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Courtesy of Midland Athletics

FREMONT, Neb – Midland University hosted Hastings College in a Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) matchup on Wednesday night inside the Wikert Event Center. The Broncos’ early pressure and offensive surge at the start led to an 88-63 win over the Warriors.

Hastings established dominance in the first half, embarking on a 19-5 run to shape the game’s early narrative. Jake Orr interrupted the Warriors’ quiet phase with a layup. Both teams engaged in an exchange of three-pointers, but the Broncos seized control with a remarkable 12-0 run, featuring three consecutive three-pointers, elevating their lead to 36-15 with 9:00 minutes remaining.

Rece Kissinger ended another scoreless spell by the Warriors only to see the Broncos add to their lead with a 5-0 run. As the teams matched each other’s points, Jack Cooper sparked a 6–0 run for the Warriors, in an attempt to narrow the gap as the half’s end drew near. The Broncos, who at one point in the middle of the first period were shooting a blistering 80% from the field, took a substantial 51-31 lead at the break.

After the intermission, Hastings carried the momentum into the second half, launching a 12-2 run. Ryan Larsen broke the scoreless spell with a three-pointer, but the visitors continued to maintain their lead thanks to a 5-0 run.

Following a quick 6-0 run by the Warriors, the pace started to slow as the teams traded baskets. With time winding down and the game’s eventual outcome decided, Nick Dolezal ignited a 5-0 run as both teams finished out the game with their reserves. As the final buzzer sounded, the final score read Hastings 88, Midland 63.

Derek Merwick led the Warriors with 19 points while Ryan Larsen joined him in double figures with 11. Merwick, who was named the GPAC Player of the Week on Monday, added 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals to his final line.

“It was uphill the entire night. We were trying to match their physicality inside and then they made seven threes in the first half. It made for a long night for us,” commented head coach Tyler Erwin during the postgame. “We lost the game in the first four minutes of the first half. We didn’t get a stop at all, then in the first three minutes of the second half. That’s the difference in the game tonight. Credit to Hastings, they’re playing really well, especially when they’re hitting shots like they did tonight against us.”

For the game, Midland shot 22-of-48 (45.8%) while Hastings was an impressive 37-of-59 (62.7%). The taller Broncos also outrebounded the Warriors 31 to 19 and held a 42 to 28 advantage of points in the paint.

Midland (9-15,4-12 GPAC) will take a long bus drive up to take on Jamestown (12-11, 7-8 GPAC) this weekend. This could be the final time the teams meet on the hardwood with the Jimmies set to leave the GPAC as they transition to NCAA Division II over the next few years. Tipoff is slated for 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, February 10 inside Harold Newman Arena in Jamestown, North Dakota.

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