Midway men upset 25th-ranked IU Southeast
The Midway University men’s basketball team completed a feat on Tuesday, Nov. 28, that they hadn’t accomplished in the first 34 games of their program’s history when they hosted No. 25 Indiana University Southeast in their River States Conference opener.
The Eagles were unable to pick up a win against a team ranked in the top-25 in their first three games against ranked opponents, but on Tuesday they flipped the script as they defeated the 25th-ranked Grenadiers, 66-63, for their first-ever victory over a ranked opponent.
The win is the second in a row for Joe Krupinski’s squad as they improved to 4-4 overall and 1-0 in league play. The win is also the first-ever conference home victory for the Eagles.
The Eagles got off to a quick start, which gave them the early advantage. After the Grenadiers (5-5, 0-1 RSC) scored off the opening tap, Midway responded with a 15-5 run that allowed them to build a 15-7 edge less than seven minutes into the contest.
Both teams began to settle in after the opening minutes as they began to trade baskets. The Eagles were able to withstand the runs from the visitors as they matched their largest lead in the first half when they pulled ahead 28-20 after a triple from DJ Townsend.
After IU Southeast went on a quick 6-0 run to cut the lead to 28-26, freshman, Kwon Evans began to take over for the Eagles. Over the final 2:11 in the first half, the Louisville, Ky. native scored the final eight points for Midway as they took a 36-30 lead into the locker room.
The Grenadiers came out firing to start the second half as they looked to regain the lead. The Eagles denied IU Southeast that opportunity as they had an answer every time they cut the lead to one.
Over a span of less than three minutes midway through the second half, the home team went on a 9-2 run to stretch the lead back out to eight, 55-47. In the run, Townsend scored the first five, while Krizell Mitchell scored the final four points.
IU Southeast responded and tied it up at 57 all, but Midway’s Evans scored a pair of critical buckets as Midway regained the 61-57 lead. The Grenadiers had the lead down to one and had a chance to tie it on a game-tying three, but Midway’s defense proved to be the difference as they held on for the 66-63 win.
Kwon Evans led the way for the Eagles as he recorded his first career double-double with a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds in 35 minutes of action. Jose Bustamante and DJ Townsend both added 12 points apiece, while Krizell Mitchell registered eight.
Midway finished the game shooting 47.3 percent (26-55) overall and 20 percent (3-15) from three point land, while holding IU Southeast to 33.3 percent (21-63) and just 12 percent (3-25) from behind the arc.
Midway is back in action on Thursday, Dec. 7when the Eagles travel to Ohio to take on Cincinnati Christian at 7:30 p.m.. Then on Saturday, Dec. 9, they take on NCAA DII perennial power Bellarmine University at 7:30 p.m. in Knights Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.