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Game Time...Northwestern College travels to Fremont, Neb. to play #8 Midland on Saturday, Dec. 13. Tip-off is scheduled for 4pm. Northwestern is in ninth place in the GPAC with a 2-3 record, 7-4 overall. Midland is tied with Briar Cliff for first place with a 5-1 conference record, 11-2 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the Midland webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now! or listen to the KSOU broadcast at this link: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern owns a 63-24 advantage in the rivalry, dating back to the 1960-61 season. They are 8-2 over the last 10 match-ups, losing both games to the Warriors last year.
Scouting Midland...Midland is tied with Briar Cliff for first place in the GPAC with a 5-1 league record, 11-2 overall. After opening the season ranked second in the NAIA, the Warriors have dropped to eighth in this week's coaches' poll. They have wins over two ranked teams (Dordt, Morningside) and its two losses are to Dakota Wesleyan and St. Ambrose.
Todd Eisner begins his fourth season as the Midland head coach and 18th overall season as a head coach within the NAIA, having two previous stops at Bellevue and Viterbo. Recently, Eisner earned his 400th career win and was named the 2014 NAIA/Rawlings Coach of the Year last spring after leading the Warriors to a runner-up finish at the NAIA D-II National Championship, losing to Indiana Wesleyan. Midland tied with Morningside for second in the GPAC last year (16-4) and finished with a school record 30 wins against just six losses. Three starters and nine players return from last year's squad.
Midland is scoring 83 points per game, shooting 48% from the field and 38% from beyond the arc. They lead the GPAC in scoring defense, giving up 69 points per game and own a +4 advantage in rebounding.
Alex Starkel is one of five Midland players scoring better than nine points per game, averaging 15.2 points and also a team-best 6.5 rebounds per game. The sophomore is shooting 57% from the field and was a second team all-GPAC pick last year. Senior guard Galen Gullie, a returning All-American, scores 13.7 points per game and is second on the team with 27 three-pointers. Senior Jalen Hueser averages 10 points per game and leads the team with 28 three-pointers, shooting nearly 50% from beyond the arc. Marcus Franklin, an honorable mention all-GPAC pick last year, averages 10.2 points per game and newcomer Jesse Jones averages 9.3 points per game to go with 54 assists.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are currently in ninth place in the GPAC with a 2-3 record, 7-4 overall. Last time out, they lost to Briar Cliff in a high scoring game, 105-101, at the Bultman Center. Northwestern has three wins over ranked teams, defeating Cardinal Stritch and Dakota State (2x).
Northwestern is one of the highest scoring teams in the NAIA, averaging 92 points per game, fifth best in the nation. They are shooting 51% from the field, ninth best in the NAIA, and are shooting 38% from beyond the arc. Defensively, Northwestern is giving up 81 points per game and leads the GPAC in rebounding at +13.
Colton Kooima is one of five Red Raiders scoring in double figures, averaging 15.8 points per game. The freshman is second in the GPAC with 37 three-pointers, shooting 47% from beyond the arc. Jordan Baker averages 14.5 points per game while shooting 52% from the field. The sophomore also leads the GPAC in rebounding at 9.4 boards per game. Nathan Wedel averages 13.1 points per game, shooting 61% from the field. Taylor Francis (11.2) and Levi Ettleman (10.3) also score in double figures.
Up Next...Northwestern will host Doane on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 4pm.
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