FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University’s men’s basketball team has had its fair share of distractions so far this season. Despite all of the adversities, the Warriors played one of their most cohesive games of the season on Saturday afternoon.
The Warriors (10-13, 5-9 GPAC) fought off a second-half burst from the Mount Marty College Lancers (6-17, 2-11 GPAC) and pulled away late for a 100-84 victory. .
Midland was short-handed after freshman Bowen Sandquist, the team’s second-leading scorer, injured a finger on his shooting hand in practice on Friday. On top of that, Bryce Parsons, the versatile junior forward, was a game-time decision with an ankle injury sustained on Wednesday at Concordia.
Parsons did play, and the depleted Warriors lineup stepped up big time. With Sandquist out, it was senior Reggie Gradwell who was called upon to be the primary three-point shooter.
Gradwell finished with a career-high 28 points on 9-16 shooting from the floor and 7-14 from three-point range. The senior also added eight rebounds and a block to his stat line.
Freshman Dillon Faubel also had a career day shooting the ball. The freshman finished with a career-high 18 points on 6-14 shooting, including being 4-9 from behind the arc. He also contributed four assists and two rebounds.
Gradwell and Faubel weren’t the only two Warriors with good games. Off the bench, junior forward Isaiah Workman finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. Freshman Malik Martin finished with a quiet 12 points, and Parsons, even with an ankle that was less than 100 percent, nearly recorded a triple-double with 10 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds.
Everyone did their part, and it’s exactly what the Warriors needed to do with a star shooter on the sidelines.
Mount Marty was led by the duo of Jailen Billings and Colby Johnson, who finished with 32 and 22 points, respectively. The rest of the Lancers combined for just 30 points.
Midland blitzed the Lancers out of the gates and jumped to an early 27-9 lead, aided by eight points from Gradwell, who had 22 in the first half. The Warriors led by as many as 22 points in the first half and took a 51-34 lead into the locker room.
It was all Midland through the first 20 minutes, but Mount Marty wouldn’t go away quietly.
The Lancers found their stroke early in the second half and hit three pointers on three consecutive possessions to help spark a 13-2 run that pulled Mount Marty to within just two points of the lead with under 13 minutes to play.
Tension increased as Midland’s lead stayed in single digits for the next eight minutes of play. With 5:38 left on the clock, senior Luke Cadzow knocked down one of his three three-pointers on the game and ignited a 16-2 run that put Midland back up by 20 with only a minute and a half remaining.
Faubel scored eight straight points near the end of the run to highlight the final minutes as Coach Drake emptied the bench and the Warriors celebrated a 100-84 win.
Midland shot 53.7 percent (36-67) from the field and 45.9 percent (17-37) from three-point range en route to the victory, and also knocked in 11 of its 12 free throw attempts. The Warriors dominated on the glass, outrebounding Mount Marty 35-21 while also outscoring Mount Marty on second chance opportunities (23-18) and in bench points (23-13).
The win ends a two-game losing streak for the Warriors, but more importantly, proves that this Warriors team is ready to adopt a “next man up” mentality as the season inches towards its final stretch.
Midland’s final non-conference game is this Tuesday, January 22, as the Warriors host the Faith Baptist Bible College Eagles (4-10 overall). Tipoff at the Wikert Event Center is set for 7:00 p.m.
FREMONT, Neb. – After a rough go last week against two of the best teams in the nation, Midland University’s women’s basketball team was treated to another difficult test at home on Saturday afternoon. This time, the Warriors pulled through.
The (RV) Warriors (12-9, 7-8 GPAC) weathered a late comeback attempt from the Mount Marty College Lancers (10-11, 4-11 GPAC) to hold on to a 68-63 victory at home.
Midland was in control for nearly the entire game, but a strong second half for Mount Marty made the Warriors sweat it out down the stretch as the Lancers even managed to take a lead in the fourth quarter.
Junior Amanda Hansen and freshman Lexis Haase led the Warriors with 15 points each. Hansen finished the game 5-11 from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line. She also contributed two rebounds, two steals, one assist, and one block.
Off the bench, Haase tied for the team lead in points for the second straight game thanks to shooting 5-9 from the field and 4-7 from three-point range. The productive sub also grabbed five rebounds and added a steal to her final stat line.
Mount Marty was led by forward Sammy Kasowski’s 22 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Kasowski caused problems all game for the Warriors as she regularly found ways to clear space and convert easy baskets in the lane.
The other double-digit scorers for the Lancers included Karlee McKinney and Molly Koisti, who each finished with 12 points.
With the exception of an early 2-0 lead for Mount Marty, Midland led throughout the entirety of the first half. Seven different Warriors scored in the first quarter as Midland held a 22-18 lead after the first 10 minutes.
The Warriors began the second quarter on a miniature 11-5 run that took up nearly seven full minutes of game clock to take an 11-point lead, their largest of the game. The Lancers outscored the Warriors 7-2 to finish the half as Midland took a 36-30 lead into the locker room.
Midway through the third quarter, the Warriors looked like they were preparing to blow the game open after a pair of back-to-back threes from seniors Maddie Meadows and Madison Severson put Midland up by eight, but the Lancers kept battling.
After the threes, Mount Marty found a way to close out another quarter with momentum. This time, the Lancers outscored Midland 11-6 and trailed by just three before the final quarter.
Mount Marty began the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run (10-1 run including the end of the third quarter) to take a 55-52 lead, the Lancers’ first since the game’s opening minutes.
With the game trending in Mount Marty’s favor, a big three-pointer from Haase ended the run and tied the game at 55 all.
The lead changed four more times in the next four minutes. The score remained tied for two whole minutes before Hansen’s layup with 1:24 on the clock gave Midland a 65-63 lead.
Maddie Egr and Haase combined to make three free throws in the final minute to secure the win as the Warriors held Mount Marty scoreless for the final three and a half minutes of the game.
Midland benefitted off of 11 Lancers turnovers, turning them into 11 points. The Warriors’ bench also outscored Mount Marty’s reserves 26-18 to help earn the victory.
The Warriors end a two-game losing streak and get an important victory as their next two conference games take place away from Wikert Event Center. Midland travels to Omaha on Wednesday to face off with the College of Saint Mary Flames (2-19, 1-13 GPAC) at 6:00 p.m. Midland defeated the Flames 72-54 in the first matchup of the season on December 1.