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Game Time...Second-ranked Northwestern heads to Fremont, Neb. to play Midland in a GPAC women's basketball match-up on Saturday, Feb. 1. Tip-off is scheduled for 2pm. The Red Raiders are coming off a 78-74 loss at Mount Marty on Wednesday that drops them into a first place tie with Hastings at 11-2 in the GPAC, 19-2 overall. Midland is in fifth place in the GPAC with a 9-5 record, one game in back of Morningside and a half game in front of Dakota Wesleyan. They are 13-11 overall. Listen live to the game via the KSOU broadcast at the following link: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern leads the all-time series 31-12 and has won 25 straight match-ups, a streak that began during the 1998-99 season. The Red Raiders earned an 89-69 home win over Midland on Dec. 14 earlier this season.
Last Time vs Midland...Mackenzie Small scored a game-high 24 points in leading Northwestern to an 89-69 win over Midland earlier this year.
Small knocked down a career-best six three-pointers, going 6-for-11 from beyond the arc, while also pulling down seven boards. Both Samantha Kleinsasser and Alli Engebretson netted 17 points each as Northwestern shot 42% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc (12-for-24).
Northwestern never trailed and held a 41-34 lead at the break. They pulled away with a 14-2 run early in the second half and led by 20 points for most the final 20 minutes. They held a 39-20 advantage on the glass, led by Engebretson with 10.
Midland shot 48% for the game and was led by Sammi Licari with 18 points and Kellie Page added 10, going 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Scouting Midland...The Warriors own a 9-5 league record and are currently in fifth place in the GPAC, trailing Morningside by one game and a half game in front of Dakota Wesleyan. Midland has won three of its last four games and is 13-11 overall. Earlier this year, they were ranked as high as 10th in the NAIA D-II poll but dropped out after losing six of seven games just before the break.
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 averages 69 points per game and is shooting 39% from the field, both ranking 10th best in the conference. They rank seventh in rebounding (-1) and are second in the GPAC points given up (67.5).
Jamilah Johnson, a returning starter and all-conference pick, averages a team-best 14 points per game while ranking among the GPAC's top 10 in steals (49) and assists (61). Sammi Licari scores 11.5 points per game and is the top rebounder for the Warriors at 6.5 boards per game. The freshman leads the team with 58 steals. Taylor Shepard, another returning all-conference selection, scores 9.6 points per game while Kelli Page leads the team with 48 three-pointers.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are tied with Hastings for first place in the GPAC with an 11-2 conference record, 19-2 overall. They are ranked second in the NAIA (Jan. 28 poll), behind top ranked Saint Francis (Ind.), and are one of six league teams recognized in the coaches' poll. Northwestern has dropped two of its last three games, however, and its last two road contests.
Northwestern is the top scoring team in the GPAC, ranking second in the NAIA at 91.3 points per game. They also are among the conference leaders in field goal percentage (47%), three-point percentage (36%) and rebounding (+11). The Red Raiders also sport one of the top defenses in the GPAC, giving up 69 points per game and limiting teams to just 38% from the field.
Alli Engebretson leads the GPAC in scoring, pouring in 18.7 points per game. The senior also leads the GPAC with 67 three-pointers, shooting nearly 40% from beyond the arc. Engebretson ranks second on the team in rebounding (7.3). Karen Hutson scores 17.2 points per game and leads the GPAC in field goal percentage (57%). Samantha Kleinsasser is fifth in the league in scoring (16.3) and third in rebounding (7.6), shooting 54% from the field. Mackenzie Small averages 12.3 points per game and has made 38 three-pointers this season while Paige O'Neal leads the conference with 119 assists.
Up Next...Northwestern will play host to Briar Cliff on Wednesday night, Feb. 5 at 6pm.