Game Time...Second-ranked Northwestern resumes its season this weekend as they play Grand View College on Friday night, Jan. 3. Tip-off in the Sisam Arena is scheduled for 6pm. Northwestern is off to its best start in program history with a 14-0 record while Grand View is 5-5 overall. Watch the game live via the Grand View webcast at the following link: Watch Now! or listen to the game via the KSOU broadcast at the following link: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern is 5-10 all-time against Grand View but has won three straight match-ups in the series, with the last win coming during the 2011-12 season.
Scouting Grand View...The Vikings enter Saturday with a 5-5 record and had their three game win streak come to an end with a 76-51 loss to #14 College of Saint Mary (Neb.) last time out on Dec. 13. They opened the year with a win over Avila but then lost four straight games, all to GPAC teams. A win over Waldorf followed and then the Vikings played several exhibition games against NCAA D-II teams before running off wins over Hannibal-LaGrange, Buena Vista and Simpson.
Garey Smith in his 14th season as the head coach of the Vikings program and returns one starter and eight players off a 2012-13 team that won the Midwest Collegiate Conference regular and postseason titles. They went 10-2 in the conference and ended the year ranked 17th with a 22-7 overall record, losing to Indiana Wesleyan in the second round of the NAIA D-II championship.
Grand View scores 69 points per game, shooting 45% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc. They are outrebounding opponents by a +5 margin and are giving up 69 points per game defensively.
Senior post Mika Rodewald is one of two Vikings' players scoring in double figures, averaging 11.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. She is shooting 56% from the field and leads the team with 17 blocked shots. Senior guard Shelbie Beatty is the lone returning starter and scores 11.1 points per game to go with 18 assists. She earned honorable mention all-conference honors last year. Senior Chelsie Krull scores 8.4 points per game and leads the team with 16 three-pointers.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are currently in first place in the GPAC with a 7-0 record and are one of just three undefeated teams left in the NAIA D-II (Saint Francis and Point Park). They are off to their best start in the program's history with a 14-0 record and own several wins over ranked teams so far this season.
Northwestern is one of the top scoring offenses in the NAIA, averaging 95 points per game and shooting 49% from the field. They lead the NAIA in rebounding (+14) and are shooting 37% from the three-point line. Defensively, the Red Raiders are giving up 67 points per game.
Alli Engebretson is the Red Raiders' top scorer, pouring in 19 points per game while leading the team with 44 three-pointers. She is one of two 1,000-point scorers on the team, reaching the milestone last time out in the win over Doane. Karen Hutson scores 18.9 points per game while shooting 58% from the field. Hutson also pulls down 6.1 boards per game. Samantha Kleinsasser averages 15.4 points and a team-best 7.9 rebounds per game, shooting 54% from the field. Kleinsasser scored her 1,000th career point earlier this year. Mackenzie Small averages 12 points per game and is second on the team with 27 three-pointers while Paige O'Neal leads the GPAC with 85 assists.
Up Next...Northwestern will host a pair of GPAC games next week, beginning with Dakota Wesleyan on Jan. 8 at 6pm.