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Game Time...Northwestern College plays host to #8 Midland in a key conference match-up to be played on Saturday, Jan. 31. Tip-off at the Bultman Center is scheduled for 4pm. The Red Raiders are tied with Nebraska Wesleyan for sixth place in the GPAC with a 6-7 league record, 13-8 overall. Midland is tied with Dakota Wesleyan for first in the GPAC with an 11-3 record, 18-5 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now! or listen live to the game via the KSOU link here: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern has lost the last three match-ups against Midland but still leads the all-time series 63-25, dating back to the 1960-61 season.
Last Time vs Midland...Northwestern College lost to #8 Midland 103-99 in a GPAC match-up played Dec. 13 in Fremont, Neb.
Tied at two, Midland outscored Northwestern 13-2 over a four-minute stretch to open up a 15-4 lead following a lay-up by Trevor Bryant. A three-pointer by D.J. Vaughn gave the Warriors a 14-point lead (20-6) moments later but Northwestern answered back with a 9-1 run, capped by a three-pointer by Taylor Francis, to make it a six-point game. Midland, however, threatened to blow the game open with a 17-5 run, hitting five three-pointers during a five minute stretch, to lead 38-20.
Northwestern slowly came back over the final minutes of the opening half and after consecutive baskets by Isaiah Taylor, trailed by just seven (52-45) at the break.
Midland once again threatened to turn the game into a blowout, scoring the first 13 points of the second half, to take its largest lead of the game (65-45) with 16:30 left. Northwestern came back by scoring the next 11 points and cut it to single digits (65-56) following a basket by Justin Van Kalsbeek. The teams traded baskets over the next five-six minutes until Northwestern outscored the Warriors 10-4 to make it a one possession game, 83-80, after two free throws by Colton Kooima. Northwestern did not get any closer, however, as Midland stayed in front to earn their 12th win of the season.
Northwestern shot 53% for the game, 42% from beyond the arc. Taylor led all scorers with 26 points, making a career-high six three-pointers. Kooima netted 21 points and both Jordan Baker (13) and Bryce Moss (11) were also in double figures. Moss ripped down a career-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double. Northwestern outrebounded the Warriors 37-22 and Nathan Wedel dished out eight assists.
Midland also shot 53% for the game, 44% from beyond the arc, draining a season-high 17 three-pointers. Galen Gullie scored 22 points and Marcus Franklin netted 20 and dished out 11 assists. Jalen Hueser added 17 points, making five three-pointers.
Scouting Midland...Ranked eighth in the latest NAIA coaches' poll, Midland is tied with Dakota Wesleyan for first in the GPAC with an 11-3 league record, 18-5 overall. The Warriors had their four-game win streak snapped last time out, losing to Nebaska Wesleyan on the road 110-108. Prior to that setback, Midland had wins over Hastings, Mount Marty, Doane and Dakota Wesleyan.
Todd Eisner is in his fourth year on the Midland sidelines and 18th overall season as a head coach within the NAIA, having two previous stops at Bellevue and Viterbo. Earlier this season, 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 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 in the top half of the conference in scoring (84ppg) and field goal percentage (49%) while shooting 39% from beyond the arc, making over eight three-pointers per game. They are second in the GPAC in scoring defense, giving up 71 points per contest.
Alex Starkel leads a very balanced Midland offense, averaging a team-best 15.5 points and six rebounds per game. A second team all-GPAC pick last year, Starkel is shooting 57% from the field. Senior guard Galen Gullie scores 13 points per game and is second on the team with 46 three-pointers. Gullie is a two-time all-conference selection. Marcus Franklin, also an all-conference pick last year, chips in 11.2 points per game while Jalen Hueser averages 10.5 points and leads the team with 48 three-pointers.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders continue to be tied with Nebraska Wesleyan for sixth place in the current conference standings with a 6-7 record, 13-8 overall. They are just a half game behind Dordt for fifth place and own a two-game advantage over eighth place Concordia.
Northwestern ranks fourth in the NAIA in scoring offense, averaging nearly 90 points per game. They are shooting an even 50% from the field and 40% from the three-point arc, making eight per contest. Defensively, the Red Raiders are giving up 81 points per game and lead the NAIA in rebounding with a +12 advantage.
Colton Kooima is one of four NWC players scoring in double figures, averaging a team-best 15 points per game. Kooima is also the top perimeter threat, draining 58 three-pointers this season. Jordan Baker averages 13.6 points and a GPAC-leading 8.7 rebounds per game, ranking first in the conference with six double-doubles. Nathan Wedel scores 13 points per contest and is shooting 57% from the field. Taylor Francis (10) and Isaiah Taylor (9.2) are the other top scorers.
Up Next...Northwestern begins a two-game road stint on Wednesday night, Feb. 4, against #19 Briar Cliff in Sioux City, Iowa.
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