2003-04 Women's Basketball schedule/results

28-8 Overall, 14-4 GPAC

Date Opponent Location Time/Results
Nov. 9 York College York, Neb. W 71-40
Nov. 11 College of St. Mary Omaha, Neb. W 67-50
South Dakota Tech Classic:
Nov. 14 vs. Black Hills State Rapid City, S.D. W 67-59
Nov. 15 vs. South Dakota Tech Rapid City, S.D. W 67-63
Nov. 22 Dana College* Blair, Neb. W 87-33
Nov. 25 Hastings College* Hastings, Neb. W 74-73
Cattle Classic:
Nov. 28 vs. Tabor College Seward, Neb. L 73-64
Nov. 29 vs. Bethany College Seward, Neb. W 91-53
Dec. 2 Midland Lutheran* Seward, Neb. W 66-54
Dec. 6 University of Sioux Falls* Sioux Falls, S.D. L 64-61
Dec. 10 Doane College* Crete, Neb. W 71-58
Dec. 13 Briar Cliff University* Seward, Neb. W 68-44
Dec. 18 Viterbo University West Palm Beach, Fla. W 79-51
Tabor Classic:
Jan. 2 vs. St. Gregory's Hillsboro, Kan. W 84-29
Jan. 3 vs. Tabor College Hillsboro, Kan. L 67-58
Jan. 6 Nebraska Wesleyan* Seward, Neb. W 74-37
Jan. 8 Peru State Peru, Neb. W 74-34
Jan. 10 Dordt College* Sioux Center, Iowa W 77-57
Jan. 14 Morningside College* Sioux City, Iowa L 83-70
Jan. 17 Dakota Wesleyan* Seward, Neb. W 70-61
Jan. 20 Dana College* Seward, Neb. W 90-39
Jan. 24 Mount Marty College* Yankton, S.D. W 75-58
Jan. 28 Midland Lutheran* Fremont, Neb. W 78-42
Concordia Invitational Tournament (CIT):
Jan. 30 vs. Concordia River Forest   W 90-29
Jan. 31 vs. Concordia Mequon   W 93-80
Feb. 3 Doane College* Seward, Neb. W 65-55
Feb. 7 Northwestern College* Seward, Neb. L 93-89
Feb. 11 Hastings College* Seward, Neb. L 72-61
Feb. 17 Nebraska Wesleyan* Lincoln, Neb. W 82-50
Feb. 21 Morningside College* Seward, Neb. W 94-87
GPAC Tournament:
Feb. 25 vs. Northwestern* Seward, Neb. W 96-83
Feb. 26 vs. Hastings* Hastings, Neb. W 82-66
March 2 vs. Morningside* Sioux City, Iowa W 76-63
NAIA National Tournament:
March 10 vs. MidAmerica Nazarene Sioux City, Iowa W 70-57
March 12 vs. Tennesse Wesleyan Sioux City, Iowa W 63-52
March 13 vs. Cedarville Sioux City, Iowa W 77-69



*Indicates Great Plains Athletic Conference Games
All Home Games in BOLD

2003-04 - Women's Basketball roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
10 Becca Hiller G 5-6 Jr. Lincoln, Neb.
12 Marie Wintz G 5-7 Fr. Hartington, Neb.
20 Becky Masters G 5-8 So. Meadow Grove, Neb.
22 Carly Wolfram G 5-6 So. Tomball, Texas
24 Kari Saving G 5-10 Jr. Lenexa, Kan.
30 Elizabeth Rhoden G 5-10 Sr. Friendswood, Texas
32 Keyna Kobza G 5-9 Jr. Bruning, Neb.
34 Jenny Karner G 5-9 Jr. St. Louis, Mo.
40 Kayla Luehman F 5-10 Jr. Lewiston, Minn.
42 Jessica Domina F 5-10 So. Coleridge, Neb.
44 Sarah Harrison F 6-1 Jr. Stratton, Neb.
52 Naomi Laune F 6-0 Jr. Ashland, Neb.
  Tara Kirchner C 6-0 So. Clarinda, Iowa
  Stephanie Lease G 5-6 So. Harrisburg, Neb.
  Lanay Carr G 5-8 Fr. Ainsworth, Neb.
  Kayla Churchill C 5-11 Fr. Valentine, Neb.
  Tressa Graumann G 5-7 Fr. Granite, Okla.
  Elizabeth Heine G 5-7 Fr. Hartington, Neb.
  Julia House G 5-6 Fr. Rushville, Neb.

Hastings, Dakota Wesleyan preseason picks in GPAC

Hastings and Dakota Wesleyan are the co-picks of Great Plains Athletic Conference coaches to win the 2003-04 GPAC women’s basketball title. Concordia, which ran the table at 16-0 and won last year’s regular season championship, was picked to finish third. Hastings will be defending back-to-back NAIA Division II national championships. Sioux Falls, which along with Hastings, Dakota Wesleyan and Concordia comprised the All-GPAC Final Four last season, was tabbed for fourth place in the pre-season vote.

Junior varsity wins, loses at WNCC tourney

The Concordia junior varsity lost to Chadron State, 61-60, Friday in its second game at the Western Nebraska Community College tournament in Scottsbluff. The Bulldogs defeated Roane State C.C., 67-62, on Thursday. Jenny Karner led the scoring with 17 with Stephanie Lease and Becky Masters each tossing in 14. It was 36-30 at half. In the final game the Bulldogs lost, 104-51, to Western Nebraska Community College.

Bulldogs off to good start at York, 71-40

9 NOV 2003

“A good starting point,” Coach Todd Voss said of the Concordia women basketball team’s 71-40 win at York College.

Junior Keyna Kobza came off the bench to lead a balanced scoring attack with five players scoring in double figures as the Bulldogs opened on Nov. 4. Kari Saving tallied 15 with 10 each scored by Sarah Harrison, Kayla Luehmann and Carly Wolfram.

The Bulldogs jumped off to an 11-4 lead in the first four minutes and stretched it to 40-16 by half. “We had stretches where we played really well,” Voss said, “but we'll need to improve on our consistency.”

That test comes with a Tuesday night contest at College of St. Mary, followed by a trip to Rapid City, S.D., for the South Dakota Tech Classic where they face Black Hills at 5 p.m. on Friday and South Dakota Tech on Saturday at 4 p.m. The first home appearance won’t be until the Cattle Classic on Nov. 28-29.

Luehmann turned in a double-double at York by pulling down 10 rebounds, with Concordia controlling the boards with a 50-28 edge. Jessica Domina had eight rebounds and Harrison six with five each pulled down by Naomi Laune, Kobza and Wolfram.  

“Holding a team to 40 means that we did some things right on the defensive end,” the coach said, noting that the Bulldogs made 14 steals while giving up only one themselves.

“Quality play off the bench is going to be a key for the Bulldogs,” Voss said, noting the spark provided by the substitutes. “Keyna Kobza showed her ability to play a key role for us with a strong offensive game,” he said, “and Jenny Karner had an immediate impact on the momentum with her effort and fundamental play.”

Wolfram played well on both ends of the court in her first game as a starter, Voss said. Elizabeth Rhoden led in assists with five. Saving was three for five from three-point range. Ashley Wellman led York scoring with 11 with Brandi Moore tops in rebounding with seven.

Bulldogs add three wins with scoring total of 67

11, 14 & 15 NOV 2003

67! That was the number the Concordia women’s basketball team appeared to be stuck on the past week. Fortunately, in three games it was the dominant number and the Bulldogs advanced their season record to 4-0. Concordia won over South Dakota Tech, 67-53, and Black Hills State, 67-59, at the South Dakota Tech Classic and College of St. Mary, 67-50.
Next stop … GPAC play. Coach Todd Voss’ young team opens conference play on the road at Dana at 2 p.m. on Saturday and at Hastings at 6 p.m. next Tuesday. The Bulldogs cannot afford to overlook Dana, which came up in last place in the GPAC coaches’ preseason poll.

The other side of the coin is Hastings, two-time defending national champion who is the top pick in the NAIA Division II preseason poll. Two-time defending national champion Hastings leads the group after boasting a 33-5 record last year. Concordia, last year’s GPAC regular-season champions with a 16-0 record, is ranked third in the early-season poll after posting a 36-2 overall record in 2002-03 and advancing to the NAIA national tournament semifinals. The Bulldogs also are third in the GPAC coaches’ poll with Dakota Wesleyan the other favorite.

Concordia did knock off NAIA pre-season No. 17 South Dakota Tech. Strong defense and eight three-pointers in 10 attempts in the second half boosted Concordia on Saturday at Rapid City, S.D. “Tech’s going to win a lot of games this year,” Voss said. “This was a quality road win.”

Tech trailed only by two at half, 26-24. Kari Saving led the Bulldog scoring with 18. Elizabeth Rhoden added 13, Keyna Kobza nine and Sarah Harrison eight. Harrison led the rebounders with eight and blocked two shots. Rhoden turned in seven assists and Kobza had four steals. The Bulldogs only shot six free throws, making four. Godecka Quinn tallied 14 for Tech.

After struggling to shoot the ball in the first half, Saving got the Bulldogs untracked by hitting three from three-point range in the first four minutes of the second half. “I liked our spacing on offense and our ability to get the open player the ball,” Voss said. “Credit our defense for holding them to 53 points and forcing 27 turnovers.”

The coach credited Kobza and Jennie Karner with good defense off the bench. Saving deserves a lot of credit for her play in all three games of the week, he said. “She is playing very strong at both ends of the court.” Naomi Laune did not play because of a strained ankle.

Four players were in double figures as Concordia jumped off to an early lead and were never headed as they defeated Black Hills State, 67-59, at Rapid City, S.D., on Friday night. Saving led the attack with 18. Double-doubles were turned in by Harrison and Rhoden: Harrison with 15 points and 12 rebounds and Rhoden with 14 points and 10 assists. Kayla Luehmann hit six of seven field-goal attempts as she scored 13. It was 35-29 at half.
“Our poor shooting from the line keep us from putting the game out of reach,” the coach said. “We overcame an awful night at the line. Down the stretch our execution was the difference.”

Rhoden scored 20, Harrison 16 and Saving 12 as Concordia defeated College of St. Mary, 67-50, at Omaha on Nov. 11.A six-minute scoring drought erased a 12-point lead at the 12-minute mark before Saving’s three-pointer sent the Bulldogs to the locker room at half with a 31-28 margin.

“CSM plays an aggressive match-up zone,” Voss said. In the second half, the coach said the Bulldogs pulled away by getting the ball inside to Harrison and bothering their offense with pressure. Rhoden’s perimeter shooting loosened up the Mary zone and the coach praised Jessica Domina for quality minutes off the bench. Chelsea Malone led Mary with 20 points.

Concordia rolls at Dana, 87-33

22 NOV 2003

A week to practice with no games paid off for the Concordia women’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon with an 87-33 victory over Dana. “It was what we needed,” Coach Todd Voss said. The Great Plains Athletic Conference opener for both teams at Blair brought the Bulldogs’ season record to 5-0.  

But a tougher task follows for the Bulldogs, who were ranked at No. 3 in the NAIA pre-season poll – a GPAC game Tuesday night against NAIA No. 1 Hastings, national champion in 2002-03 for the second straight year.

The big week continues with the Cattle Classic on Friday and Saturday. The Saturday opponent at 5 p.m. will be Bethany College, which sat at No. 26 in the NAIA voting. On Friday, Concordia plays Tabor College at 7 p.m. Other women’s games feature York College vs. Bethany at 5 on Friday and Tabor vs. York at 1 on Saturday.

Two Concordia players turned in career highs at Dana – Keyna Kobza scored 18 points and Kayla Luehmann 16. “Keyna and Kayla both stepped up for us on the offensive end,” Voss said. Kobza got her points while playing only 13 minutes. “Very efficient,” the coach said, “and Kayla was really active in the post.” Kari Saving also was in double figures with 14 as the team shot 49 percent on 71 field goal attempts, 29 more shots than taken by Dana. Sarah Harrison pulled down nine rebounds and blocked three shots while Elizabeth Rhoden had four assists and Carly Wolfram stole the ball three times.

Voss was pleased the team turned the ball over only 10 times. “After taking control of the game early,” he said, “we continued to execute well and maintained our intensity. Overall, we played a sharp game, not allowing the score to affect our play.” Noelle Howell led Dana with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Last-second shot trips NAIA #1 Hastings, 74-73

25 NOV 2003

Sarah Harrison hit a turn-around jumper from the baseline while double-teamed with two seconds remaining to allow Concordia to edge NAIA #1 Hastings, 74-73, on Tuesday night at Hastings. The Stratton junior scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Jessica Domina hit nine of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter and also had 11 rebounds as the Bulldogs played without a senior in the lineup as NAIA All-American Elizabeth Rhoden was ill with the flu. Carly Wolfram, who had the assist on the game-winning basket, scored 15 and Kari Saving 14. 

Hastings chipped away to stay with range although Concordia led by as much as 12 with about nine minutes remaining. Sandy Kliewer hit two free throws to provide the Broncos a one-point margin with 31 seconds remaining.

Tabor torrid from three-point range in 73-64 win

28 NOV 2003

Tabor College hit 10 of 12 from three-point range to spark a 73-64 overtime victory over the Concordia University women as part of the Cattle Classic on Nov. 28 at Seward. 
Bethany defeated York, 72-52, in the other Friday game.

“Tabor shot the ball extremely well,” Coach Todd Voss said, “and we never found our rhythm as a team for any sustained period of time.  This is a game that we can learn a lot from.”

Tabor overcame a 57-49 deficit with five minutes remaining and hit six of nine free throws in the overtime to knock Concordia from the undefeated ranks in its seventh game. Donya Anderson’s layup with 27 seconds left in regulation tied it at 60-60. Erica Hemmert, who led Tabor scoring with 20, hit five of six free throws in the overtime. Rachelle Wertenberger scored 18, perfect in five attempts from three.

Previously undefeated Concordia was led by Sarah Harrison with 24, Kari Saving 13 and Elizabeth Rhoden 12. They had one more field goal than the visitors, but only were four for 15 from three-point range. Concordia was without the services of starting guard Carly Wolfram, who was ill, and a knee injury sidelined Harrison for most of the overtime.

Next up for the Bulldog women was Midland Lutheran on Tuesday night, followed by a trip to Sioux Falls on Saturday.   “We look forward to getting healthy,” Voss said.  “We showed a lot of heart to overcome the illness and injuries we had to deal with the past week..”

Bulldogs roll over Bethany, 91-53

29 NOV 2003

Concordia hit 64 percent of its field-goal attempts as they rebounded to defeat Bethany College, 91-53, the  afternoon of Nov. 29 at the Cattle Classic in Seward. Five players scored in double figures with Keyna Kobza leading with 25, Elizabeth Rhoden 17, Kayla Luehman and Naomi Laune each 12 and Kari Saving 10.  The Bulldogs led, 39-22, at half.

Patrons of the the Blue Valley Food Pantry were the real  beneficiaries of the weekend event sponsored by The Cattle Nation Bank and Trust Co. and Concordia. A total of 1,865 cans of food and $1,283 in cash were donated, with the amount of canned goods matched by Pac ‘N’ Sav.

“This was our best game of the season in terms of pure execution,” the coach said. “Our shot selection was excellent. We played smart.” 

Concordia also hit 29 of 32 free-throw attempts with Rhoden perfect in nine attempts. Jessica Domina had four rebounds and Marie Wintz five assists. Jill Nech scored 15 and Stacy Lee 12 for the Swedes. Concordia was missing two regular starters -- Carly Wolfram due to illness and Sarah Harrison because of a knee injury.

Voss credited Rhoden and Rebecca Hiller with a good job of running the offense and controlling the tempo.  “It was a great team win” he said, “and I really liked the balance and positive contributions by all nine (several of whom were sick).” The post trio of Luehmann, Laune and Domina elevated their play in Harrison’s absence, he added. Kobza also stole the ball five times, often converting the result into layups, and was named to the all-classic team. Others picked were Erica Hemmert and Rachelle Wertenberger of Tabor, Stacy Lee of Bethany and Ashley Wellman of York.

In the opening game of the afternoon, Tabor defeated York, 66-59, and in a men's contest Concordia defeated York, 95-77. Scheduling complications this year limited the men’s division to the single contest.

Concordia wins over Midland Lutheran, 66-54

2 DEC 2003

Concordia took a 20-13 lead midway in the first half and maintained the margin most of the way in a 66-54 GPAC victory at Seward on Dec. 2. The Warriors had jumped ahead, 10-5, in the first three minutes behind the shooting of Jill Hayden and pulled within 33-32 before Elizabeth Rhoden's three-pointer at the halftime buzzer put the Bulldogs ahead, 36-32.
 
“In the last four games we’ve faced a lot of adversity due to injuries and illness,” Voss said after the win over Midland. “I’m proud of the way our bench has stepped up to the challenge.”  The Bulldogs were without the services of Harrison, out with a knee injury,
The Warriors had jumped ahead, 10-5, in the first three minutes behind the shooting of Jill Hayden and pulled within 33-32 before Rhoden's three-pointer at the halftime buzzer put the Bulldogs ahead, 36-32. 

Rhoden led the Bulldog scoring with 16 with Naomi Laune adding 12 and Kobza 11. Concordia hit 11 straight free throws before missing two in the final seconds. Luehmann had five steals and Laune blocked two shots.

Hayden topped the Warrior scoring with 22 points while Crystal Wiemer had nine points and 11 rebounds. They cooled to 33 percent shooting from the field in the second half, failing on seven attempts from three-point range. It was Midland Lutheran's first loss in seven games.

“With Sarah sidelined,” Voss said, “our post corps did a great job of meeting the challenge of a strong inside game from Midland.  Naomi stepped in and was very efficient.”

He credited Rhoden with a strong performance on both ends. “Offensively,” he said, “our execution was really good and we hit our free throws

Sioux Falls drops Bulldogs, 64-61

6 DEC 2003

Concordia hit only 28 percent from the field in the second half, 0-5 from three, as they lost, 64-61, at Sioux Falls on Dec. 6. It was the first loss in Great Plains Athletic Conference play after three victories for the 8-2 Bulldogs.  

The loss  makes this week’s conference games even more important, Coach Todd Voss said. Concordia is at Doane College in Crete at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and entertain Briar Cliff University at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“Statistics look in our favor,” Voss said of the loss, “but the shooting percentage tells the tale.” The Bulldogs only had one less field goal than the Cougars, but shot the ball 22 more times (25 for 71 compared to 26 for 49). That gave the Cougars 53 percent in field-goal attempts, 46 percent from three-point range.

Sioux Falls’ switch to a zone defense in the second half paid immediate dividends, scoring the first nine points after trailing 38-35 at the break. The Bulldogs tied the score at 51 on a jumper by Elizabeth Rhoden with 11:57 to play.

“We had good looks from the field,” Voss said, “but just didn’t knock down our shots. As poorly as we shot, we still had our chances down the stretch.”  He was pleased his team
only had nine turnovers.

“When you’re shooting poorly,” he said, “you have little room for error. In the second half we gave up some costly offensive rebounds and just didn’t play as sharp.”

Sarah Harrison scored 15 and Keyna Kobza and Kayle Luehmann each eight. Harrison and Kobza each had seven rebounds with Luehmann pulling down six. Rhoden had eight assists.

Bulldogs go 9-2 with 71-58 win at Doane

10 DEC 2003

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures in the 71-58 win on Dec. 10 at Crete. It was 37-26 at half. “Even though we did not shoot the ball as well as we're capable,” Coach Todd Voss said, “our defensive effort and rebounding allowed us to take control of the game during the first 12 minutes of the second half.”

Kari Saving led the scoring with 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds. “A fine all-around game,” Voss said of her play. Keyna Kobza and Sarah Harrison each added 12 points and Elizabeth Rhoden 11. Rhoden also turned in five assists. Andrea Swanson led Doane with 18 points. 

“I liked our balance on offense and the way we've been taking care of the basketball,” Voss said. “As a team we really crashed the offensive glass well.”

Healthy Bulldogs roll over Briar Cliff, 68-44

13 DEC 2003

The best news for Concordia women’s basketball went beyond the two Great Plains Athletic Conference victories they claimed the past week.

“We played and practiced with everyone healthy for the first time since Nov. 15,” Coach Todd Voss said in pinpointing the injury-illness factor. “With everyone healthy we wanted to play more aggressive on defense and faster in transition. We made strides in both games.”

The 68-44 victory over Briar Cliff at home on Dec.13  and 71-58 at Doane on Dec. 10 left the Bulldogs with a 10-2 record, 5-1 in the GPAC. The next GPAC action won’t arrive until after the semester break when they take on Nebraska Wesleyan on Jan. 6.

The next test is Viterbo, an NAIA school from Wisconsin with a strong tradition and a 4-7 record. The Bulldogs will get a break from the cold when they fly out on Dec. 17 after finals and arrive late in West Palm Beach, Fla., for the 4 p.m. (EST) game on Dec. 18.  “It brings with it some unique challenges with finals week and our travel plans,” Voss said. The team also is entered in the Jan. 2-4 Tabor Classic at Hillsboro, Kan.

Concordia was No. 9 in the NAIA ratings of Dec. 9, with the next vote scheduled Jan. 6. The GPAC was well-represented with Dakota Wesleyan at No. 1, Hastings 5th, Sioux Falls 18th and Northwestern and Midland Lutheran also receiving votes.

Concordia jumped off to the 15-2 lead against Briar Cliff in the first seven minutes on Saturday. “Briar Cliff came out in a zone to slow the game down,” the coach said. “We really passed the ball well, distorted the zone and forced them to get out of it.”

It was 30-15 at half and the lead was opened to 43-17 early in the final stanza. “In the second half our defensive pressure was more aggressive,” Voss said. “We also shot the ball like we're capable of,” which was 55 percent.

Sarah Harrison led the way with 16 points while Kari Saving poured in 10 and five other Bulldogs scored at least six points. Kayle Luehmann dominated the boards with eight rebounds and Elizabeth Rhoden turned in six assists. Carly Wolfram provided great ball pressure, he said, and the Bulldogs’ defensive rotations were quicker.

“Sarah Harrison had a great performance,” Voss said. “She was very active and really worked for position in the post and the rest of the team did a nice job of finding her in the post. Kayla Luehmann did a lot of good things for us with her rebounding, defense and passing in the post.” Betsy Graf paced the Briar Cliff attack with 20 points. The Chargers are 4-11 for the season, 0-6 in GPAC play.

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures in the 71-58 win at Crete. It was 37-26 at half. “Even though we did not shoot the ball as well as we're capable,” the coach said, “our defensive effort and rebounding allowed us to take control of the game during the first 12 minutes of the second half.”

Kari Saving led the scoring with 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds. “A fine all-around game,” Voss said of her play. Kobza and Harrison each added 12 points and Rhoden 11. Rhoden also turned in five assists. Andrea Swanson, a senior from Utica Centennial, led Doane with 18 points. 

“I liked our balance on offense and the way we've been taking care of the basketball,” Voss said. “As a team we really crashed the offensive glass well.”

Kobza scores 20 as Bulldogs romp, 79-51

18 DEC 2003

Keyna Kobza scored 20, Kari Saving 14 and Kayla Luehmann 12 as Concordia defeated Viterbo, 79-51, in the Cruzin' Classic on Dec.18 at West Palm Beach, Fla. The Bulldogs hit 54 percent of their field-goal attempts, 59 percent in the second half and controlled the boards, 43-20. Kobza grabbed eight rebounds and Sarah Harrison seven. Concordia was three-for-five from three-point range. It was 40-20 at half. Elizabeth Rhoden scored nine points, Harrison eight, Carly Wolfram five, Jessica Domina and Naomi Laune each four, Marie Wintz two and Becky Masters one. Saving led with five assists and Luehmann blocked two shots. Charlotte Koski led the La Crosse, Wis., school with 13 points and six rebounds.

Bulldogs overwhelm St. Gregory's, 84-29

 2 JAN 2004

Everyone got into the scorebook as Concordia rolled over St. Gregory's, 84-29, at the Tabor Classic at Hillsboro, Kan., on the afternoon of Jan. 2. Kobza scored 24 and Saving 22. The Bulldogs led, 39-15, at half and held the Shawnee, Okla., team to 30 percent shooting and 14 points in the final stanza. Sarah Harrison scored 10. Kayla Luehmann dominated the boards with 12 rebounds and the coach praised Laune for her defensive effort.  Rhoden turned in six assists. Kobza also had five steals. 

”We jumped out to a good start and finished well,” Voss said. “The bench gave us quality minutes.”

St. Gregory (5-6) only got to the free throw line twice, missing both, as the Bulldogs only committed nine fouls. The Lady Cavaliers were only one of eight from three-point range while the Bulldogs were six for 12 and connected on 51.7 percent of 60 total shots from the field.  Kirstin Mueggenborg led St. Gregory with 10.  

Concordia comes up short at Tabor, 67-58

3 JAN 2004

The Bulldogs came within 49-48 with six minutes remaining, but Tabor answered with two quick buckets and maintained the margin the remainder of the way. 

"Tabor played well,” Coach Todd Voss said, “but our mistakes were very controllable and cost us the game.” Tabor led at half, 30-25, after Concordia had taken an early 11-6 lead. The Bluejays knotted it at 16-16 about 13 minutes into the contest and never trailed after taking a 19-16 advantage.

"We missed several layup opportunities and allowed 11 Tabor points off of some very untimely offensive rebounds,” he said. “We didn't get to the free-throw line enough and only converted 50 percent.” Tabor was 12 for 18 while the Bulldogs hit four of eight.  “Twenty-one turnovers are just too many. That was the difference in the game.”

Kenya Kobza led the Bulldogs with 18 points with Kari Saving adding 16 and Naomi Laune 10. Elizabeth Rhoden led in assists with 11. Laune pulled down nine rebounds and Saving seven. Post player Sarah Harrison missed the game due to illness. Erica Hemmert led Tabor with 17 points.

Fast start helps Bulldogs roll over Wesleyan, 74-37

6 JAN 2004

Concordia jumped off to a 15-2 lead in the first five minutes and played tough defense as they rolled to a 74-37 GPAC victory over Nebraska Wesleyan at Seward on Tuesday night. Keyna Kobza scored 15, Sarah Harrison 14 and Naomi Laune 12 as the Bulldogs connected on 58 percent of 52 field-goal attempts. Concordia totaled 24 assists with Elizabeth Rhoden contributing six, Carly Wolfram five and Kari Saving four. Rhoden had four steals. The Bulldogs controlled the boards, 34-22, with Jenny Karner pulling off five and Jessica Domina, Harrison and Saving each four. 

The Prairie Wolves hit 33 percent of 40 shots, only 24 percent in the second half. Jenny Glantz led their scoring with 15. Rhea May, Wesleyan's leading scorer with a 13.8-point average, was held to two points.

Four in double figures in 75-34 win at Peru State

8 JAN 2004

Concordia defeated Peru State, 75-34, on Thursday evening at Peru State with four Bulldogs scoring in double figures -- Kari Saving 13, and Elizabeth Rhoden, Carly Wolfram and Naomi Laune each 10. Concordia led at half, 38-17. Laune led rebounding with seven and Kayla Luehmann added six caromes. Rhoden and Saving each turned in five assists and Marie Wintz made three steals. Kara Lally with 12 and Sarah Jones with 11 led Peru scoring.

Concordia's second-half effort tips Dordt, 77-57

10 JAN 2004

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures as Concordia's strong second half led to the defeat of Dordt, 77-57, in a Saturday afternoon GPAC contest at Sioux Center, Iowa. It was tied, 35-35, at the break. Kenya Kobza poured in 18, Kari Saving 17, Elizabeth Rhoden 14 and Sarah Harrison 10. Kayla Luehmann and Kobza each pulled down seven rebounds as the Bulldogs dominated the boards, 42-27. Saving turned in eight assists and Rhoden had four steals. Naomi Laune blocked two shots. Rachel Van Beek led Dordt with 15 points.  Concordia allowed only six field goals in the second half as the Defenders only connected on 25 per cent of their shots and turned the ball over 17 times.

Morningside prevails over Bulldogs, 83-70

14 JAN 2004

Morningside connected on 19 of 22 free throws in the second half as the NAIA No. 2 team won over Concordia, 83-70, at Sioux City, Iowa, on Jan. 14. Morningside tied the game at 64-64 on a layup by Brittany Carper with 5:03 left after Concordia led at half, 38-37. Both teams hit 26 of 60 field-goal attempts but the Mustangs were 24-29 at the stripe for the night while Concordia hit 12 of 17. The Bulldogs had 21 fouls to 17 for the home team, which stole the ball 20 times. 

“After playing hard for 35 minutes,” Coach Todd Voss said, “we became tentative during the final stretch. Morningside is a team of runs, feeding off three-point shooting and aggressive defense.”  He pointed to mental errors, missed layups and costly defensive errors in the final four minutes. “This is a game we'll learn from.”

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures with Elizabeth Rhoden and Sarah Harrison each connecting for 17 while Kari Saving scored 15 and Kenya Kobza 10.  

Concordia outrebounded Morningside, 43-32, but turned the ball over 24 times against the pressure defense. Saving had 10 rebounds and Harrison and Carly Wolfram nine. Rhoden turned in seven assists. Four Mustangs also scored in double figures: Brittany Carper 23, Megan Cloud 17, Kate Lokken 13 and Kayla Wibben 12.  

“Two numbers really stand out on the stat sheet,” the coach said, “and there’re both 24 -- 24 turnovers and 24 Morningside free throws.”

The loss left Concordia at 15-4, 7-2 in conference play,  while Morningside is 18-1, 8-1 in the GPAC. 

Bulldogs upset top-rated Dakota Wesleyan, 70-61

17 JAN 2004

It was a slow start -- but the finish was something to remember as Concordia defeated the top team in the NAIA women’s basketball national ratings. Dakota Wesleyan came up short, 70-61, in the Great Plains Athletic Conference game at Seward on Jan. 17.

The NAIA No. 11 Bulldogs didn’t score until a free throw four minutes into the game as the Tigers jumped ahead, 12-3, in the first seven minutes.

“This was a must-win game for the GPAC title race,” Coach Todd Voss said, “and I was proud of the way our players responded.” It put the Bulldogs a half-game off the lead at 8-2 in the title race, 16-4 overall, while Dakota Wesleyan is tied at the top with Morningside at 8-1, 18-3 for the season. “Things are pretty interesting now and we're right back in the mix,” he said.

Bulldog fans are no longer surprised as the team excels against top-rated opponents, knocking off a No. 1 in each of the last four years –- it even was the second time this year as Hastings was No. 1 when Concordia defeated them, 74-73, on Nov. 25.

Concordia used a balanced attack and eliminated mental errors to catch up with Dakota Wesleyan at 20-20 with 7:43 left in the half. Jessica Domina came off the bench with a five-point surge in the closing minute to allow Concordia a 34-31 halftime margin.

A four-minute Tiger scoring drouth early in the second half allowed Concordia to open a 48-36 margin and the South Dakota team never got closer than within four points. “Our defense pressure created some easy offense for us,” the coach said.

Elizabeth Rhoden’s 13 was followed by Sarah Harrison with 12, Naomi Laune 11 and Kari Saving 10. “Offensive balance was excellent,” Voss said. “Nothing short of a great team win. Rhoden got us going offensively in the first half and made great decisions with the ball (six assists, one turnover).”

Randi Morgan’s 12 rebounds allowed the Tigers to take a 41-38 edge in that department. Morgan, Dakota Wesleyan’s All-American leading scorer with an average of 18.3, had 12 when she fouled out with 7:47 remaining. Victoria Drefs, another Tiger All-American, fouled out with 8:32 remaining after tallying 10. Tacey Faulhaber’s 16 topped the Tiger attack.

“We wanted to attack their All-Americans and make them defend us,” he said, praising the job done with that task by Saving, Keyna Kobza, Laune and Harrison. He also pointed to his bench, which outscored the Tigers, 28-11. “Naomi Laune, Keyna Kobza, Jessica Domina, Jenny Karner and Becca Hiller all gave us a big spark. Jessica played very strong. Naomi had another excellent night shooting the ball and Jenny gave us an immediate lift in the first half.”

Voss’ only disappointment was the effort on the boards the first half {27-15 advantage to DWU) and free-throw shooting (13-23).  “Our two practices heading into the DWU game were our best of the year and our play reflected that,” he added.

Concordia sinks Dana, 90-39, behind Kobza's 25

20 JAN 2004

Concordia jumped off to a 19-2 lead in the first nine minutes at Seward on Jan. 20 and went on to defeat Dana, 90-39. The win put the Concordia record at 17-4, 9-2 in the GPAC as the Bulldogs maintained their No. 11 ranking in the NAIA poll. Kenya Kobza hit five from three-point range without a miss to lead the attack with 25 points. Kobza scored 44 points while playing 44 minutes during the week.

“Our goal was to come back and play well after the big win (70-61 over NAIA No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan on Jan. 17),” he said  “Though the game was clearly in hand early, we executed well (only 10 turnovers) and played with a lot of intensity.”

Kari Saving added 14 and Kayla Luehmann 10, Jenny Karner eight and Carly Wolfram seven. Luehmann pulled down nine rebounds and Becca Hiller turned in seven assists. Saving stole the ball four times. It was 44-13 at half. Michelle Glanz led Dana with 13 points.

Bulldogs win GPAC test at Mount Marty, 75-58

24 JAN 2004

“The best thing about our team right now,” Coach Todd Voss said, “is that we’re improving and we’re getting good leadership from within.”

Concordia led, 38-21, at half on the way to a 75-58 win over Mount Marty College on Jan. 24. In the GPAC game at Yankton, S.D., Kenya Kobza led the scoring with 19 with Sarah Harrison adding 14 (six for seven from the field) and Elizabeth Rhoden 13.  

“Mount Marty has played very strong at home, Voss said. “This was a good road win.” The Lancers only losses were to Hastings in overtime and to Sioux Falls by four.

The coach praised his team’s defensive effort. “Our pressure put them on their heels offensively.  If we didn’t force a turnover we made them burn 15-20 seconds off the shot clock before they got set in their half-court attack.”  Mount Marty, a team that has averaged 36 percent from three-point range, only hit 20 percent (three for 15) against a perimeter defense that covered the arc well.

“I was disappointed that we lost our edge when we stopped pressing,” he said. The Bulldogs had a 30-point lead at the 10-minute mark. They were 14-17 in free throws, an area where they need more consistency, Voss said.

The team balance was reflected in rebounding. Jessica Domina led with six while Harrison, Naomi Laune and Carly Wolfram each pulled down five. “Domina’s effort on the boards has been excellent,” Voss said. “She’s been giving us a lot of positives when she comes in.”  Kari Saving led with three assists and three steals, earning the coach’s praise for her reads/rotations in the press.  Rhoden missed her first start, he said, but bounced back from a practice injury to turn in a solid game in limited minutes.  Jessica Krull paced the Lancers by scoring 13.

Midland Lutheran falls, 78-42, in GPAC

28 JAN 2004

Concordia launched 16 more shots from the field than Midland Lutheran in a 78-42 victory at Fremont on Wednesday night. The Warriors were only able to connect on 28 percent of 60 field-goals. 

Leading the Bulldog scoring were Elizabeth Rhoden with 15, Kari Saving with 12 and Sarah Harrison with 10 while they each played a little over half the game. Harrison had 15 rebounds and two blocks while Saving and Rhoden each turned in six assists. Kayla Luehmann stole the ball four times. Erin McCabe topped Midland with 11 points and Crystal Wiemer and Trisha Petrzelka each had eight rebounds. The Bulldogs hit 32 of 76 field-goal attempts, 5-16 from three-point range, and nine of 13 at the charity stripe. 

50th year of women's basketball marked

Fifty years of women’s basketball at Concordia University will be commemorated Friday at the halftime of the Bulldogs’ Concordia Invitational Tournament game vs. River Forest.

Stemming from a humble beginning 50 years ago, the sport has continued to grow, as evidenced by the fact that the 2002-03 team compiled a 36-2 record as they advanced to the semifinals of the NAIA Division II national tournament in March 2003.

The academic emphasis of the program is revealed by an unprecedented fourth consecutive first-place finish atop the 2002-03 Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. The team’s GPA was 3.66. No other team - NCAA, NAIA or JC/CC - has equaled this feat.

What was it like to start the program 50 years ago? 

“I guess the impetus was the girls’ desire to have a competitive team and my willingness to be a pioneer,” said Wally Bostelmann, drafted by the women as the first coach in 1953-54 after he dropped participation as a player with the men’s team. “We practiced hard and played hard, but got the short end of the stick mostly. We may have won two games.”

While the school helped meet the budget, Bostelmann served on a volunteer basis and the girls chipped in to meet additional expenses. Ten games that first year included opponents such as Dana, York and Lincoln AFB. 

There were six on a team divided between the offensive and defensive ends of the court with the roving forward. There were no other competitive sports teams for girls for some time.

“I had no idea that this would be the start of something that led to the caliber of ball they play today,” said Bostelmann, a 1955 graduate who has help plant three new churches since he left the teaching ministry. “I congratulate them one and all and all who paved the road to success along the way.”

Following him were such coaches as Eleanor Glaess Darrow, JoAnn Degner Brandhorst, Judy Kretzschmar, Eunice Goldgrabe, Carl Everts, Mark Lemke, Micah Parker and Todd Voss.

The program was thought of as a type of  “AAU,” but it did not function under any national athletic agency until around 1972 when the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) was formed. For many colleges, funding for women’s sports took a huge step in 1979 when Title IX kicked into action.  But Concordia had beaten the federal legislation to the punch. The NAIA began sponsoring women's basketball in 1980 and held its first national championship in 1981.

Several players from the 1954-55 team will be present for the celebration.

Nebraskans roll over River Forest, 90-29, at CIT

30 JAN 2004

The Concordia Bulldogs connected on 54 percent of 63 field-goal attempts in a 90-29 first-round victory over Concordia River Forest. The Illinois team only hit 25 percent in the Concordia Invitational Tournament game at Seward on Friday night. 

The Bulldogs went on an 18-0 run that put the game out of reach at 36-8 with 7:19 remaining in the first half. It was 44-18 at the break. 

The winners produced balance with 14 players scoring, led by Sarah Harrison with 14 and Jenny Karner and Keyna Kobza each 11. Kari Saving added nine points, Rebecca Hiller, Kayla Luehmann and Elizabeth Rhoden each eight and Becky Masters seven. Saving's five rebounds was tops as every Bulldogs was credited with at least one rebound. Assists found Karner with six and Hiller with five. The Bulldogs stole the ball 24 times while the Cougars made 31 turnovers. Atoi Sinclair scored eight for River Forest and had nine rebounds. 

Concordia Nebraska and Concordia Wisconsin meet in the finals at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Wisconsin puts Nebraskans to test in CIT final

31 JAN 2004

Concordia Nebraska hit eight points at the start of the second half that stood up for a 93-80 victory over Concordia Wisconsin in the finals of the Concordia Invitational Tournament at Seward on Jan. 31. The Bulldogs trailed at the break, 42-40. The Mequon team cut the margin to 82-78 with three minutes remaining, but the Bulldogs answered with nine points before the Falcons scored with 22 seconds on the clock.

The Bulldogs opened an 8-2 lead in the opening two minutes, but the Falcons fought back to tie it at 15-15 three minutes later and held most of the remainder of the half.

The Wisconsin team gave the Nebraskans more than they could handle with seven three-point successes in the first half with Stacy Rusch scoring 16 and Stephanie Young 13. Rusch finished with 20 and Young 15 as JQ Stewart picked up the pace in the second half to finish with 25.

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures. Sarah Harrison, who earned MVP honors for the tournament, led with 27 while Kenya Kobza added 21, and Kari Saving and Elizabeth Rhoden each 14. Harrison also had 12 rebounds and Saving turned in seven assists. Rhoden was named to the all-tournament team along with Rusch, Sarrah Palmer of Ann Arbor and Elizabeth Zielke of River Forest.

The win left the Bulldogs at 21-4.  It was their ninth straight CIT championship and the 15th in the past 17 years. 

Bulldogs struggle in 65-55 win over Doane

3 FEB 2004

Doane put together a 19-1 run midway in the second half as Concordia was suffering a seven-minute scoring drouth. But the Bulldogs were able to withstand the threat for a 65-55 victory with a 38-20 halftime margin and 46-24 in the first four minutes of the second half. The Great Plains Athletic Conference game was played Tuesday night at Seward. 

The Tigers had cut the margin to 47-43 with 6:12 left when Kayla Luehmann broke the slump with a three-pointer as the shot clock was about to expire and the Bulldogs held on for the victory.

Luehmann was the spark in the first-half attack, scoring 10 points, pulling down seven rebounds and stealing the ball four times.  The closest Doane could get was 21-17 at 8:11. 

Shooting success was reversed at the half: Concordia hit 54 percent of its field-goal attempts in the opening stanza while Doane was limited to 27 percent. After the break, Doane hit 47 percent and Concordia 25 percent.  

Luehmann led Bulldog scorers with 13 while Sarah Harrison added 11 and Elizabeth Rhoden 10. Andrea Swanson scored 19 and Kate Reeson 11 for Doane. 

The win advanced the Bulldogs to 22-4 for the season, 12-2 in the GPAC, while Doane came out 15-9, 7-7 in the GPAC. Concordia was ranked No. 11 for the fourth straight week by the NAIA.
Participants in 50 years of Concordia Nebraska women's basketball were recognized at halftime of the CIT first-round game on Friday.

Woudstra's 35 paces Red Raiders in 93-89 win

7 FEB 2004

Northwestern overcame a slow start to defeat Concordia, 93-89, in a GPAC game at Seward on Saturday afternoon. 

Jaime Woudstra did most of the damage with 35 points, hitting 12 of 22 field goal attempts including five of seven from three-point range. The Red Raiders ended up hitting 55 percent of their shots although trailing by 23-10 after six minutes of play. Northwestern tied it up at 47-47 in the first minute of the second half after a 47-43 deficit at the break. 

The Red Raiders held the edge during most of the see-saw second half and hit 16 of their last 18 free throws. A Bulldogs rally cut it to 91-89 with 13 seconds remaining after Northwestern led 84-79 with 2:20 on the clock. 

Four Bulldogs were in double figures: Elizabeth Rhoden with 24, Kari Saving 19, Sarah Harrison 13 and Kayla Luehmann 12. Lindsay Kropf added 21 and Carli Blom 17 for the Red Raiders. 

Woudstra had 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Harrison's 11 led Bulldog rebounders. Rhoden had seven assists. 

With the loss the Bulldogs lost an opportunity to move into the GPAC lead by half a game as Hastings defeated Morningside, 105-98, in four overtimes. .

Hastings roars back for 72-61 GPAC victory

11 FEB 2004

It was a reversal of roles at half. Hastings, down 42-27 at the break, came back in the second half to outscore Concordia, 45-19, to strengthen its position as the No. 1 team in NAIA Division II.

Both teams connected on 56 percent of field-goal attempts for a half -- Concordia in the first and Hastings in the second. The Bulldogs hit 26 percent of 27 shots  in the second half while the Broncos managed only 33 percent in the opening period.

Hastings took its first lead since the opening basket at 53-51 with 9:11 left and never trailed again. Carrie Hofstetter and Lynnze Martinsen both hit two buckets from three-point range in the Bronco surge. Concordia only had one three-pointer for the game. 

Hofstetter with 17, Sandy Kliewer with 16 and Martinsen with 15 led the Bronco attack. Sarah Harrison, who pulled down five rebounds, scored 18 and Kayla Luehmann 11 for the Bulldogs. In assists, Kari Saving turned in seven and Elizabeth Rhoden six. 

The Bulldogs attacked the Broncos fearlessly and played outstanding half-court defense in the first half, Voss said.  “We got the ball to Sarah and Kayla in the post and scored in transition,” he said.  “We had control of the tempo.” In the second half, that all turned.  “They packed it in inside,” he said. “As we missed shots we became more tentative.”

Even so, he pointed out, his team fought back to cut the lead to 60-57 with 5:24 remaining, but four trips to the free-throw line only produced two points. The shooting percentage told it all: 25.9 percent in field-goal shooting with 0-10 from three-point range and 5-10 on free throws.

Concordia 82, Nebraska Wesleyan 50

17 FEB 2004

Elizabeth Rhoden scored 23, Kari Saving 18 and Sarah Harrison 12 as Concordia defeated Nebraska Wesleyan, 82-50, in a GPAC game at Lincoln on Tuesday night.  The Bulldogs built a 46-25 halftime margin. They used a pressure defense to steal the ball 21 times with Rhoden taking away seven and Saving five.  Rhoden also led in rebounding with Jessica Domina, each picking off six. Rhoden also topped assists with four while playing only 25 minutes.  

“We took control in the first half and didn't let them back in it,” Voss said. “Our defense generated points off turnovers and disrupted their offensive rhythm. Lots of people played.”

Lady Bulldogs upset Morningside, 94-87

21 FEB 2004

The Concordia women’s basketball team, seeded No. 4 among the eight teams that qualified for the Great Plains Athletic Conference post-season tournament, knocked NAIA No. 2 Morningside out of a first-place tie with Hastings on Feb. 21 with a 94-87 victory at Seward.

Junior forward Kari Saving poured in 28 points.  “There were a lot of heroes in this one,” Coach Todd Voss said. “It was nothing less than a great team effort.”  He likes the way the Bulldogs are heading into the GPAC tournament. “We're showing some mental toughness and building momentum.”

Concordia shot 52.5 percent from the field (47 percent from three-point range), converted 22 of 25 free-throw attempts, outrebounded the Mustangs 40-26, and committed only 14 turnovers, the lowest total for a Morningside pressure-defense opponent this season.

Keyna Kobza came off the bench to add 17 points to Saving’s career-high 28 and Sarah Harrison and Naomi Laune, another reserve, each added 13. Elizabeth Rhoden turned in 12 assists and Kayle Luehmann pulled down nine rebounds, eight defensively. The Bulldogs got 36 points from its bench compared to six for Morningside.

“We needed to play aggressive offense to go along with our defense and that's what we did,” Voss said. “Morningside's defense is so good that you have to attack it hard or they'll put you on your heels.”

Saving’s defensive effort was equally impressive. She guarded Brittany Carper, a 5-11 junior guard who is also the nation’s third leading scorer with an average of 22.5 points per game and leads NAIA Division II in assists and steals. Carper totaled six points before fouling out with 13:45 remaining. The effort magnifies when noting that Carper has scored 20 points or more 19 times this season, including seven games with 30 or more, and has scored in double figures in 32 of the Mustangs’ last 34 games dating back to last season. Her 34-game string of steals also was broken. Kate Lokken scored 23 and Megan Cloud 22 for Morningside.

“Defensively, she got it done” Voss said of Saving, “and it was great to see her aggressiveness on offense.”    

A 16-point Concordia run gave the Bulldogs a 26-14 advantage by the 10:44 mark of the opening half  and a 44-37 lead at the intermission. Morningside mounted its own run of 23-8 to regain the lead at 64-63 with 11:15 remaining after the Bulldog surge put them in front, 54-41. Saving hit a three at the 5:12 mark to end a see-saw battle at 84-81 and the Bulldogs led the rest of the way.

“We had a lot of players step up and make plays,” the coach said.  “In the second half, we had an answer ever time they hit a big shot. We stepped up to the challenge and showed a lot of heart and character. “     

Voss spread the praise. “Keyna, Kari and Ro (Rhoden) all shot the ball well from three,” he said, “while Sarah and Naomi went to work inside (combined 26 points and 10 rebounds). Laune made an impact every time she was in, he said, and agressive play by Carly Wolfram makes the Bulldogs a stronger team. “There were a lot of key baskets, but Rhoden's two three's around the seven-minute mark stand out for giving us control.”

Bulldogs advance to GPAC semifinals, 96-83

25 FEB 2004

Concordia was perfect on 16 free throws in the second half to help provide an edge as it defeated Northwestern, 96-83, in the first round of the GPAC tournament.  The Bulldogs led 46-43 at half in the Wednesday night game at Seward. The only time the Red Raiders moved in front was early in the second half at 49-48 and 55-54. It was 68-62 at the midway point of the period and the Red Raiders were unable to close the gap the remainder of the way.

Elizabeth Rhoden with 25, Kari Saving 23 and Kenya Kobza with 20 led the Concordia attack as the Bulldogs hit 55 percent from the field, including four for seven from three-point range. Lindsay Kropf scored 30 for Northwestern while Carli Blom hit for 21 and Jaime Woudstra added 17. Woudstra topped the rebounding department with 14 while Kayla Luehmann pulled down six for the Bulldogs. Rhoden added six assists. 

The teams expressed appreciation to the Bulldog fans. "Your presence and energy means a lot to our team," Coach Todd Voss said.

Northwestern defeated Concordia, 73-70, at Seward on Feb. 7. Concordia was at No. 9 in the Feb. 24 NAIA ratings and Northwestern came in at No. 22.  Four of the top nine teams were from the GPAC, including Hastings at No. 1, Morningside at No. 5 and Dakota Wesleyan at No. 7.  The Bulldogs now go to Hastings on Saturday to face the GPAC champions at 3 p.m. Hastings, the two-time defending national champions, defeated Midland Lutheran. The Tigers won over Concordia, 72-61, on Feb. 11 at Seward while the Bulldogs won at Hastings, 74-73, on Nov. 25.

Bulldogs in finals, defeat #1 Hastings, 82-66

26 FEB 2004

Four scored in double figures as the Concordia women's basketball team defeated NAIA #1 Hastings, 82-66, Saturday in the semifinals of the GPAC post-season tournament at Hastings. The Bulldogs led, 50-31, at half. The GPAC tourney finals will be Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Morningside, which won, 91-78, over Dakota Wesleyan in the other semifinal game. . 

The Bulldogs hit 52 percent of their 54 field-goal attempts, but only managed to connect on two of 14 attempts from beyond the arc. Hastings hit 38.5 percent of 65 shots. The Broncos' point total was their lowest of the season. 

Kari Saving paced the Bulldog attack with 22 points with Keyna Kobza adding 16, Sarah Harrison 13 and Carly Wolfram 10. Elizabeth Rhoden contributed eight assists and four steals with Wolfram making six assists and three steals. Saving blocked two shots. Kayla Luehmann, Saving and Koza helped dominate board play with six rebounds each. Also contributing were Naomi Laune, Harrison and Wolfram each with five and Jessica Domina four. Concordia also took advantage by hitting 24 of 32 free throws. 

Carly Stucky scored 21 and Sandy Kliewer 15 for the Broncos, who qualified for the NAIA national tournament by winning the regular-season championship. Concordia needs to win the tournament championship to ensure a spot in the big event, although they might still be able to qualify for an at-large berth on the basis of a No. 9 standing in the final rankings. 

GPAC finals: Morningside 76, Concordia 63

2 MAR 2004

Kate Lokken hit a three-pointer two minutes into the GPAC tournament finals and Morningside never trailed in a 76-63 win over Concordia on Tuesday night at Sioux City, Iowa.  A 6-0 run brought the Bulldogs within 19-18 with 8:34 left in the half that ended at 39-25.  

The win provided an automatic NAIA national tournament spot for Morningside with the Concordia hoping its No. 9 NAIA ranking will qualify it for an at-large berth. Hastings qualified with the regular-season championship. Pairings will be announced Wednesday.

The Bulldogs went on a 12-1 run to start the second half to cut the Mustang lead to 40-37 at 16:39. Morningside rallied with its own 10-2 run and the teams battled on even terms until Concordia closed it to 61-54 with 7:25 on the clock. The Mustangs' answer was a 10-3 run. 

Elizabeth Rhoden and Keyna Kobza each scored 13 for the Bulldogs with Kari Saving adding 11. Concordia rebounding was led by Kayla Luehmann with nine and Carly Wolfram eight. Wolfram had five assists. Lokken scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Morningside. Brittany Carper scored 24 and made five assists. 

Although Concordia had two more field goals than Morningside, hitting 41 percent of its field-goal attempts, they were 4 for 12 at the charity stripe. Morningside had the same field-goal percentage but hit 11 of 29 from beyond the arc, compared to five for 15 for the Bulldogs. Flu-stricken Sarah Harrison sat out the second half after scoring four points while playing 12 minutes.

Concordia vs. Mid-America Nazarene

Concordia will play Mid-America Nazarene (Olathe, Kan.) at 4 p.m. on March 10 in the first round of the NAIA national tournament. The winner plays again at 2 p.m. on Friday against the winner of the Tennessee Wesleyan (31-2)-St. Ambrose (Iowa) (26-9) games.

Mid-America Nazarene finished the season at 25-7 and qualified as the Heart of America Athletic Conference runner-up to Evangel with a 17-3 record. The team is led by 5-11 junior Lacole Hooks, who is averages 17.4 points per game, and 6-2 senior Kristen Jennings, who had a 16.4 scoring average as well as leading the HAA in rebounding with 10.9 per game.

Concordia is in the same bracket as Cedarville of Ohio (31-2), the top-seeded team in the tournament. The Bulldogs are seeded No. 3 in their quarter of the 32-team tourney while Mid-America is No. 6. Four GPAC teams qualified for the tournament field and were placed in different brackets. Morningside (post-season tournament champion) and Hastings (regular-season champion) are top-seeded in their quarter of the bracket and Dakota Wesleyan was given a No. 2 spot. Concordia earned the No. 2 at-large bid, Dakota Wesleyan the No. 1 at-large bid.

Bulldogs advance in NAIA, 70-57

10 MAR 2004

Concordia defeated MidAmerica Nazarene, 70-57, in the first round of the NAIA national tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Sioux City, Iowa. The Bulldogs had a 43-39 lead at half. 

They now face Tennessee Wesleyan at 2 p.m. on Friday in the second round. The Athens, Tenn., team is 32-2 for the season as champions of the Appalachian Athletic Conference. They are led by Monique Herron, who had 19 points in the NAIA opening 64-57 win over St. Ambrose (Iowa). The Tennessee team, also with a Bulldog mascot, was No. 8 in the final NAIA ratings while Concordia was No. 9. 

After Concordia had opened a 52-43 lead Wednesday in the first six minutes of the second half, the Pioneers closed within 52-49. The Bulldog defense held the Kansas team to 18 points in the second half. 

The Olathe, Kan., team took its only midgame lead at 33-32 on the three-pointer by Kristen Jennings with 4:49 left in the first half.  Concordia answered it with buckets by Naomi Laune and Rhoden to open it to 37-33 and stretched it to 41-35 with a minute left in the half.

After Melanie Simmons scored for the Pioneers` to open the game, the Bulldogs went on a 7-0 run and held the biggest lead of the half at 23-12 at 10:47. Nazarene answered with three consecutive hits from beyond the arc to cut it to 25-21 two minutes later. Kari Saving led the early surge and ended the half with 14 points while Elizabeth Rhoden added 10.

Saving ended with 18 and Rhoden 17 with Naomi Laune coming off the bench to pop in 13. Rhoden topped rebounders with seven and made five assists. Kayla Dingman scored 15, Lacole Hook 13 and Melanie Simmons 12 for the losing team.

The Bulldogs hit 46 percent of 52 field-goal attempts, 5 of 15 from three and got four of six free-throw attempts. Nazarene hit 43 percent.

It wasn't pretty, but Bulldogs advance, 63-53

12 MAR 2004

Concordia advanced to the quarterfinals of the NAIA women's basketball tournament on Friday afternoon with a 63-53 win over Tennessee Wesleyan.

Concordia will face Cedarville of Ohio, the NAIA No. 2 team and top-seeded at 1 p.m. on Saturday with the winner advancing to semifinal play on Monday. Cedarville defeated College of the Ozarks, 82-65, on Saturday.  

The Bulldogs did not score in the first six minutes and did not get a field goal until 7 1/2 minutes were gone. Tennessee Wesleyan led 6-0 before the Nebraska team went on a 26-4 run.  It was 29-17 at half.

The biggest lead of the game was 29-14 with 2:55 left in the half.

Tennessee Wesleyan rallied in the second half and was within 42-39 at the midpoint. Elizabeth Rhoden and Kayla Luehmann led a scoring attack that put the Bulldogs safety in front, 58-47, with 1:42 on the clock.

"Defensively we were OK," Coach Todd Voss said, "and it carried us.  We did not shoot well." The Tennessee Bulldogs were physical in attempting to plug the middle and take away Concordia's inside game, he said. 

"We feel more confident," junior post player Naomi Laune said in post-game comments. "We've played good competition and are confident we can beat everyone here."  

Rhoden's 21 points led Concordia with Kari Saving adding 12. Luehmann pulled down 10 rebounds and Laune nine. Niki Dixon scored 13 and Renee Robinson, who sat most of the first half with two fouls, added 12. The Tennesseans hit a third of their field-goal attempts, but only 16 percent from three, zero for 10 in the first half.

Switch to zone pays for Cedarville, 77-69

13 MAR 2004

Cedarville switched to a zone defense in the second half to halt a potent Concordia attack and went on for a 77-69 victory in the quarterfinals. The loss in the NAIA national tournament on March 13 at Sioux City, Iowa, ended the Bulldog season at 28-8.

Concordia held a 40-37 lead at the break after dominating the first half against the NAIA top seed, leading at 23-14 with 12:20 left in the period. The Ohio team went on a 19-0 run to take a 64-54 command with eight minutes remaining. Sarah Harrison led a Bulldog attack from the baseline to close it to 64-62 but Julie Stauffer's scoring held off the threat and that was as close as it got. 

"The zone was the turning point," Cedarville Coach Kirk Martin said. He said the switch was just something to see what happens, as they don't work on it that much. He complimented the Concordia team on doing a great job of slowing the Cedarville transition game.

"We had opportunities," Coach Todd Voss said of the Bulldogs' 31 percent field-goal shooting in the second half. "We just missed them." Concordia connected on 49 percent of 33 shots in the first half, five of 10 from three. Cedarville was very talented and physical, he added, and the Bulldogs didn't get to the free-throw line as much as needed. "I give the girls a lot of credit for hanging in there, fighting and playing hard."

Harrison led the Bulldog attack with 17 points while Elizabeth 

Rhoden added 16, 11 in the first half, and Keyna Kobza 13. Kayla Luehmann led rebounding with 10 and Rhoden had five assists and four steals..

Freshman Brittany Smart scored a double-double for Cedarville as she finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The winners were 20 for 22 from the free-throw line.