ORANGE CITY, IA – Midland University traveled to play Northwestern College this afternoon in a Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) matchup in Orange City, Iowa. Northwestern’s offensive attack was too much to overcome and the Warriors were defeated 97-79.
The Warriors (1-4, 1-3 GPAC) didn’t go down without a fight, reaching their second-highest offensive point total of the season.
The opening half provided competitive basketball as the two sides battled back and forth. There were seven total lead changes during the first 20 minutes with neither team taking more than a nine-point lead. After falling behind 20-13 at the 11:12 mark, three-pointers from freshman forward Kyle Castille and senior guard Laurence Merritt helped the Warriors put together an 8-0 run to take a 21- 20 lead with just under ten minutes remaining in the half.
Midland would hold another lead, 31-29, with 5:23 to go in the half, but then saw the game open up as Northwestern ended the half on a 13-3 run. Up 42-34, the Raiders were powered by forward Craig Sterk who was 5-for-7 with 13 points in the half.
In the second half, the Raiders raced out to a fast start making eight of their first nine shot attempts to push their advantage to 58-40 within the first six minutes. The large lead proved too much for Midland to overcome as they fell by the same 18-point margin.
Once again, the Warriors got great contributions from their freshmen as forward Kyle Castille scored 19 points, center Josh Lambert scored 17 points, and forward Colby Tichota finished with 11 points. Senior Laurence Merritt also reached double-figures with 14 points off the bench.
Northwestern’s offense was efficient all night, especially in the second half. They missed only eight shot attempts in the half (22 of 30) and were nearly flawless from the free-throw line (9-of-10). For the game, they shot 63.5% from the field (40 of 63).
“We ran into a really good, veteran Northwestern team today,” said head coach Oliver Drake. “They deserve a lot of credit. As a team, we didn’t value the ball at the level you need to compete. We need to learn from this game and be ready to go on Tuesday for another road GPAC contest.”
The Warriors will now travel to Yankton, South Dakota this coming Tuesday to face Mount Marty University (2-3, 0-1 GPAC) in another GPAC matchup. The game is set to tip-off at 8:00 p.m. inside Cimpl Arena.