FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University’s women’s basketball team finished off their regular season on Saturday against yet another nationally-ranked GPAC foe. After falling into a huge hole early on, the Warriors fought hard all the way to the finish.
The Warriors (15-13, 10-12 GPAC) ultimately fell to the No. 2 Northwestern College Red Raiders (25-3, 19-3 GPAC) by a score of 67-54, but after the first half, the final tally could have been much worse.
Northwestern began the game on a stunning 30-8 run and led 22-6 after the first quarter of play. The Red Raiders, who shoot the ball as efficiently as any team in the country, torched the nets at Wikert Event Center to get the game started.
The Warriors couldn’t do much to stop Northwestern, despite their best efforts by rotating man-to-man and zone defenses. The Red Raider’s led by as many 24 in the first half and took a 41-18 lead into the locker room.
Clearly, the first half wasn’t exactly one Midland was proud of. But, the Warriors were too proud to go down without a fight in the team’s final game in Fremont in 2018-19.
The Warriors began the second half on an 11-1 run and cut into the deficit significantly. Northwestern seemed poised to win in a landslide, but the Warriors came out swinging and outscored the Red Raiders 18-11 in the third quarter.
Northwestern pushed the lead back to 21 early in the fourth quarter, but Midland again managed to chip away and closed the gap down to just 11 points in the late stages of the quarter. Ultimately, it was too little too late for Midland, but the 13-point loss looked pretty good in comparison to how the game began.
Without panicking, the Warriors outscored one of the best teams in the country 36-26 in the second half of play, and gave the fans in Fremont plenty of reasons to be proud.
Two seniors, Madison Severson and Maddie Egr, played their final home game in Saturday’s regular season finale.
Severson, a Millard West (Omaha) product, finished off her career with a performance that speaks for itself. “Sevy” finished with just two points in her final game, but the guard added four rebounds, three assists, and a steal to her final stat line.
Racking up statistics has never been Severson’s game. Her efforts on defense and her calm demeanor as a point guard make the Warriors a better team whenever she is on the floor. That was true yet again on Saturday, as the Warriors needed a leader to help them dig their way out of the first-half hole.
Egr led the Warriors with 21 points and six rebounds on Saturday. The transfer for Yuatn, Nebraska led Midland in multiple statistical categories this season, and at times was simply un-guardable by opponents. In the process, she has racked up over 1,000 points as a collegian across the three schools she has played at.
If Egr has a good game, the Warriors will usually have a chance to win. That held true on Saturday, as her 21 points, along with 20 from junior Amanda Hansen, was a key component in Midland staging a comeback.
The Warriors advance on to the GPAC Tournament as the 7-seed, and are set up for a rematch with 2-seed Northwestern on Wednesday, February 20, at 7:00 p.m. in Orange City, Iowa. Despite having lost to the Red Raiders twice already this season, it can often be difficult to beat a team three times in one season. Midland hopes to build off its second-half performance on Saturday and will look to grab the program’s first ever win in the GPAC Tournament.