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Courtesy of Midland Athletics

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Midland University took one last trip up to Jamestown, North Dakota to face the University of Jamestown as conference rivals on this weekend. The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) meeting took to the court inside Harold Newman Arena on Saturday afternoon. After a back-and-forth battle, the Warriors were handed a tough defeat of 87-77 by the Jimmies.

Derek Merwick ignited the game with a layup, and the Jimmies swiftly matched the energy early on. Amidst an exchange of points, Merwick and Jake Orr orchestrated a 5-0 run, propelling Midland to a 9-4 lead. Jamestown, quick to respond, countered with a 5-0 run of its own, leveling the score. In a closely contested match, the Jimmies engineered another 5-0 run, seizing a 16-11 lead.

Merwick and Orr narrowed the gap to a one-point game with back-to-back layups. The Jimmies, however, intensified their efforts with a 12-0 run, applying significant pressure with five minutes remaining in the first half. The Warriors rallied, with Nick Dolezal kickstarting an 8-2 run. Amidst a continued exchange of baskets, the Jimmies unleashed consecutive three-pointers on their way to a ten-point lead, 42-32, at halftime.

After the break, the teams engaged in a relentless back-and-forth, applying pressure and battling for control. The Jimmies gained momentum with a commanding 13-2 run. Dolezal and Rece Kissinger interrupted the Warriors’ drought with a quick 5-0 run. Jamestown escalated its efforts, particularly with three-pointers, fueling an 11-3 run that essentially sealed the outcome.

The teams continued to match each other’s baskets. Dominic Humm initiated a 7-2 run in an attempt to stage a comeback, and Midland exhibited resilience in the final moments but was unable to make up the deficit. Jamestown took the all-important win, 87-77, clinching its spot in the GPAC Postseason Tournament.

Jake Orr led Midland with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Derek Merwick added 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists. Ryan Larsen had 12 points on the afternoon while Jake Rueschhoff finished with 11 points.

For the game, Midland shot 31-or-70 (44.3%), while Jamestown was 31-of-62 (50%). The Jimmies held a firm advantage in free throw shots, going 13-of-16. The Warriors went to the charity stripe just nine times, making five.

“Tough night for us on the road. Have to give credit to Jamestown on how they played efficiently on offense,” said head coach Tyler Erwin. “I thought we missed quite a few shots at the rim that we normally make. They just didn’t fall for us tonight. Still looking for some consistency defensively. I liked our fight at the end running, jumping, trapping, and flying around. That got us some quick turnovers and got us back into the game. We never gave in tonight and fought until the end.”

Midland (9-16, 4-13 GPAC) will return to its home court to face Northwestern (19-5, 12-4 GPAC) next weekend. It will be the final home game of the season and Senior Day for a pair of Warriors. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. in Fremont, Nebraska on Saturday, February 17.

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