FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University’s men’s basketball team came out on fire in last night’s GPAC opener and got the conference season started with a win. The Warriors (2-1, 1-0 GPAC) held off a late comeback attempt from the Concordia University Bulldogs (3-1, 0-1 GPAC) to survive with a 78-72 victory.
Midland got strong individual performances from three starters, including a pair of double-doubles from sophomore Sam Brown and junior Bryce Parsons. Brown finished with 14 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, while adding two blocks and a steal.
Parsons notched 14 points and 10 rebounds of his own while pitching in four assists and two steals. Parsons provided the highlight play of the night when he collected a missed jump-shot and threw down a phenomenal put-back dunk just before the halftime buzzer, giving Midland a 15-point lead going into the break.
Junior DJ Deere had his best performance of the season, leading the Warriors with 17 points on 8-14 shooting (1-3 3FG). Deere also dished out three assists and secured a rebound. The junior guard scored nine of Midland’s final 16 points in the first half.
The Warriors took a lead three minutes into the game and never surrendered it again. Parsons’ dunk capped a 10-0 run for the Warriors to conclude the first half.
Midland led by double digits for most of the second half, but the Bulldogs continued to chip away at the lead. With under four minutes to play, Concordia ramped up the intensity and went on a 12-1 run, cutting the Midland lead to 74-72 with under 30 seconds remaining.
Forced to foul, Concordia sent two freshmen, Bowen Sandquist and Tariq Deere, to the free throw line. The two combined to make all four of their free throws in the closing seconds to secure Midland’s 78-72 win.
Midland isn’t afraid to shoot the basketball, but the Warriors aren’t trigger-happy either. The Warriors shot 50 percent from the field on Tuesday (29-58) while four Warriors finished in double figures. On the short season, the Warriors are 2-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field, but have not shot under 47 percent in a game this season.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Warriors as they come back to Wikert Event Center on Thursday for a nonconference game against Kansas Wesleyan (1-1). Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. in Fremont.