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.
How can you not love this time of year in college basketball?!? Every game is so intense, so crucial. We get more buzzer beaters, more upsets and we get to have more fun as fans. Last nights NAIA games were no different. We saw #17, 18 and 21 all go down last night. One of them on a last second tip in. We are also starting to see a few young teams, who weren’t great to begin the year, growing into form and improving each night out. Teams who may have been easy wins early in the season, are now tough outs. We will see more of this over these last couple weeks of the regular season and into the Conference Tournaments. Yes, got to love this time of year!!
Recap of Yesterday’s Games of the Day:
13 Marian 78 @ Grace 71 (Full Recap)
Really nice Crossroads League road win for Marian last night. Grace had previously knocked off #1 Indiana Wesleyan and #17 Bethel at home already this season. Marian pounced out to a 14pt lead early in this game. However Grace showed it’s toughness and grit by getting back into the game. The two teams exchanged a couple leads late in the game, but ultimately it was Marian who made more big plays down the stretch. Christian Stewart and Cameron Wolter both finished with 23pts a piece in the win.
Olivet Nazarene 67 @ Saint Ambrose 61 (Full Recap)
ONU stays in 1st place in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a big CCAC road win last night over Saint Ambrose. This game was remained close the entire way through with no team leading by more than 9pts. Alex Gross finished with 19pts, 13rebs, 5blks and surpassed 1,000pts in his career. John Kerr had a big night for the Bees as he finished with 19pts, 16rebs in the loss.
18 Bethel (IN) 91 @ Ottawa 92 (Full Recap)
Ottawa came out on fire going up 11-0 to start the game. Bethel quickly crawled back into it though and trailed by two at the break. The 2nd half brought even more fast pace, back and forth action as both teams made big plays. After Bethel made 2 FT’s to go up by 1, Ottawa went the length of the floor in 5 seconds, and Perry Carroll got a tip in at the buzzer for the upset. Jaquan Daniels led the way for the Braves with 21pts and 7rebs. Clifford Byrd had 22pts, 7rebs for Bethel, while Jaylon Scott finished with 14pts and 16rebs.
21 Jamestown 79 @ RV Northwestern 88 (Full Recap)
Northwestern continued to play good basketball last night as they got a big home win over #21 Jamestown last night. Northwestern went on a big 2nd half run to open up the game and never looked back. The Freshman Alex Van Kalsbeek continues to be impressive as he finished the game with 27pts, 14rebs and 5assts in the win. With their 9th win in a row, Northwestern has now moved into 2nd place in the GPAC!
– A lot of milestones hit yesterday! Congrats to you all!
– Also a Shout Out to the Morningside Mustangs, who had both their Men’s and Women’s teams clinch the GPAC Regular Season Title last night!
Conference Tournament Updates:
NewNAIA Coaches Top 25 Poll is Released:
– Already quite a few games postponed due to weather today! We are waiting a bit to see if there are more, but will have the Schedule and Links article posted in the early afternoon today!