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Game Time...Northwestern College goes for its second straight win as they head to Fremont, Neb. to play seventh-ranked Midland in a conference match-up. Tip-off is scheduled for 4pm. The Red Raiders are tied with Dakota Wesleyan for sixth place in the GPAC with a 6-7 league record, 13-10 overall. Midland is in third place in the GPAC with an 11-3 conference mark, 20-3 overall. Listen live to the game via the KSOU broadcast at the following link: Listen Now!
All-Time...One of the oldest rivalries and dating back to the 1960-61 season, Northwestern holds a 63-23 lead in the all-time series. The Red Raiders had their 10-game win streak against Midland snapped earlier this year as they lost 80-66 on Dec. 14 in Orange City.
Last Time vs Midland...Northwestern lost to Midland 80-66 in an early season conference match-up played on Dec. 14 in Orange City, Iowa.
Behind an outstanding effort from the perimeter, MIdland went on an early 18-7 run to take control early in the match-up. The Warriors led 49-45 at the break, making 9-of-17 three-point attempts in the opening 20 minutes. Galen Gullie had the hot-hand early, draining four three-pointers in the first eight minutes while Ben Imig was tough all night, going 7-for-11 from beyond the arc en route to a 37-point effort.
Midland opened the second half on a 15-8 run and led by 20 points most of the way in the second half.
Midland shot 44% for the game but 52% from beyond the arc. In addition to Imig's 37-point outburst, Gullie added 20 points. The Warriors held a slim 32-28 edge on the glass.
Northwestern was led by Jordan Baker with 17 points and Zack Leeper added 16. The Red Raiders shot 48% for the game.
Midland News and Notes...Ranked seventh in this week's NAIA coaches' poll, Midland has won four straight games to improve to 11-3 in the GPAC, 20-3 overall. They are in third place in the conference standings, just a 1/2 game in back of Hastings for second place, and are 1-of-2 league teams with 20+ wins. They have wins over Mount Marty, Doane, Dakota Wesleyan and Nebraska Wesleyan during their recent win streak.
Todd Eisner is in his third season as the head coach at Midland and returns three starters and nine players off a 2012-13 team that set the record for wins in a season, finishing 21-13 overall. Eisner also guided the Warriors to its first ever quarterfinals at the NAIA D-II championship, falling to William Penn on a last second shot. He is the only coach at the D-II level to lead three different teams to the national quarterfinals (Bellevue, Viterbo). Midland finished third in the GPAC with a 12-8 record last year.
Midland is scoring 76 points per game, shooting nearly 50% from the field and 38% from the three-point line. They are the top defensive team in the league, giving up just 65 points per game while holding teams to a mere 42% from the field. Midland ranks sixth in rebounding, holding a +4 edge on the glass.
Ben Imig, a two-time all-conference player, lead the Warriors in scoring at 17.8 points per game. The senior has 42 three-pointers, shooting 42% from beyond the arc, and has 58 assists. Galen Gullie, another all-conference selection last year, scores 14 points per game and leads the team with 55 three-pointers. Marcus Franklin (12.1) and Alex Starkel (10) are the other top scorers.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are tied with Dakota Wesleyan for sixth place in the GPAC with a 6-7 league record, 13-10 overall. They are 4-2 since the new year with both losses occuring on the road against two ranked teams (Dordt and Morningside).
Northwestern is scoring 75.3 points per game and shooting 45% from the field this season, ranking in the middle of the pack among conference teams. They are fourth in the league in rebounding (+4) and are giving up 75 points per game. Opponents are shooting just 43% from the field against NWC.
Zack Leeper leads Northwestern in scoring, putting in 18.4 points per game. The senior has scored in double figures in every game this year and has made a team-best 43 three-pointers. Jordan Baker averages 12.4 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds per contest. The freshman ranks in the top 10 in field goal percentage (56%). Joey Habtemariam chips in 9.5 points per game to go with 83 assists and 31 steals.
Up Next...Northwestern begins a two-game home stand on Wednesday, Feb. 5 when they host Briar Cliff at 8pm.
Junior from Sioux Falls, SD