SALINA, Kan. — Laurence Merritt picked the right time to have his career-best game.

The 5-foot-10 junior from Chicago scored 25 points to lead Midland University to a 77-72 win over Kansas Wesleyan on Saturday. The win evens the Warriors’ record at 1-1.

Merritt came off the bench to spark the Warriors, including a five-for-five performance from 3-point land. His previous career high was 13 points.

“We were really proud of the way our guys competed in all phases tonight against a really good and athletic team on the road,” Midland coach Oliver Drake said. “Kansas Wesleyan is a really good team and we couldn’t be prouder of the toughness we showed on the glass. We turned the ball over way too much (16 times) but we are a work in progress. We made plays when we need them against a national-level team on the road. This was a big time road win for our group.”

James Brooks of the Coyotes drained a 3-point basket with 5:02 left to give Wesleyan a 66-63 lead. After Kylan Smallwood of the Warriors connected on a field goal to make it a one-point game, Merritt took over.

Merritt connected on three consecutive 3-point field goals to boost the Warriors to a 74-71 lead with 2:18 left. KWU closed to 74-72 on an AJ Range free throw with 1:52 remaining, but that was the final point for the Coyotes. Sam Mailloux hit one free throw and Merritt added two more to secure the win.

The Warriors shot 50 percent (27-for-54) from the field and outrebounded the Coyotes 42-27 en route to the victory.

The Warriors, who led 33-32 at halftime, also got 15 points from sophomore Bowen Sandquist, including a trio of 3-point baskets. Fremont native Ryan Williams added 14 points while Smallwood (12 points and 12 rebounds) and Jacob Lenagh (10 points and 10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles.

Midland play at 7 Wednesday night in Madison, South Dakota, against Dakota State.

Box Score

Midland — Laurence Merritt 25, Bowen Sandquist 15, Ryan Williams 14, Kylan Smallwood 12, Sam Mailloux 1, Jacob Lenagh 10.

Kansas Wesleyan — James Brooks 23, AJ Range 10, Darius Hammond 10, Peyton Hatter 7, Marquis Kraemer 7, Brayden White 5, D. Gross 4, Brendon Ganaway 3, Zay Wilson 3.

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Load comments