FREMONT, Neb. – A Midland team that garnered a No. 8 national ranking this week justified its placement among the nation’s elite by thumping the visiting Concordia men’s basketball team, 70-45, in Fremont, Neb., on Wednesday night. The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 5-12 overall and 2-8 in conference action.
The Warriors (16-1, 7-1 GPAC) won their 13th-straight game by dominating Concordia in virtually every phase. Midland outshot Concordia 41.9 percent to 31.9, held a 39-27 rebound advantage and turned it over only seven times compared to 15 giveaways by the Bulldogs.
Behind star Marcus Franklin (16 points), Midland quickly earned a double digit advantage and possessed a commanding 45-19 halftime lead before coasting over the final 20 minutes. Concordia went on to outscore the Warriors 26-25 in the second half with freshman Chandler Folkerts notching all six of his points after halftime.
Franklin finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists for an attack that did most of its damage in the first half prior to a sloppily played final 20 minutes. Galen Gullie backed Franklin with 14 points and five assists.
Concordia was paced by junior Joel Haywood’s nine points. Leading scorer Adam Vogt (four points) was held roughly 11 points below his season average.
Wednesday’s blowout loss was a frustrating setback considering the Bulldogs’ recent competitiveness against ranked opponents. They led then No. 11 Dordt by 16 points before dropping a 69-61 decision on Jan. 4. A week earlier the Bulldogs pushed then No. 19 (NAIA Division I) St. Gregory’s to the wire in another defeat at the hands of top 25 foe.
The 45 points were a season low for Concordia, which entered the night averaging 72.4 points per game. Midland began play with the conference’s second-ranked scoring defense (65.6 ppg) and top-ranked field goal percentage defense (.428).
The Bulldogs remain on the road this weekend to take on Northwestern (10-8, 3-6 GPAC) in Orange City, Iowa, at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Red Raiders, who were ranked 15th in the preseason poll, has won three straight in the series with Concordia. They topped Dakota Wesleyan 70-66 in overtime on Wednesday night.