By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
NAIA Game of the Week – No. 7
No. 8 Midland (Neb.) (25-4, 15-4) at No. 4 Dordt (Iowa) (26-3, 17-2 GPAC)
Saturday, Feb. 22 | 4 p.m. CST | De Witt Gym | Sioux Center, Iowa
Live Video/Audio – Provided by Dordt
• A top-10 showdown in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) ensues as No. 8 Midland (Neb.) travels to fourth-ranked Dordt (Iowa) on Saturday. Dordt is currently the No. 1 seed in the GPAC standings and Midland is tied with Morningside for second-place.
• This contest marks the final regular season contest for both teams. The Defenders already wrapped up the No. 1 seed and an automatic berth in the NAIA Division II National Championship. Dordt will host a GPAC Tournament First Round game Feb. 26 against the No. 8 seed, which will be determined after Saturday. Midland will either be the second or third seed in the conference tournament.
• Dordt won its second GPAC regular season championship in the past three years after a 91-80 victory against Northwestern (Iowa) on Wednesday.
• On Wednesday, Midland avenged an overtime loss earlier in the year against Hastings (Neb.) with a 74-62 payback win. The Warriors are riding a three-game win streak.
• In the previous meeting this season on Nov. 16, 2013, Dordt claimed a 72-66 triumph. Kyle Lindbergh posted 29 points and 14 rebounds. He was part of a Defenders squad to hold a 47-34 rebounding edge.
• In the overall series, the Defenders lead 18-3. They have won three straight in the series. In the last six meetings, the average margin of victory has been six points.
• The high-flying Dordt scoring offense (90.1) will be matched up against a Midland scoring defense to rank seventh (65.4) in the nation for fewest points allowed. Ranked fifth in Division II, Dordt's offense has put up at least 90 points in 18 of 29 games played. The Defenders netted a season-high 122 against Grace on Nov. 5, 2013. Conversely, the Warriors have given up 90 points on just two occasions, with resulted in losses. The highest output allowed was 94 in the 94-93 loss to Hastings on Jan. 15. The Warriors have held 10 opponents to notch 60 or fewer points.
• Dordt's Kyle Lindbergh leads the team in scoring with a 16.3 points per game average to go along with 10.7 rebounds, which is good for fourth in the NAIA. He is also making 50.9 percent of his field goals. He has tallied 13 double-doubles on the year, including four in his last five games. Dalton Franken (15.4 ppg), Austin Katje (14.8 ppg), Nathan Rindels (12.4 ppg) and Tyler Wolterstorff (11.5 ppg) all score in double figures.
• On the year, the team makes more free throws (632) than the opponents attempt (603).
• After starting the year 16-1, Midland has gone 9-3 in the past 12 contests. The Warriors shoot the ball well from the field, converting 49.3 percent of their attempts. That statistic is good for 12th in Division II.
• Ben Imig is the top scorer at 17.6 points per game. His 51 made 3-pointers is second behind the 61 from Galen Gullie. Gullie is second in scoring (12.8) and has the most steals on the team (38). With 5.3 rebounds, Alex Starkel grabs the most boards and chips in 11.9 points.
Note – A special thanks to the Sports Information Departments at Dordt and Midland for providing portions of the information above.
Additional Notes from Around NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball
(Through games played on Feb. 20, 2014)
• Starting the week of Feb. 24, conference tournaments around the country take place. Champions of the individual conference tournaments are automatic qualifiers to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship. Click here to follow the scores.
• On Feb. 18, the game between Saint Francis (Ind.) and Huntington (Ind.) was the No. 1 play on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10. Cougar Scott Kohne hit a fall-away 3-pointer at the buzzer to send Saint Francis to the win. Click here to view the video highlight.
• For the first-time in the history of the NAIA, there will be a All-Star Game. The NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball All-Star Game, presented by US Bank will occur on March 22 in Kansas City, Mo., as the 10 best players from Division II will compete against the 10 best players from Division I. Coach Al Waller, formerly of College of the Ozarks (Mo.) and coach Don Meyer, formerly of Lipscomb (Tenn.), are the head coaches for the event. On that day, there will also be a Dunk and 3-Point Contest. For more information, click here.
• IU Southeast currently holds the longest active win streak at 17-straight games. The Grenadiers notched its first win during this streak on Dec. 18, 2013. IU Southeast closes out the regular season on Saturday against St. Louis Pharmacy (Mo.).
• Right behind IU Southeast is the 15-game win streak held by Cardinal Stritch (Wis.).
• There are no teams in Division II with an undefeated record. Three teams currently have the fewest losses with three apiece: Cardinal Stritch, Dordt (Iowa) and IU Southeast.
• Cardinal Stritch and Dordt are tied for the most wins with 26. Overall, 30 teams have posted 20-or-more wins thus far.
• One team is still searching for its first victory.
• For the fifth-straight poll, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) remained in the No. 1 position in the ninth regular-season edition of the Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. For the complete release, click here.
• Jalen Voss of Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) was named this week’s NAIA National Division II Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. For the complete release, click here¬.
• On Feb. 2, Oregon Tech head coach Danny Miles became the second-ever coach in any level of men's college basketball to hit 1,000 wins. The 71-51 win over Corban (Ore.) earned him the rare milestone in coaching annals. Miles is in his 43rd season at Oregon Tech and now trails only Harry Statham of NCAA Division II McKendree (Ill.) in career wins. For more information, click here.
• On Feb. 12, St. Francis (Ill.) head coach Ryan Marks notched his 200th career win after the Saints took down IU South Bend, 77-72. After the victory, Marks stands 200-185 in 13 seasons overall.
• Bryan (Tenn.) sophomore Brandon Cole reached 1,000 career points in the contest against Milligan (Tenn.) on Feb. 8. The 6-2 post stands with 1,084 career points and 575 career rebounds.
• Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) head coach Ralph Hodge hit 700 career wins after the Tigers took care of Purdue Calument (Ind.) on Feb. 1. He currently holds the third-most victories among active Division II coaches, as he is in his 35th season.
• After the win on Jan. 28 against Taylor (Ind.), coach Mike Lightfoot of Bethel (Ind.) reached 700 career wins and hit that milestone in the third-fastest manner in NAIA annals (in 960 games). He also became the second active Division II head coach to reach the 700-win threshold.
• On Jan. 25, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) coach Steve Ridder hit career win No. 600. In the 59-58 victory over Warner (Fla.), he became the fifth active Division II coach with 600-plus wins.
• Brad Karp of Saint Xavier (Ill.) set the all-time SXU scoring record in the game against Indiana South Bend on Jan. 11. His 28 points pushed his career total to 2,530 points. Karp joins NCAA Division I standout Doug McDermott of Creighton (Iowa) as the only two active men's college basketball players in the nation with over 2,500 career points.
• From Jan. 24 - 26, the 11th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers weekend occurred to raise awareness about the fight against cancer. Both divisions of NAIA Men's Basketball Coaches will continue to conduct a national effort of fund raising for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and American Cancer Society. Follow CoachesvsCancer on Facebook and @CoachesvsCancer on Twitter and leverage your social media channels using the hashtag #SuitsAndSneakers to share your school and coach’s participation in Suits And Sneakers. For more information, click here.
• Other Top 25 matchups this week:
o Tuesday – No. 19 Saint Francis (Ind.) def. No. 12 Huntington (Ind.), 62-60
o Wednesday – No. 11 St. Thomas (Fla.) def. No. 13 Northwood (Fla.), 88-82
o Saturday – No. 8 Midland (Neb.) at No. 4 Dordt (Iowa)
o Saturday – No. 17 Southeastern (Fla.) at No. 13 Northwood (Fla.)