Vogt’s big night carries young Bulldogs to upset of No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan
SEWARD, Neb. – Playing its fourth-straight game against a ranked opponent to open the 2013-14 season, head coach Ben Limback’s squad elevated its play to a level unlike what Walz Arena fans had seen a night earlier. Concordia shook off its 0-3 start to pull of an 85-76 upset of No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan (4-1) as part of the Cattle Classic on Saturday night. The victory gave Limback his first at the helm of Bulldog men’s basketball.
“We definitely had a different intensity tonight,” Limback said. “Defensively I liked our effort on the ball and off the ball. Adam Vogt was an animal. Robby Thomas stepped up and made some big plays. I really loved our focus tonight.”
An experienced Oklahoma Wesleyan group that won 21 games last season had trouble finding the 5-foot-9 Vogt, who exploded for 16 of his career high 26 points in the first half. Vogt made big shots from deep early on to allow Concordia to hang in. He then made crucial free throws down the stretch to thwart the Eagle comeback effort.
Vogt’s shooting proved critical, but so did the play of the host of youngsters surrounding the Syracuse, Neb., native.
“When I come out I’m almost scared, because Joel (Haywood)’s out too,” Vogt said. “When I look out there, there’s one sophomore and four freshmen. But I think we’re growing up really fast, especially tonight. It’s just going to keep getting better.”
Two of the game’s biggest buckets were scored by a freshman and a sophomore. After Oklahoma Wesleyan’s Devin Harris cut Concordia’s lead down to 70-66 with two free throws at the 3:25 mark, Bulldog freshman Chandler Folkerts went for two in the paint.
Next up, with ice-water running through his veins, sophomore Robby Thomas buried a deep 3-pointer off the assist from sophomore Deondre White to give Concordia a 75-68 advantage. The Bulldogs never let Oklahoma Wesleyan cut the lead to less than six the rest of the way. Vogt, who finished 10-for-10 from the foul line, made four free throws in the final minute to send the Eagles packing with their first loss of the season.
Limback, who previously coached for nine seasons at Concordia-Ann Arbor, sensed that the team’s mindset have shifted heading into Saturday’s tilt.
“We have a lot of young guys and we’re still trying to figure out how to do things to win,” Limback said. “But I really loved our mental preparation for tonight. There was just something different where there was an expectation to win. This is what we’ve been waiting for.”
Thomas finished with a double-double, collecting 13 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Two freshmen reached double digits in scoring as Folkerts dropped 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting and Aaron Walker added 13 points.
Oklahoma Wesleyan looked like it might have an easy time of things after bursting out to a 15-6 lead at the 12:11 mark. Trailing 17-10 with 11:02 left in the half, Vogt went on a 9-0 run by himself as he splashed home a trifecta of triples to put the Bulldogs in the lead for the first time. Concordia went to the half up 39-36.
The Eagles got 26 points from Harris and 22 from Josh Young. The rest of the team scored only 28 points combined.
Concordia sizzled with a 52.2 percent shooting clip compared to 40.0 percent for Oklahoma Wesleyan.
The victory was a great reward for a Bulldog team still looking to find its identity.
“We have a bunch of young guys and we’ll battle through some ups and downs,” Vogt said. “We can’t get too high or too low. It’s going to keep them steady and even keeled. We can’t get too down on ourselves and we can’t get too high on ourselves because we’re not there yet.”
Sophomore Max Wegener sat out Saturday’s game after leaving early Friday night with an injury.
The Bulldogs will be back at home on Tuesday when Grace University visits Walz Arena for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Royals entered the weekend with a record of 0-4.
2013 Men’s Cattle Classic All-Tournament Team
Devin Harris, Oklahoma Wesleyan
Mark Hoge, Jamestown
James Johnson, Culver-Stockton
Jonathan Miller, Culver-Stockton
Adam Vogt, Concordia
10 November 2013
Senior Adam Vogt