2011-12 Men's Basketball

13-17 Overall, 7-13 GPAC | Season Statistics

NOVEMBER

York College Tip Off Classic:
Nov. 4 Kansas Wesleyan University York, Neb. W 90-80
Nov. 5 York College York, Neb. W 91-66
Northwestern Classic:
Nov. 11 Dickinson State Orange City, Iowa L 76-61 
Nov. 12 Grace University Orange City, Iowa W 95-88
Nov. 14 University of Nebraska - Omaha (exhibition) Omaha, Neb. L 100-68
Nov. 19 Mount Marty College * Yankton, S.D. L 61-51
Nov. 22 Nebraska Wesleyan University* Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. W 70-65
Nov. 30 Midland University* Fremont, Neb. L 70-57

DECEMBER

Dec. 3 #16 Morningside College* Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L 77-71
Dec. 7 (RV) Briar Cliff UniversityWebcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L 86-74
Dec. 10 Dakota Wesleyan University* Mitchell, S.D. W 80-78 (OT)
Dec. 16 York College Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. W 93-88 (OT)
Dec. 20  Doane College*  Crete, Neb.  W 67-64
Tabor Holiday Classic:  
Dec. 30 Tabor College Hillsborough, Kan. L 66-54  
Dec. 31 Sterling College Hillsborough, Kan. L 75-71  

JANUARY

Jan. 4 #14 Northwestern College* Orange City, Iowa  W 94-75
Jan. 7 #2 Dordt CollegeWebcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L 87-83 (OT)  
Jan. 11  Hastings College*  Hastings, Neb.  L 69-68
Jan. 14 (RV) Morningside College* Sioux City, Iowa L 80-54
Jan. 18 (RV) Midland University* Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L 67-46
Jan. 21  Dakota Wesleyan University* Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb.  W 67-62
Jan. 25  Doane College* Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L 102-93
Concordia Invitational Tournament (view the CIT pages at CUNE and host school CUC for more information):  
Jan. 27 Concordia Ann Arbor  Chicago, Ill. W 78-74  
Jan. 28 Championship Game vs. CU-Wisconsin Chicago, Ill. W 69-67  

FEBRUARY

Feb. 1 Nebraska Wesleyan University* Lincoln, Neb. W 67-47  
Feb. 6 #14 Northwestern College *  Seward, Neb.  L 91-80  
Feb. 8 #16 Briar Cliff University* Sioux City, Iowa L 71-65  
Feb. 11 #4 Dordt College* Sioux Center, Iowa L 85-68  
Feb. 15 Hastings College* Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. W 89-79  
Feb. 18 Mount Marty College* Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L 63-61  
GPAC Tournament:
Feb.22 #2 Dordt College* Sioux Center, Iowa L 78-57  

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2011-12 Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown Previous School
10 Adam Vogt 5-9  So.  Syracuse, Neb. Syracuse 
12 Phil Friedrich G 5-11 Jr. Seward, Neb. Seward
14 Tyler Byrd G 6-0 Sr. Bennington, Neb. Bennington
20 Joey Werning G 6-0 Fr. Lincoln, Neb. Pius X
22 Joel Haywood G 6-3 Fr. Lakewood, Colo Denver Lutheran
32  Barrett Braun 6-4  Sr.  Lakeside, Calif.  Cuyamaca College
24 Charles Dunbar G 5-11 Jr. St. Louis, Mo. Lutheran North
30  Garrett Golke  G 6-2 So.  Gowen, Mich.  Greenville Senior High
34 Beau Smith 6-4 Jr. McKinney, Texas College of the Sequoias
40 Brent Houchin F 6-7 Jr. Bruning, Neb. Bruning-Davenport
44 Zach Chrzan F 6-4 Fr. Fort Wayne, Ind. Concordia Lutheran
50 Porter Birtell P 6-6 Jr. Madison, Neb. Lutheran High NE/Wayne State
52 Andrew Bowers C/F 6-7  Fr.  Aurora, Colo.
Parker Lutheran

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Grant Schmidt

Assistant Coach: Anthony Elias

Graduate Assistant: Dustin Weber

Concordia men picked seventh in GPAC Preseason Coaches' Poll

3 October 2011

Concordia University is picked to finish seventh in the 2011-12 GPAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll that was released on Thursday.  

Northwestern College earned 10 of the possible 11 first place votes and totaled 100 points to be the coaches’ preseason selection to win the GPAC Championship.  Dordt College is second after receiving the final first place vote and 87 points.  Morningside College (72), Briar Cliff University (65) and Dakota Wesleyan University (64) round out the top five, while Midland University finished just ahead of Concordia in sixth place with 53 points.  The Bulldogs totaled 47 points in the preseason poll.  

Concordia opens the 2011-12 season at the York College Tip Off Classic on November 4 and 5.  

2011-12 GPAC Men’s Basketball Poll
1. Northwestern College – 100 Points (10 First Place Votes)
2. Dordt College – 87 Points (1 First Place Vote)
3. Morningside College – 72 Points
4. Briar Cliff University – 65 Points
5. Dakota Wesleyan University – 64 Points
6. Midland University – 53 Points
7. Concordia University – 47 Points
8. Hastings College – 43 Points
9. Doane College – 38 Points
10. Nebraska Wesleyan University – 24 Points
11. Mount Marty College – 12 Points

Versatility and athleticism to lead the way for Bulldogs in 2011-12

15 October 2011

Concordia University returns three starters and eight total letter winners for the upcoming 2011-12 men’s basketball season.  The Bulldogs will look to improve upon last season’s 16-13 overall record.  Concordia was 10-8 in conference play a season ago, but a loss in the opening round of the GPAC Tournament ended the year in disappointing fashion.  However, Coach Grant Schmidt, who enters this season with a 432-259 career record, is excited and ready for a new year.  With a solid group of returning players and a talented batch of newcomers, Coach Schmidt certainly sees the potential in his 2011-12 squad. 

“Our added versatility and athleticism will be a real strength for us this year,” noted Schmidt.  “We should be much more athletic and difficult to match up with this year.  That should create new opportunities for us on the offensive end and also allow us to be more aggressive defensively.” 

Concordia returns a trio of starters in seniors Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) and Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) as well as junior Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.). 

Byrd had another impressive season a year ago for the Bulldogs.  He finished as an honorable mention All-American and was also a first team All-GPAC selection.  Byrd was also named to the NABC Honors Court after posting averages of 13 points and five rebounds per game.  He led the team in minutes per game (36.1), assists (107) and steals (36). 

Braun averaged over six points per game and played over 24 minutes per game for the Bulldogs last year.  The transfer from Cuyamaca College will look for more offensive consistency this coming year.  Birtell earned honorable mention All-GPAC honors following the 2010-11 season.  He averaged 11.5 points and was second on the team with 6.4 rebounds per game last year despite playing in just 22 games due to injury. 

“Obviously, our returning starters need to have a good year for us,” added Schmidt.  “Tyler will be changing over to the shooting guard spot this year, so hopefully he will be able to concentrate more on scoring rather than running our offense.  Porter has to stay healthy and reduce his fouls so he can stay on the floor for us this year.  Last year, Porter missed seven games and played 20+ minutes in just 12 games.  That stat must improve if we are to have a solid season.” 

Guards Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.), Phil Friedrich (Seward, Neb.), Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) and Garrett Golke (Gowen, Mich.) will add depth on the perimeter, while Brent Houchin (Bruning, Neb.) will help the Bulldogs inside this coming season. 

Coach Schmidt is also excited about a talented group of newcomers.  The trio of freshman Joel Haywood (Denver, Colo.) as well as transfers Brian Towner (York College) and Beau Smith (College of the Sequoias) should compete for playing time immediately.  Haywood, a 6-3 point guard, was Colorado Player-of-the-Year last season at Denver Lutheran High School.  Towner and Smith, who both stand at 6-4, will add versatility to the Bulldog lineup this season. 

“Those three newcomers add a lot of talent and athleticism that should provide some difficult match ups and take some pressure off our interior,” remarked Schmidt.  “Brian Towner and Beau Smith are junior transfers that will impact us immediately.  Joel Haywood has all the tools to lead the play on the floor already as a freshman.” 

Concordia struggled down the stretch last season, losing six of their final 10 games.  Coach Schmidt talked about the things his team needs to address this season. 

“I expect this team to play better in the latter part of the season, unlike last year,” noted Schmidt.  “Just like any team, we have some questions that have yet to be answered.  How well will our team chemistry develop?  Can we be consistent from the perimeter?  We also cannot allow our lack of experience and depth inside to become a weakness for us.  Our team simply needs to develop a chemistry that will allow them to overcome the adversity that we will eventually face.” 

Concordia opens the season at the York College Tip-Off Classic on November 4 and 5.          

Starters combine for 75 points in 90-80 win over Kansas Wesleyan

4 November 2011

Concordia University opened the season with a 90-80 men’s basketball win over Kansas Wesleyan in the York College Tournament on Friday evening in York.  The Bulldog starting five scored 75 of the 90 points in the win, as Concordia moved to 1-0 on the year. 

Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Bulldogs in the win.  Smith was 10-of-17 from the field overall and 6-of-10 from deep on the night.  Smith was also second on the team with seven rebounds.  Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) and Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) each added double-doubles on the night.  Haywood scored 17 points and dished out a game-high 10 assists, while Birtell added 16 points (6-of-9 shooting from the field) and 10 rebounds.  Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) was just 4-of-17 from the field but added 15 points and five assists for Concordia. 

Concordia led by as many as 17 in the first half and took a 48-33 lead into halftime.  The Bulldogs built the lead to 23 in the second half, before Kansas Wesleyan rallied late.  KWU cut the Bulldog lead to seven with just a half minute to play, but the Bulldogs secured the 10-point win. 

The Bulldogs were 28-of-64 from the field overall for 43.8 percent.  Concordia was 23-of-32 (71.9 percent) from the foul line and held a 48-42 rebounding advantage in the contest.  Each team had 16 turnovers, but Concordia had 20 assists on the night compared to just nine for Kansas Wesleyan. 

Ty Dean scored 18 points off the bench for Kansas Wesleyan.  Keon Jones added 16 for KWU. 

Concordia takes on York College on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 5 p.m. in York. 

Concordia pulls away for 91-66 win over York College

5 November 2011

Concordia made a statement on Saturday evening with a 91-66 men’s basketball win over York College.  The Bulldogs led 35-26 at the half and then erupted for 56 points in the second half.  For the second straight night, Concordia scored at least 90 points.  The Bulldogs improved to 2-0 on the year, while York slipped to 3-1.  York defeated both Hastings College and Morningside College in the past week. 

For the game, Concordia was 33-of-55 from the field for 60 percent.  The Bulldogs connected on 13-of-24 shots (54.2 percent) from long range and were 12-of-15 at the foul line for 80 percent.  Concordia held a 35-25 rebounding advantage and had 19 assists compared to just nine for the hosts from York. 

A total of six players scored in double-figures for the Bulldogs in the win.  Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) had a solid all-around game with a team-high 17 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists.  The senior was 6-of-9 overall from the field and 5-of-8 from deep.  Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) had another big night with 15 points and seven rebounds, and Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) added 13 points and four assists.  Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) had 12 points and six rebounds, while freshman point guard Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) chipped in with 12 points in just 17 minutes of action.  Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) added a spark off the bench for the Bulldogs with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field. 

“Tonight was really a statement game for us as a team,” remarked Bulldog head coach Grant Schmidt.  “We wanted to start the season 2-0 at this tournament, because we haven’t done that the past few years.  We went to this tournament with one of our leading scorers (Tyler Byrd) battling an injury which has limited him so far.  Our kids really battled the past two nights.  We wanted to control the pace and rebound the basketball, and our guys took care of those things tonight."   

York College was 21-of-52 from the field for 40.4 percent.  The Panthers were just 6-of-23 from deep for 26.1 percent.  Concordia struggled with turnovers, finishing with 19 on the night.  York took advantage, scoring 23 points off those turnovers.  However, Concordia had an answer for every rally attempt made by York on the night.  Thad Varmall scored a game-high 19 for the Panthers in a losing effort.  Marcus Johnson added 16 off the bench for York College. 

“This is one of the sweeter wins we’ve had here in a while,” added Schmidt.  “I’m very pleased with how the guys played the past two nights.  This is a great early accomplishment for this team.” 

Concordia travels to Orange City to take part in the Northwestern Classic on November 11 and 12.

Bulldogs go cold in second half, suffer 76-61 loss to Dickinson State

11 November 2011

Dickinson State outscored Concordia 48-27 in the second half to pick up a 76-61 men’s basketball win on Friday evening in the Northwestern College Tournament.  Dickinson State improved to 3-4 with the win, while Concordia suffered its first loss to drop to 2-1. 

Concordia was an even 50 percent (13-of-26) from the field in the opening half and took a 34-28 lead into halftime.  The Bulldogs cooled off in the second half, however, hitting just 7-of-28 shots for 25 percent.  Dickinson State took full advantage and hit on 16-of-27 shots (59.3 percent) in the final half of play.  Dickinson State led by as many as 19 (72-53) down the stretch and settled for the 15-point win. 

Matthew Lee had a huge night for the Blue Hawks in the win.  Lee scored a game-high 23 points and added a game-high 17 rebounds on the night.  He was 10-of-14 from the field, and all of his rebounds were defensive rebounds.  Casper Hesseldal added 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting, and Tevin Hurd poured in 14 points, also on 5-of-7 shooting from the field.  Dickinson State held a commanding 39-24 rebounding advantage on the night. 

Concordia was led by Tyler Byrd’s (Bennington, Neb.) 13 points.  The senior guard connected on four 3-pointers on the night.  Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) was the only other player in double figures with 11. 

The Bulldogs will look to bounce back on Saturday in the final day of the Northwestern Tournament.  Concordia takes on Grace (Neb.) at 2 p.m. 

Smith and Birtell combine for 45 points, Bulldogs rally for 95-88 win over Grace

12 November 2011

The Concordia University men’s basketball team rallied in the second half for a 95-88 win over Grace University on the final day of the Northwestern Tournament.  The Bulldogs outscored Grace 54-36 in the second half to pick up the win.  Concordia moved to 3-1 with the victory.  Grace slipped to 0-4. 

Grace led by as many as 16 (46-30) in the opening half of play.  A layup by Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) pulled the Bulldogs within 11 (52-41) heading into halftime.  Concordia shot it well in the opening half, hitting 18-of-34 shots overall for 52.9 percent.  The Bulldogs totaled 28 points in the paint in the opening 20 minutes.  Grace was even better from the field, however, hitting 20-of-33 shots for a sizzling 60.6 percent.  Grace was also hot from deep in the opening half, connecting on 8-of-16 shots from long range.  The Grace College bench also held a 27-12 scoring advantage over Concordia’s bench in the opening half of play. 

Concordia opened the second half on a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to six at 54-48.  The Royals rebuilt the lead to nine on two occasions, but Concordia continued to chip away at the lead.  Trailing 64-56 with just over 13 minutes remaining in regulation, the Bulldogs used a key 12-0 run to grab a 68-64 lead with around 10 minutes remaining. 

The Royals didn’t go quietly, however, and an 18-6 run put Grace back on top by the score of 82-74 with six minutes remaining in regulation.  Concordia again had an answer, this time using a 16-2 run to grab a 90-84 lead with a minute remaining.  Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) and Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) combined to go 5-of-6 at the foul line down the stretch to secure the 95-88 victory. 

Concordia finished with a 40-26 advantage in paint points.  Grace held a 42-22 advantage in bench scoring.  The Bulldogs were 34-of-62 from the field for 54.8 percent.  Concordia was 16-of-28 from the field in their big second half, including hitting 6-of-10 shots from long range.  Smith and Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) had big nights for the Bulldogs in the win.  Smith scored a team-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.  Birtell added a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds.  He was 10-of-19 from the field.  Haywood (13 points) and Adam Vogt (11 points) also reached double figures for Concordia in the win. 

Grace was 33-of-59 from the field (55.9 percent) in the loss.  Jonathon Loutzenhiser scored a game-high 25 points for the Royals on 9-of-16 shooting.  JJ Hartung added 23 points off the bench on 8-of-12 shooting.  The duo combined to hit seven 3-pointers in the contest.  Spencer Plank also reached double figures with 12 points. 

Concordia will travel to Nebraska-Omaha on Monday evening for an exhibition game against the Mavericks.  Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Omaha.   

Bulldogs take on Division I Nebraska-Omaha on Monday evening

14 November 2011

Concordia University travels to Omaha on Monday evening for an exhibition matchup against Division I Nebraska-Omaha.  Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Sapp Fieldhouse.  It will mark just the second meeting between the two schools.  UNO defeated Concordia by the score of 78-75 way back in 1985.   

Concordia takes a 3-1 record into the matchup.  The Bulldogs went 1-1 at the Northwestern Tournament over the weekend in Orange City.  Concordia suffered a tough 76-61 loss to Dickinson State on Friday evening before rallying to post a 95-88 win over Grace University on Saturday. 

Transfer Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) leads the Bulldogs in scoring so far this year with 17.5 points per game.  Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) has averages of 14.5 points and a team-best seven rebounds per game, while freshman Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) has scored 13.3 points per game while dishing out a team-best 17 assists so far this year. 

UNO is 0-1 on the young season.  The Mavericks dropped an 83-72 decision at IPFW over the weekend.  CJ Carter led the Mavericks in scoring with 18 points, while Mitch Albers, Bill Freeman and Alex Welhouse also reached double figures in scoring for UNO in the loss. 

Nebraska-Omaha moved from NCAA Division II to Division I, beginning with the 2011-12 school year.  The Mavericks will join the Summit League starting in 2012-13. 

Fans unable to make the trip to Omaha can purchase live video for the game.  Live stats will also be available through the UNO athletics website. 

Concordia suffers 100-68 loss at Nebraska Omaha

14 November 2011

Nebraska-Omaha shot over 60 percent from the field and got 30 points from Mitch Albers in a 100-68 men’s basketball win over Concordia on Monday evening in Omaha.  Division I UNO, who will compete in the Summit League starting next year, improved to 1-1 on the year with the victory.   

UNO started the game on fire from the field.  The Mavericks opened the game 5-of-5, including three 3-pointers.  Concordia hung in there with a 3-pointer by Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) and a pair of dunks by Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.), but the Mavericks held a 17-9 lead at the first media timeout. 

UNO continued to take advantage of hot shooting from deep and points in transition to extend the lead to 31-11 with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half.  Trailing 33-13, the Bulldogs scored five straight, including a 3-pointer by Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.), to pull back within 15 at 33-18 with eight minutes left in the first half. 

Out of a timeout, UNO scored the next five points to reclaim a 20-point lead at 38-18.  Both teams struggled from the field down the stretch of the first half, but Concordia trimmed the UNO lead to 14 at halftime.  A pair of free throws by Joel Haywood in the closing seconds (Lakewood, Colo.) made the score 44-30 at intermission. 

The Mavericks were 16-of-29 from the field in the opening 20 minutes for 55.2 percent.  UNO was 5-of-11 from deep and 7-of-9 at the foul line.  John Karhoff and Mitch Albers each poured in 10 points to lead the way for UNO in the first half. 

Concordia was 9-of-32 from the field (28.1 percent) in the first half, including just 3-of-11 from deep.  The Bulldogs got to the line 12 times in the opening half, connecting on 9-of-12 for 75 percent.  Smith scored nine points to lead the team, while Birtell scored six and added seven boards for the Bulldogs. 

The Bulldogs scored the opening points of the second half to trim the lead to 12 at 44-32.  That’s as close as Concordia would get, however, as the host Mavericks again rebuilt a 20-point lead at 60-40 with 15 minutes left in the contest.  Albers took over for the Mavericks early in the half, scoring seven of the first nine for UNO. 

UNO continued to pull away as the half went on.  The Mavericks led by 20 or more for the final 15 minutes and settled for the 100-68 victory. 

For the game, UNO was 38-of-62 from the field for 61.3 percent.  The Mavs were 11-of-22 from deep and 13-of-16 from the free throw line for 81.3 percent.  Defense continued to be an issue for Concordia, something Coach Schmidt discussed following the game. 

“You’re not going to win many games when you give up 50 points in a half,” remarked Schmidt.  “They have a great team and they shot it well tonight, but we didn’t contest and challenge them the way we needed to.” 

Albers had a huge night for UNO in the win.  He scored a game-high 30 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the field.  Albers also handed out a game-best seven assists on the night.  Karhoff added 15 on 6-of-7 shooting.  Caleb Steffensmeier was 4-for-4 from long range and finished with 12 points, while Alex Welhouse added 11 points and a team-high eight boards. 

Concordia was 22-of-63 from the field for the game for 34.9 percent.  The Bulldogs were just 6-of-25 from long range and 18-of-23 from the foul line for 78.3 percent.  Smith and Haywood scored 15 points apiece for the Bulldogs.  All of Smith’s made field goals were from deep.  Birtell added 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) added eight points off the bench for Concordia.

“This was a chance for our kids to play against a great team and to see where we need to improve heading into conference season,” added Schmidt.  “Moving forward, we simply need to be more physical and figure some things out defensively.”   

The Bulldogs open conference play on Saturday at Mount Marty College. 

Bulldogs travel to Mount Marty to open conference play

17 November 2011


Concordia University opens the conference season at Mount Marty on Saturday.  The Bulldogs and Lancers will face off at 4 p.m. in Yankton.  Live stats for the game will be available through the Mount Marty website; http://www.mtmc.edu/athletics/index.aspx

Concordia is 3-1 on the young season.  The Bulldogs went 1-1 in last weekend’s Northwestern Tournament.  Earlier this week, the Bulldogs suffered a 100-68 loss in an exhibition game played at Division I Nebraska-Omaha.  So far this year, Concordia averages 84.2 points per game while allowing 77.5 points per game.  The Bulldogs are shooting just under 50 percent from the field through the first four games of the year. 

Mount Marty is 2-1 on the year.  The Lancers opened the season with a 67-61 win over Ashford.  Clarke picked up a 68-61 win over Mount Marty, but the Lancers responded with a 66-49 win over Presentation College earlier this week.  The Lancers average 64.7 points per game while allowing 59.3 points per game. 
Concordia hosts Nebraska Wesleyan in the home opener on November 22. 

Concordia falls to Mount Marty in conference opener, 61-51

19 November 2011

Mount Marty handed Concordia a 61-51 men’s basketball loss on Saturday in the first conference game for both teams.  The host Lancers moved to 3-1 overall (1-0 GPAC) with the victory.  The recent struggles for Concordia continued, as the Bulldogs dropped to 3-2 overall (0-1 GPAC). 

If was an offensive struggle for both teams, as each team finished with 16 made field goals in the contest.  Turnovers were also a problem for Concordia, however, as the Bulldogs totaled 18 in the loss.  Concordia was 16-of-50 from the field on the day for 32 percent.  The Bulldogs were just 5-of-17 (29.4 percent) from behind the arc and 14-of-20 (70 percent) at the foul line. 

Aside from early leads of 8-4 and 8-6, Mount Marty led the rest of the way.  Mount Marty seized a 13-10 lead with just under 10 minutes to play in the opening half on a 3-pointer by Tom Kahler.  The Lancers maintained a slim lead for the rest of the half.  A pair of made free throws by Jeff Viereck gave Mount Marty a 32-25 lead heading into halftime. 

Mount Marty scored the first three points of the second half to build a 10-point advantage at 35-25.  Midway through the second half, Concordia got back into the game.  Trailing 43-36 with 10 minutes remaining, the Bulldogs used a 10-4 run to climb back within one (47-46) with just four minutes to play.  The Lancers had an answer, however, and pushed the lead back to six (55-49) with a 3-point play by Spencer Yackley with just over a minute remaining in regulation.  The Lancers hit 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the win. 

The Lancers connected on 16-of-48 shots from the field for 33.3 percent.  Mount Marty was just 2-of-9 from deep for 22.2 percent and 27-of-36 (75 percent) at the foul line.  Both teams had 37 rebounds on the night. 

Yackley led the way for the Lancers with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field.  Austin Harms added 14 points, while Mitch Ackelson had eight points and a team-best 11 rebounds. 

Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) scored a team-best 12 points for Concordia in a losing effort.  Birtell also grabbed a game-best 12 rebounds for a double-double.  Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) was the only other player to reach double figures for Concordia with 10 points. 

Concordia returns home to host Nebraska Wesleyan on November 22. 

Concordia outlasts Nebraska Wesleyan, 70-65

23 November 2011

Adam Vogt and Beau Smith combined for 40 points, and the Concordia University men’s basketball team picked up a key 70-65 victory over Nebraska Wesleyan on Tuesday evening in Seward.  Wesleyan led for much of the contest, but the Bulldogs outscored the Prairie Wolves 40-33 in the second half to pick up the win.  Concordia improved to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in GPAC play.  NWU fell to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in GPAC play. 

The visiting Prairie Wolves jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the opening minutes of the contest.  Concordia came back to take a 14-13 lead on Vogt’s (Syracuse, Neb.) first 3-pointer of the night, but Wesleyan came right back with a 7-0 run to grab a 20-14 lead with just over 10 minutes to play in the half.  NWU built the lead to eight at 25-17 on a 3-pointer by Eric Jackson with eight minutes left in the half, but the Bulldogs managed to hang around.  A contested 3-pointer by Vogt pulled Concordia back within two at 32-30 heading into halftime. 

Concordia tied the game at 32-32 on the opening possession of the second half, but again, Wesleyan had an answer.  The Prairie Wolves used a 10-4 run to grab a 42-36 lead with 15 minutes left in regulation.  Concordia then responded with an 8-2 run to tie the game once again at 44-44.  The Bulldogs finally claimed the lead (49-48) with just under 10 minutes remaining on a 3-pointer by Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.).

There were multiple ties and lead changes for the next several minutes, but Concordia took the lead for good on a key 3-point play by Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.).  Birtell missed a layup, but tipped in his miss and was fouled on the play.  Birtell hit the free throw to give Concordia a 61-58 lead with four minutes to play. 

A pair of made free throws by Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) increased the Bulldog lead to five (63-58) with three minutes to play.  A layup by Jackson pulled the Prairie Wolves back within three at 63-60.  Brent Houchin (Bruning, Neb.) connected on a pair of free throws to push the lead back to five, but Bryce Arp hit two free throws for NWU to again trim the Bulldog lead to three at 65-62.  With a minute to play, Vogt hit another 3-pointer, this one at the end of the shot clock, to push the Concordia lead to six at 68-62. 

Andy Schweitzer hit a 3-pointer for NWU to make the score 68-65 with 50 seconds remaining.  Concordia missed on their next shot attempt, and NWU’s Nick Dinan was fouled with 16 seconds remaining.  Dinan missed the front end of the one and one, however, and Concordia secured the rebound.  A Bulldog turnover gave Wesleyan another chance to tie the game, but Mitch Liberty missed a 3-pointer with just five seconds remaining.  Beau Smith secured the rebound for Concordia and was fouled.  Smith hit both free throws for the 70-65 final.

Following a tough loss at Mount Marty to open conference play, Coach Grant Schmidt talked about the importance of Tuesday’s win.  “Our team really showed a lot of resolve tonight,” remarked Schmidt.  “We never really had control of that game, but we responded very well.  In a game like this, you need to have guys really step up and make an impact.  Adam Vogt, Brent Houchin and Beau Smith were fantastic for us tonight, and they really sparked us as the game went on.”  

Concordia was 24-of-49 from the field on the night for 49 percent.  The Bulldogs were 11-of-23 from deep for 47.8 percent and a perfect 11-of-11 at the foul line.  All 11 of Concordia’s free throw attempts came in the second half.  The Bulldogs held a 30-21 rebounding advantage in the win. 

Vogt had a huge night for the Bulldogs off the bench.  He scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting from long range.  Smith added 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, and Houchin chipped in with 12 points and a game-high seven rebounds.  Joel Haywood struggled from the field (3-of-11) but totaled eight points and a game-high five assists.  After the game, Vogt discussed his big night. 

“We weren’t happy after the Mount Marty game, but our coaches said a lot in practice and shoot around that hit home with our team,” noted Vogt.  “My teammates did a good job of finding me tonight, and I shot the ball well.  Let’s hope I can keep that going, but as a team, we need to keep that same effort and intensity moving forward.” 

Andy Schweitzer scored 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting to lead Nebraska Wesleyan.  Trevor Johnson added 13 for the Prairie Wolves.

“That Mount Marty game is in the past for us,” added Schmidt.  “Our kids found out tonight how focused and passionate they need to be for 40 minutes in order to win games.  We are maturing as a team.  We showed some character and found a little bit of identity tonight, so I’m pleased with that.”    

Concordia travels to Midland University on November 30. 

Concordia travels to Midland on Wednesday in search of second straight GPAC win

29 November 2011

The Concordia University men’s basketball team continues GPAC play on Wednesday evening at Midland University.  Tip is scheduled for 7:30 at the Midland Event Center in Fremont. 

The Bulldogs received votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll.  Concordia is 4-2 overall and 1-1 in GPAC play on the young season.  Last week, Concordia picked up a tough 70-65 win over Nebraska Wesleyan for their first GPAC win of the year.  Adam Vogt and Beau Smith led the way for Concordia in the win.  The duo combined for 40 points, and Vogt hit seven 3-pointers on the night.  The Bulldogs average 76.3 points per game while allowing 72.7 on the year. 

Midland University brings a 5-3 overall record with a 1-1 conference mark into Wednesday’s contest.  New head coach Todd Eisner is looking to turn the Warrior program around after a disappointing 8-24 record last year.  The Warriors are coming off an 81-78 win over then #14 Mount Mercy.  Donald Jones scored a game-high 25 points for Midland in the win.  The Warriors average 71 points per game while allowing 65.5. 

Fans unable to make the trip to Fremont can catch a live broadcast of the game via the Midland University athletic website.     

Midland pulls away for 70-57 win over Concordia

30 November 2011

Midland University shook off a slow start and pulled away for a 70-57 men’s basketball win over Concordia on Wednesday evening in Fremont.  The host Warriors improved to 6-3 overall and 2-1 in GPAC play with the win.  Concordia slipped to 4-3 (1-2 GPAC). 

The Bulldogs got off to the quick start and took a 10-4 lead in the opening three minutes of the contest, forcing an early Midland University timeout.  Each of Concordia’s starters scored baskets in the early stages.  The Bulldogs extended the lead to eight before Midland rattled off five straight to pull within three at 16-13.  A three point play by Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) pushed the Concordia lead back to six at 19-13 with 13 minutes remaining in the half. 

The host Warriors responded with the next 15 points to grab a 28-19 lead.  Several Bulldog turnovers allowed Midland to get back in the game.  A jumper by Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) ended the Midland scoring run and cut the lead to seven at 28-21 with five minutes remaining in the half. 

A 3-pointer by Jalen Hueser extended the Midland lead to 12 at 34-22 with just over two minutes to play in the first half.  Byrd followed with a 3-pointer for Concordia to pull the Bulldogs back within nine at 34-25, but Alex Knobbe scored in the lane to push the Midland lead back to 11 with less than a minute to play.  Midland settled for a 36-26 lead at halftime. 

Following the hot start, it was a rough final 15 minutes offensively for the Bulldogs.  Concordia finished with eight turnovers and just five assists in the half while connecting on 10-of-23 shots from the field for 43.5 percent.  Midland was 15-of-25 from the field (including 4-of-8 shooting from deep) in the opening half for 60 percent.  Midland had 12 assists on their 15 first half baskets.  Knobbe was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field for a team-best 10 points for the Warriors.  Byrd was the lone bright spot for Concordia with 11 first half points. 

It was more of the same early in the second half, as Midland scored the first four points to take a 40-26 lead.  A three point play by Birtell cut into the lead, but Ben Imig and Marcus Messersmith answered with long jumpers to force a Concordia timeout with 15 minutes remaining in regulation.  The Warriors held a 47-33 lead with 12 minutes to play. 

Midland led 52-35 at the 10-minute mark.  Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) scored for Concordia, but a three point play by Zach Rosenboom gave Midland a 55-37 lead.  Another Warrior 3-pointer increased the lead to 21 at 58-37 with six minutes to play.  Concordia pulled back within 12 (63-51) on a 3-pointer by Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) with 1:43 remaining.  Another 3-pointer by Vogt made the score 65-54, but Concordia would get no closer.

The Warriors were 26-of-50 from the field in the win for 52 percent.  Midland connected on 6-of-14 shots from deep (42.9 percent) and 12-of-14 free throws for 85.7 percent.  Midland had 19 assists with only nine turnovers on the evening.  The Warriors held a 29-25 rebounding advantage in the contest.  Knobbe finished with a team-high 13 points for Midland offensively.  Imig and Rosenboom added 11 apiece, while Avery Langford chipped in with 10 points off the bench for a balanced Warrior attack. 

Birtell finished with a game-high 18 points for Concordia in the loss.  Birtell was 6-of-8 from the field and 6-of-9 at the foul line.  Byrd was held scoreless in the second half and finished with 11 points.  Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) scored nine on a perfect 4-of-4 from the field for the Bulldogs. 

Concordia hosts Morningside College on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex. 

Haywood nominated for Denver Sports Top 9 Moments award

1 December 2011

Bulldog freshman guard Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) has been nominated for the 9 News “Top 9 Moments of the Year” for his buzzer-beater in last year’s Colorado state basketball tournament. 

Haywood hit a tough jumper from the corner to lift the Denver Lutheran Lights over Peyton High School.  Haywood’s game-winner pushed Denver Lutheran to the State Final Four, and Denver Lutheran went on to win the state title. 

Fans can see and vote for Haywood’s play at the link below.  There are five stars below the video.  Fans can click on the far right star to vote for the play.  Haywood and the Bulldogs play host to Morningside College on Saturday with tip scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex. 

Bulldogs play host to #16 Morningside on Saturday

2 December 2011

The Bulldog men’s basketball team will look to get back on track when they host #16 Morningside College on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.  It will be Jersey Day at the Walz Complex.  Fans are encouraged to support the Bulldog teams by wearing a jersey of any kind.  

Concordia is in need of a big win.  The Bulldogs opened conference play with a 61-51 loss at Mount Marty.  After a come-from-behind 70-65 win over Nebraska Wesleyan, the Bulldogs dropped a 70-57 decision at Midland University earlier this week to fall to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in GPAC play.   

Morningside College brings a 5-3 overall record (2-0 GPAC) into Saturday’s contest.  The Mustangs have GPAC wins over Hastings (79-72) and Northwestern (102-88) so far this season.  Earlier this week, Grand View picked up a 71-69 upset win over Morningside to snap a 4-game Mustang winning streak. 

The Concordia Sports Network will cover all the action with a live audio and video webcast.  Keegan Bloomfield will call the action from the Walz Complex. 

Late rally not enough, as Bulldogs suffer 77-71 loss to #16 Morningside

3 December 2011

Concordia’s late rally wasn’t enough, as #16 Morningside College picked up a 77-71 men’s basketball win on Saturday in Seward.  The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 18 in the second half, but the Mustangs needed solid free throw shooting in the closing minutes to hold on for the win.  Morningside moved to 6-3 overall with a perfect 3-0 mark in conference play.  Concordia dropped to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the GPAC. 

The first half featured four ties and 10 lead changes.  Concordia led by as many as six in the early stages, but the Mustangs used a late run to build a lead before halftime.  Morningside led 29-28 with just under four minutes to play in the half.  From there, the Mustangs went on a 10-0 run to close the half.  Morningside took a 39-28 lead into the break.  Morningside was 15-of-29 from the field in the opening 20 minutes for 51.7 percent.  Concordia had seven turnovers and was just 11-of-30 (36.7 percent) from the field in the first half.  Garth Hamilton scored 13 points for the Mustangs in the half. 

Morningside built their lead to 18 (52-34) in the first six minutes of the second half, as Concordia continued to struggle with turnovers.  The Mustangs still led by double digits (59-49) with less than nine minutes remaining in regulation.  Concordia used a key 11-1 run over the next four minutes to tie the game at 60-60 with 5:40 left to play. 

There were multiple ties and lead changes throughout the next few minutes of action.  A 3-pointer by Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) gave Concordia a 67-65 lead, but Morningside answered on the next possession.  A 3-pointer by Danny Rudeen put Morningside in the lead for good.  Rudeen added a free throw to give the Mustangs a 69-67 advantage.  Concordia had multiple chances to tie the game, but back-to-back turnovers proved costly for the Bulldogs.  A transition dunk by Bryan Borchers pushed the Mustang lead to four at 71-67 with a minute remaining.  Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) scored two late layups for Concordia to keep things close, but the Mustangs closed the door with solid free throw shooting down the stretch.  Morningside was 6-of-6 at the foul line in the final 30 seconds of the game, and the Mustangs secured the 77-71 victory. 

For the game, Morningside was 25-of-52 from the field for 48.1 percent.  The Mustangs were 4-of-12 from deep and 23-of-31 at the foul line.  Morningside had 22 assists on their 25 made field goals in the win.  Trent Miller had a solid all-around game for the Mustangs, finishing with eight points, nine assists, six steals and four rebounds.  Garth Hamilton was the offensive star of the game.  The senior post scored a game-high 27 points on the night.  He was 9-of-16 from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 at the foul line.  Rudeen added 16 points and three steals, while Borchers chipped in with a pair of dunks, three blocks and 10 points on the night.  The Mustangs totaled 38 paint points in the win.  

After a tough first half, Concordia responded offensively in the second half.  For the game, Concordia was 27-of-58 from the field for 46.6 percent.  The Bulldogs were 16-of-28 (57.1 percent) in the second half.  Concordia connected on 10-of-23 attempts from long range for 43.5 percent and just 7-of-13 free throw attempts for 53.8 percent.  The Bulldogs held a 36-30 rebounding advantage, but 17 turnovers hurt Concordia’s chances, as Morningside finished with 28 points off turnovers and an 18-4 advantage in fast break points.  Individually for Concordia, Braun scored a season-high 17 points.  The senior was 6-of-10 overall from the field and 5-of-6 from long range.  Dunbar added 12 points off the bench, while both Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) and Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) scored 11 points.  Smith added 10 rebounds for a double-double.  Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) added 10 points off the bench for a balanced Bulldog attack. 

Concordia hosts Briar Cliff University on December 7.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Walz Complex.

Bulldogs host Briar Cliff on Wednesday to continue GPAC play

6 December 2011

Concordia University continues GPAC play on Wednesday evening when they host Briar Cliff University at the Walz Human Performance Complex.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. 

The Bulldogs are in need of a strong performance following a pair of tough losses last week.  Concordia slipped to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in conference play with losses to Midland University (70-57) and Morningside College (77-71).  Last Saturday, Concordia rallied from an 18-point deficit to tie Morningside late in the contest.  However, some big plays and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch secured the win for the visiting Mustangs.  Turnovers have been a problem for the Bulldogs as of late.  Concordia totaled 31 turnovers in their two losses last week. 

Briar Cliff brings an 8-3 overall record with a 2-2 GPAC mark into Wednesday’s contest.  The Chargers opened the year with five straight wins.  Since then, however, Briar Cliff has struggled with consistency.  The Chargers opened conference play with a 99-69 loss to Northwestern before picking up a 69-67 win over Dakota Wesleyan.  Briar Cliff then lost back-to-back games to Doane College (89-75) and Waldorf (67-66) before winning their last two games over Nebraska Wesleyan (69-62) and York College (72-60).  Jake Shipley leads the way for the Chargers with 17.7 points per game on the year. 

The Concordia Sports Network will provide a live audio and video webcast of Wednesday’s contest.  Lucas Mohrman will call all the action from the Walz Complex. 

Losing streak hits three, Bulldogs fall to Briar Cliff, 86-74

7 December 2011

Briar Cliff University pulled away for an 86-74 men’s basketball win over Concordia on Wednesday evening in Seward.  The visiting Chargers were 54.5 percent from the field and 55 percent from deep in the victory.  With the win, BCU improved to 9-3 overall and 3-2 in conference play.  Concordia saw its losing streak move to three games, as the Bulldogs dropped to 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the GPAC. 

Concordia jumped out to a quick 12-2 lead in the opening minutes of the contest, but the lead was short lived.  Briar Cliff rallied to tie the game at 20-20 with over eight minutes remaining in the half.  With the contest tied at 27-27, Briar Cliff closed the half on a 15-4 run to take a 42-31 lead into halftime. 

The Chargers shot a sizzling 53.3 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, connecting on 16-of-30 shots overall and 8-of-12 shots from beyond the arc.  Jake Shipley went 4-for-4 from deep and scored 14 points, while Michael Collison chipped in with 10 first half points for the Chargers.  Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) scored 11 points to lead the way for Concordia, who hit 12-of-23 shots in the half for 52.2 percent. 

The Bulldogs pulled within nine on multiple occasions in the early stages of the second half.  The Chargers had an answer, however, and built their lead to 19 (61-42) on a layup by Collison with less than 12 minutes remaining in the contest.  The Bulldogs rallied once again and cut the deficit to eight twice with over two minutes left in regulation.  Solid free throw shooting down the stretch secured the 86-74 win for BCU. 

BCU continued the solid shooting in the second half, hitting 14-of-25 shots for 56 percent.  For the game, Briar Cliff was 30-of-55 overall and 11-of-20 from long range.  The Chargers also shot it well from the foul line, hitting 15-of-17 on the night for 88.2 percent.  The Chargers held a 35-27 rebounding advantage and dished out 22 assists on their 30 made field goals.  Shipley led a balanced scoring attack with 22 points.  Collison added 16 points and a team-best eight rebounds, while Taylor Murren and Turner Fahey also reached double figures with 15 and 12 points, respectively. 

Concordia cooled off slightly from the field in the second half, connecting on 15-of-34 shots for 44.1 percent.  For the game, the Bulldogs were 27-of-57 from the field for 47.4 percent.  Concordia was 9-of-24 from deep for 37.5 percent and 11-of-17 at the charity stripe for 64.7 percent.  Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) had a huge night for the Bulldogs in the loss.  The junior post scored 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the field.  He also added eight rebounds and three steals.  Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) added 12 points and four assists.  Braun scored all of his 11 points in the first half, while Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) added 10 points and a game-high nine boards for the Bulldogs. 

Conference play continues for the Bulldogs this weekend at Dakota Wesleyan on December 10.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Mitchell. 

Concordia looks to end losing streak, visits DWU on Saturday

9 December 2011

Concordia University looks to snap a 3-game losing skid when they travel to Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D. 

Since a 70-65 win over Nebraska Wesleyan, the Bulldogs have dropped three straight GPAC games (70-57 at Midland, 77-71 vs. Morningside, and 86-74 vs. Briar Cliff).  Concordia is 4-5 overall, and the Bulldogs are currently last in the GPAC standings with a 1-4 mark.  Offensively, Concordia currently ranks fifth in the GPAC with 75.1 points per game.  Defensively, the Bulldogs have struggled, allowing 73.5 points per game to rank ninth in the conference.  Three players average in double figures so far for the Bulldogs this season.  Junior post Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) averages 14.6 points per game, while junior college transfer Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) is close behind with 14 points per game.  Freshman guard Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) has chipped in with 10.9 points per game. 

Dakota Wesleyan is 7-4 overall and 1-3 in GPAC play.  The Tigers are coming off an impressive 78-72 win over #19 Morningside College earlier this week.  DWU has conference losses to Briar Cliff (69-67), Dordt College (86-68) and Hastings (84-75) on the season.  The Tigers score 75.8 points per game while allowing 64.6.  DWU has been led by Mike Lee, who averages 14.6 points per game on the year.  Several other players average over eight points per game for the Tigers. 

There will be a live audio broadcast as well as live stats provided at the links above.  The Concordia men will host York College on December 16.  Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex. 

Birtell's career night lifts Bulldogs past DWU in overtime

10 December 2011

It took overtime and a career night by Porter Birtell, but Concordia picked up a key 80-78 win over Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday evening in Mitchell.  Birtell’s 36 points helped Concordia snap a 3-game losing streak.  The Bulldogs moved to 5-5 overall and 2-4 in GPAC play with the victory.  DWU slipped to 7-5 overall and 1-4 in the GPAC. 

Concordia led by as many as 14 in the first half.  The Bulldogs used solid defense and a big half by Birtell (Madison, Neb.) to take a 33-25 lead into halftime.  Dakota Wesleyan managed just 8-of-32 shooting (25 percent) in the opening 20 minutes, including just 1-of-8 from long range.  Concordia was 11-of-26 from the field (42.3 percent) and 9-of-11 at the foul line (81.8 percent).  Birtell scored 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 7-of-9 shooting from the foul line in the opening half of play. 

The Bulldog lead was quickly erased, as Dakota Wesleyan went on a 17-4 run in the opening four minutes of the second half to take a 42-37 lead.  Bulldog guard Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) had an answer for Concordia, scoring five straight points to tie the game at 42-42 with less than 14 minutes remaining in the contest.  Dakota Wesleyan quickly responded with a 9-2 run, and a 3-point play by Justin Nelson gave the Tigers a 51-44 lead with 10:40 left in regulation. 

Concordia pulled back within three (59-56) on a 3-point play by Birtell with just under eight minutes remaining.  A DWU basket pushed the lead back to five, but a jumper by Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) and a 3-pointer by Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) tied the game at 61-61 with just over four minutes to play.  On DWU’s next possession, Nelson answered with a layup to put the Tigers back on top.  Kris Wilson followed with a layup to push the DWU lead back to four at 65-61 with three minutes remaining. 

Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) pulled the Bulldogs back within two with a pair of made free throws.  Following a turnover and missed field goal by DWU, Birtell made two free throws to knot the score (65-65) once again with two minutes left in the contest.  The teams then traded layups.  Jalen Voss put the Tigers in front, but Birtell responded with a layup of his own to make the score 67-67 with just over a minute remaining. 

Following a Bulldog timeout, DWU reclaimed the lead with a layup by Mike Lee.  On Concordia’s next possession, Birtell secured an offensive rebound and scored to tie the score at 69-69 with 18 seconds left.  The Tigers called a timeout to set up for the final shot.  Lee missed a jumper, however, and the game was forced to overtime. 

Birtell continued his strong night with the first four points in the overtime period.  Following a DWU layup, a 3-pointer by Braun pushed the Bulldog lead to five at 76-71.  The Tigers again cut into the Bulldog lead with a layup, but Birtell scored again to extend the CU lead back to five at 78-73.  A 3-pointer by Kris Wilson cut the Concordia lead to two at 78-76, and a layup by Nelson tied the game at 78-78 with 30 seconds to play. 

The Bulldogs used two timeouts down the stretch and with just three seconds remaining, a foul by DWU’s Jalen Voss put Birtell at the line.  The junior knocked down both foul shots to give Concordia the 80-78 advantage.  A desperation shot by Wilson was missed at the buzzer, and the Bulldogs held on for the road victory.  

For the night, Birtell scored his 36 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field and 14-of-18 shooting at the foul line.  Free throw shooting proved to be huge, as Concordia was 24-of-28 (85.7 percent) for the night.  Birtell had almost as many free throw attempts as the entire Dakota Wesleyan team.  The Tigers struggled from the line, connecting on just 13-of-23 on the night for 56.5 percent. 

Braun (11 points) and Byrd (10 points) also reached double figures for the Bulldogs.  Birtell added a team-best nine rebounds, while Byrd added four assists and seven rebounds.  Smith struggled from the field, but delivered nine points and six boards in the Concordia win.  The Bulldogs won despite hitting just 25-of-67 shots (37.3 percent) from the field overall and just 6-of-28 shots (21.4 percent) from deep. 

Lee and Voss scored 18 points apiece for Dakota Wesleyan.  Wilson (14 points) and Nelson (12 points) also reached double figures for the Tigers. 

Concordia returns home to host York College on December 16.  Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Birtell picks up GPAC weekly honor

12 December 2011

Concordia’s Porter Birtell picked up GPAC honors on Monday.  The Great Plains Athletic Conference named Birtell as Hauff Mid-America sports/GPAC men’s basketball Player-of-the-Week. 

Birtell (Madison, Neb.) had a huge week, averaging 31.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as the Bulldogs went 1-1 in games vs. Briar Cliff and at Dakota Wesleyan.  The junior had a career night in Concordia’s overtime win over Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday evening.  Birtell scored a career-high 36 points at the Corn Palace, as the Tigers had no answer for him inside.  For the week, Birtell was 22-of-29 from the floor for 76 percent.  He also went 19-of-29 at the foul line in the two games. 

So far this season, Birtell leads the team in scoring (16.7), rebounding (7.3) and field goal percentage (60.4).  Birtell and the Bulldogs take a 5-5 record into Friday evening’s home contest against York College.  Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.  

Bulldogs take break from GPAC play, host York College on Friday

15 December 2011

The Concordia University men’s basketball team will step out of GPAC play when they host York College on Friday evening.  Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex. 

The Bulldogs snapped a mini 3-game losing streak with an overtime victory over Dakota Wesleyan this past weekend.  The win moved Concordia back to .500 with a 5-5 overall record to go along with a 2-4 mark in GPAC play. 

The win at DWU didn’t come easy, but a career night by junior post Porter Birtell helped Concordia secure the 80-78 overtime win.  Dakota Wesleyan had no answer for Birtell, as he poured in 36 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field.  Birtell also went 14-of-18 at the foul line on the night, as he nearly totaled the same amount of free throws as the entire DWU team.  Porter also scored 27 points in CU’s loss to Briar Cliff on December 7.  For his efforts in the two games, Birtell was honored as the GPAC Player-of-the-Week.  

York College opened the season with three straight wins, including victories over Hastings College (76-75) and Morningside College (89-87).  Since then, however, the Panthers have struggled.  York has gone 3-6 in their past nine games to sit at 6-6 overall on the year.  The Panthers have had balanced scoring this year, as four players currently average double figures.  Thad Varmall (14.3 ppg) and Marcus Johnson (13.3 ppg) have led the way offensively, while Keenan Gaskin (11.5 ppg) and Desmond Strickland (10.7 ppg) also average double figures in scoring for the Panthers.

Concordia picked up a convincing 91-66 win over York early in the season.  Concordia placed six players in double figures in the win.  Joel Haywood and Beau Smith each scored 15 to lead the team, and the Bulldogs were 60 percent from the field in the victory. 

The Concordia Sports Network will cover Friday’s game with a live video webcast.  The Bulldogs return to conference action with a road game at Doane College on December 20.

Bulldogs survive York rally, pick up 93-88 overtime win

16 December 2011

The Concordia men’s basketball team earned a 93-88 overtime win over York College on Friday evening in Seward.  It was the second straight overtime win for the Bulldogs, who improved to 6-5 on the year.  York slipped to 6-7. 

It was the second matchup of the season between the two teams, as Concordia cruised to a 91-66 win over the Panthers in the second game of the year.  Friday night was a different story, as the Panthers used a huge second half rally to force overtime. 

The visiting Panthers led by as many as five on two occasions early in the contest.  The Bulldogs responded, however, and a pair of made free throws by Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) gave Concordia its biggest lead of the half (42-24) with just over three minutes remaining.  The Bulldogs held a 47-31 lead at halftime.  Concordia shot a blistering 60 percent (18-of-30) from the field, including 4-of-8 from long range, in the opening half of play. 

York cut into the Bulldog lead early in the second half, and a layup by Thadd Varmall cut the lead to nine (54-45) with 13 minutes remaining in regulation.  Concordia reclaimed a 10-point lead on a 3-pointer by Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.), but York scored the next seven points to pull within three at 57-54.  Concordia continued to hold the lead until there were just over two minutes remaining in the contest. 

A layup by Reggie Johnson gave York a 79-78 lead with 2:02 to play.  Concordia responded with a basket by Brian Towner (Houston, Texas) with just over a minute remaining.  York’s Tedrick Urune answered with a key 3-pointer to give York the lead once again (82-80) with 45 seconds left.  On Concordia’s next possession, Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) hit a pair of free throws to tie the score at 82-82.  York held for the last shot, but a layup by Marcus Johnson was blocked by Birtell.  Birtell’s block forced the game into overtime. 

The teams traded layups to open the overtime period.  However, back-to-back scores gave Concordia an 89-84 lead.  Birtell scored in the paint, and Haywood followed with a 3-point play to give the Bulldogs the advantage.  Varmall followed with a jumper to pull the Panthers back within three, but Birtell scored again to push the Bulldog lead to 91-86.  The Bulldogs secured the 5-point victory. 

Concordia was 34-of-65 from the field on the evening for 52.3 percent.  The Bulldogs were 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from deep and 19-of-26 (73.1 percent) at the foul line.  Concordia totaled 54 points in the paint.  For the third straight game, Birtell was huge inside for Concordia.  The junior, who earned GPAC player-of-the-week honors last week, poured in a game-high 32 points on 14-of-20 shooting from the field.  He has now led the Bulldogs in scoring in five of the last seven games.  Birtell added a game-high 12 rebounds.  In his first game of the year, Towner scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench.  Haywood delivered 13 points and was 6-of-6 at the foul line. 

“We are happy with how we played in overtime,” remarked Bulldog assistant coach Anthony Elias.  “We haven’t played very well with the lead at times this year, and we’ve struggled with guarding dribble drives.  Fortunately, we were able to get some stops in overtime when we really needed them.  Offensively, we were pretty balanced tonight.  Birtell and Towner complimented each other very well tonight.  Brian really attacked off the dribble, and Porter finished very well around the basket.” 

Four players scored in double figures for the Panthers, led by Varmall’s 23 points and 10 rebounds.  Johnson added 22 points and four assists on the night, while Keenan Gaskin (15 points) and Urune (10 points) also reached double figures for York in the loss. 

Concordia returns to GPAC play with a road contest at Doane College on December 20.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Crete. 

Bulldogs visit Doane on Tuesday in search of third straight win

19 December 2011

Concordia University and Doane College meet on Tuesday evening to continue play in GPAC basketball.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Crete. 

The Bulldogs improved to 6-5 on the year with a 93-88 win in overtime over York College this past Friday evening.  It was the second straight overtime victory for the Bulldogs, who also slipped by Dakota Wesleyan in overtime on December 10. 

Porter Birtell, last week’s GPAC Player-of-the-Week, has posted 30+ points in consecutive games to lead Concordia to the two wins.  He scored a career-high 36 points against DWU and followed with 32 points and 12 rebounds against York College.  The junior post now averages 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.  His 18.1 points per game is good for second in the GPAC, trailing only Jake Shipley of Briar Cliff (18.8 ppg).  Brian Towner, who missed the first 10 games of the season, returned against York College and finished with totals of 19 points and seven rebounds.  With the addition of Towner, the Bulldogs are finally at full strength and are looking to make a run in GPAC play.  The Bulldogs are just 2-4 in the GPAC so far this year. 

Doane has been up and down this season.  The Tigers won three straight to open the season, but then lost three of their next four games.  Doane then won three of their next four, but have struggled again as of late.  The Tigers lost three straight in conference play to Mount Marty (64-56), Midland (81-64) and Morningside (84-75), but did turn things around with an 82-69 win over Dakota Wesleyan on December 17.  Doane brings an 8-7 overall record with a 3-4 GPAC mark into Tuesday’s contest. 

The Tigers have been balanced offensively so far this year.  Nick Reed scores a team-high 17.9 points per game.  Reed is third in the conference in scoring.  Josh Riser adds 12.4 points per game, while Jens Scholl delivers 11.5 points per contest.  Scholl has scored 13.7 points per game during conference play.

Bulldogs earn 67-64 win over Doane for third straight victory

20 December 2011

For the third straight game, Concordia picked up an exciting victory to improve to improve to 7-5 overall and 3-4 in GPAC play.  The Bulldogs outscored Doane 39-32 in the second half to pick up a 67-64 win on Tuesday evening in Crete.  Doane slipped to 8-8 overall and 3-5 in conference play.  

The Tigers had the quick start, jumping out to an 11-1 lead in the first four minutes of the contest.  Concordia hung in there, and a jumper by Brian Towner (Houston, Texas) pulled the Bulldogs within five at 18-13.  However, the Tigers answered with a 7-2 run to reclaim a double-digit lead at 25-15 with less than eight minutes remaining in the half. 

A layup by Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) and a 3-pointer by Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) got Concordia back in the game at 26-23 with five minutes to play in the half.  Doane increased their lead back to nine, but a late run pulled the Bulldogs back within four (32-28) at the break. 

Birtell scored nine first half points, while Smith added seven for the Bulldogs in the opening half.  Jens Scholl was 4-of-5 from the field and scored nine first half points for the host Tigers.  Doane was 9-of-11 at the foul line, while Concordia was just 1-of-2 from the line in the opening 20 minutes. 

The Bulldogs came out firing in the early stages of the second half and pulled within one (34-33) on a 3-point play by Birtell.  A 3-pointer by Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) tied the game at 36-36 with 17 minutes remaining.  A 9-4 run gave Doane College a 45-40 advantage with 12 minutes to play.  Another 3-pointer by Byrd pulled Concordia back within two, and a pair of made free throws by Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) tied the score at 45-45. 

Doane scored the next four points to take a 49-45 lead, but Smith answered with a 3-pointer from the corner to pull Concordia back within one with eight minutes remaining.  A made free throw by Dunbar tied the game at 49-49.  Birtell then gave the Bulldogs a 51-49 lead with two made free throws. 

Concordia took a 53-49 lead with just over six minutes remaining on a layup by Smith.  Dunbar had the assist on Smith’s basket.  A tip in by Birtell increased CU’s lead to 55-49.  A free throw by Nick Reed ended the Concordia scoring streak, and a Bulldog turnover led to a pair of made free throws by Josh Riser.  Riser’s free throws cut the Concordia lead to three (55-52) with just over four minutes remaining. 

Doane looked to have a little momentum, but a smooth jumper from the corner by Birtell increased the Bulldog lead back to five at 57-52.  Smith increased the Concordia lead with two free throws, and Concordia held a 59-52 lead with just over three minutes remaining.  A 3-pointer by Bryan Meyer pulled Doane back within three (59-56), and Scholl hit 1-of-2 free throws the make the score 59-57. 

With two minutes remaining, Byrd hit a free throw to push the Concordia lead back to three, but Nick Reed responded with a pair of makes from the line to pull the Tigers within one.  On Concordia’s next possession, Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) hit a tough jumper from the baseline to again give Concordia a 62-59 lead.  Reed came right back for Doane, and his layup pulled the Tigers within one at 62-61.  Concordia again had an answer, as Barrett Braun’s (Lakeside, Calif.) made the score 64-61 with just over a minute to play. 

A Bulldog foul put Reed at the line, but he was only able to hit one to pull the Tigers within two.  Byrd was unable to connect on a tough shot in the lane.  Doane had a chance to tie or take the lead, but a 3-pointer by Mencl rimmed out.  Byrd was fouled and again went 1-of-2 at the line to give the Bulldogs a 65-62 lead with 25 seconds left.  Doane got a quick score from Riser to again trim the lead to one (65-64) with just 19 seconds left.

Haywood was fouled and hit both free throws to give the Bulldogs a 67-64 lead.  Doane had one final attempt with just three seconds to play.  A 3-pointer by Riser was blocked by Vogt, and the Bulldogs held on for the 67-64 victory.  

Concordia was 24-of-53 from the field in the win for 45.3 percent.  The Bulldogs were 6-of-19 from deep for 31.6 percent and 13-of-17 at the foul line for 76.5 percent.  Smith and Birtell each scored 18 points for the Bulldogs.  Birtell added 12 rebounds for the double-double.  Byrd poured in 14 points and hit four 3-pointers on the night. 

Doane was 19-of-51 from the field for 37.3 percent.  The Tigers were just 6-of-20 from deep for 30 percent and 20-of-29 at the foul line for 69 percent.  Four players scored in double figures for the Tigers, led Scholl’s 15 points.  Riser added 14, while Reed and Meyer scored 10 apiece. 

Concordia will take part in the Tabor College Tournament on December 30 and 31.

Concordia to take part in Tabor College Holiday Classic

28 December 2011

Concordia travels to Kansas to take part in the Tabor College Holiday Classic on December 30-31.  The Bulldogs will take on the hosts from Tabor on Friday and will battle Sterling College to conclude tournament play on Saturday. 

The Bulldogs picked up three straight wins before Christmas to move to 7-5 on the year.  Concordia picked up a key 67-64 road win over Doane College in their last game.  The Bulldogs hope to continue building momentum, as some tough tests lie ahead once GPAC play resumes.  Three of Concordia’s next four conference opponents are currently ranked in the top 20. 

Concordia and Tabor College square off at 8 p.m. on December 30.  Tabor brings a 5-8 record into tournament play.  The Bluejays haven’t played since an 87-46 trouncing of Ottawa University on December 10.  Tabor will provide live video of Friday night’s contest at the following link; http://www.taborbluejays.com/f1/Watch_Live.php

On Saturday, the Bulldogs take on Sterling College at 3 p.m.  The Warriors enter the weekend with a 5-9 record.   

GPAC play resumes for the Bulldogs on January 4.  Concordia heads to Northwestern College for an 8 p.m. matchup with the Raiders. 

Bulldog offense goes ice cold in 66-54 loss to Tabor College

30 December 2011

Concordia University struggled offensively throughout the contest, and Tabor College secured a 66-54 men’s basketball win on Friday evening in Kansas.  The Bulldogs dropped to 7-6 on the year with the loss, while Tabor improved to 6-8. 

The Bulldogs trailed by just two (30-28) at the half despite just 10-of-26 shooting (38.5 percent) in the opening half of play.  The host Bluejays were just 12-of-33 (36.4 percent) from the field in the opening half, as both teams struggled to find any offensive rhythm. 

Things went from bad to worse in the second half, as Concordia was just 7-of-31 from the field for 22.6 percent.  Following the slow first half, Tabor was 10-of-21 from the floor in the second half for 47.6 percent.  For the game, Concordia shot a season-low 29.8 percent (17-of-57) from the field.  Tabor finished 22-of-54 overall for 40.7 percent.  The Bluejays had a great night from deep, however, hitting 9-of-16 shots from behind the arc for 56.3 percent.  Concordia managed just 7-of-23 shooting (30.4 percent) from deep in the loss. 

Lawson Kingsley led four players in double figures for Tabor College with 14 points.  Kingsley was 5-of-9 from the field overall and 3-of-5 from long range.  Phillip Jimenez hit three 3-pointers and scored 13, while Dylan Clark-Kaneable added a double-double with 13 points and 12 boards for the Jays.  Joe Penn also reached double figures with 11 points. 

Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) and Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) were the only players to reach double figures for Concordia in the loss.  Smith knocked down three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.  Birtell chipped in with 11 points and nine rebounds on the night. 

Concordia concludes play in the Tabor College Holiday Tournament on Saturday.  The Bulldogs take on Sterling College at 3 p.m.

Bulldogs drop to 7-7 with loss to Sterling College

31 December 2011

It was a disappointing few days at the Tabor College Classic, as the Bulldog men’s basketball team went 0-2 in the tournament.  Sterling College held on for a 75-71 victory on Saturday afternoon to take the Warriors to 7-9 on the year.  Concordia dropped to 7-7 with the loss. 

Concordia held a slim 35-33 halftime lead.  The game remained tightly contested during the second half.  Down the stretch, Sterling College took a 63-57 lead with five minutes remaining in the contest.  Brian Towner (Houston, Texas) pulled Concordia back within four with a pair of made free throws.  Sterling answered with two makes from the foul line to push the lead back to six.  Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) responded with free throw makes to make the score 65-61 with four minutes to play. 

The Bulldogs pulled within three with a free throw by Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.).  The Bulldogs then got a stop but couldn’t secure the rebound.  An offensive rebound and layup increase the Sterling lead to 67-62.  Concordia answered with an offensive rebound and tip in by Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) to pull the Bulldogs back within three (67-64) with two minutes to play. 

Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) went 1-of-2 at the foul line to cut the Sterling lead to two.  However, things unraveled for the Bulldogs on Sterling’s next possession.  Cody Brazelton scored on a layup and was fouled on the play.  Concordia was also called for a technical foul following the play.  The Warriors went 2-of-3 at the foul line, and Sterling held a 71-65 lead.  Free throw shooting down the stretch helped secure the victory for Sterling. 

Brazelton had a huge game for Sterling in the win.  He scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the way for Sterling.  Trent Stutzman added 18 points, and Adam Brown poured in 15 points.  Eddie Adesodun delivered 11 points (all in the second half) for the Warriors. 

Haywood scored 17 points and dished out four assists for Concordia in the loss.  Byrd added 12 points, while Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas), Towner and Birtell all scored 11.  Birtell added eight rebounds, but the junior post was limited to just five field goal attempts in the contest.  Concordia returns to GPAC play at Northwestern College on January 4.

Concordia set for Wednesday matchup with #14 Northwestern

3 January 2012

Conference play continues for the Bulldog men’s basketball team on Wednesday evening.  Concordia will take on Northwestern College with tip scheduled for 8 p.m. in Orange City.  Northwestern is currently 14th in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll.  The Raiders are 12-3 overall and sit second in the GPAC standings at 5-2.  Following a pair of losses at the Tabor College Classic this past weekend, Concordia is 7-7 overall with a 3-4 conference mark heading into Wednesday’s matchup. 

Concordia went into the Christmas break riding a 3-game winning streak.  The Bulldogs picked up overtime victories over Dakota Wesleyan and York College before rallying for a 67-64 win over Doane College on December 20.  Things didn’t go as planned at the Tabor Tournament, however, as the Bulldogs dropped 66-54 and 75-71 decisions to Tabor College and Sterling College, respectively.  Concordia shot a season-low 29 percent from the field in the loss to Tabor and then struggled in the second half against Sterling College.  Porter Birtell and Beau Smith continue to lead the way for the Bulldogs offensively.  Birtell ranks fourth in the GPAC with 17.1 points per game, while Smith is 10th in the conference at 13.3 points per game. 

Northwestern started the season with seven straight wins.  The Raiders have losses this season to Morningside (102-88), Dordt (77-72) and Buena Vista (82-69).  However, Northwestern has won three straight including victories over Vancouver Island (86-74) and Gordon College (82-61) in the Bill Reynolds Holiday Classic this past weekend.  The Raiders are second in the GPAC in scoring offense with 83 points per game.  Defense has been a struggle for Northwestern, however, as the Raiders give up 74.9 points per game to rank last in the GPAC.  Despite the struggles defensively, Northwestern still sits second in the GPAC in scoring margin (+8.1).  Northwestern features four players who rank in the GPAC’s top 16 in scoring.  Stuart Goslinga pours in 15.4 to lead the way, while Zack Leeper (12.9), Ben Miller (12.8) and Daniel Van Kalsbeek (12.5) rank 12th, 13th and 16th, respectively, for Northwestern. 

The Raiders defeated Concordia by the score of 96-87 in the only matchup between the two schools last year.  Northwestern will cover Wednesday’s contest with a live webcast.  The link can be found above.  The Bulldogs host Dordt College on January 7.  Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Birtell and Haywood combine for 59 points in 94-75 upset win over #14 Northwestern

4 January 2012

Concordia led from start to finish and used career nights by Porter Birtell and Joel Haywood to pick up a key 94-75 men’s basketball win over #14 Northwestern College on Wednesday evening in Orange City.  It was the first win over a ranked team this season for Concordia, who improved to 8-7 overall and 4-4 in GPAC play.  Northwestern dropped to 12-4 overall and 5-3 in GPAC play. 

Concordia put together its best half of the season in the opening half of play.  The Bulldogs came out firing in the opening minutes of the contest.  Following a turnover on the first possession of the game, Concordia scored on seven straight possessions to take a 17-6 lead.  A 3-pointer by Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) gave the Bulldogs a 20-10 advantage with over 14 minutes remaining in the half.  Haywood hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight early points in the contest. 

A few minutes later, Haywood added a layup to keep Concordia in front by 10 (28-18), and a jumper by Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) increased the Bulldog lead to 12 with 10 minutes to play in the half.  A 3-pointer by Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) gave Concordia a 33-18 advantage, and a layup by Birtell (Madison, Neb.) gave the Bulldogs a 37-21 lead. 

Later, a 3-point play by Birtell gave Concordia a 42-25 lead.  The teams then traded a few baskets, and a nice move and finish in the paint by Birtell again gave Concordia a 17-point lead at 46-29.  A free throw by Birtell gave Concordia a 47-29 lead, and Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) hit a floater in the lane to give the Bulldogs a 49-29 lead heading into halftime.  Concordia was 63 percent from the field in the first half.  Birtell scored 22 first half points on 8-of-8 shooting from the field.  Haywood added 10 points in opening 20 minutes. 

Northwestern scored on their first several possessions of the second half and pulled within 14 on multiple occasions.  A long 3-ponter by Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) pushed the Concordia lead back to 17.  Concordia held a 16-point lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, and a 3-pointer by Byrd pushed Concordia’s lead to 69-50.  Following a score by Northwestern, Braun connected on his fourth 3-pointer of the game to give Concordia a 20-point advantage at 72-52. 

Birtell converted another 3-point play to give Concordia a 77-56 lead with seven minutes remaining, and another bucket by the junior post gave Concordia its largest lead of the game at 79-56.  Northwestern went on a run and pulled within 15 on multiple occasions in the final three minutes.  That’s as close as the Raiders would get, however, as Concordia again stretched the lead back to 21 (94-73) with a minute remaining. 

"We played pretty flawless basketball in the first half tonight," remarked Bulldog head coach Grant Schmidt.  "Porter was a 1-man wrecking crew tonight.  Joel showed how good he can be, and we got contributions from so many guys in this win tonight." 

Concordia was 55 percent from the field and 81 percent from the foul line in the win.  Birtell and Haywood each had career scoring nights to lead the way.  Birtell poured in 37 points on the night.  He was a perfect 12-of-12 from the field and 13-of-16 at the foul line.  Haywood chipped in with a career-best 22 points after 5-of-10 shooting from the field and 9-of-10 shooting at the foul line.  Braun delivered 14 points including the four 3-pointers. 

Ben Miller had a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds for Northwestern.  Stu Goslinga added 14 points, and Daniel Van Kalsbeek also reached double figures with 11 points on the night. 

The Bulldogs return home to host 2nd-ranked Dordt College on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Bulldogs look for second straight win over ranked team, host #2 Dordt College on Saturday

6 January 2012

The Concordia men’s basketball team picked up a big win over Northwestern College earlier this week to improve to 8-7 overall (4-4 GPAC) on the year.  The 94-75 victory over the 14th-ranked Red Raiders gave the Bulldogs some momentum heading into a Saturday matchup with NAIA 2nd-ranked Dordt College.  Tip between the Bulldogs and Defenders is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex. 

The Bulldogs put together their best performance of the year on Wednesday evening.  It was the first road win over Northwestern since the mid 1990’s.  Concordia got career nights from both Porter Birtell and Joel Haywood in the impressive victory.  Birtell completely dominated the Raiders inside, scoring a career-high 37 points on a perfect 12-of-12 from the field.  Haywood chipped in with 22 points, while Barret Braun hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 for the Bulldogs.  Concordia shot 63 percent from the field in the opening half of play. 

So far this season, Concordia is fourth in the GPAC in scoring offense (74.6 points per game) and ninth in scoring defense (74.3 points per game).  Birtell has led the way offensively this season and currently ranks second in the GPAC with 18.4 points per game.  Beau Smith is 12th in the conference in scoring with 12.9 points per game.  Haywood also averages double figures with 10.5 points per game.  The freshman from Colorado has picked up his scoring as of late.  He had 17 points in a loss to Sterling College before delivering the 22 points against Northwestern on Wednesday. 

Scouting the Defenders – Dordt College, ranked second in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, has been impressive all season long.  The Defenders sit atop the GPAC standings with an 8-1 mark.  Dordt brings an overall record of 16-1 into Saturday’s clash with the Bulldogs.  Dordt’s only loss came at Briar Cliff (88-83) on December 17.  The Defenders cruised to a 98-77 win over Hastings College earlier this week. 

Dordt leads the GPAC with 85.8 points per game while ranking fifth in scoring defense, allowing 69.6 points per game.  Offensively, Dordt also leads the conference in field goal percentage (53 percent) and 3-point field goal percentage (42.1 percent).  Scoring balance is a key, as five Dordt players rank in the GPAC’s top 30 in scoring.  Trevor Wolterstorff scores a team-best 16.8 points per game to rank fifth in the GPAC.  Jordan Vogel (12.8 ppg) and Cliff Warner (12.5 ppg) sit 13th and 14th, respectively, while Austin Katje (11.6 ppg) and Chris Sievers (10.2 ppg) also average double figures for the Defenders. 

The Concordia Sports Network will provide a live audio and video webcast.  Keegan Bloomfield will call the action from the Walz Complex. 

Up Next – The Bulldogs travel to Hastings College (Jan. 11) and Morningside College (Jan. 14) next week.

Upset bid falls just short, Bulldogs fall to #2 Dordt in overtime

7 January 2012

Concordia came up just short in its attempt for a second straight upset win, as 2nd-ranked Dordt College picked up an 87-83 overtime win over the Bulldogs on Saturday evening in Seward.  The visiting Defenders improved to 17-1 overall and 9-1 in conference play.  Concordia, who picked up a big 94-75 win over 14th-ranked Northwestern earlier this week, dropped to 8-8 on the year with a 4-5 GPAC mark.

Dordt College led by as many as nine (40-31) in the opening half and took a 40-33 lead into halftime.  Both teams shot 50 percent or better in the opening 20 minutes.  However, Dordt held a 28-14 advantage in points in the paint, as the combination of Kyle Lindbergh and Jordan Vogel combined for 19 first half points.  Concordia stayed close with solid shooting (5-of-11) from deep.  Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first half for the Bulldogs.

There were multiple ties and lead changes throughout the final 10 minutes of the second half.  The Bulldogs grabbed a 73-71 lead on a 3-pointer by Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) with just over three minutes remaining in regulation.  Concordia took its biggest lead of the game (75-71) on a layup by Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) with just over two minutes to play.  Lindbergh took over from there, however, and scored the next six points for the Defenders to give Dordt a 77-75 lead with less than 10 seconds remaining.  Concordia had one final shot to tie the game, and Byrd came up big.  The senior went the length of the floor, spun in the lane, and knocked down a contested floater just before the buzzer to force the game to overtime. 

In overtime, the Bulldogs went cold (3-of-11 from the field) while Dordt was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field.  Vogel knocked down consecutive jumpers to give Dordt an 81-79 lead.  Austin Katje followed with his only bucket of the game, a 3-pointer from the wing, to increase the Defender lead to 84-79 with less than three minutes to play.  Birtell answered with a layup and an opportunity at a 3-point play.  He missed the free throw, however, and a dunk by Lindbergh gave the Defenders an 86-81 advantage. 

Birtell again scored on a layup and had another opportunity for the 3-point play.  He again missed the free throw, and Dordt maintained the 86-83 lead.  Dordt gave the Bulldogs some opportunities, as the Defenders had three missed free throws and a turnover in the closing minute of the overtime period.  Unfortunately, Concordia couldn’t capitalize, going 0-of-4 from the field with a turnover down the stretch.  A made free throw by Lindbergh secured the 87-83 win for the Defenders.   

Dordt was 34-of-64 overall (53.1 percent) from the field in the win.  The Defenders held a 41-32 rebounding advantage and also held the advantage in paint points (54-44), points off turnovers (16-4), second chance points (15-6) and fast break points (8-2).  As has been the case all year, Dordt used balanced scoring to pick up the victory.  Lindbergh finished with 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field.  Vogel added a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Cliff Warner had a double-double of his own with 11 points and 13 assists.  Trevor Wolterstorff had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Defenders, who won despite a 15-of-24 (62.5 percent) performance at the foul line. 

Concordia also had a good night from the field.  The Bulldogs were 35-of-68 overall for 51.5 percent.  Concordia was 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) from deep, but free throw shooting proved costly.  Concordia managed just 3-of-8 shooting from the charity stripe in the loss. 

Birtell was 11-of-18 from the field for a game-high 23 points.  He added a game-high 13 rebounds.  Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) had another strong game with 19 points.  The senior hit three 3-pointers and was 8-of-14 overall from the field.  Byrd added 15 points and three assists, while Haywood handed out a career-high 11 assists. 

The Bulldogs continue GPAC play on the road at Hastings College (Jan. 11) and Morningside College (Jan. 14).

Birtell earns second GPAC honor of the season

9 January 2012

Concordia’s Porter Birtell picked up his second GPAC Player-of-the-Week honor of the season on Monday.  The junior post had back-to-back huge games this past week, as the Bulldogs went 1-1 against two of the top teams in the country.

Last Wednesday, Birtell (Madison, Neb.) had a career night in Concordia’s 94-75 road win over then #14 Northwestern College.  Birtell scored a career-best 37 points in the Bulldog victory.  He was a perfect 12-of-12 from the field and 13-of-16 at the foul line on the night.  His performance helped Concordia pick up its first win in Orange City since the mid 90’s.

Birtell followed with another strong game this past weekend, as the Bulldogs nearly upset 2nd-ranked Dordt College.  He finished with game-highs in points (23) and rebounds (13) in the 87-83 overtime loss to the Defenders. 

For the week, Birtell was 23-of-30 from the field for 77 percent.  He leads Concordia so far this season in scoring (18.7), rebounding (8.3) and field goal percentage (64.2).  His field goal percentage leads the GPAC, while his 18.7 points per game is good for second in the GPAC, trailing only Jake Shipley’s (Briar Cliff) 18.9 points per game.   

Concordia (8-8, 4-5 GPAC) travels to Hastings College and Morningside College this week to continue conference play.

Bulldogs search for road win, travel to Hastings on Wednesday

10 January 2012

The Concordia men have played some good basketball over the past few weeks.  The Bulldogs will look for a road win on Wednesday evening when they travel to Hastings for an 8 p.m. contest against the Hastings College Broncos. 

Concordia is 8-8 overall and 4-5 in conference play.  The Bulldogs went 1-1 last week against two of the top teams in the country.  The Bulldogs picked up a 94-75 win over then 14th-ranked Northwestern.  The Bulldogs fell just short of another upset win on Saturday, as 2nd-ranked Dordt College held on for an 87-83 overtime win in Seward. 

Porter Birtell had a huge week for the Bulldogs and picked up his second GPAC Player-of-the-Week award for his efforts.  The junior post scored a career-high 37 points in CU’s win over Northwestern.  He was a perfect 12-of-12 from the field and 13-of-16 at the foul line, as the Red Raiders had no answers inside.  Birtell followed with 23 points and 13 rebounds (both game-highs) in Concordia’s near upset of Dordt College.  He leads Concordia in scoring and rebounding and is second in the GPAC with his 18.7 points per game.  Beau Smith and Joel Haywood also score in double figures for the Bulldogs, while both Tyler Byrd and Barrett Braun have increased their scoring in the past several games as well. 

Scouting the Broncos – Hastings College is 9-10 overall and 3-6 in GPAC play so far this season.  The Broncos went 1-1 last week, suffering a 98-77 loss at Dordt before picking up a 62-49 win over Mount Marty over the weekend.  Tobin Reinwald averages over 17 points per game to lead the way offensively.  Reinwald is 57.3 percent from the field overall and 54.1 percent from deep so far this year.  Jake Marvin adds over 15 points per game while shooting 59.3 percent from the field.  Brady Lollman also averages in double figures for Hastings with 12 points per game.  Lollman also ranks first in the NAIA in free throw percentage (95.1 percent). 

Up next for the Bulldogs – Concordia travels to Morningside College on Saturday.

Late 3-point play gives Hastings 69-68 win over Concordia

11 January 2012

A late 3-point play by Brady Lollman lifted Hastings College to a 69-68 men’s basketball win over Concordia on Wednesday evening in Hastings.  Concordia held a 68-66 lead with just 15 seconds remaining, but the Bulldogs were unable to get the final stop they needed.  Hastings improved to 10-10 (4-6 GPAC) with the victory.  Concordia dropped its second straight to fall to 8-9 (4-6 GPAC). 

The Bulldogs controlled play early on and led by eight on two separate occasions.  Concordia maintained a 7-point advantage (21-14) with just over 11 minutes remaining in the half.  Things got away from the Bulldogs, however, as Hastings answered with a 15-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 29-21 lead.  The Broncos built the lead to 13 (38-25).  A 7-0 run by Concordia pulled the Bulldogs within six (38-32) heading into halftime.  Concordia managed just 11-of-28 shooting overall (39.3 percent) and 4-of-14 shooting from deep (28.6 percent) in the opening 20 minutes of play. 

After Concordia pulled within two early in the second half, Hastings responded and held a lead of at least five for much of the half.  The Bulldogs rallied and pulled within three (66-63) on a pair of made free throws by Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) with less than three minutes remaining in the contest.  Following a turnover and missed jumper by the Broncos, Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) tied the game with a 3-pointer with just over a minute left in regulation. 

Both teams traded missed shots down the stretch, but Hastings got possession in search of a final shot.  Following two timeouts, Concordia’s Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) stole a pass and went the length of the court for a layup.  Vogt’s score gave Concordia a 68-66 advantage with 15 seconds to play.  Hastings didn’t call a timeout.  Lollman scored off the glass and was fouled with seven seconds remaining.  His free throw put the Broncos back on top.  A jumper by Vogt in the closing seconds was blocked by Jake Marvin, and the Broncos held on for the victory. 

Tobin Reinwald led four Hastings players in double figures with 15 points.  Lollman added 11, while Marvin and Dylan Flinn added 10 apiece.  Hastings was 24-of-60 (41.2 percent) from the field overall, 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) from deep and 16-of-20 (80 percent) at the foul line in the victory.  Hastings held a slim 35-31 rebounding advantage in the contest. 

Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.), who just earned his second GPAC Player-of-the-Week honor on Monday, had another solid game for the Bulldogs in a losing effort.  The junior posted game-highs with 20 points and 10 rebounds.  Birtell was 6-of-9 from the field and 8-of-10 at the foul line on the night.  Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) added 12 points on four 3-pointers, and Smith delivered 14 points and five boards.  Concordia finished the game at 41.5 percent from the field (22-of-53).  The Bulldogs were 9-of-22 from deep (40.9 percent) and 15-of-18 (83.3 percent) from the foul line. 

The Bulldogs continue GPAC play on the road at Morningside College this Saturday.

Bulldogs and Mustangs to clash on Saturday in Sioux City

12 January 2012

Following a pair of tough losses, the Concordia University men’s basketball team looks to rebound on the road this weekend.  The Bulldogs travel to Sioux City for a matchup with the Morningside College Mustangs.  Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m.

The Bulldogs picked up a big win over then 14th-ranked Northwestern last week.  Concordia followed that performance by almost knocking off Dordt College, the 2nd-ranked team in the nation, this past Saturday.  The Defenders held on for an 87-83 overtime victory.  Concordia suffered another difficult loss on Wednesday evening, as Hastings College used a late 3-point play to pick up a 69-68 win over the Bulldogs.  The loss dropped Concordia to 8-9 overall and 4-6 in conference play.  The Bulldogs are now in a 3-way tie for sixth place in the conference standings. 

Last meeting – Morningside handed Concordia a 77-71 loss back in early December.  Morningside led by as many as 18 in the contest, but the Mustangs needed some clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to hold on for the victory.  Morningside’s Garth Hamilton scored a game-high 27 points to lead the way, while Barrett Braun poured in 17 points for the Bulldogs. 

Scouting the Mustangs – Morningside is 11-8 overall and 6-4 in GPAC play entering the weekend.  The Mustangs have won three of their last four games, including an 81-59 blowout win over Mount Marty on Wednesday evening.  As a team, Morningside is third in the conference in scoring offense (77.9 points per game) and seventh in scoring defense (72 points per game).  Morningside has used a balanced offensive attack throughout the season.  Three Mustang players rank in the GPAC’s top 15 in scoring.  Danny Rudeen leads the team with 13.5 points per game, while Bryan Borchers (13 ppg) and Hamilton (12.9 ppg) have also been consistent scoring threats for the Mustangs. 

Up next – Concordia returns home to host Midland University on January 18.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Walz Complex.   

Mustangs pull away for 80-54 win over Concordia

14 January 2012

Morningside College controlled the second half and picked up an 80-54 GPAC men’s basketball win over Concordia on Saturday afternoon in Sioux City.  The Mustangs won their second straight to move to 12-8 overall (7-4 GPAC).  Concordia lost its third straight to fall to 8-10 overall and 4-7 in conference play. 

The Bulldogs led by as many as eight in the opening half.  The Mustangs used a 21-7 run to erase the Concordia lead, and Morningside took a 34-30 lead into halftime.  It didn’t take long for things to get out of hand in the second half, as the Mustangs built a double-digit lead (42-32) in the opening five minutes.  Concordia got a basket to pull within eight, but Morningside led by double figures the rest of the way.  The Mustangs poured it on and built the lead to 30 (80-50) before settling for the 26-point win. 

Morningside was a sizzling 29-of-56 (51.8 percent) from the field for the game.  The Mustangs went 9-of-19 (47.4 percent) from deep and 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) from the charity stripe.  Morningside had just 10 turnovers in the contest.  Strom Throne scored a game-high 19 points off the bench for the Mustangs.  Danny Rudeen added 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds. 

The Bulldogs struggled offensively in the loss, hitting just 20-of-62 shots (32.3 percent) while committing 21 turnovers.  Concordia was just 6-of-22 (27.3 percent) from deep.  Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) was the lone bright spot for the Bulldogs.  The junior had 18 points and 16 rebounds.  He was 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 at the foul line. 

Concordia hosts Midland University on January 18. 

Bulldogs look to hault losing streak, host Midland on Wednesday

17 January 2012

The Bulldog men’s basketball team is in the midst of a 3-game losing streak.  Concordia will look to get back on the winning track on Wednesday evening when they host Midland University.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex. 

Concordia dropped a pair of games last week to fall to 8-10 overall and 4-7 in conference play.  Hastings College rallied in the closing seconds for a 69-68 win over the Bulldogs last Wednesday.  Morningside College used a big second half to pull away for an 80-54 win over Concordia on Saturday.  The 54 points scored tied for the second lowest scoring output in a game this year for the Bulldogs.  Porter Birtell scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the loss to Morningside.  However, Birtell was the only Bulldog player in double figures. 

Scouting the Warriors – Midland is 11-8 overall and 6-5 in the GPAC entering Wednesday’s contest.  The Warriors, who received votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, pulled off a big 76-71 upset win over then 2nd-ranked Dordt College on Saturday.  Earlier last week, the Warriors fell just short (75-74) to then 21st-ranked Briar Cliff.  The Warriors defeated Concordia by the score of 70-57 in a game played in Fremont earlier this season.  Midland placed four players in double figures and shot 52 percent from the field in the win.  The Warriors are led by Donal Jones’ 11.6 points per game. 

Up next – Concordia hosts Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Bulldogs in need of win, host Dakota Wesleyan Saturday

20 January 2012

Following a disappointing few weeks, the Bulldog men’s basketball team is in need of a win.  They’ll get a chance to end their recent losing streak with a home game Saturday against Dakota Wesleyan.  Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Since a big 94-75 win on the road at Northwestern, Concordia has dropped four straight.  The last two losses have come by 20+ points.  In both games, things really got away from the Bulldogs in the second half.  Concordia has struggled offensively in each of the last few losses.  In Wednesday’s loss to Midland, Concordia scored a season-low 46 points.  Barrett Braun was the only Bulldog to reach double figures.  Concordia totaled 20 turnovers and went just 16-of-53 overall from the field for 30.2 percent. 

Last meeting – Porter Birtell scored 36 points to help Concordia to an 80-78 overtime win over DWU back in early December.  Birtell was 11-of-15 from the field and 14-of-18 at the free throw line.  The Tigers hurt themselves with poor free throw shooting.  DWU was just 13-of-23 at the foul line in the close loss. 

Scouting the Tigers – DWU brings a 12-9 overall record with a 4-7 conference mark into Saturday’s contest.  The Tigers have been strong on the road, however, posting a 7-3 road record so far this year.  DWU picked up a 78-75 victory over Hastings College on January 15.  Mike Lee and Jalen Voss have led the way offensively for the Tigers so far this year.  Lee averages a team-best 14.3 points per game, while Voss adds 10.9 points per game for what has been a balanced DWU attack.  A total of seven DWU players average at least six points per game. 

Up next – Concordia hosts Doane College on January 25.

Bulldogs snap losing skid with 67-62 win over Dakota Wesleyan

21 January 2012

For the second time this season, a Concordia and Dakota Wesleyan game came down to the wire.  Saturday produced the same result as the earlier season matchup, as Concordia picked up a 67-62 men’s basketball win over the Tigers on Saturday in Seward.  Concordia, who entered Saturday’s contest on a recent losing streak, improved to 9-11 overall and 5-8 in conference play.  DWU dropped to 12-10 overall and 4-8 in the GPAC. 

Neither team led by more than five in what was a very defensive oriented first half.  DWU was just 10-of-26 from the field, while Concordia managed just 9-of-27 shooting in the opening 20 minutes.  The Bulldogs were also just 1-of-11 from deep in the first half.  Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) provided a big spark off the Bulldog bench with 11 points in the half, and Concordia took a 26-23 lead into halftime. 

There were multiple ties and lead changes in the opening minutes of the second half.  The visiting Tigers rallied to lead by four on multiple occasions, but back-to-back layups by Brent Houchin (Bruning, Neb.) and Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) again tied the game at 48-48 with just over five minutes remaining. 

The teams again traded leads, and another layup by Birtell tied the score once again (56-56) with less than two minutes remaining.  Following a pair of missed free throws by DWU, Birtell scored on a 3-point play to put the Bulldogs up by three (59-56) with less than a minute to play.  In need of a stop, the Bulldogs forced a turnover to get the ball back.  Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) was fouled and knocked down both free throws to push the lead to five with 30 seconds to play. 

DWU didn’t go away, and a 3-pointer by Carder Pennington pulled the Tigers within two with 20 seconds remaining.  From there, the Bulldogs closed the game at the foul line.  Haywood knocked down two more, while Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) and Dunbar also knocked down free throws in the closing seconds.  The Bulldogs held on for the 67-62 win. 

For the game, Concordia was 21-of-55 from the field for 38.2 percent.  The Bulldogs were just 7-of-21 from deep, but free throw shooting was the story of the game.  Concordia was a perfect 18-of-18 at the foul line in the win.  Birtell scored a team-high 14 points.  Dunbar added 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists.  Dunbar was a perfect 6-of-6 at the foul line.  Smith added a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.  Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) added nine points (3-of-5 shooting from deep) off the bench. 

“Tonight’s win started on the defensive end,” remarked Charles Dunbar.  “Our defense kept us in the game tonight when our offense struggled early.  We did a great job rebounding tonight, and our team defense was pretty good.  Offensively, we just need to continue to move the ball and then create turnovers on defense.  We had some guys who sparked us tonight, and we really needed this win tonight.” 

Mike Lee scored a game-high 15 for DWU on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.  Kris Wilson added 11 for the Tigers. 

Concordia hosts Doane College this Wednesday evening.

Doane starters combine for 100 points in 102-93 win over Concordia

26 January 2012

Concordia placed five players in double figures, but Austin Benson and the Doane Tigers proved to be too much for the Bulldogs to handle on Wednesday evening in Seward.  The Doane starters accounted for 100 points on the night, and the Tigers picked up a 102-93 GPAC men’s basketball win to improve to 10-12 (5-9 GPAC).  Concordia dropped to 9-12 (5-9 GPAC). 

The game remained tightly contested through much of the first half, as there were three ties and six lead changes in the opening 20 minutes.  The Tigers built a 12-point lead (33-21), however, with less than six minutes to play.  Concordia made a run late in the half to cut the Doane lead to seven (41-34) heading into halftime.  Both teams were decent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, but free throw shooting proved to be the difference.  The Tigers were 11-of-15 at the line, while Concordia made just five free throws in the half. 

In the second half, the Bulldogs made multiple runs to stay in the game.  Concordia trailed by 10 (63-53) with 12 minutes to play, but a 9-0 Bulldog run cut the Doane lead to one (63-62) with 10 minutes left in the contest.  The Tigers responded with a 15-4 run, and a 3-pointer by Jens Scholl gave Doane a 78-66 lead with 6:41 to play. 

Concordia didn’t go away, and the Bulldogs pulled within three on two separate occasions down the stretch.  Back-to-back layups by Scholl pushed the Tiger lead back to five.  He added a free throw for a 3-point play to give the Tigers an 85-79 lead.  The Bulldogs pulled back within four on a layup by Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.), but Doane again had the answer.  Bryan Meyer knocked down a 3-pointer to push the Tiger lead back to seven, and Doane pulled away with solid free throw shooting down the stretch. 

Both teams shot the ball extremely well from the field.  Doane was 30-of-57 overall for 52.6 percent, while Concordia was 34-of-62 for 54.8 percent.  Both teams knocked down 12 3-pointers on the night, but Doane was 54.5 percent from deep, hitting 12-of-22 in the win.  The Tigers also held a commanding lead at the free throw line.  Doane was 30-of-37 for 81.1 percent.  Austin Benson had a huge night for the Tigers in the win.  He scored 32 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field overall and 7-of-8 shooting from deep.  Scholl added 26 points and nine rebounds, while Josh Riser had 23 points and nine assists.  Scholl and Riser combined to go 23-of-26 at the foul line.  Meyer also reached double figures with 13. 

Dunbar scored a team-best 20 points off the bench for Concordia in the loss.  Dunbar also added six rebounds and five assists.  Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) hit six 3-pointers and had 19 points off the bench, while Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) and Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) added 16 points apiece.  Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) chipped in with 12 points and four assists.  The Bulldog bench held a 39-2 scoring advantage over the Doane bench. 

Concordia travels to the Concordia Invitational Tournament in Chicago on Friday and Saturday.

Bulldog men look for first CIT championship since 2009

26 January 2012

The Bulldog men’s basketball team looks to regain some momentum in this year’s Concordia Invitational Tournament.  It has been a struggle for the Bulldogs as of late.  Concordia has dropped five of its last six games, including a 102-93 setback to Doane College on Wednesday evening.  Concordia takes a 9-12 overall record into this weekend’s tournament.  The Bulldogs open CIT play against CU-Ann Arbor on Friday at 3:15.  CU-Chicago, this year’s host school, will provide a live webcast as well as live stats for all tournament games.  The links can be found below or on the CIT page. 

Last season, the Bulldogs struggled at the CIT.  Concordia took a 13-7 record into last year’s CIT but suffered losses to CU-Chicago (71-58) and CU-Wisconsin (86-66).  The Bulldogs last claimed the CIT championship in 2009. 

Scouting the Cardinals – CU-Ann Arbor is 12-10 overall on the season entering the CIT.  The Cardinals bring a 3-game winning streak to Chicago.  Rocko Holmes (18 ppg) and John Schaeffer (13 ppg) lead the way offensively for a Cardinal team that averages 74 points per game on the season. 

Up Next – A win against CU-Ann Arbor would advance the Bulldogs to Saturday’s CIT championship game scheduled for 7:15 p.m.  A loss would put the Bulldogs in Saturday’s consolation game at 2:15 p.m.

Concordia men advance to CIT championship with 78-74 win over CU-Ann Arbor

27 January 2012

The Bulldog men’s basketball team picked up a 78-74 win over CU-Ann Arbor in the opening round of the Concordia Invitational Tournament.  Concordia, now 10-12 on the season, advanced to Saturday’s CIT championship game with the victory.  CU-Ann Arbor dropped to 12-11 with the loss. 

The Dogs led by as many as six in the opening half, but CU-Ann Arbor took a slim 27-25 lead into halftime.  Both teams struggled from the field in the opening 20 minutes.  CU-Ann Arbor was just 8-of-30 (26.7 percent) overall and 1-of-7 from deep, while CU-Nebraska was 11-of-30 (36.7 percent) overall and 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) from deep in the half.  Free throw shooting was the difference early, as the Cardinals went a perfect 10-for-10 at the charity stripe in the half.  The Bulldogs, on the other hand, went just 1-for-2 from the line in the first 20 minutes. 

CU-Ann Arbor threatened to pull away early in the second half.  The Cardinals took their biggest lead of the game (34-28) on a jumper by Andrew Patrick with 17:36 remaining in the contest.  From there, however, the Bulldogs went on a key 17-4 run to take control of the contest.  A 3-point play by Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) gave the Bulldogs a 41-38 advantage.  A layup by Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) and jumper by Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) increased the advantage to 45-38 with less than 14 minutes to play. 

The Bulldogs then built a double-digit advantage and still led by 10 (65-55) with less than five minutes to play.  The Cardinals didn’t go away quietly, however, and a pair of made free throws pulled CU-Ann Arbor back within three (67-64) with 3:23 left in regulation.  The Cardinals kept the pressure on down the stretch and trailed by just three on multiple occasions.  The Bulldogs closed out the win with solid free throw shooting in the closing minute.  Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) and Dunbar combined to hit 7-of-8 at the foul line in the final minute, and the Bulldogs held on for the 78-74 win. 

Birtell and Smith each had big days to lead the way for the Bulldogs in the win.  The duo combined for 45 points on 18-of-26 shooting from the field.  Birtell had a big double-double of 29 points and 11 rebounds in just 24 minutes of action, while Smith chipped in with 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists.  Dunbar added 10 points and three assists off the bench, while Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) dished out a game-best six assists.  The Bulldogs were 16-of-28 from the field and 20-of-23 at the foul line in the final half of play. 

CU-Ann Arbor got balanced scoring and placed four of their five starters in double figures.  Rocko Holmes scored 18 points and grabbed nine boards.  John Schaeffer added 17 points, while Andrew Patrick (13 points) and Aaron Olsen (10 points) also reached double digits for the Cardinals. 

The Bulldogs will face either CU-Chicago or CU-Wisconsin in Saturday’s CIT championship contest.  Tip is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

Smith's late 3-pointer lifts Bulldogs to 69-67 CIT championship win over CU-Wisconsin

28 January 2012

It was a clean sweep for the CU-Nebraska basketball teams, as the Bulldog men earned a 69-67 win over CU-Wisconsin in the championship game of the 2012 Concordia Invitational Tournament on Saturday evening.  Beau Smith’s late 3-pointer lifted the Bulldogs to the championship.  The Bulldogs improved to 11-12 on the year.  CU-Wisconsin dropped to 14-5 with the loss. 

CU-Wisconsin came out firing in the first half.  The Falcons took a 10-3 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by Luke Doedens, and the Bulldogs were forced to take the early timeout.  The Bulldogs rallied, however, and the rest of the half was tightly contested.  The Bulldogs took a 31-29 lead with just 30 seconds remaining in the half, but a tip-in by CU-Wisconsin’s Garret Wenzelburger tied the game at 31-31 heading into halftime. 

Neither team led by more than four points in the second half.  The Bulldogs held a 62-58 lead with just over four minutes remaining.  The Falcons rallied with five straight points, and a 3-pointer by Mitchell Schneider gave CU-Wisconsin a 63-62 lead with 2:37 left in regulation.  The Bulldogs used offensive rebounds to reclaim the lead.  Both Smith (McKinney, Texas) and Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) missed shots, but another offensive rebound and put back by Smith gave the Bulldogs a 64-63 lead. 

The Falcons quickly responded with a pair of made free throws, but the Dogs responded with a big bucket inside by Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.).  Late in the shot clock, Birtell powered his way to the hoop, and his layup reclaimed the lead (66-65) for the Bulldogs with a minute to play.  The Bulldogs played solid defense on CU-Wisconsin’s next possession, but Doedens knocked down a tough jumper to give the Falcons a 67-66 lead with 44 seconds left to play. 

The Bulldogs called a timeout but again were forced to work their offense against the shot clock.  Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) found Smith open at the head of the key, and the junior forward knocked down the 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs the 69-67 advantage with 13 seconds remaining.  With a chance to tie or potentially take the lead, the Falcons couldn’t connect.  The Bulldog defense again forced a tough jumper.  Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) secured the defensive rebound and was fouled.  Braun missed the front end of the one-and-one, but CU-Wisconsin had just 1.4 seconds remaining.  Smith intercepted the attempted pass to secure the CIT championship for the Bulldogs. 

Offensively, the Bulldogs were 25-of-61 (41 percent) overall, 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) from deep, and 11-of-18 (61.1 percent) from the foul line.  The Bulldogs totaled 19 offensive rebounds and held a commanding 49-33 overall rebounding advantage in the contest.  Four of the five starters reached double figures.  Smith led the way with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field.  Birtell, Byrd and Haywood contributed 11 points apiece.  Haywood and Byrd combined for eight assists on the night.  Following the game, both Smith and Birtell were named to the CIT All-Tournament Team.  Smith was named Tournament MVP. 

CU-Wisconsin was 25-of-60 (41.7 percent) overall and 10-of-25 (40 percent) from deep in the loss.  Free throw shooting cost the Falcons the game, as CU-Wisconsin was just 7-of-17 from the line for 41.2 percent.  Doedens scored a game-high 21 points, while Schneider hit five 3-pointers and added 19 for the Falcons. 

GPAC play resumes this week.  The Bulldogs travel to Nebraska Wesleyan before returning home to host Northwestern College on February 4.

2012 CIT All-Tournament Team

Charles Gordon, Concordia-Chicago
Andrew Patrick, Concordia-Ann Arbor
Luke Doedens, Concordia-Wisconsin
Porter Birtell, Concordia Nebraska
Beau Smith, Concordia Nebraska (MVP)

Bulldogs bring CIT title back to Seward, Schmidt ties Pederson for most CIT Championships

31 January 2012

The Bulldog men’s basketball team picked up a pair of impressive wins over the weekend to claim the 2012 CIT Championship.  The Bulldogs earned the championship with wins over CU-Ann Arbor (78-74) and CU-Wisconsin (69-67).  Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) and Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) were named to the CIT All-Tournament Team.  Smith earned Tournament MVP honors after knocking down the game-winning 3-pointer in the championship game. 

“It was a clearly stated goal of this year’s team that we wanted to win the CIT Championship,” said Concordia head coach Grant Schmidt.  “We felt we didn’t give our best effort at last year’s tournament, so it became a top goal from day one to do a better job this year.  It’s a credit to our players for achieving that goal.  In all honesty, that was the hardest our team has played all year.  Our kids were very deserving of the Championship.”  

It’s the 24th men’s title for CU-Nebraska in the tournament that began in 1951.  Schmidt has now coached 16 CIT Championship teams, which ties Eldon Pederson (CU-St. Louis) for most in tournament history.  The Bulldog men’s program has amassed a 75-47 overall record in the Concordia Invitational Tournament.  The 75 overall wins and 24 championships won by Bulldog teams are tops in CIT history.  CU-Chicago is second in total wins (60), while CU-St. Louis is second with 16 total championships.

“Well, coaching 16 different CIT championship teams verifies that I’m getting older and not younger,” joked Schmidt.  “It’s really a credit to the program, though.  That consistency is a result of the current and past players as well as the success and tradition the program has had.  That tradition has continued to be passed down and cherished by all the players in our program year in and year out.”

Bulldogs travel to Nebraska Wesleyan Wednesday in search of third straight win

31 January 2012

After bringing the CIT championship back to Seward, the Bulldog men’s basketball team will look to carry momentum back into conference play.  Concordia makes the short trip to Lincoln on Wednesday for a matchup with Nebraska Wesleyan.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Lincoln. 

The Bulldogs picked up a pair of impressive wins (78-74 over CU-Ann Arbor and 69-67 over CU-Wisconsin) to win the 24th CIT championship for the Bulldog men’s basketball program.  Beau Smith’s late 3-pointer lifted the Dogs to the thrilling 69-67 win over CU-Wisconsin in the championship game.  The wins improved Concordia to 11-12 on the season. 

Concordia has some work to do in GPAC play, however, as the Bulldogs are just 5-9 in conference games so far this year.  With upcoming games against #13 Northwestern College, #15 Briar Cliff, and #5 Dordt College, the Bulldogs are in big need of a victory on Wednesday evening to improve their positioning in the GPAC standings.  Concordia is tied for eighth with their 5-9 record.  Nebraska Wesleyan and Doane are right behind with a 5-10 conference mark. 

Scouting the Prairie Wolves – NWU is 9-11 overall and 5-10 in GPAC play.  It’s been a tough year for the Prairie Wolves, but a few impressive wins as of late could give NWU some confidence heading into Wednesday’s matchup.  Wesleyan has wins over then 5th-ranked Dordt (95-84) and Midland University (72-69) in the past few weeks.  Eric Jackson (11.6 ppg) and Trevor Johnson (11.2 ppg) lead the way for NWU offensively. 

Last meeting – Concordia held on for a 70-65 win over NWU back in November.  Adam Vogt hit seven 3-pointers, and Beau Smith scored 19 for the Bulldogs.  Andy Schweitzer scored a team-best 17 points for NWU in the loss. 

Up next – Concordia hosts #13 Northwestern College on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Bulldogs win third straight, use big second half to pick up 67-47 win over NWU

1 February 2012

Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) sparked a key 14-0 run in the second half to help lift the Bulldog men’s basketball team to a 67-47 win over Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday evening in Lincoln.  The Bulldogs turned a close game into a lopsided win to improve to 12-12 (6-9) on the season.  Nebraska Wesleyan fell to 9-12 (5-11 GPAC). 

The first half was rough offensively for both squads.  Wesleyan led by as many as five (17-12), but the Bulldogs rallied late in the half to take a slim 22-21 lead into halftime.  Concordia was 9-of-25 (36 percent) from the field overall, while NWU was just 9-of-29 for 31 percent.  Neither team hit from behind the arc (Concordia was 0-of-3; Wesleyan was 0-of-4) in the opening half of play, and the teams combined for just nine free throws in the opening 20 minutes. 

The game remained tightly contested through the first eight minutes of the second half.  A layup by Bryce Arp gave NWU a 34-33 lead with 11:59 remaining.  It was the last lead of the game for the Prairie Wolves, however, as Concordia rattled off the next 14 points to take a 47-34 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the contest.  Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) scored eight points in the Bulldog scoring run. 

Concordia kept the pressure on for the rest of the game.  Wesleyan would get no closer than 11 the rest of the way, and the Bulldogs led by as many as 21 (67-46) in the closing minutes.  Following a slow first half, Concordia shot a blistering 61.9 percent from the field (13-of-21) in the second half.  The Bulldogs hit all four of their 3-point attempts and were 15-of-18 (83.3 percent) in the final half of play. 

The Bulldogs held a 39-35 rebounding advantage.  Defensively, Concordia limited NWU to 18-of-62 shooting from the field for 29 percent.  The Prairie Wolves were just 9-of-33 overall (27.3 percent) and 0-of-10 from deep in the second half.  Wesleyan was 0-of-14 from deep in the loss. 

Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) had a big double-double to lead the way offensively for the Dogs.  The junior post scored 19 points and added 10 rebounds on the night.  He was 8-of-10 from the field and also added three blocks.  Vogt added 14 points off the bench in just 23 minutes of action, while Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) chipped in with 13 points.  Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) also provided a spark off the Bulldog bench with nine points and four assists. 

Trevor Johnson and Eric Jackson scored 11 points apiece for the Prairie Wolves. 

Concordia returns home this Saturday to host #13 Northwestern College.  Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Fan Appreciation Day at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Concordia searches for fourth straight win, hosts #13 Northwestern on Saturday

2 February 2012

The Concordia University men’s basketball team begins a stretch of three straight games against ranked opponents on Saturday when they host 13th-ranked Northwestern College.  The Bulldogs won the Concordia Invitational Tournament last weekend and earned their third straight win with a 67-47 victory over Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday.  Concordia is 12-12 overall and 6-9 in GPAC play.  The Bulldogs currently sit in a 3-way tie for sixth place in the GPAC standings. 

Junior post Porter Birtell continues to lead the way for the Bulldogs.  Birtell is second in the GPAC in scoring (18.1 ppg) and first in the conference in rebounding (8.7).  Beau Smith is the only other Bulldog to rank in the GPAC’s top 20 in scoring with 11.7 points per game.  The Bulldogs will need more balance with upcoming games against #13 Northwestern, #15 Briar Cliff, and #5 Dordt College.  That balance helped the Bulldogs to their current 3-game winning streak. 

Scouting the Red Raiders – Northwestern brings a 17-6 overall record (10-5 GPAC) into Saturday’s contest with the Bulldogs.  The Raiders are third in the GPAC standings but are coming off an 86-72 loss to 5th-ranked Dordt on Wednesday.  Northwestern ranks second in the GPAC in scoring offense (81.2 ppg) but is dead last in the conference in scoring defense (76.6 ppg).  In terms of conference rankings, three players rank in the top 15 in scoring.  Ben Miller leads the team with 13.4 points per game.  Stuart Goslinga (13.2 ppg) and Walker Seim (12.9 ppg) add scoring punch to a very balanced Northwestern attack. 

Last meeting – Concordia upset then 14th-ranked Northwestern by the score of 94-75 back on January 4.  The Bulldogs led 49-29 at halftime and maintained control throughout the second half.  Porter Birtell and Joel Haywood combined for 59 points, and the Bulldogs shot 55 percent from the field.  Birtell scored 37 points on 12-of-12 shooting from the field. 

Fan Appreciation Day details - Concordia salutes its fans for years of support and partnership. There will be free ice cream treats from 3-4:30 along with free stadium seat rental. Wild Chiropractic will sponsor the event. 

Broadcast – The Concordia Sports Network will provide a live audio broadcast of Saturday’s contest.  Keegan Bloomfield will call all the action from the Walz Complex.

Up next – Concordia travels to #15 Briar Cliff on February 8.

Birtell scores 1,000th career point

2 February 2012

Porter Birtell moved into the Concordia University 1,000-point club during Concordia’s 67-47 win over Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday evening.  The post scored 19 points and helped the Bulldogs to their third straight win.  He now sits at 1,002 career points in just his junior year. 

Birtell (Madison, Neb.), a transfer from Wayne State College, has enjoyed an impressive career for the Bulldogs.  He opened his career as a second team All-GPAC performer after posting averages of 11.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in the 2009-10 season.  He earned honorable mention All-GPAC recognition as a sophomore after averaging 11.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. 

So far in his junior season, Birtell leads Concordia and is second in the GPAC with 18.1 points per game.  Birtell also leads the conference in overall rebounding (8.7 per game) and offensive rebounding (3.7 per game).  He put together his best two collegiate performances earlier this season against Dakota Wesleyan and Northwestern College.  He scored 36 points to lift Concordia to an 80-78 overtime win over DWU on December 10.  He poured in a career-high 37 points and was a perfect 12-of-12 from the field in CU’s 94-75 victory over Northwestern on January 4. 

Other impressive statistics from this season include Birtell’s field goal percentage and minutes played.  Birtell is 164-of-252 from the field for a GPAC-leading 65.1 percent.  He also leads Concordia and is seventh in the conference with 31.4 minutes per game.  Birtell already has 10 double-doubles on the season and has earned two GPAC Player-of-the-Week awards this year.

Birtell and the Bulldogs are 12-12 (6-9 GPAC) on the season.  Concordia hosts #13 Northwestern College on Saturday before upcoming games at #15 Briar Cliff and #5 Dordt College.

Seim and Kramer combine for 57, Northwestern picks up 91-80 win over Concordia

7 February 2012

A horrible start and some defensive lapses in the second half proved costly, as 14th-ranked Northwestern secured a 91-80 men’s basketball win over Concordia on Monday evening in Seward.  Despite trailing 15-2 early, Concordia (12-13, 6-10 GPAC) rallied and led by as many as eight in the second half.  The combination of Walker Seim and Jon Kramer proved to be too much, however, and the Raiders pulled away for the win. 

Concordia managed just four points in the opening four minutes of the game, and the visiting Raiders took full advantage, jumping out to the quick double-digit lead.  The Bulldogs didn’t reach double figures until there was less than nine minutes remaining in the half, and the Raiders built their lead to 19.  The Bulldogs used a late rally to pull within nine (38-29) heading into halftime. 

The Bulldogs chipped away at the Raider lead early in the second half and finally pulled even (52-52) with less than 11 minutes remaining in the contest.  Concordia took a 64-56 lead on a 3-pointer by Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.), but the Raiders had the answer.  Northwestern tied the game at 69-69, and a quick 9-0 run put the Raiders in front by the score of 78-69 with less than three minutes remaining.  Seim scored all nine points for the Raiders in the run, including a 4-point play and 3-point play on back-to-back offensive trips.  Northwestern (18-6, 11-5 GPAC) held a double-digit lead for much of the rest of the game and settled for the 91-80 win. 

Northwestern placed four players in double figures.  Seim led the way with 34 points and 10 rebounds.  He was 8-of-14 from the field and 15-of-16 at the foul line.  Kramer added 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting on the night.  Daniel Van Kalsbeek (12 points) and Zack Leeper (10 points) also reached double figures for the Raiders.  Northwestern totaled 45 free throw attempts on the evening and held a 46-38 rebounding advantage. 

Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) led four Concordia players in double figures with 16 points.  The freshman was a perfect 7-of-7 at the foul line.  Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) added 15 points and seven rebounds.  He was 7-of-8 from the field.  Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) added 14 points, while Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) scored 10 off the bench for the Bulldogs. 

Concordia travels to #16 Briar Cliff University on Wednesday evening.

GPAC's top two scorers on display, Bulldog men travel to Briar Cliff on Wednesday

7 February 2012

Following a 91-80 home loss to 14th-ranked Northwestern on Monday, the Bulldog men’s basketball team travels to Sioux City for a Wednesday evening matchup against 16th-ranked Briar Cliff.  It will be a battle of the GPAC’s top two scorers, as BCU’s Jake Shipley (18.6 ppg) and Concordia’s Porter Birtell (18 ppg) will look to lead their teams to a victory.     

Where – Sioux City, Iowa (Newman Flanagan Center)
When – Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Broadcast – The Charger Sports Network will cover the game with a live audio and/or video broadcast at the following link - http://www.bcuchargers.com/f/BC360.php

Scouting the Bulldogs – Concordia (12-13, 6-10 GPAC) had its 3-game winning streak snapped with Monday’s home loss to Northwestern College.  The Bulldogs placed four players in double figures, but that was not enough to offset huge nights by Northwestern’s Walker Seim (34 points) and Jon Kramer (23 points).  Concordia’s home record dropped to 3-6 with the loss.  Northwestern was the first of three straight ranked opponents for the Bulldogs, as Concordia travels to 4th-ranked Dordt on February 11.

Scouting the Chargers – BCU has won two straight to sit at 18-7 overall and 12-4 in GPAC play.  The Chargers are second in the conference standings, trailing only Dordt College (14-3 GPAC).  BCU’s recent wins have not been easy.  The Chargers defeated Doane by six (77-71) and Mount Marty by seven (68-61) in the past week.  Jake Shipley leads the way for a balanced BCU attack.  The wing leads the GPAC in scoring with 18.6 points per game. 

Last meeting – Concordia led by double figures early, but Briar Cliff pulled away for an 86-74 win back in early December.  The Chargers shot over 50 percent from the field overall and from behind the arc in the win.  Shipley hit five 3-pointers and scored a team-best 22 points to pace Briar Cliff, while Birtell poured in a game-high 27 points (11-of-14 shooting) for Concordia in a losing effort. 

Up next – The Bulldogs travel to Sioux Center for a matchup with Dordt College on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Second half rally not enough, Bulldogs suffer 71-65 loss to #16 Briar Cliff

8 February 2012

Concordia University outscored Briar Cliff by eight in the second half, but the rally wasn’t enough.  BCU, the 16th-ranked team in the NAIA, held on for a 71-65 men’s basketball win on Wednesday evening in Sioux City.  In a game featuring the GPAC’s top two scorers (CU’s Porter Birtell and BCU’s Jake Shipley), Taylor Murren’s 18 points helped lift the host Chargers to the win. 

Briar Cliff (19-7, 13-4 GPAC) led for much of the first half, and a 3-pointer by Murren gave the Chargers a 43-30 halftime lead.  The Chargers hit five 3-pointers and were 10-of-11 at the foul line in the opening 20 minutes. 

Concordia (12-14, 6-11 GPAC) hung around and chipped away at the deficit throughout the first 10 minutes of the second half.  A jumper by Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) tied the game at 49-49, and a 3-pointer by Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) gave the Bulldogs their first lead (52-49) since early in the first half.  There were multiple ties and lead changes over the next few minutes, but a Michael Collison layup reclaimed the lead for BCU (56-54) with less than six minutes remaining.  The Chargers would lead the rest of the way.  Back-to-back 3-pointers by Tim Loan and Murren kept the Chargers in front, and Briar Cliff held on for the win. 

For the game, Briar Cliff was 20-of-53 from the field for 37.7 percent.  The Chargers hit seven 3-pointers and were 24-of-31 (77.4 percent) at the foul line.  Murren hit four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 18 points for BCU.  Shipley, the GPAC’s leading scorer, finished with 12 points on just 3-of-9 shooting from the field.  Zach Otting added 10 points off the bench, while Collison posted totals of eight points and six rebounds.  The Charger bench held a 24-13 scoring advantage over the Bulldog bench. 

Concordia was 24-of-54 from the field for 44.4 percent.  The Bulldogs were 6-of-13 from deep and 11-of-14 at the foul line.  Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) went 5-of-6 (3-of-4 from deep) from the field and scored a team-best 15 points.  The senior also finished with a game-best five assists.  Haywood and Birtell added 12 points apiece, and Birtell grabbed seven boards on the night. 

Things don’t get any easier for the Bulldogs.  Concordia travels to 4th-ranked Dordt College on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Sioux Center.

Bulldogs look for upset, visit #4 Dordt College on Saturday

11 February 2012

Concordia University will look to upset one of the top teams in the NAIA on Saturday, as the Bulldogs take on 4th-ranked Dordt College.  Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Sioux Center, Iowa.  A video webcast and live stats will be available through the Dordt athletics website at the link below. 

Concordia University (12-14, 6-11 GPAC) vs. #4 Dordt College (24-3, 15-3 GPAC)
When – 4 p.m.
Where – Sioux Center, Iowa
Webcast - http://www.dordt.edu/athletics/
Live Stats - http://www.dordt.edu/athletics/
Last Meeting – Dordt 87, Concordia 83 (OT) on January 7, 2012
Up Next – The Bulldogs host Hastings College on Feb. 15 @ 8 p.m.

Dordt College tops Concordia, Bulldogs suffer third loss of the week

11 February 2012

Dordt College, the 4th-ranked team in the NAIA, got 22 points from Chris Sievers and pulled away for an 85-68 men’s basketball win over Concordia on Saturday afternoon in Sioux Center.  The Bulldogs tried to rally in the second half, but the Defenders were too much to handle down the stretch.  Dordt clinched at least a share of the GPAC Championship and improved to 25-3 (16-3 GPAC) on the year.  Concordia suffered its third loss of the week to fall to 12-15 overall and 6-12 in conference play. 

Neither team led by more than three in the opening nine minutes of the contest.  The Defenders opened a 23-19 lead on a 3-point play by Chris Sievers with 10:25 left in the half.  Sievers added another bucket in the paint, and a 3-pointer by Austin Katje gave Dordt a 28-21 lead.  A pair of made free throws by Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) snapped the Defender scoring run.  Later in the half, the Defenders built their lead to eight (35-27) on a 3-pointer by Shawn Keizer.  Concordia rallied and pulled within two, but Dordt closed the half with a run.  The Defenders scored the final eight points of the half and took a 43-33 lead into halftime. 

Dordt connected on five 3-pointers and shot 16-of-30 (53.3 percent) from the field overall in the opening 20 minutes.  Sievers scored 12 points, and Katje added nine points in the first half.  Dordt had just one turnover in the first half.  Concordia, which finished 11-of-26 (42.3 percent) from the field, was led by Tyler Byrd’s (Bennington, Neb.) nine first half points. 

The host Defenders built the lead to 14 on multiple occasions early in the second half, but the Bulldogs didn’t go away.  Concordia scored eight straight to pull within six (49-43) with 15:30 remaining.  The Bulldogs pulled within five twice over the next 10 minutes of play, but that’s as close as they would get.  The Defenders led by double figures for the final three minutes and secured the 85-68 win. 

For the game, Dordt was a solid 30-of-59 (50.8 percent) from the field.  Sievers finished with a game-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field.  Jordan Vogel added 16 points, while Trevor Wolterstorff delivered 14 on 5-of-8 shooting for the Defenders.  Dordt took great care of the basketball and finished with just three turnovers in the win. 

Concordia finished 23-of-51 from the field for 45.1 percent.  The Bulldogs were 7-of-18 from deep and 15-of-18 at the foul line.  Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) went 6-of-12 from the field and scored a team-high 15 points.  Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) added 12 points but had just five field goal attempts in the contest.  Haywood added 10 points for the Bulldogs.  Concordia totaled 15 turnovers in the loss.   

GPAC play continues on Wednesday for the Bulldogs, as Concordia hosts Hastings College.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Byrd joins Concordia 1,000 point club to add to impressive list of accomplishments

12 February 2012

Concordia University senior guard Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) has enjoyed a very impressive career over the past four years.  He has earned multiple conference and national honors during his Bulldog career.   

Byrd’s senior year has not been easy, as early injuries held him back in the first month of the season.  He has improved throughout the year, however, and Byrd reached his latest milestone back in January.  Byrd eclipsed 1,000 career points during Concordia’s 87-83 overtime loss to Dordt College back in early January.  Byrd has now scored 1,073 points in his Bulldog career, a career that has been impressive both on and off the court. 

Besides his on-court success, Byrd has earned Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors and has been a team leader over the past few seasons.  The native of Bennington, Neb., averaged over 11 points per game and led Concordia in assists during his sophomore season.  Last year, Byrd raised his scoring average to 13 points per game while leading the team in both assists (107) and steals (36).  He earned GPAC Player of the Week honors during the year.  His postseason accolades included first team All-GPAC and honorable mention All-American honors.  Byrd was also named to the NABC Honors Court following his junior campaign. 

Byrd and the Bulldogs host Hastings College and Mount Marty College in the coming week.

Bulldogs recover from slow start to put away Hastings, 89-79

15 February 2012

Five players scored in double figures as Concordia University, Nebraska men’s basketball team picked up a come from behind win over Hastings College, 89-79, Wednesday night in Seward.

Concordia (13-15, 7-12 GPAC), snapped a three-game losing streak, and bolstered their chances of making the GPAC tournament with the win over Hastings (12-17, 6-13 GPAC). The Broncos have dropped six of their last seven contests.

Early on it was the Broncos who had the hot hand, as they jumped out to a 12-point lead midway through the first half. Hastings shot 50 percent from the field in the opening frame and buried a total of six three-point field goals, including a pair off the bench by Drew Danielson.

The Bulldogs were able to chip away at the Hastings lead, in the final two minutes of the half behind the play of Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) and Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.). Byrd buried a triple and hit one of two free throws to cut the lead to six with 1:32 left in the half. Then, after a Bronco bucket, Vogt scored in transition and was fouled, after a nifty pass from Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.). Vogt sank the free throw and the Bulldogs trailed 38-33 at intermission.

Concordia picked things up offensively in the second half. Early on the damage was done inside, with Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) scoring the first six points of the second half for the Bulldogs to get within one, 40-39. Hastings answered, pushing the lead back to seven with 13:52 remaining.

The Bulldogs went on an 11-4 run over the next three minutes to tie the game, 52-52, with 11:49 remaining. The surge was capped by three consecutive long-range field goals by Barrett Braun.

Hastings was able to tie the game once the rest of the way and was within a bucket with 6:21 left, but never seriously threatened the rest of the way as Concordia opened up a double-digit lead down the stretch and hit 13 of 14 free throws in the final 2:11.  

Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Porter Birtell who finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) and Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) each tallied 16 points in the win, with Haywood dishing out five assists, while Braun has 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Other Bulldogs in double figures included Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) with 14 and Brent Houchin (Bruning, Neb.) with 10. Houchin came off the bench and shot 57 percent for the game and grabbed six boards.

Jake Marvin paced Hastings with 23 points while Tobin Reinwald chipped in with 18 and Dylan Finn added 10. As a team the Broncos made the most of the opportunities at the charity stripe, hitting on 13 out of 14 attempts.

The Bulldog closes out the regular season on Saturday against Mount Marty at the Walz Complex. Tip off is scheduled for 4 p.m. The Bulldogs can clinch a berth in the GPAC tournament with a win.

Bulldogs fail to finish off Mount Marty, lose 63-61 to the Lancers

18 February 2012

The Concordia Bulldogs suffered a heartbreaking 63-61 loss to the Mount Marty Lancers on Saturday, Feb. 18.  The Bulldogs ended their regular season with a 13-16 record and a 7-13 mark in GPAC play.  Mount Marty, meanwhile, broke a nine-game losing streak to move to 11-17 overall and 7-13 in conference.

Tied at 61-61 in the closing seconds the Bulldogs tried to find junior center Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) in the paint, but an errant pass gave the Lancers possession with 22 seconds left in the game. 

Mount Marty’s Mitch Ackelson capitalized by forcing Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) into his fifth foul, then sank two free throws with 20 seconds remaining to give the Lancers a 63-61 advantage.

The Bulldogs had one last shot but a desperation 3-pointer from sophomore Adam Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.) came up short at the buzzer.

Concordia offered a strong effort taking a 35-24 lead into the break.  That lead was built primarily on an impressive 19-2 run. Trailing 15-8 with 14:12 remaining in the half, the Bulldogs rattled off eight straight points to take an 18-15 lead.  Interrupted by a couple of Lancer free throws, Concordia continued the run with nine more points to take a 27-17 lead.  Junior Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) notched six of his 10 points to lead the Bulldogs charge, though seven different players scored during the run. 

For the game it was Birtell that led the Bulldogs with 13 points, while Braun added 11 points.  Mount Marty got a game-high 34 points from Ackelson and 10 from Joe Hieb.

The Bulldogs are the 8-seed for the GPAC Conference tournament and will face top-seeded Dordt College on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Bulldogs end season at Sioux Center

22 February 2012

The Concordia men’s basketball team ended its season Wednesday, falling to Dordt College 78-57 in the first round of the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament. 

The Bulldogs entered the GPAC tournament as the No. 8 seed and faced an opponent they knew well. Concordia took Dordt to overtime in their first meeting of the year, an 87-83 loss for the Bulldogs on Jan. 7, and Concordia was also on the losing end of a 85-68 game on Feb. 11.

Dordt, ranked No. 2, didn't allow the Bulldogs to hang around for any overtime drama in the team's third tilt of the year. Out of the gate the Defenders went on a 22-4 run that put the Bulldogs in a hole they simply could not dig out of. Charles Dunbar (St. Louis, Mo.) came off the bench for Concordia and led the Bulldogs at half with 10 points. Dordt made the most of their strong inside game and went into halftime with a 44-22 lead.

After the break, Concordia tried to narrow the gap, but could not get any closer than 17 points. Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.), scoreless in the first half, came out shooting in the second, putting up 10 points for the Bulldogs. Other scoring leaders for the Bulldogs included Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) with 12 and Dunbar, who finished with 13 points for the evening. The Defenders were led by their big men; Sievers had 17 points and Jordan Vogel had 15.

The Bulldogs close out the 2011-12 season with a record of 13-17.

Birtell, Haywood and Smith Nab All-GPAC accolades

29 FEB 2012

Junior Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) and freshman Joel Haywood (Lakewood, Colo.) each collected impressive honors on Wednesday, Feb. 29 as the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) announced its All-GPAC teams.  Haywood was named GPAC Co-Freshman-of-the-Year and All-GPAC Honorable Mention, while Birtell earned a spot on the All-GPAC First Team. 

In his third season at Concordia, Birtell delivered a career-high 516 points in 30 games (17.2 ppg).  A powerful force in the middle, Birtell finished second in the GPAC with a .629 shooting percentage (195-310) and led the conference with 249 rebounds (8.3 rpg).  The most impressive figure, however, may be the GPAC Conference leading 110 offensive rebounds Birtell grabbed this season.

“We always knew he had the potential to be one of the better players in the conference.  The key this year was that Porter was healthy and in better shape,” said Concordia head coach Grant Schmidt.  “Offensive rebounding is all about second chances, which is a testament to his versatility and ability to compete.”

Haywood quickly developed as the Bulldogs point guard this season, starting each of Concordia’s 30 contests.  In just his first game he posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists.  Haywood didn’t slow down all season long, finishing sixth in the GPAC with 99 assists (3.30 apg).  His shooting touch made him all the more dangerous.  Haywood finished third in the GPAC at the free throw line at over 85% (95-111, .856) and was almost as good beyond the three point line at 46% (39-85, .459). 

Haywood shared the Co-Freshman-of-the-Year Award with Jalen Voss of Dakota Wesleyan and also earned All-GPAC Honorable Mention. 

“The point-guard position is the toughest to transition into positively.  [He] received the most pressure of any player on our team this year and I am impressed that opposing coaches and players recognized his performance,” concluded Schmidt.

Junior Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) joined Haywood in receiving All-GPAC Honorable Mention.  Smith started all 30 games for the Bulldogs, finishing the season with 339 points (11.3 ppg) and 187 rebounds (6.2 rpg) to finish second in both categories for Concordia this season.

For the complete All-GPAC Team, click here.

Byrd, Friedrich and Houchin named 2012 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes

15 MAR 2012

Senior Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) and juniors Phil Friedrich (Seward, Neb.) and Brent Houchin (Bruning, Neb.) were named 2012 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes for men's basketball on Monday, March 12. 

Byrd, Friedrich and Houchin were three of 105 Division II Men's Basketball student-athletes to receive the honor this season.  In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.

To view the complete list of all 105 2012 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, click here. 

Porter Birtell earns NAIA DII All-American recognition

21 MAR 2012

Junior Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) earned the highest athletic honor of his athletic career on Wednesday, March 14 as he was named to National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) 2012 Division II Men's Basketball All-America team.

Birtell was an Honorable Mention member of the All-America Team.    

In his third season at Concordia, Birtell posted a career-high 516 points in 30 games (17.2 ppg). A powerful force in the middle, Birtell finished second in the GPAC with a .629 shooting percentage (195-310) and led the conference with 249 rebounds (8.3 rpg). The most impressive figure, however, may be the GPAC Conference leading 110 offensive rebounds Birtell grabbed this season.

Birtell and Smith named to OWH All-Nebraska NAIA teams

25 APR 2012

Juniors Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) and Beau Smith (McKinney, Texas) were named to the Omaha World Herald All-Nebraska NAIA teams on Wednesday, April 25.  Birtell was a First Team selection, while Smith earned Honorable Mention.  

Earlier this offseason, Birtell was named to National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) 2012 Division II Men's Basketball All-America team Honorable Mention and an All-GPAC First Team selection.  Smith, meanwhile, was an All-GPAC Honorable Mention selection last month.  

In his third season at Concordia, Birtell posted a career-high 516 points in 30 games (17.2 ppg). A powerful force in the middle, Birtell finished second in the GPAC with a .629 shooting percentage (195-310) and led the conference with 249 rebounds (8.3 rpg). The most impressive figure, however, may be the GPAC Conference leading 110 offensive rebounds Birtell grabbed this season.

Smith started all 30 games for the Bulldogs, finishing the season with 339 points (11.3 ppg) and 187 rebounds (6.2 rpg) to finish second in both categories for Concordia this season.

To see the complete, OWH All-Nebraska NAIA teams,click here.