NAIA Hoops Report Game of the Week: No. 7 Grace (IN) @ No. 6 Indiana Wesleyan
No. 7 Grace @ No. 6 Indiana Wesleyan
When: Saturday January 28th 2pm CT
WHERE: Luckey Arena – Marion, IN
Watch: Indiana Wesleyan University (team1sports.com)
Crossroads League Standings
|6 Indiana Wesleyan||10-2||.833||16-6||.727||—||9-2||5-2||2-2||Lost 2|
|7 Grace||9-3||.750||19-3||.864||1||11-2||8-1||0-0||Won 1|
|RV Huntington||8-4||.667||16-6||.727||2||10-2||6-3||0-1||Won 3|
|16 Marian||7-5||.583||17-5||.773||3||8-3||6-2||3-0||Lost 1|
|Saint Francis||5-7||.417||12-10||.545||5||3-5||7-5||2-0||Won 2|
|Mt Vernon Nazarene||3-8||.273||10-11||.476||6.5||4-5||6-6||0-0||Lost 4|
|Spring Arbor||3-9||.250||9-13||.409||7||6-6||3-7||0-0||Lost 1|
Elijah Malone 6’10
The Junior BIG man is a real force when he catches the ball around the rim. He has good control of his big frame and finishes with authority when he is able to catch the ball deep in the post. Malone and Frankie Davidson provide the Lancers with a tough dynamic duo and while this is a balanced squad, Elijah can be a game changer on both ends of the floor. His impact defensively is going to be needed today as he will face off against All-American Seth Maxwell.
Seth Maxwell 7’0
Seth Maxwell, is probably the current front runner for Crossroads League Player of the Year. He has shown the ability to be a Game Changer on both ends of the floor. His scoring ability extends out to the 3pt line but he is so good at scoring at all three levels. What makes him the complete player is that he is also very good defensively. He moves well for a 7 footer and understands angles at the rim. His presence makes it very difficult for teams to score at or around the rim. IWU will do some different things with Malone to try and bring Maxwell out of the paint, but if IWU is going to get this win, they will need a big performance from Seth Maxwell!
Grace, who lost at home to IWU, 72-67, on January 7th will look to return the favor today inside of Luckey Arena. This game, has a little more juice to it as it’s not just a revenge game, but also a game for 1st place in the Crossroads League. Both of these teams have plenty of star power. Grace will come in with All-Americans, Frankie Davidson and Elijah Malone. They are also getting some great production out of the Gibbs twins. This is a deep and very balanced Lancer squad, but to beat IWU inside of Luckey Arena, Davidson or Malone are going to have to be the stars they are! The battle to watch in this one is the one between our two ‘Game Changer” selections in the big men, Elijah Malone vs. Seth Maxwell. These two guys can score inside and out, they rebound the basketball, they impact the game defensively and ultimately just impact winning in general. Elijah Malone can be the best player in the NAIA when he wants to be, but tonight he goes up against arguably the best BIG in the Crossroads League over the past four years. The Big that can control this game more should help lead their team to the win here.
IWU, two weeks ago, was seemingly running away with another Crossroads League title. However, the Wildcats have now lost two games in a row and now return back home to Luckey Arena looking for a big-time win that, with a season sweep of Grace, would give them complete control of the CL again. The Wildcats have some veteran players, who have been here before. Spencer Piercefield, Noah Smith and Seth Maxwell have all won a lot of games over their careers at IWU. The Wildcats are also getting some big time play out of Freshman Javan Buchanan and Sophomore, Griffin Kliewer. Greg Tonagel is one of the best coaches in the NAIA and knows how to win Crossroads League Titles. Protecting home court is the number one key for winning a CL Title and the Wildcats haven’t lost a Crossroads League game inside of Luckey Arena this season. We don’t usually make a game that is behind a paywall our Game of the Week, but when 1st place is on the line in one of the premier conferences in the NAIA, it’s hard to pass up on!
Other Top Saturday Games
Cornerstone @ Rochester – Two “Bubble” teams who when it comes to at-large selections could use this Head to Head win.
Point Park @ IU Kokomo – 2 of the Top 3 teams in the River States Conference.
Pikeville @ TN Southern – Two “Bubble” teams who could use another resume boosting win.
RV Northwestern @ No. 11 Jamestown – Northwestern sits just 1 game out of 1st place in the GPAC behind Jamestown and
No. 5 Arizona Christian @ rv Hope International – Battle of the top two teams in the GSAC!
No. 25 Antelope Valley @ Saint Katherine – The Top 2 teams in the CALPAC. UAV has a two game lead, but USK going for season sweep!