Back to GPAC action

By Jake Knabel on Jan. 29, 2018 in Men's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – The Bulldog men’s basketball team came up short in its bid to keep the Concordia Invitational Tournament trophy at home, but significant games remain on the schedule. Each of the final six regular-season games will be played against GPAC competition. The stretch run begins with Wednesday’s journey to Fremont where the Bulldogs hope to claim a season sweep of Midland. Head coach Ben Limback’s squad continues to jockey for a top-four finish in the conference.

This week’s schedule
Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Midland (12-12, 4-10 GPAC), 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 3 vs. No. 11 Northwestern (18-4, 8-4 GPAC), 4 p.m. (white out)

Live radio coverage of this week’s action will be provided by 104.9 Max Country with Tyler Cavalli again on the call. Midland will feature a live webcast on Wednesday HERE while the Concordia Sports Network will carry Saturday’s game HERE.

Last week was somewhat of a mixed bag for the Bulldogs (16-7, 7-5 GPAC), who passed a challenging road test in a 93-83 win at Hastings on Jan. 24. On that night, CUNE’s five starters combined to go 33-for-49 (.673) from the floor with a collective 84 points. Senior Kyle Pierce tallied a career high 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Unfortunately, that play did not carry over to Friday’s 56-54 loss to Concordia University, Ann Arbor on the opening day of CIT. Though the program missed the CIT championship game for the first time since 2011, the Bulldogs regrouped with a 95-87 victory over Concordia University, Chicago.

Some amount of inconsistency seems reasonable for a team that has relied so heavily all season upon a budding sophomore class. One of those sophomores, Clay Reimers, was named to the CIT all-tournament team while totaling 24 points and 17 rebounds over two games in Mequon, Wis. Jake Hornick (21 points, 10 rebounds vs. CU-Chicago) and Tanner Shuck (20 points vs. CU-Chicago) are also capable of going off for big games. The quick rise of the sophomore and the elevated play of Pierce have given CUNE hope of earning a home game in the GPAC quarterfinals for the first time since 2011.

The Bulldogs drilled 15 3-pointers while taking care of Midland, 86-72, in Seward on Nov. 15. The Warriors have gone through some in-season roster changes but still possess a solid trio of players in Ryan Williams (17.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Chase Parsons (13.8 ppg) and Nick Wood (9.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg). Head coach Oliver Drake’s squad put an end to a six-game conference losing streak with a 99-95 win at Dordt on Jan. 27.

Ranked as high as No. 1 this season, 11th-ranked Northwestern fended off Concordia, 111-103, in Orange City, Iowa, on Dec. 15. The Bulldogs know firsthand how prolific Red Raider star Colton Kooima has been. He racked up 51 points in this season’s first meeting. As good as Kooima is, he is in a close battle with Nathan Wedel (21.1 ppg) for the team season scoring lead. Head coach Kris Korver’s squad sports national rankings of third in scoring offense (93.5) and fourth in field goal percentage (.516). Northwestern won with defense in its most recent outing, triumphing 66-57 while limiting No. 9 Morningside to 32.7 percent shooting.

Concordia will make two separate trips to Sioux City, Iowa, next week for games at No. 4 Briar Cliff (21-4, 10-3 GPAC) on Feb. 7 and at No. 9 Morningside (18-5, 10-3 GPAC) on Feb. 10.

Projected lineups

Concordia (16-7, 7-5)
G – Jake Hornick: 15.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.3 apg, .506 fg%, .413 3-pt fg%, .794 ft%
G – Cordell Gillingham: 8.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.1 apg, 0.9 spg, .480 fg%, .323 3-pt fg%
G – Tanner Shuck: 14.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, .443 fg%, .393 3-pt fg%, .741 ft%
F – Kyle Pierce: 11.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.0 spg, .466 fg%, .359 3-pt fg%, .816 ft%
F – Clay Reimers: 15.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.3 bpg, .623 fg%, .653 ft%

Midland (12-12, 4-10)
G – Marti Fonolla: 7.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.9 apg, 0.9 spg, .507 fg%, .357 3-pt fg%
G – Laurence Merritt: 7.2 ppg, 1.8 apg, 0.8 rpg, .344 ft%, .302 3-pt fg%
G – Chase Parsons: 13.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, .426 fg%, .373 3-pt fg%, .750 ft%
F – Ryan Williams: 17.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.7 apg, .521 fg%, .481 3-pt fg%, .754 ft%
F – Nick Wood: 9.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, .620 fg%, .700 ft%

Northwestern (18-4, 8-4)
G – Chris Borchers: 4.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, .563 fg%, .300 3-pt fg%
G – Kolton Kooima: 21.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.0 spg, .450 fg%, .404 3-pt fg%, .903 ft%
G – Nathan Wedel: 21.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.4 spg, .618 fg%, .396 3-pt fg%, .844 ft%
F – Riley Francis: 12.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, .516 fg%, .365 3-pt fg%, .803 ft%
F – Spencer Pauley: 3.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg, .521 fg%, .688 ft%