Our Daily Dive series is your daily rundown of what is happening around NAIA basketball. We feature game breakdowns, updates on players, coaches teams and leagues for both men’s and women’s basketball.
We are coming off of our biggest game slate of the young season thus far and yesterday didn’t disappoint. We got to see many teams for the first time of the season. With that we got to see some old faces, but more importantly we got to see some new faces that will have an impact on this NAIA season as well. On the men’s side, we had our 1st, and 2nd, OT games of the season. With an even bigger slate of games on tap for today, we are in for another really fun day of NAIA hoops action!
– Friday October 22nd Men’s Game Highlights:
- Bethany (KS) defeated Wayland Baptist (TX) 75-68 in OT. Thad Udoh had a game high 20pts to lead the Swedes to a 2-0 record in the Mazzio’s Classic played at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. The Swedes were picked to finish near the bottom of the KCAC in the Coaches Preseason Poll. They had a good weekend that should open some eyes.
- The other OT game of the day had William Penn (IA) edging out Dordt (IA) 93-90. Dordt Freshman guard Luke Rankin had 30pts in his debut. WPU hit a 3 with 1 second left of regulation to force OT and then All-American Kamari Newman, who struggled shooting most of the night, hit back to back 3’s in WPU’s last two possessions of OT, including one with .4 seconds left to get WPU the win. Good stat line for one of the NAIA’s most underrated PGs, Q Cager, who finished with 9pts, 8rebs to go along with 6assts.
- All-American Alex Gross, of Olivet Nazarene (IL) put on a second half clinic to help ONU come back from down double figures to beat William Woods (Mo) 77-68. Gross finished with a 23pt, 16reb double-double. The Tigers only gave up 26pts in the 2nd Half. Sophomore Tyler Shmidt, had a game high 25pts in the win. MaKenzie Fessler led the way for the Owls with 18pts.
– Of note last night, the GPAC went 4-1 on the day with their only loss being Dordt losing to William Penn in OT. Some may ask why that matters this early, but in the NAIA, where there is not a ton of national coverage or games on ESPN, raters tend to see your resume on paper before they see you play an actual game. Conference vs conference records do matter, especially as the Strength of Schedule (SOS) and Rating Per Index (RPI) is released later in the year.
– October 22nd Women’s Game Highlights
- Mount Vernon Nazarene’s Lily Krieger hit a game winner at the buzzer to help lead MVNU to a 73-71 road win against Lawrence Tech. Riley Pireu led the way with 16pts for the Cougars in the win. Kendall Fisher, of LTU, had a game high 36pts in the loss.
- Speaking of road wins, Dakota State went on the road to knock off Briar Cliff 81-79 in another thriller. Jessi Giles (23pts) and Savannah Wasldorf (20pts, 10rebs) led the way for Dakota State.
– We are working thru the weekend to complete the rest of the NAIA previews. If you have missed any that have come out thus far, you can catch up here: