Was in my 3rd different NAIA gym to watch a game last night. Both teams had a nice crowd and it was good to see a lot of High School coaches and players at the game as well. When we talk about growing the game, it’s important that if you are a high school coach or player to get out and watch NAIA games. The bad NAIA games are still being played at a different level and the elite NAIA games raise the bar even more! Like any level, it’s not uncommon to see Freshman come in and contribute, but there is still a big gap between high school and college. If you are a junior high or high school kid who have aspirations to play college ball, get out and watch games!
Games of the Day Recaps
Men’s Games of the Day
- Cumberland, who led D1 TN Tech for better part of an exhibition game earlier, returned home last night to face a tough Reinhardt team. They jumped out to a nice lead early, but the veteran Reinhardt team was able to claw back into it and tied it up at 54 apiece. Cumberland was able to answer with 9-0 run and then were able to hold the Eagles at bay for the rest of the game. Jalin Wimberly, has put together a great couple of games for Reinhardt, going for a game high 21pts in this one. Unfortunately, for the Eagles, it wasn’t enough to overcome the balanced attack from Cumberland, led by Jaylen Negron’s 14pts. Reinhardt moves to 0-2 on the season, while Cumberland is now 1-0!
- Morningside picked up their 2nd road win, both against Heart of America squads. Last night the Mustangs hit the road to defeat Grand View. In a game that was highly tested early, Morningside went on a 18-6 run to end the half though to go up 40-28. Grand View was able to chip away at the lead, closing it to a 42-44 deficit, but Morningside, once again, was able to use a run to blow the game open again and finish it out. Grand View has a lot of new parts, they will need to figure out who is going to get them those big buckets to stop runs now that All-American, Ryan Miller, is gone. Morningside, who is still without Aiden Vanderloo, Got 16pts apiece from Jack Dotzler, Will Pottebaum and Joey Skoff. Skoff also added in 12 rebounds in the win!
Women’s Game of the Day
- Dordt jumped out to a 13pt 1st quarter lead and that was enough to lead the Defenders to the win! Karli Gustafson went for a game-high 23pts and added in 10 boards to help get the Defenders to 2-0 on the season. Dakota State got 17pts from Courtney Menning, but were just 6-27 from the 3pt line, including starting off the game 0-6 in the 1st Quarter.
NAIA vs NCAA Game Notes
- Rochester (MI) hosted D1 Oakland and led for nearly 38 minutes of game time before giving up a layup with 2 seconds left to lose 64-66. They put in a gutsy effort and represented the NAIA well in this one! 6’9 Freshman Big man, James Fisher is one to put on your radar. He had a 10pt, 11reb, 3blk debut off the bench! Brandon Michrina and Anthony Cukaj combined to go 8-17 from the 3pt line and had 16pts apiece.
- Rochester left a good impression on Oakland Coach, Greg Kampe!
- Multnomah also gave a gutsy effort against D1 Howard, but ultimately fell 81-69. The Lions were led by Charles Jones, who had 20pts. Tyrese Taylor chipped in 19pts and 9rebs and Zach Richardson had 16pts.
- #12 LSU Shreveport doesn’t have a single returner from last year’s team. They would end up beating D3 Centenary 91-82, but showed signs of both being one of the best NAIA programs in the country and signs of a team that needs to play together more! The good signs is that while they dug themselves a bit of an early hole, they were able to storm back and win the game. Calvin Carpenter led the way with 29pts.
- #16 Carroll battled with a good D1 Boise State team, falling 76-58. Carroll played with Boise for much of the 1st half, before BSU went on a run to go up 11 at the break. Andrew Cook went off for 33pts in the exhibition loss.
- The 5th ranked Carroll Women, hosted D2 MSU Billings and won 61-57. Kyndell Keller led the way with 17pts. Carroll moves to 1-1 on the year and welcomes #1 Thomas More to town this weekend!
Other Games of Note
- RV Union took down Shawnee State, 88-85, behind 33pts from 1st Team All-American, Markelle Turner.
- #15 Southwestern (KS) dominated Central Christian, 97-56 in a game that was played at the Paycom Center (OKC Thunder Arena). All-American, Cevin Clark led the way with a 24pt outing.
- Pick your poison on who you want to try and stop with #9 Grace. The Lancers defeated Saint Xavier, 84-60 with another balanced attack. This time they were led by National Player of the Year candidate, Frankie Davidson, with 17pts.
- Peru State went on the road to beat York, 87-79. After a bit of a crazy last couple of weeks with a coaching move 24 hours prior to their first game, Coach Roman Gentry, gets his first career coaching win!
- In a bit of a shocker on the Women’s side, Stephens College defeated Benedictine (KS), 69-56. They were led by Marveen Ross with 27pts, 9rebs.
- Science and Arts (OK) took down RV Tabor 61-53 behind a game high 12pts from Jordan Bloomfield.
- Missouri Baptist got 27pts and 7stls from Tionne Taylor in their 84-69 win over the College of the Ozarks! She also made this beautiful dime late in the game to help secure the win!
- If you haven’t heard, this Sunday, Coach William Payne will be hosting a NAIA Spaces session live on Twitter. We will be participating in it and encourage everyone to attend!
- Our Schedule and Links article will be out a little late today as I will be in corporate meetings this afternoon. We will also have our Games of the Week posted later today!
- It is still EXTEMELY early in the season, but our friend at Red Banner Roundball is already busy at work. We will launch our 1st Bracketology Report tomorrow! It’s a fun way to look at the season and where teams stand!
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