FREMONT – Midland University men’s basketball earned their fifth consecutive victory on Wednesday night, defeating Doane 71-61 in their first game of 2022. The Warriors have now won six of their past seven meetings with the Tigers and lead the series 21-10 since 2006.
Midland faced a tough defensive matchup with Doane ranking first in the GPAC in points allowed and second in opponent field goal percentage this season.
The Warriors were up for the challenge with a balanced offensive attack. Four different Warriors scored double-digits in the game. Nine different Warriors scored in the contest.
Midland’s hot offense lifted them to a 15-point advantage by the 6:37 mark of the first half. In the first period, they shot 16-of-32 including 5-of-9 from behind the arc. The Warriors led 37-27 at the intermission.
The second half was a much more physical contest with the two sides combining for almost as many fouls (21) as made field goals (23). The Midland lead grew to as high as 18 points halfway through the period but was dwindled to just 9 points at the 1:42 mark. The Tigers’ defense almost earned the stop that they desperately needed, but Emmanuel Bryson came up with a timely offensive rebound that forced the Tigers to turn to fouls to extend the game. Free throws sealed the Warriors’ win, 71-61.
Laurence Merritt led the offense with 14 points, followed by Jake Rueschhoff who scored 13 points. Off the bench, Tyler Sandoval contributed 12 points and 6 rebounds and Ryan Larsen added 10 points while shooting 3-of-4 from behind the arc.
“It was a good ‘business-like’ win for us tonight,” stated head coach Oliver Drakepostgame. “In a couple of our wins of late, we’ve had a breakout performance from one of our guys. Tonight, it was a solid team win. Every one of our guys contributed in one way or another. To get wins in the GPAC you have to be able to win games like this.”
Next up for Midland (14-4, 5-3 GPAC) is a matchup with (RV) Morningside (8-5, 5-3 GPAC) on Saturday. The last time these two met at the Wikert Event Center, the Warriors lost a heartbreaker, falling 77-73 in the final minute of the game. They will look to avenge that game on Saturday, January 8 at 3:45 p.m. in Fremont.