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.
Our game slates each night has shifted from a predominately heavy non-conference slate to a predominately heavy conference slate. While there are still some good non-conference games mixed in from time to time, especially in and around the Holiday’s, conference season is mostly here or about to be here this weekend! It’s an exciting time as each league starts to paint the picture of who the contenders and pretenders are. With the NAIA Tournament set to debut it’s 64 team field this year, it means that automatic bids are restored in full, so for many leagues, a regular season championship gets you an automatic bid into the NAIA National Tournament. Which means that even if you had a horrible non-conference record, a new season has started for you and it’s the one that matters the most!
– Men’s Games of the Day Review
- #25 Cornerstone 62 – Lawrence Tech 71
- We listed this as a Game of the Day because we thought that LTU had a chance at pulling this one out and we were right. Cornerstone was hitting the road for their first away game of the season and conference road games are tough. Especially against a team that hasn’t lost yet and is coming in with confidence. It was also a LTU team that had the reigning WHAC Player of the Week in Brandon Beavers, so it’s not like they were without talent! The Blue Devils proved they were ready for the challenge and got the Top 25 win. They were led by Andrew Rinn who came off the bench to score 19pts. While Cornerstone took the loss, it was still a big night for Christian Rodriguez as he broke the 32 year old CU career assist record with 577. He would finish with 10 assists on the night.
- #22 Morningside 88 – Dordt 75
- While this was a pretty good 2nd half, Morningside jumped on Dordt early and Dordt couldnt’ recover from the big early deficit. It was a night for bench players as Joey Skoff came off the bench to lead the way with 17pts. Aidan Vanderloo added in 16, while Trey Brown finished with 10pts, 10rebs. Dordt went just 9-31 from three last night. A team that lives and dies by the three a bit, just couldn’t find the range last night. Luke Rankin continues to have a phenomenal Freshman season as he finishes with 13pts, 6assts, 6stls. Cade Bleeker led the scoring for the Defenders with a game high 18pts.
- #5 Carroll (MT) 85 – Our Lady of the Lake 60
- Well, this game of the day didn’t turn out that great either as Carroll just dominated OLLU from the tip. Carroll led by 20 at the half and coasted to their 8th straight win. OLLU had no answer for Brendan Temple inside as he went a perfect 8-8 from the field on his way to 17pts. Jovan Sljivancanin had a 16pt, 10reb double-double in the win.
–Women’s Games of the Day Review
- #22 Morningside 83 – #16 Dordt 64
- After a slow start the season, it appears the Mustangs are BACK, as they roll to their 3rd stragith win with a 19pt win over #16 Dordt. The Mustangs placed four players in double figures, led by Taylor Rodenhurgh’s 19pts. Chloe Lofstrom had a 15pt, 13reb double-double, while McKenna Sims fell just short of a triple-double with 9pts, 9rebs, and 7 assts.
- Milligan 79 -Tennessee Wesleyan 75
- After a big 2Q run by TWU had Milligan trailing for most of the rest of the game, Milligan went on a 17-2 run with 4 minutes left in the game to remain unbeaten in AAC play. The Buffs got a 24pt, 6reb performance from Jaycie Jenkins in the win. Jacelyn Stone scored a game high 25pts for TWU in the loss.
– Records Are Meant To Be Broken
- Just an incredible performance last night for DiAnthony Hitchcock of Columbia International. The 6’7 Sophomore scored 13pts to go along with 21 rebounds for an absolute monster of a double-double. The rebounds set a new CIU single game record.
- Speaking of Sophomore big men, Union’s Andre Silva is starting to really put himself on the map. Last night he just missed a triple-double while setting a Union program record with 9 blocks to go with 17pts and 17rebs.
- As mentioned above, Christian Rodriguez of Cornerstone had a record setting night as well. As the Super Senior broke the Cornerstone all time career assists record with 577.
– More Coaching Milestones
- Coach Ethan Whaley of Indiana Wesleyan got his 100th career win.
- Madonna Head Coach Jaresha Obey got her 1st career win!
–Top Player Performances
- Caleigh Raby sets new career high with 31pts to lead Montreat to victory.
- Bailey Albright leads #8 Sterling to a KCAC win with 34pts.
- Brooke Hammonds with another double-double, this time with 24pts, 14rebs. Teammate Raigan King had a 12pt, 12reb double-double of her own as Union ran past Brenau.
- Alex Gross had yet another double-double with 19pts, 16rebs. As Olivet Nazarene beat St Ambrose
– Player Milestones
- Zach Wrightsil passed the 1,500 career point mark and sits 6th all time in Loyola program history.
- Kevion Blaylock surpassed 500 rebounds in his career.
- Gabby Kreykes also reached 1,500pts for her career!
– New NAIA Top 25 Polls