Pizza Ranch Classic
Taco Johns/Subway Holiday Classic
@ MidAmerica Nazarene
|Benedictine College Classic|
Fri, Nov 22 - Sat, Nov 23
Game Time...Northwestern College plays a pair of ranked NAIA Division I teams at the Benedictine/America Inn women's basketball classic this weekend in Atchison, Kan. The seventh-ranked Red Raiders will play #8 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) on Friday at 5:30pm and will then play 12th-ranked Benedictine on Saturday at 4pm.
All-Time...Northwestern is 3-0 all-time against MidAmerica Nazarene, last playing the Pioneers during the 2009-10 season. The Red Raiders are 2-0 all-time against Benedictine, last playing the Ravens in the 2000-01 season.
About MidAmerica Nazarene...Ranked eighth in the NAIA Division I preseason poll, the Pioneers are 4-0 so far this season. They have wins over Ottawa, John Brown, Regis and Park and are the preseason favorite to win the HAAC regular season title.
Head coach Jon Lewis returns four starters and six players off a 2012-13 team that won its third straight regular season conference title with a 17-1 record. The Pioneers went on to win the conference postseason title as well, qualifying for the national tournament where they lost in the first round to William Woods (Mo.).
MidAmerica Nazarene averages 77 points per game, shooting 47% from the field and nearly 40% from beyond the arc. Defensively, they give up 61 points per game.
Rachel Boan is one of the returning starters and leads the team in scoring, averaging 13.9 points per game. She is shooting 50% from beyond the arc and has 10 assists through four games. Daria Sprew scores 13.8 points per game and pulls down a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game. Megan Balcom leads the team with 11 three-pointers and scores 11 points per game. Kelsey Balcom, the HAAC player and newcomer of the year in 2013, scores 11.5 points per game.
About Benedictine...Also a member of the HAAC, the 12th-ranked Ravens are off to a 3-2 start this season. They have wins over Bethel, Saint Mary (Kan.) and Ottawa and losses to Friends and Saint Mary (Neb.).
Chad Folsom is in his 13th season as the Ravens head coach, taking over the program in 2001-02. Last year, Folsom guided the Ravens to a second place finish in the HAAC at 16-2 but lost in the conference semifinals to Central Methodist. They qualified for the national tournament and went 1-1, losing in the second round to Cumberland (Tenn.) to finish 28-6. Benedictine was ranked 10th in the final NAIA poll and returns three starters and six players off last year's team.
Benedictine averages 73 points per game, shooting 41% from the field and 28% from beyond the arc. They are averaging just over five three-pointers per game and defensively are giving up 68 points per game.
Justice Payne returns as a starter and leads the Ravens in scoring, averaging 14.4 points per game. Payne earned first team all-conference honors and was one of the top three-point shooters, making 90 from beyond the arc, last season. Chayla Rutledge averages 13.6 points and five rebounds per game and Erin Murphy, an honorable mention all-conference pick last year, scores 6.5 points per game.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are a perfect 7-0 this season, 2-0 in the GPAC. Ranked seventh in the NAIA preseason poll, Northwestern already has three wins over ranked teams, defeating Jamestown Valley City State and Briar Cliff. They have two wins this week over Martin Luther and Dakota State.
Northwestern averages 98 points per game, fourth best in the NAIA, while shooting 48% from the field. They are one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, outrebounding teams by a +21 margin. The Red Raiders defensively are giving up 64 points per game, holding teams to just 34% from the field.
Three Red Raider players are scoring in double figures, led by both Karen Hutson and Alli Engebretson at 19.3 points per game. Hutson is shooting 58% from the field and pulls down 5.6 rebounds per game. Engebretson leads the team with 21 three-pointers, shooting 41% from beyond the arc. Samantha Kleinsasser averages 15 points and a team-high 9.3 rebounds per game. The senior has five double-doubles this season. Mackenzie Small scores 9.4 points per game and is second on the team with eight three-pointers.
Up Next...Northwestern will host #3 Morningside on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 6pm in a GPAC showdown.