• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Midway men’s basketball gets 2nd win in program history

The Midway University men’s basketball team was back in action on Friday, Jan. 6, when they traveled to Point Park (Pa.) after having the last three weeks off to celebrate the holidays. In the game, the Eagles picked up their first victory of the New Year and their second victory in the program’s history as they defeated the Pioneers 82-80. Slow starts have plagued the Eagles in previous outings, but this time around they flipped the switch. The Eagles, who are now 2-13 overall and 2-5 in the River States Conference, sprinted out to a 12-point advantage as they led 18-6 over the opening eight minutes of the first half. The two teams battled back and forth and traded baskets, until freshman Brandon Johnson nailed a triple that gave Midway a 31-21 edge. However, over the final three minutes and 11 seconds of the opening stanza, the Pioneers went on a 14-3 spurt to take a 35-34 lead into the locker room. Throughout the start of the second half, the two teams continued to trade baskets as the game was tied at 62 apiece. Midway then rattled off seven unanswered points to take a 69-62 lead on a bucket by freshman Brandon Maxwell, a triple by junior DJ Townsend and a two by Johnson. The Pioneers answered with an 11-0 run of their own, which included three triples to take a 73-69 lead with just under four minutes remaining. But in a game of runs, the Eagles made one final run that proved to be the difference. Trailing by four late, freshman Will Hudson took over, as he nailed a pair of three-pointers on back-to-back possessions from nearly the same spot on the court to turn a four-point deficit into a two-point lead at 75-73. Hudson’s treys ignited what turned out to be a 10-0 run that gave the Eagles a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Midway got four more points as Maxwell made a driving layup, while sophomore Gerry Milligan and Townsend each went 1-for-2 at the line to give Midway a 79-73 lead. Point Park battled back and cut the lead down to two, 80-78, late in the game, but Townsend drained a pair of free throws to give the Eagles a 82-78 lead. PPU added a field goal late, but on the ensuing inbounds, the Eagles were able to run out the final seconds to seal the 82-80 victory. The Eagles had four players finish in double figures, led by Johnson who poured in a career-high 25 points. Hudson pitched in with 17 points, while Townsend – who transferred in over the break – finished with 14 in his first game in a Midway uniform. Maxwell tallied his third double-double of the season, as he finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive end. Freshman, Jake Logsdon added eight points and nine boards to help Midway win the rebounding battle 46-41. Women’s Basketball After three weeks off to celebrate the holidays with their families, the Midway University women’s basketball team returned to action this past week when they traveled to Pittsburgh for a pair of River States Conference matchups. The Eagles played their first game of the week against Point Park (Pa.) on Friday, Jan. 6, and followed that with a game against Carlow (Pa.) less than 24 hours later on Saturday, Jan. 7. In the game against Point Park, who received 28 voting points in the latest DII coaches’ poll, Midway rang in the new year with a76-53 win. Then, the next night, they defeated Carlow 75-68 to seal a 2-0 weekend in “the Steel City.” With those wins, the Eagles are now 13-5 overall and 4-2 in River States Conference play, where they sit a game back of first place in the West Division in the RSC. Against Point Park, the Eagles got a pair of big performances from junior Patrice Tonge and freshman Madison Jones. Tonge collected her second double-double of the season with 22 points and 12 boards, while Jones provided a spark off the bench and chipped in with 17 points. Freshman Timitryi Patterson and senior Breanna Ball also scored in double figures finishing with 10 points each. Patterson and Ball also helped the Eagles dominate the rebounding battle, 55-27, by pulling down nine and seven rebounds respectively. Neither team shot the lights out, but Midway held the upper hand shooting 43.1 percent from the field (28-65), while going 8-of-24 from long range for 33.3 percent. The Eagles’ defense held the Pioneers to 30 percent from the floor (18-60) and 25 percent from distance (5-20). Just a few hours after upsetting the Pioneers, Midway was back in action as the team defeated Carlow by a final score of 75-68. The Eagles led by as many as 15 in the second half on the way to the win. The Eagles held the upper hand and shot 47.4 percent from the floor going 27-of-57. After going 8-of-17 from distance in the first half, the Eagles cooled of and hit just 1-of-8 in the second half finishing at 36 percent. Leading the way for Midway was Ball who finished with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-6 from long range. Tonge finished one rebound short of her second double-double in as many games as she had 14 points and nine boards. Senior Jasmine Johnson and Patterson also scored in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Midway oftentimes would pass up a good shot to get a better shot and it showed in the stat sheet, as they tallied 21 assists on 27 made field goals. Patterson dished out seven dimes, while Tonge added five assists. (Information courtesy of Dylan Brown / Midway Sports Information)

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