Morris surpasses 1,000 career points as 'Dogs stay hot

Morris surpasses 1,000 career points as ‘Dogs stay hot

SEWARD, Neb. – Seventh-ranked Concordia may have played its best game of the season on Friday night as it walloped Dakota Wesleyan, 85-66, inside Walz Arena. Star junior guard Bailey Morris became the 22nd player in program history to reach 1,000 career points in allowing the Bulldogs to remain perfect (6-0) in the month of December. Eighth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad jumped to 12-2 overall and 7-1 in GPAC play.

“Dakota Wesleyan is a really good basketball team that I think has a great chance to make the national tournament,” Olson said. “And we really took them out of what they wanted to do. I’m real pleased with how we played. Our tempo was great and more importantly, our defense in the half court was the best we’ve had all year.”

The impressive defense effort hounded the Tigers into a shooting percentage of just 30.6 for the game. It got even better in the second half when Dakota Wesleyan hit on only 24.2 percent of its field goal attempts. Star guard Amanda Hart (team high 13 points) was harassed into a 5-for-14 night from the field.

As Morris said, her team did not want to begin another holiday break like the previous one when Concordia was upset at home just before Thanksgiving. The Bulldogs have not lost since.

“We didn’t want to go to Christmas break like that,” Morris said. “We really wanted to buckle down on our defense. They have a lot of difficult set plays that they run so a lot of our defense was just talking. We really focused on that. We had a whole week of practice and it was great practice.”

Concordia had the game well in hand by the time Morris poured in her 1,000th career point by draining a pair of free throws. At that point the Bulldogs led 67-42 with 9:57 remaining. They would extend the lead to as many as 30 points before cruising to a 19-point victory margin.

Morris joins an elite group of 1,000 point scorers in school history, including current teammate Kristen Conahan (1,602 points).

“It really means a lot. It’s a great group of talented players that have come through this program,” Morris said. “It shows (the quality of) the coaches I’ve had since I’ve been here and the players I’ve been able to play with. Without them I don’t score anything.”

On Friday night Morris was simply one of several outstanding performers.  Morris led the way with 17 points and was joined by Conahan (16), Jericca Pearson (15) and Tracy Peitz (10) in double figures.

Noteworthy was Concordia’s 44.4 (12-for-27) shooting from distance and the fact that 12 different players dished out at least one assist.

“Bailey is a phenomenal player and it’s really cool to have her score 1,000 points in her junior season,” Olson said.

“We were really sharing the ball well and playing unselfishly. The faster we play the better we are.”

Pearson, senior Lori Laboda and freshman Becky Mueller each grabbed seven boards as Concordia outrebounded Dakota Wesleyan 51-42. Freshman Karissa Segelke came off the bench to hand out four assists and tally five points.

The Bulldogs will now enjoy some time off for Christmas break. They will return to action on Dec. 30-31 at the Our Lady of the Lake University Halo Classic in San Antonio, Texas. Concordia will face significant challenges in The Lone Star State as it takes on No. 10 Bethel University (Tenn.) of NAIA Division I and Evangel University (Mo.), also of NAIA Division I. Live webcasts of all games will be available via the Our Lady of the Lake athletics website.

21 December 2013

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Senior Lori Laboda

Junior Bailey Morris