Midland University’s men’s basketball home opener on Friday night against Grand View got away from the Warriors quickly.
The Vikings, who lost 88-78 to the Warriors on Nov. 1, avenged that defeat by rolling to an 86-67 win at the Wikert Event Center.
“We’re really disappointed,” Midland coach Oliver Drake said. “There was a lot of stuff under our control that we simply didn’t do very well. I just don’t think our guys quite understood how good they are from the first time we played them.”
The Vikings return two All-Americans in seniors Jjuan Hadnot and Nathan Washington from their NAIA Division I Tournament team last year. Hadnot’s basket with 18:00 remaining in the first half put the Vikings up 4-3 and they never trailed the rest of the way.
“You can control effort,” Drake said. “No one else can control that. Our effort and energy tonight was not good. When that isn’t good and you face a tough opponent like Grand View, you are going to be in for a long night and that was the case tonight.”
Chase Parsons of the Warriors hit a basket with 16:00 left in the first half that trimmed the Vikings’ lead to 9-5, but a Corey Evers free throw started a 20-6 run by Grand View.
After Nick Wood of the Warriors scored on a put-back basket to make it 29-13 with 8:11 left in the half, the Vikings went on an 11-3 run that was capped by a Washington basket.
Midland had a 7-0 run that included a three-point play by Fremont sophomore Ryan Williams and baskets from Wood and Parsons, but the Vikings eventually led 47-29 at halftime.
The Warriors got as close at 58-44 on a TK Dixson basket with 13:15 left in the game, but that was as close as MU could get.
The loss drops the Warriors to 4-1 heading into Wednesday night’s Great Plains Athletic Conference opener against Concordia in Seward.
“If someone would’ve told us we’d be 4-1 through our first five games we would’ve taken it, but we started 4-0 so we’re not OK being 4-1,” Drake said. “Hopefully we learn from this type of performance.”
Grand View evens its record at 1-1. Statistics from the game were not available at press time.