Final regular-season action looms for accomplished seniors

By Jake Knabel on Feb. 12, 2018 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – A second outright GPAC title is within the grasp of the Concordia University women’s basketball team, which enters the final week of the regular season needing one more win to make it a reality. The Bulldogs are ready to be back at home where they have won each of their last 31 games – a run that includes a 10-0 home mark this season. Concordia (27-1, 17-1 GPAC) will be seeking season sweeps of both Doane and No. 10 Dakota Wesleyan.

This week’s schedule
Wednesday, Feb. 14 vs. Doane (7-19, 2-16 GPAC), 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 17 vs. No. 10 Dakota Wesleyan (24-4, 15-3 GPAC), 4 p.m.

Both games this week will be carried live by 104.9 Max Country and by the Concordia Sports Network. Fans are encouraged to wear red on Wednesday to support the 'red out.'

Twelfth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has already clinched at least a share of the fifth GPAC regular-season title in program history (others occurred in 2002-03, 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2016-17). The Bulldogs are also four-time GPAC tournament champions (2005, 2012, 2015 and 2017). Of those nine total GPAC titles, Olson has been the head coach for seven. The past two seasons have been particularly dominant with Concordia going a combined 39-2 against GPAC opponents.

The list of seniors to be recognized as part of Wednesday’s ceremony includes Brenleigh Daum, Dani Hoppes, Mary Janovich and Sydney Feller. Daum and Janovich are the only two to have played all four years at the varsity level as Bulldogs. Feller has played three while Hoppes has played two at Concordia since transferring from Midland. Daum and Janovich have been around for one of the winningest four-year periods in program history. The Bulldogs are 118-17 since the start of the 2014-15 campaign (the 2001-05 seasons produced 123 wins and the 2011-15 seasons resulted in 119 victories). Hoppes (1,088) and Janovich (1,100) have both surpassed 1,000 points in their careers.

Doane has just two conference wins, one over Mount Marty and another over College of Saint Mary. The Tigers enter the week having dropped nine of their last 10 games. That stretch began with a 76-63 home loss to Concordia in which Doane took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter. The primary scorer for 19th-year head coach Tracee Fairbanks’ squad is senior guard McKenna Dodd (15.1 ppg). Scoring has been an issue for a team that averages 62.6 points (10th in the GPAC).

Dakota Wesleyan can share the conference title by winning twice and by having the Bulldogs lose twice this week. The Tigers ride a nine-game winning streak into a challenging final week of the regular season. Dakota Wesleyan will host No. 9 Northwestern on Wednesday before traveling to Seward on Saturday. Head coach Jason Christensen oversees a seasoned group that has knocked off seven top 25 opponents. One of the nation’s top offensive teams, the Tigers sport national rankings of second in field goal percentage (.490), fourth in free throw percentage (.784), and seventh in scoring (82.3).

Dates for the GPAC tournament that begins next week are Feb. 21, 24 and 27. Concordia has already locked up the No. 1 seed and will host as long as it remains alive in the tournament.

Projected lineups

Concordia (27-1, 17-1)
G – MacKenzie Helman: 4.6 ppg, 3.0 apg, 2.2 rpg, 1.6 spg, .352 fg%, .347 3-pt fg%
G – Dani Hoppes: 11.1 ppg, 1.8 spg, 1.6 rpg, .421 fg%, .401 3-pt fg%, .588 ft%
G – Mary Janovich: 10.0 ppg, 3.1 apg, 2.4 rpg, 2.0 spg, .537 fg%, .481 3-pt fg%, .857 ft%
F – Quinn Wragge: 13.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.6 spg, .630 fg%, .476 3-pt fg%, .812 ft%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.3 spg, 1.2 bpg, .493 fg%, .718 ft%

Doane (7-19, 2-16)
G – Cortney Arkfeld: 9.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.0 spg, .415 fg%, .189 3-pt fg%, .679 ft%
G – McKenna Dodd: 15.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.9 spg, .381 fg%, .347 3-pt fg%, .850 ft%
G – Julia Reed: 4.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.0 spg, .364 fg%, .333 3-pt fg%, .714 ft%
F – Alea Shaner: 6.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, .426 fg%, .563 ft%
F – Nicole White: 4.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, .452 fg%, .686 ft%

Dakota Wesleyan (24-4, 15-3)
G – Kynedi Cheeseman: 14.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.3 apg, .415 fg%, .333 3-pt fg%, .838 ft%
G – Chesney Nagel: 3.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.3 spg, .302 fg%, .702 ft%
G – Rylie Osthus: 9.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, 4.3 rpg, 1.6 spg, .511 fg%, .351 3-pt fg%, .688 ft%
F – Amber Bray: 14.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.1 apg, .558 fg%, .507 3-pt fg%, .864 ft%
F – Ashley Bray: 15.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.2 apg, .567 fg%, .477 3-pt fg%, .875 ft%