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Game Time...Second-ranked Northwestern plays host to #10 Midland in a GPAC women's basketball match-up between top-10 teams. Northwestern is in first place in the GPAC with a 5-0 record, 12-0 overall while Midland is in second place in the GPAC with a 5-1 record, 8-4 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now! or follow the live stats here: Live Stats!
All-Time...Northwestern leads the all-time series 30-12 and has won the last 24 match-ups against Midland, a streak that dates back to the 1998-99 season.
Midland News and Notes...Picked to finish ninth in the GPAC preseason poll, Midland is currently in second place in the conference standings with a 5-1 record, 8-4 overall. They have climbed all the way to 10th in the NAIA coaches' poll, the highest ranking in the history of the program. Midland has wins over Dordt, Morningside, Mount Marty, Doane and Nebraska Wesleyan in conference play while its only loss in league play coming to Dakota Wesleyan last time out, 85-74.
Shawn Gilbert is in his first season with Midland women's basketball program after serving as an assistant with the University of Nebraska program for the last few years. He also was the head coach at Mount Mercy from 2001-07. He returns three starters and the top three scorers from a 2012-13 team that finished ninth in the GPAC with a 6-14 record, 12-18 overall.
Midland ranks 10th in the GPAC in scoring, averaging 69 points per game. They are also 10th in field goal percentage (38%) while ranking fourth in three-point percentage (34%). Defensively, the Warriors lead the conference in points given up (63ppg) and are among the top teams in defending the three-point shot (27%).
Junior guard Jamilah Johnson is the Warriors' top scorer, averaging 14.8 points per game. An all-conference selection in 2012, Johnson is second on the team with 16 three-pointers, shooting 42% from beyond the arc. Freshman Sammi Licari averages 12 points per game and ranks second on the team with 5.8 rebounds per contest. Taylor Shepard, an all-conference pick last year, scores 10.2 points per game while Kelli Page leads the team with 24 three-pointers.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are in first place in the GPAC with a 5-0 record, 12-0 overall. Ranked second in the NAIA, they are just one of four undefeated teams left at the D-II level. Northwestern has wins over several ranked teams, including Jamestown, MidAmerica Nazarene, Benedictine, Briar Cliff, Morningside and Hastings.
Northwestern is the top scoring team in the GPAC, ranking second in the NAIA with 96.3 points per game. They shoot a league-best 49% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc, making over six three-pointers per game. Northwestern also leads the NAIA in rebound margin (+14).
Karen Hutson leads the GPAC in scoring, averaging 20.1 points per game, while shooting 61% from the field. She has scored in double figures in every game this season while also pulling down 6.3 rebounds per game. Alli Engebretson is second in the league in scoring (19.0) and leads the GPAC with 38 three-pointers. Samantha Kleinsasser averages 15.7 points and a GPAC-leading 8.7 rebounds per game, registering seven double-doubles this season. Both Engebretson and Kleinsasser have scored in double figures in all 12 games. Mackenzie Small scores 10.4 points per game and is second on the team with 18 three-pointers. Paige O'Neal ranks second in the NAIA with 71 assists and scores 5.3 points per game.
Up Next...Northwestern will play Doane College on Wednesday, Dec. 18, in the final game before the new year.