The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Game of the Week is a feature that takes place each week throughout the conference portion of the season with one contest being selected and highlighted as the UMAC Game of the Week.
The week's UMAC Game of the Week will take place on Friday, January 25 as St. Scholastica travels to Northwestern for a 7:30 p.m. men's basketball showdown with both teams striving to earn a spot in the UMAC post-season tournament.
About the Saints
After opening up conference play with three consecutive wins, the Saints lost both games last weekend at Martin Luther and Bethany Lutheran. In the Martin Luther loss, the Saints had multiple double-digit leads in the second half only to let it slip away. In the Bethany Lutheran loss, the Saints shot just 31 percent from the floor. It was their lowest field goal percentage since the Puget Sound game on Dec. 4.
Senior forward Brett Tester leads the team averaging 13.1 points per game, while fellow senior Jonah Dahlman is second at 12.1 points per contest. Tester has made 60 free throws this season, which is third most in the league. Dahlman is fourth in the conference with 58 assists and 30 steals. In six games with CSS, freshman Trevor Morlock is averaging 11.8 points per game.
About the Eagles
Northwestern is one of three teams tied atop the UMAC standings with a 4-1 conference record. Led by four seniors, the Eagles are making a push to get back to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the third consecutive year. Three of those four seniors in Wade Chitwood (15.8 PPG), Tom Gisler (12.9) and Lance Westberg (12.3) are averaging double digit points, while Ellis Libby, the fourth player in that group, is averaging 9.8 points and 5.6 assists per game. Westberg, who started the year slow due to an injury, has come on strong as of late, scoring a career-high 27 points against North Central (Minn.) on Jan. 8 before a 24-point performance at Minnesota Morris last Friday, Jan. 18.
The Eagles' lone UMAC loss this season came against Bethany Lutheran in a home game for Northwestern that resulted in a two-point difference. NWC will enter Friday's Game of the Week on a two-contest winning streak, having picked up four wins in the last five opportunities. Through Jan. 20, Northwestern is ranked fifth in Division III in three-point field goals per game, averaging 9.9 makes from downtown. Gisler, the two-time reigning three-point percentage champion in Division III, has made 48.1 percent of his attempts this season.
- Northwestern and St. Scholastica have played each other 69 times since the 1982-1983 season, with the Eagles taking 43 of those games.
- The Saints and Eagles last met in the 2012 UMAC Tournament Semifinals in St. Paul with the Eagles coming out on top 79-73. Derek Steve had a career-high 19 points in the loss for the Saints.
- Northwestern has won its last three contests against St. Scholastica in the Ericksen Center.
- Saints head coach David Staniger's last win in St. Paul came in the 2010 UMAC Tournament semifinal (Feb. 25, 2010), when CSS defeated the Eagles 79-69.
For information on other contests around the league this week, visit the UMAC live scoreboard.