Game notes: No. 7 Concordia women’s basketball welcomes Briar Cliff on Saturday
SEWARD, Neb. – The seventh-ranked Concordia women’s basketball team will end a stretch of 28-consecutive days without a home game when it takes the floor on Saturday against Briar Cliff (12-8, 5-5 GPAC). The second-place Bulldogs (15-4, 9-2 GPAC) continue the back half of the conference schedule against a Charger team that they defeated 80-72 in Sioux City, Iowa, on Nov. 23.
The game will be streamed live and free online via the Concordia Sports Network. Concordia head volleyball coach Scott Mattera will call the action.
Recent series history
Concordia and Briar Cliff are all square at five wins apiece over the last 10 meetings. The Bulldogs have won four of the last five while the Chargers have actually won three of the last four matchups in Seward. The road team has won four-consecutive meetings in the series. These two squads have already met this season with Concordia coming up with an 80-72 victory in Sioux City on Nov. 23. Jerrica Pearson and Bailey Morris both totaled 18 points and the Bulldogs piled up 33 points from the free throw line.
Last 10 meetings:
11/23/13 – Concordia 80-72 (Sioux City)
2/6/13 – Briar Cliff 89-80 (Seward)
12/5/12 – Concordia 72-65 (Sioux City)
2/8/12 – Concordia 102-96 (Sioux City)
12/7/11 – Concordia 89-87 OT (Seward)
2/9/11 – Briar Cliff 84-66 (Seward)
1/22/11 – Briar Cliff 72-67 (Sioux City)
1/23/10 – Briar Cliff 77-52 (Seward)
11/8/09 – Briar Cliff 97-67 (Sioux City)
1/3/09 – Concordia 77-67 (Sioux City)
Last time out
The Bulldogs found life on the road without their backcourt tandem of Kristen Conahan and Bailey Morris especially difficult at second-ranked Northwestern. The Red Raiders wasted little time in building a double-digit advantage on the way to an 86-68 victory that allowed them to remain unbeaten. A young Concordia squad couldn’t stay with Alli Engebretson and Mackenzie Small, who combined to go 9-for-11 from beyond the arc. On a positive note, Concordia freshman Devin Edwards (ranked second in the GPAC in assist-to-turnover ratio) stepped into the point guard role and put up a career high 12 points in a career high 28 minutes.
Eighth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has cemented itself in the top 10 of the national rankings over the past three seasons. The team has appeared at No. 7 in each of the last four polls and has been included among the top 10 in 30-consecutive NAIA Division II coaches’ polls. During that run, the Bulldogs have also appeared at No. 1 on four occasions.
In the impressive history of Concordia women’s basketball, the program’s top five winningest coaches (in terms of number of wins) all hold winning percentages greater than .600. Current head coach Drew Olson checks in with a percentage of .718 coinciding with an overall record of 181-71. While all-time winningest coach Carl Everts (195-127, .606) will be tough to catch this season, Olson is within striking distance of reaching the top of the heap (see list below). Olson also ranks second in winning percentage behind only Todd Voss (.771).
Concordia women’s basketball winningest coaches:
- 1. Carl Everts (1981-92) – 195-127 (.606)
- 2. Drew Olson (2006-- ) – 181-71 (.718)
- 3. Mark Lemke (1992-98) – 119-63 (.654)
- 4. Todd Voss (2002-06) – 108-32 (.771)
- 5. Micah Parker (1998-02) – 80-41 (.661)
Injury bug bites
Concordia played without the services of three starters – Kristen Conahan, Bailey Morris and Jericca Pearson – and a key reserve (Britney Birtell) last week at Northwestern. The prognosis is most positive for Morris, the team’s leading scorer, who the Bulldogs are hopeful will play versus Briar Cliff. Meanwhile, Birtell and Pearson will miss the remainder of the season. Conahan is out for the time being but her status for the rest of the season has not been determined. At 1,650 career points, Conahan ranks sixth in program history and is 150 away from the school record.
Bulldogs in the GPAC rankings
Junior Bailey Morris ranks third in the GPAC in assists per game (4.0), fourth in scoring (16.5 ppg), eighth in steals per game (2.11), 10th in field goal percentage (.398), 13th in free throw percentage (.773) and 15th in 3-point field goals per game (1.39). Senior Kristen Conahan ranks first in free throw percentage (.902), third in 3-point field goals per game (2.94), fifth in field goal percentage (.448), fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (.413), sixth in scoring (16.2 ppg) and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.62). Junior Tracy Peitz ranks first in steals per game (3.10), 13th in scoring (14.2 ppg) and 16th in assists per game (2.58). Junior Jerrica Pearson ranks fifth in double-doubles (4), eighth in rebounding (6.6 rpg) 10th in free throw percentage (.782), 14th in steals per game (1.80) and 18th in blocks per game (0.53). Junior Kelsey Hizer ranks 14th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.44) and 19th in steals per game (1.53). Freshman Devin Edwards ranks second in the GPAC in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4).
Scouting Briar Cliff
Briar Cliff, led by sixth-year head coach Mike Power, is a perennial national tournament team. The Chargers enter play needing a victory after losses in four of their last five GPAC games dropped them to seventh in the GPAC and out of the national rankings for the first time this season. Power’s squad dipped outside of conference play on Wednesday night and defeated Dakota State 75-67 on the road. Briar Cliff still runs a high octane offense (16th in NAIA Division II in scoring) and turns its opponents over at a high rate (fifth with 13.8 steals per game). Junior guard Slone Masters makes the team go and paces the Chargers in points, rebounds, steals and blocks. Bemidji State transfer Jessi Corrick is a player to watch after putting up 14 points, eight rebounds, five steals and five assists on Wednesday. She did not play her first game with Briar Cliff until Dec. 30.
16 January 2014
Freshman Devin Edwards