Game Time...Northwestern College will make its season debut this weekend as they make the trip to North Dakota for a pair of games. 15th-ranked Northwestern will play Jamestown on Friday night at 7:30pm, followed by a Saturday afternoon match-up against Valley City State at 4pm. Watch the games or follow the live stats the links below:
All-Time...This is the ninth straight season that the Red Raiders have played both Jamestown and Valley City State to open the season. Overall, Northwestern is 6-4 against Jamestown, winning the last two games against the Jimmies. The Red Raiders are 6-2 overall against Valley City State but just 2-2 over the last four match-ups.
Scouting Jamestown...The Jimmies have wins over Crossroads and Canadian Mennonite this season and bring a 2-0 record into Friday night's contest. They have scored over 100 points each game, averaging 114.5 points in the two wins.
Justin Wieck begins his second season as the head coach at Jamestown and returns three starters off last year's team that finished 8-26 overall. Mark Hoge, the only senior on this year's team, returns after starting every game last season. Hoge averages 18 points and four rebounds per game this year, shooting 57% from the field. He also leads the team with six three-pointers, making 55% of his shots from beyond the arc. Brequan Tucker, a transfer from St. Francis (Ind.), averages 15.5 points per game while Breshion Tucker, a transfer from Wayne State (Neb.), scores 12 points per game.
Jamestown is shooting nearly 60% from the field and over 43% from the three-point line. They own a +19 advantage on the boards.
Scouting Valley City State...The Vikings are making their season debut this weekend, playing Dordt on Friday night but coming back to play NWC Saturday afternoon.
Jeff Kaminsky is back for his ninth season as the VCSU head coach, but returns just four players off a 2012-13 that finished 20-10. They were second in the Association of Independent Institutions Conference and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. Kaminsky has four 20+-win seasons in his eight years at VCSU.
Aaron Duske is the top returning player and the only senior on the roster. Duske, an all-conference pick a year ago, averaged 11.7 points and nearly four rebounds per game. A.J. McDonald, a junior guard, is also back and averaged six points and two boards per game. Coach Kaminsky welcomes in eight freshmen to this year's team.
Northwestern News and Notes...Ranked 15th in the NAIA Division II preseason poll, Northwestern College is set to make its season debut this weekend in North Dakota. Kris Korver, in his 14th season as the Red Raiders head coach, returns two starters and six letterwinners off a 2012-13 team that won the GPAC regular season title with a 17-3 record. Northwestern qualified for the national tournament as the #4 seed but lost in the first round to Cal Maritime. They finished 24-7 overall and ranked ninth in the final poll. Korver is the winningest coach in the program's history with 325 wins against just 99 losses.
Zack Leeper, one of two seniors on this year's squad, is the top returning scorer and earned second team all-conference honors last year. Leeper averaged 12.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while also leading the team with 48 three-pointers. He shot 31% from beyond the arc. Levi Ettleman is the other returning starter but will join the team once football is done. Sophomore Joey Habtemariam averaged 4.6 points per game and dished out 50 assists in his first season at NWC. Another sophomore, Bryce Moss, averaged four points and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting 55% from the field.
Up Next...Northwestern will return to the road on Tuesday night, Nov. 5, as the they play 18th-ranked Dakota State in Madison, S.D.