half. Pottebaum finished 10-13 (8-9 from 3) with 32 points and 6 rebounds. Collin Hill was 4-5 with 12 points and 9 rebounds. The Mustangs improve to 13-2 in the GPAC, 17-2 overall. They’ve opened up a 2-game lead over Dakota Wesleyan for the GPAC lead. Next, they face third place RV Jamestown on Wednesday before playing at Mount Marty on Saturday.
#11 Dakota Wesleyan fell against RV Jamestown 74-66 on the road. Both teams traded runs in the 1st half as the lead kept switching hands. A 6-0 run by DWU midway through the half sparked by a basket from Ace Zorr gave the Tigers a 16-12 lead. A late run by Jamestown gave them a 30-29 lead at halftime. Dakota Wesleyan gave up an 8-0 run to go up 9 early in the second half. The Tigers would get back in the game with a 9-3 run of their own to get within 3. Jamestown closed out the game to seal the victory. Ace Zorr was productive off the bench, going 8-12 scoring a career high 20 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Sawyer Schultz was 5-10 with 15 points and 6 rebounds. DWU falls to 10-3 in the GPAC and 14-4 overall. They are a half game up on Jamestown for the #2 seed. The Tigers are at Briar Cliff on Wednesday and at Hastings on Saturday.
RV Jamestown picked up a pair of massive victories this week to get back in the GPAC race. The Jimmies started the week with a 74-66 victory over #11 Dakota Wesleyan. The first half was back and forth concluding in a 30-29 Jimmie lead. The Jimmies would go on an 8-0 run opening the second half. After DWU cut into the lead, the Jimmies put the game away with key baskets by Jack Talley, Brady Birch, Mason Walters, and Allante’ Pickens. Walters finished 6-13 with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jack Talley added 13 points and 8 rebounds. Jamestown followed with a 93-66 victory over Mount Marty. The Lancers upset Jamestown in the first meeting, 80-79 in early December. After a competitive first half seeing Jamestown up 41-35, the Jimmies opened the second half with a 25-10 run to put the game away. The run was sparked by threes from Will Cordes and Jack Talley. Cordes finished 6-10 (5-8 from 3) with 19 points. Talley finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Allante’ Pickens was 6-9 (4-6 from 3) with 18 points. Brock Schrom was 4-5 with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Jamestown moves to third in the GPAC at 10-4, 14-5 overall. They are tied with Concordia, but they have fewer losses. Jamestown is at #15 Morningside on Wednesday as they seek the season sweep of the Mustangs. They host Doane on Sunday.
Concordia was victorious in their lone game, defeating Briar Cliff 81-58 with a very strong defensive effort. They held the Chargers to just 6-29 shooting from 3. In the first meeting they allowed 7 threes to just one player for Briar Cliff in an 89-75 loss. The Chargers shot just 34% overall. The Bulldogs built an early ten-point lead. After BCU battled back to cut it to four, Concordia again responded with a run. A key three from Jackson Hirschfeld just before halftime put Concordia up 12. The Bulldogs dominated the 2nd half. Carter Kent was 9-14 (6-8 from 3) with 24 points and 7 rebounds. Gage Smith was 6-11 (5-5 FTs) with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Concordia improves to 11-5, tied for third in the GPAC, 14-7 overall. They are a half game up on Northwestern. With the Concordia Tournament cancelled, the Bulldogs have the week off.
Northwestern won two GPAC matchups to extend a five-game winning streak. They defeated Briar Cliff 79-69. The first half was competitive as the Red Raiders led 39-38 at half. Briar Cliff had a 5-0 run to start the 2nd half to go up 43-39. NWC responded with a 12-0 run sparked by a long three-pointer by Jay Small. The Raiders were able to close the game out with threes by Trent Hilbrands and another by Small. Hilbrands was 9-20 (5-11 threes) with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Alex Van Kalsbeek was 7-9 with 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. The Raiders won 88-70 at Hastings. The offense led the show in the first half, as the Raiders had a small 49-47 lead behind great shooting. Northwestern shot 70% in the first half. The Raiders would extend the lead in the 2nd half. Early runs saw the Raiders up 17 early in the half. The Raiders defense improved in the 2nd half, allowing just 28% shooting and no threes in the 2nd frame. It was another exceptional shooting night for Alex Van Kalsbeek, he was 11-12 with 24 points and 6 assists. Craig Sterk was 10-17 with 24 points and 9 rebounds. Isaac Heyer was 6-8 (5-7 from 3) with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Northwestern improves to 10-5 in the GPAC, 15-5 overall. Northwestern is 5th in the GPAC, a half-game ahead of Dordt. They host those Defenders on Wednesday in a big rivalry showdown. They are at Midland on Saturday.
Dordt had a pair of losses. They had a competitive 84-80 loss against #15 Morningside. It looked like it would be a Mustang blow out early on as Dordt trailed 18-6 early in the first half. The Defenders responded with a 23-11 run sparked by a three from Garrett Franken and ending in a game tying three from Jesse Jansma, evening the score at 29 with 4:46 left in the first half. Morningside would rally and lead 40-36 at halftime. The Defenders would tie the game in the second half several times, before ultimately giving up a late run. Garrett Franken scored 16 points and 3 rebounds. Jansma had 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. The Defenders were also upset by Doane, falling 83-69. Dordt was cold, shooting just 39.3%, 30.8% in the second half. The Defenders rallied from an early deficit to take a 5-point lead into halftime. An early 11-0 run from the Tigers gave them a lead they wouldn’t surrender. Dordt did battle back, cutting the lead to 65-62 with a Franken basket. That was as close as it would get. Jacob Vis was 6-11 with 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Jansma was 5-7 with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Dordt falls to 10-6 in the GPAC, 15-6 overall. They are in 6th, 2 games ahead of Briar Cliff. Doane is at Northwestern on Wednesday for their only game of the week.
Briar Cliff fell in both of their conference matchups. The Chargers lost 79-69 at Northwestern. A 4-6 from 3 effort in the first half by Quinn Vesey kept the game close. The Chargers had a late 9-0 run in the first half to go up 38-35. The Raiders would score the last four and go up 39-38 at halftime. Briar Cliff responded in the 2nd half to go up 43-39 with baskets by Quinten Vasa and a 3 by Nick Hoyt to go up 43-39. Northwestern scored the next 7 and led the rest of the way. Vesey was 8-15 (6-10 from 3) with 22 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds. Quinten Vasa was 5-8 with 11 points and 8 rebounds. The Chargers fell 81-58 at Concordia. BCU fell behind 17-4 early. The Chargers responded with an 11-2 run to get within four but could never get closer. Concordia closed the first half on a run to lead 44-32. The Chargers could not get back in the game after halftime. Ethan Friedel was 4-9 (all threes) with 12 points. Jaden Kleinhesselink was 3-9 (4-4 FTs) with 10 points and 8 rebounds. The Chargers fall to 8-8 in the GPAC, 11-10 overall. The Chargers are four games clear of Mount Marty for the 7 seed. The Chargers host #11 Dakota Wesleyan on Wednesday for their only game of the week.
Mount Marty is in danger of losing their grip on the last GPAC tournament spot as they lost two more games, extending a 10-game losing streak. They fell 96-92 in OT against Hastings. After taking an early lead, Hastings responded to take a 40-30 lead into halftime. Mount Marty would rally late in the second half to tie the game at 80 forcing overtime. Hastings took an early lead in OT and held onto it. Tyrell Harper was 10-12 with 27 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Elijah Pappas was 8-13 with 20 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds. Mount Marty fell 93-66 against RV Jamestown in an uncompetitive matchup. It was 41-35 Jamestown at half. The second half was 52-31 Jimmies as the Lancers could not slow down the offense. Jailen Billings was 5-14 (8-8 FTs) with 19 points and 3 steals. The Lancers fall to 4-12 in the GPAC, 7-14 overall. Their lead over Doane for the last spot in the GPAC tournament is 1 game. Mount Marty is at Midland on Wednesday as they try to get back on track. Midland is also a game behind the Lancers.
Doane won their only game of the week to get back in the hunt for the final GPAC tournament spot. They upset Dordt with an 83-69 victory. An early 8-0 run sparked by these from Max Masin and Trey Winkler gave the Tigers a 27-19 lead. Dordt would rally and lead 42-37 at halftime. An 11-0 Tiger run in the second half led by 8 points from Joe Burt turned the game around. The Tigers also used a late 14-1 run to ice the game. Jaxon Harre was 8-10 with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Anthony Laravie scored 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Doane improves to 3-13 in the GPAC, 6-15 overall. They trail Mount Marty by just one game for the last GPAC tournament spot. Doane is at RV Jamestown on Sunday for their lone game of the week.
Midland fell 98-72 against #15 Morningside. The Warriors were unable to contain the hot shooting from the Mustangs. Despite early strong shooting by Bo Sandquist, who was 5-9 from 3 in the first half, the Mustangs were up 49-39. The Mustangs shooting kept up in the 2nd half, the Warriors did not stay hot as Morningside pulled away. Emmanuel Bryson was 8-12 with 20 points and 5 rebounds. Sandquist ended the game 6-15 (6-12 from 3) with 18 points and 4 rebounds. Midland falls to 2-12 in the GPAC, 4-13 overall. They trail Mount Marty by 1 game for the final GPAC tournament spot.
Hastings split a pair of games. The Broncos pulled off a massive 96-92 overtime win over Mount Marty, the team they are hoping to catch for the last GPAC tournament spot. The teams traded runs, with Hastings shooting well in the first half to go up 40-30 at halftime. The Lancers shooting in the second half turned the game around. The Lancers fell behind 65-63 with 6:50 left following a 14-2 Lancers run. Ben Juhl tied the game at 68 with a three. Dashawn Walker gave Hastings a lead with a two pointer. The Lancers would go back up 75-73, before another Juhl three gave the broncos the lead. Juhl would hit another layup to tie the game at 78. Mount Marty was up 80-78 in the closing seconds when Mason Hiemstra got a late steal leading to a Dashawn Walker layup to tie it at 80 with 17 seconds left, forcing overtime. In OT, Karson Gansebom hit a three to start things off. The Broncos would seal the victory by shooting 11-12 from the free throw line in the extra session. Gansebom was 9-12 (5-5 from 3, 8-8 from the line) with 31 points and 8 rebounds. Ben Juhl was 10-16 (5-5 3s) with 27 points and 5 rebounds. Dashawn Walker was 8-16 with 18 points. The Broncos fell 88-70 against Northwestern. After a very competitive first half the Raiders led 49-47. The defense for Northwestern tightened up after halftime, as they would secure the victory. Mason Hiemstra was 9-17 with 23 points. Juhl was 7-15 with 15 points and 3 assists. Hastings goes to 2-13 in the GPAC, 6-14 overall. The Broncos are 1.5 games behind Mount Marty for the last GPAC tournament spot. Hastings hosts #11 Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.
TAD’S POWER RANKINGS
Morningside (-)– Playing great basketball at the perfect time as they look to close out another GPAC championship
Jamestown (+4) – I expected them to bounce back from rough offensive performances, they did.
Dakota Wesleyan (-1) – Loss against Jamestown hurts
Concordia (-) – Very good on defense against BCU
Northwestern (-) – Big matchup with Dordt upcoming
Dordt (-3) – The upset loss to Doane knocks them down
Briar Cliff (-) – Very inconsistent on offense
Mount Marty (-) – Ten game losing streak at the worst time
Doane (+2) – Upset over Dordt has them in the thick of the race for the GPAC tournament
Hastings (-) – Huge win over Mount Marty. They have another chance against MMU on February 3rd as they try to get the last tournament spot
Midland (-2) – Morningside’s offense was to much
Games of the Week:
RV Jamestown (10-4 14-5) at #15 Morningside (13-2 17-2)
Wednesday January 27th 8:00pm CT
Jimmies best chance to get back in the GPAC Championship race.
Dordt (10-6 15-6) at Northwestern (10-5 15-5)
Wednesday January 27th 8:00pm CT
Massive rivalry matchup with seeding implications on the line