Sioux Center, Iowa –Midland University came up short in Saturday's GPAC Postseason Semifinal Game, falling to No.13 Dordt College, 69-68. The Warriors overcame a ten point deficit at half time to have the opportunity in the final seconds to upset the top ranked Defenders.
"Obviously this is a tough loss," said Todd Eisner, Midland University men's basketball head coach. "Our guys did a great job battling back in the second half. In this type of situation you hope for a chance to have the ball in your hands at the end to win the game. We gave ourselves that opportunity and just came up short. James Parrott kept us in the game and Jerome Vaughn really battled at both ends. We are now big Dordt fans on Tuesday and hope we can get an at-large bid to Branson."
James Parrott led the Warriors with 26 points. Jerome Vaughn posted a double double with 21points and 10 rebounds. Ben Imig added 12 points and two assists in the loss.
The two teams went back and forth early, as a Jerome Vaughn bucket gave Midland a, 9-8, lead at 16:14. An eight point Dordt run stretched the margin to seven with just over 13 minutes left in the half. Midland on the following possession answered with a Ben Imig two pointer, but Dordt would pull away in the remainder of the half. At 4:31 a James Parrott bucket cut the deficit to five, but the half would be finished by another multi-point Defender run as they took a, 40-30, halftime lead. The Warriors hit 38 percent of their first half field goals compared to Dordts 73 percent. They landed one of 10 for 10 percent from beyond the arc and five of 11 for 45 percent from the line.
In the second half, a Galen Gullie lay-up cut the Warriors within single digits at 16:07. With just over six minutes in the game Midland got hot with an 8-2 run capped off by a Jerome Vaughn tip in to trail by one. The Defenders struck back with four straight points, but James Parrott landed a lay-up to cut the Dordt lead back to one, 67-66, at 1:30. With 21 seconds left in the game the Warriors trailed 68-69 and had possession but could not convert the last second opportunity to advance to the GPAC Championship game. Midland hit 48 percent from the field in the second half. They hit one of seven for 14 percent from beyond the arc and four of six from the line.
On the game, the Warriors hit 43 percent from the field. They landed 20 percent from beyond the arc and 57 percent from the line.
The defeat puts Midland University at 19-13 on the season and 12-8 in the GPAC. Despite the loss, the Warriors have a chance to earn an at-large bid and opportunity to play in the NAIA National Tournament. Official pairings will be released February 27th.