FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University nearly pulled off another conference upset on Saturday afternoon falling to No. 11-ranked Northwestern College 100-94. The Warriors put forth a solid game plan, limiting the Red Raiders leading scorer to just two points. Northwestern though had several players fill the void of their star and hit key shots down the stretch for the win.
Midland held a 47-42 lead at the break thanks for the play of Ryan Williams on the offensive end with 14 first half points and the play of Marti Fonolla and the rest of the team defensively. Fonolla spent most of the game guarding Colton Kooima of the Red Raiders. Kooima torched the Warriors last year with 43 points and is a top ten scorer in the nation this season with an average of nearly 23 points. Midland held him to 1-7 shooting for the game for just two points.
Northwestern, who was ranked atop the coaches’ poll earlier this year, turned to their other players to fill the void and they did just that. Nathan Wedel put up 28 points to lead the team as every starter scored in double-figures outside of Kooima while Parker Mulder had 23 off of the bench.
For Midland, Ryan Williams established a new career-high with 37 points on the game. He was nearly unstoppable from all over the floor. He hit 12-22 shots including 5 three pointers and went 8-9 from the foul line. Williams also added 12 rebounds as well to lead the team.
Reggie Gradwell and Tyler Craven each added 15 points each while Fonolla chipped in 11. Gradwell had a stretch in the second half where he hit three straight three-pointers to keep Midland in front.
Fonolla had six assists to lead the Warriors while both Craven and Chase Parsons each had five assists as well.
The Warriors’ next game was to be with Grace University on Wednesday but due to the closing of the school at Grace, the game will be forfeited.
Up next for Midland (10-8, 3-6 GPAC) is a road game on Sunday, January 14 at No. 20 Dakota Wesleyan (15-5, 5-3 GPAC). The two team will play at 4:00 p.m. at The World’s Only Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.