Weekend games in the NAIA mean we are back to the late nights and early mornings grind of covering NAIA basketball. And we LOVE it!!! The non-conference slate is so much fun to watch! We know it is early, but with four fewer games this season, it means that many teams, who play 22 or 24 league games don’t have a lot of room for error! Especially in a season where we are seeing a lot more head-to-head ARC matchups in the non-conference matchups. For a lot of teams, these early wins could be the difference between being a bubble team that gets an at-large selection and those who don’t receive one! A loss this time of year isn’t the end of the season though, as even with a 28-game season, there is still plenty that will get played out over the next few months! Teams are still finding their way a bit, especially those teams who have a ton of new pieces. There are teams during late October and into early November, who will look totally different in February and March.
- While we saw two Top 25 Women’s programs go down on Thursday, we saw our first Men’s Top 25 team go down on Friday, as Middle Georgia, bounced back from a loss to #21 Florida College on Thursday, to defeat #17 Southeastern (FL) on Friday! N’Kyzie Hawkins scored 22pts off the bench for MGA.
- The NAIA’s longest win streak moves to 22 games as Defending National Champs, Loyola get the win in Coach Reyes debut as Head Coach.
- Plenty more coaches who got their first wins this weekend! We will have them all covered for you on Monday morning as we have a couple more looking to join in on the fun this weekend still!
- WVU Tech gave it everything they had against NCAA D2, Alderson Broaddus, who I believe is picked to win their league. Tech was without one of their best players, but we caught the final 10 minutes of the 2nd half and OT and it was a dogfight all the way through. Tech would eventually fall 103-100 in OT. Bryce Radford was 7-16 from deep, but couldn’t hit the final one to send it to 2OT! That was our first OT game of the season!
Men’s Games of the Day Recap
#1 Arizona Christian 73 – RV Lewis-Clark State 54
- The #1 team in the country looked every bit of it tonight as they handled a LCSC team that was in the National Tournament last season. Both teams were a little banged up heading into this one, but ACU just had too much firepower with Bryce Davis (17pts/8rebs) and company.
- We had heard thru the grapevine that Dordt handed it to a Minnesota D2 last week in a scrimmage. Going to Mayville State is tough for a lot of teams, but Dordt, building off of last seasons success, looks like a Top 25 team tonight. Jacob Vis led the way with 21pts/15rebs. While Jackson Louscher came off the bench to chip in a game high 25pts. Cade Bleeker joined the 1,000 career points club tonight as well!
- Evangel, in last year’s National Tournament Opening Round, was 2-24 from 3pt line and still only lost to Florida College on a last second shot. That is to say that they are much better team than what they showed on the national stage last season. Tonight, was our first look at the Valor, and while Josh Pritchett is back and went off for 31pts, it’s D1 transfer, Bryce Hunt (Coppin State) who had 21pts and 8rebs who impressed most. As good as Pritchett is, Hunt gives Evangel a presence around the rim that they didn’t have last year. Someone who they can throw it into to go get a bucket when the outside shot isn’t falling. The Valor had 57pts in the paint in this one and pulled away in the 2nd half in what is a big Midwest ARC win!
Women’s Games of the Day Recap
- Not much of a game here as Grace Beyer goes off for 38 points and Elizabeth Allanach chipped in 25pts in USHP’s dominant win over KWU. As we said in our writeup, this game was much to do with watching Grace Beyer play. Especially for any High School or Junior High players out there who are looking to play college basketball. Grace is one of the absolute best players in the country and she showed it tonight!
- As we mentioned in the writeup, ONU plays a different brand of basketball and forces teams to play fast. UPike was able to handle the speed though and outside of a big 3rd quarter for ONU. Pikeville, answered right back in the 4th quarter and were able to fend off any ONU runs to secure the win. Sierra Feltner had 24pts. Mary Englert surpassed 1,000 career points as she went for 21pts.
- Men’s Players
- Andrew O’Brien, #15 Southwestern (KS) – TRIPLE DOUBLE – 15pts, 13rebs, 12 assts in win over Ozark Christian!!
- Cevin Clark, #15 Southwestern (KS) – 6-8 from 3-point range for 22 points in win over Ozark Christian.
- JJ Richards, Middle Georgia State – 15 assists in win over #17 Southeastern (FL).
- Gunner Walters, Rochester – 12 assists in win over East-West.
- Josh Pritchett, Evangel – 31 points in win over RV Missouri Baptist.
- Antonio Watson, McPherson – 7-15 from 3-point range for 25pts in the win over Oklahoma Panhandle State.
- Malik Edwards, #7 William Penn – 6-11 from 3-point range for 32 points in win over Great Lakes Christian.
- Dondre Buggage, Ottawa (KS) – 6-10 from 3-point range for 28 points in win over Kansas Christian College.
- Austin Cook, Life Pacific, 22pts, 8rebs, 9assts in win over Bethesda.
- Elliott Brooks, Rocky Mountain – 6-9 from 3-point range for 23pts in win over SAIT.
- Payton Guiot, John Brown – 6-10 from 3-point rangefor 20pts to go with 6rebs, 5assts and 4stls in win over Barclay.
- Luiz Machado Jr, Southwestern Christian, 33pts/10rebs in loss to #4 Oklahoma Wesleyan.
- Kyle Kegley, Mount Vernon Nazarene – 30pts/14rebs in win over Ohio Christian.
- Women’s Players
- Cassidy Crawford, Saint Francis (IN) – 21pts/18reb double-double in win over Trinity International.
- Faith N. Silva, WVU Tech, 8-12 from 3-point range for 29pts in win over Voorhees.
- Baily Frazier, Pikeville – 17pts, 11rebs, 6assts in win over Olivet Nazarene
- Ainsley Tolson, Baker – 27pts and 14-15 from FT line in win over Baptist Bible.
- Grace Beyer, UHSP – 38pts, 4rebs, 4asts, 3stls in win over Kansas Wesleyan.
- Carla Moreno, Lindsey Wilson – 13 rebounds in win versus Union.
- Myia Yelder, Philander Smith – 25pts in win over Langston.
NAIA To The Pros
- Former Marian Knight, Reggie Kissoonlal II, is looking good in his Maine Celtics G-League jersey!
- Fellow former Crossroads League member and 2x NAIA Player of the Year winner, Kyle Mangas, continues his stellar career!