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Game Time...Northwestern College plays host to Midland University in a conference match-up on Saturday, Jan. 31. Tip-off at the Bultman Center is scheduled for 2pm. The Red Raiders have won two straight and three of their last four to move up to sixth place in the GPAC at 7-6, 13-8 overall. Midland is in ninth place in the GPAC with a 4-10 league record, 9-14 overall. Watch/listen live to the game via the NWC webcast at the following link: Watch/Listen Now! or listen to the game via the KSOU broadcast at this link: Listen Now!
All-Time...Northwestern leads the all-time series 33-13 against Midland. The Red Raiders have won 26 straight against Midland, including a 78-70 road win played Dec. 13.
Last Time vs Midland...Northwestern College held off a late second half surge to defeat Midland 78-70 in a GPAC women's basketball match-up played Dec. 13 in Fremont, Neb.
Four Red Raiders scored in double figures, led by Paige O'Neal with 19 points. Karen Ettleman netted 18 points and pulled down a game-high seven rebounds.
The teams played a very close first half, featuring eight lead changes and two ties. Midland held the largest lead of the first half (28-20) with just over five minutes left but Northwestern outscored the hosts 17-8 over the final minutes, going on a 9-2 run over the final three minutes, to take a 37-36 advantage into the break.
Northwestern continued its run at the start of the second half, pushing the lead to 10 (55-45) following a lay-up by Ettleman with 11:34 left to go. A three-point play by O'Neal put the Red Raiders on top 58-47 moments later but Midland answered with a 12-3 run to cut the Northwestern lead down to two (61-59) after a basket by Taylor Shepard at the seven-minute mark.
The Red Raiders stretched the lead back to nine following consecutive baskets by O'Neal and Ettleman at the 3:30 mark, the final field goals scored by NWC. Midland got as close as four (74-70) but Northwestern made just enough free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.
Northwestern shot 49% (27-for-55) for the game and 30% (3-for-10) from beyond the arc. Morgan VanDerSloot added a career-best 16 points, making 2-of-3 three-point attempts. Arianne Gesell also scored 16 points and pulled down six boards. Northwestern held a 35-23 advantage on the boards and committed 24 turnovers.
Midland shot 37% for the game and 19% from beyond the arc (4-for-21). Jamilah Johnson scored a game-high 20 points and Shepard added 15 points and six boards. Sammi Licari (11) and Dani Anderson (10) were also in double figures.
Scouting Midland...The Warriors are on a two game win streak, defeating both Nebraska Wesleyan and Dakota Wesleyan, after losing five straight earlier this month. They are in ninth place in the GPAC with a 4-10 record, 9-14 overall.
Shawn Gilbert is in his second season as the head coach at Midland, coming to the Warriors after serving as an assistant at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. He returns four starters and eight players off a 2014 team that finished fifth in the GPAC with an 11-9 record, 15-16 overall. They lost to Concordia in the GPAC semifinals and were picked to finish fifth in this year's GPAC preseason poll.
Midland averages 73 points per game, shooting 43% from the field and 30% from the three-point line. Four Warriors' players score in double figures, led by senior Jaylan Spencer, a transfer from Wayne State who comes off the bench to score 13 points per game. Senior guard Jamilah Johnson, a two-time all-conference pick, scores 12.1 points per game and leads the team with 70 assists. Sammi Licari, also an all-conference pick last year, averages 12 points per game and Dani Anderson leads the team with 52 three-pointers.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders have won two straight and three of their last four to move into sole possession of sixth place in the GPAC with a 7-6 record, 13-8 overall. They are just a half game in back of Doane and trail fourth place Hastings by one full game. Northwestern has wins over Nebraska Wesleyan and Mount Marty during its streak.
Northwestern averages 76 points per game, fourth best in the GPAC, and is shooting a GPAC-best 45% from the field. Defensively, the Red Raiders are giving up 70 points per game.
Karen Ettleman leads the GPAC in scoring, averaging 22 points per game, fifth best in the NAIA. The senior is second in the conference in field goal percentage (48%) and also leads the team in rebounding (6) and steals (41). Paige O'Neal averages 12.4 points per game and is second in the league with 103 assists. She ranks fifth all-time with 423 career assists. Arianne Gesell (8.7) and Morgan VanDerSloot (7.2) are the other top scorers for NWC.
Up Next...Northwestern heads to Sioux City, Iowa, to play Briar Cliff in another conference match-up.