2011-12 Women's Basketball

34-3 Overall, 18-2 GPAC - Season Statistics

OCTOBER

  Oct. 31 York College York, Neb. W, 68-50

NOVEMBER

  Nov. 5 Tabor College  Seward, Neb. W, 79-34
  Nov. 8  (RV) College of St. Mary Omaha, Neb. W, 82-52
Cattle Classic (also view Cattle Classic page for more tournament info):
  Nov. 11 William Penn  Seward, Neb. W, 86-70
  Nov. 12 Bethel College  Seward, Neb W, 83-53
  Nov. 19 (RV) Mount Marty College * Yankton, S.D. W, 67-61
  Nov. 22 Nebraska Wesleyan University *  Seward, Neb. W, 99-48
  Nov. 29  Midland University *  Fremont, Neb.  W, 67-54

DECEMBER

  Dec. 3 #13 Morningside College *  Seward, Neb. L, 69-66
  Dec. 7  #2 Briar Cliff University *  Seward, Neb.  W, 89-87 (OT)
  Dec. 10  Dakota Wesleyan University *  Mitchell, S.D.  W, 62-49
  Dec. 20 (RV) Doane College * Crete, Neb. W, 84-58
Johnson & Wales Classic:
  Dec. 29 Bethany College Denver, Colo. W, 82-43
  Dec. 30 Johnson & Wales Denver, Colo. W, 103-70

JANUARY

  Jan. 4  #20 Northwestern College* Orange City, Iowa  L, 74-67
  Jan. 7 Dordt College *  Seward, Neb. W, 65-54
  Jan. 11  #14 Hastings College *  Hastings, Neb.  W, 59-47
  Jan. 14 #5 Morningside College * Sioux City, Iowa W, 74-65
  Jan. 17 Midland University *  Seward, Neb. W, 79-67
  Jan. 19  Nebraska-Omaha  Omaha, Neb.  W, 68-60
  Jan. 21 Dakota Wesleyan University *  Seward, Neb. W, 68-59
  Jan. 24 (RV) Doane College *  Seward, Neb.  W, 78-57
Concordia Invitational Tournament (view the CIT pages at CUNE and host school CUC for more information):
  Jan. 27 Concordia University-Wisconsin Chicago, Ill. W, 98-58
  Jan. 28 Championship Game vs. #6 CU-Ann Arbor Chicago, Ill. W, 72-68

FEBRUARY

  Feb. 1 Nebraska Wesleyan University * Lincoln, Neb. W, 82-58
  Feb. 6  #7 Northwestern College *  Seward, Neb.  W, 76-62
  Feb. 8  #11 Briar Cliff University *  Sioux City, Iowa  W, 102-96
  Feb. 11 Dordt College * Sioux Center, Iowa W, 71-64
  Feb. 14 #19 Hastings College *  Seward, Neb. W, 70-54
  Feb. 18  (RV) Mount Marty College *  Seward, Neb.  W, 73-55 
GPAC Tournament:
  Feb. 22 Dakota Wesleyan  Seward, Neb. W, 93-63
  Feb. 25 #17 Hastings College  Seward, Neb. W, 86-48
  Feb. 28 #5 Morningside College  Seward, Neb. W, 73-66

MARCH

NAIA Tournament:
  Mar. 8 (RV) Sterling (Kan.) Sioux City, Iowa W, 78-54
  Mar. 9 No. 15 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)  Sioux City, Iowa W, 69-48
  Mar. 10
No. 7 Grand View (Iowa)  Sioux City, Iowa W, 80-68
  Mar. 12 No. 3 College of Ozarks (Mo.)  Sioux City, Iowa L, 74-70


*
Indicates Great Plains Athletic Conference Games

All Home Games in BOLD

686_team_IMG_4971.jpg

2011-12 Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown Previous School
10 Kasi Stoltz G 5-5 So. Elgin, Neb. Pope John
12 Bailey Morris G 5-4 Fr. Roseland, Neb. Sandy Creek
14 Tracy Peitz G 5-10 Fr. Hartington, Neb. Hartington Cedar Catholic
20 Lori Laboda F 5-11 So. Parker, Colo. Chaparral
22 Kristen Conahan G 5-5 So. Omaha, Neb. Millard North
24 Kelsey Hizer G 5-10 Fr. Parker, Colo. Parker Lutheran
30 Beth Kohmetscher G 5-6 Jr. Deweese, Neb. Sandy Creek
32 Katie Rich G 5-9 Jr. Tilden, Neb. Elkhorn Valley
34 Dawn Martin G 5-8 Jr. Rockford, Ill. Rockford Lutheran
40 Brittany Benson F 5-11 Sr. Naples, Fla. Florida Southern College
42 Jericca Pearson F 5-10 Fr. Gibbon, Neb. Gibbon
44 Amber Kistler G 5-9 Sr. Minatare, Neb. Western Nebraska CC
50 Sara Simmons G 5-10 Fr. Sumner, Neb. SEM
52 Britney Birtell F 6-0 So. Madison, Neb. Lutheran High Northeast
54 Katie Herther F 5-11  Jr. Sioux Falls, S.D. Lincoln 

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Drew Olson

Assistant Coach: Amy Harms

Graduate Assistant: Josh Ostrem

Bulldogs selected fourth in GPAC Preseason Coaches' Poll

13 October 2011

Concordia University is picked to finish fourth in the 2011-12 GPAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll.  The poll was released on Thursday.  

Northwestern College received nine of the 11 first place votes and totaled 99 points to be the preseason coaches’ selection to win the 2011-12 GPAC title.  Briar Cliff and Morningside College tied for second and each received one first place vote and 87 points.  Concordia was selected fourth with 61 points, while Dordt College (58) and Mount Marty College (57) were close behind in fifth and sixth.  

Concordia opens the 2011-12 season on October 31 at York College.  

2011-12 GPAC Preseason Women’s Basketball Poll
1. Northwestern College – 99 Points – (9 First Place Votes)
T-2. Briar Cliff University – 87 Points – (1 First Place Vote)
T-2. Morningside College – 87 Points – (1 First Place Vote)
4. Concordia University – 61 Points
5. Dordt College – 58 Points
6. Mount Marty College – 57 Points
7. Doane College – 46 Points
8. Hastings College – 45 Points
9. Midland University – 26 Points
10. Nebraska Wesleyan University – 23 Points
11. Dakota Wesleyan University – 16 Points

Bulldogs look to bounce back in 2011-12

14 October 2011

Concordia University will look to bounce back in 2011-12 following a disappointing season a year ago.  The Bulldogs were 15-17 overall and just 6-12 in GPAC play during the 2010-11 campaign.  It was the first losing season since 2005-06.  Concordia had advanced to the NAIA National Tournament in three straight seasons, but that streak ended last year.  Despite the tough season a year ago, Coach Drew Olson is very optimistic about this year’s squad.  

“We have one of the more athletic teams we have ever had,” remarked Olson, who enters his sixth year with a career record of 105-57.  “We have several very good athletes, which should make for a good defensive team.  So far, the team chemistry has been great.”  

Concordia returns a trio of starters in Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.), Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) and Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.).  However, the 2011-12 team will feature many new faces following the graduation of Kristin Miller and Kat Ommen as well as the transfer of guards Treva Nutter and Myhiah Dotzler.  

“I would say our team is very balanced,” added Olson.  “We have a lot of returners from last season, but most of those players have only one year of experience.  We have four or five players that are new that will impact our varsity team.”  

The trio of Rich, Kistler and Conahan was very successful last year, and those players will again be looked upon for offense, defense and leadership with such a young squad.  Rich earned second team All-GPAC as well as honorable mention All-America honors last year after leading the team with 12.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.  She added 60 assists and 55 steals for the Bulldogs last year.  Kistler, who was an honorable mention All-GPAC selection a season ago, averaged 10.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in her first year at Concordia.  The transfer from Western Nebraska Community College was second on the team in scoring, and she added 64 assists and 54 steals.  Conahan took over the point guard duties late last season.  She hit a team-best 77 3-pointers and was third on the team with 10.6 points per game.  Conahan added 56 assists and led the team with 72 steals.  

“When healthy, Katie provides a huge lift for our team,” said Olson.  “Kristen should be a big impact player for us, and Amber can be a great defender and shooter for our team.”  

The Bulldogs also return Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.), Beth Kohmetscher (Deweese, Neb.), Dawn Martin (Rockford, Ill.), Katie Herther (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.), who all saw significant playing time a season ago.  Laboda, Herther and Birtell will battle for playing time inside, while Kohmetscher and Martin will add depth at the guard position for the Bulldogs in 2011-12.  

Coach Olson is also excited about his new batch of players including Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb.), Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.), Brittany Benson (Naples, Fla.), Kelsey Hizer (Parker, Colo.) and Jericca Pearson (Gibbon, Neb.).  All of these players have a chance to work their way into the rotation and have an immediate impact on the 2011-12 squad.  

“Tracy will be a great addition defensively on the wing,” noted Olson.  “Bailey will help us with ball handling and creating, and she is a very good defender.  Brittany has a chance to be really good offensively, and she should help us inside.  Kelsey can do a lot of things for us on both ends, and she’s a great athlete.  Jericca is also a great athlete, and she can really help us if she finds her role.” 

Inconsistency and struggles down the stretch in games plagued the Bulldogs last year.  Of their 17 losses, 10 came by 10 points or less, and six came by five points or less.  “We hope to be more efficient offensively this year,” remarked Olson.  “We also need better execution late in games.”  

The GPAC will again be loaded with talent.  Concordia was selected fourth in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll.  Northwestern College, the defending National Champion, was picked to win the conference, while Briar Cliff and Morningside College tied for second just in front of Concordia.  

“There are a lot of teams in this conference that should be pretty good,” commented Olson.  “We could be pretty good as well.  Hopefully we can get back to where this program belongs, at the National Tournament.”  

Concordia opens the season at York College on October 31.

Bulldogs ranked 22nd in NAIA preseason poll

25 October 2011

Concordia University is 22nd in the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll which was released on Tuesday. 

The Great Plains Athletic Conference is again well represented in the poll.  Northwestern College received all 13 first place votes and 374 total points to earn the top ranking in the preseason poll.  The Red Raiders went 35-1 last year.  Morningside College earned 360 points and is second in the poll, and Briar Cliff is fifth with 311 points.  Concordia picked up 108 total points to earn the No. 22 ranking.  Dordt College and Mount Marty College both received votes in the preseason poll. 

Concordia was 15-17 overall and 6-12 in conference play during the 2010-11 season.  The Bulldogs open the 2011-12 season on October 31 on the road at York College.

Bulldogs open season with 68-50 win over York College

31 October 2011

No. 22 Concordia University opened the season with a 68-50 women’s basketball win over York College on Halloween night in York.  The Bulldogs jumped out to a 42-27 halftime lead in the win.  The combination of Lori Laboda and Beth Kohmetscher stepped up big for Concordia in the victory.  Laboda and Kohmetscher combined for 38 points on the night.  York College dropped to 0-2 with the loss. 

Laboda (Parker, Colo.) led all scorers in the first half with 17 points.  Kohmetscher (Deweese, Neb.) chipped in with 14 points, as the Bulldogs took a 15-point lead into the halftime break. 

York kept things close during the early stages of the second half.  The Panthers hit four of their first six shots, while Concordia struggled from the field to open the half.  York pulled within nine at 51-42 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the contest.  However, Concordia answered with four straight with a made free throw by Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb .) and a 3-pointer by Kelsey Hizer (Parker, Colo.) to take a 55-42 lead.  A 3-pointer by Kohmetscher increased the Bulldog lead to 58-43 with just over seven minutes to play in regulation.  The Bulldog defense limited York to just seven points over the final seven minutes of the contest.  Concordia led by as many as 24 (68-44) and settled for the 68-50 victory. 

Both teams struggled from the field.  Concordia was 19-of-68 overall for 28 percent, while York was 14-of-48 for 29 percent.  The Bulldogs forced 22 York College turnovers, however, and Concordia held a 51-39 rebounding advantage in the victory. 

Laboda finished with a game-high 21 points to go along with six rebounds.  Kohmetscher finished with 17 points and hit five 3-pointers on the night.  Peitz added a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds and also dished out a team-high four assists.  Hizer finished just short of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. 

Sara Lincoln scored 14 points for York College.  No one else scored more than seven for the Panthers. 

Concordia hosts Tabor College on November 5.  Tip is scheduled for 4 pm at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Bulldogs force 37 turnovers in 79-34 rout of Tabor College

5 November 2011

Concordia University dominated Tabor College from start to finish in a 79-34 women’s basketball win on Saturday afternoon in Seward.  The Bulldogs led 48-17 at half, and the Bulldog defense was the story.  Concordia forced 37 Tabor College turnovers, and the Bulldogs finished with 27 steals in the contest.  Concordia moved to 2-0 on the young season with the win.  Tabor slipped to 0-2. 

Tabor College was just 12-of-44 (27.3 percent) from the field in the loss.  The Jays managed just 18 field goal attempts in the first half compared to 46 for the Bulldogs.  Tabor was just 4-of-18 from deep for 22.2 percent.  Starting Tabor guard Tamara Lio finished with 13 turnovers by herself, as the Concordia press caused major problems all day.  No one reached double figures in scoring for Tabor.  Katlyn Mary finished with a team-high nine points, while Tynan Honn chipped in with eight. 

Concordia used its depth to wear down Tabor College.  The Bulldogs had 11 players play double-digit minutes, and three Bulldogs reached double figures in what was a balanced offensive attack.  Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) finished with a game-high 17 points with nine rebounds.  Birtell was 7-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free throw line in the win.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) added 15 points and five steals, while Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) poured in 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field. 

“Our defense was great, especially in the first half,” remarked Bulldog head coach Drew Olson.  “We didn’t really settle on our rotation, so we kind of played in waves today.  It was a great team effort, though.  A lot of players stepped up and played well.  Once we settle in on our rotation, things should begin to click a little more.” 

The Bulldogs didn’t shoot it well, connecting on just 31-of-81 shot attempts for 38.3 percent.  Concordia also struggled from deep (7-of-30 for 23.3 percent), something Coach Olson hopes to improve.  “With our team, we are going to shoot a lot of 3-pointers,” remarked Olson.  “We want to do that, but we want to take better shots moving forward, and we need to knock down our open looks.” 

Concordia travels to College of St. Mary on November 8.  The Bulldogs then host the Cattle Classic Tournament in Seward on November 11 and 12.

#22 women's basketball cruises past College of St. Mary, 82-52

8 November 2011

Kristen Conahan and Amber Kistler combined for 35 points, and Concordia University picked up an easy 82-52 women’s basketball win over College of St. Mary on Tuesday evening in Omaha.  Concordia, who is currently 22nd in the NAIA Top 25, picked up its third straight convincing win to open the season.  The Flames, who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25, dropped to 3-1 on the year with the loss. 

The Bulldogs got off to a tremendous start in the opening half and raced out to a 56-35 halftime lead.  Concordia was an even 50 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes (19-of-38).  The Bulldogs shot it well from all over in the first half, connecting on 10-of-18 from long range (55.6 percent) and 8-of-10 free throws.  Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the first half.  She drained five 3-pointers in the half, while Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) chipped in with 12 first half points. 

Both teams struggled offensively in the second half.  Concordia was just 10-of-42 from the field for 23.8 percent, and CSM wasn’t much better at 7-of-26 for 26.9 percent.  For the game, both teams were right around 36 percent from the field.  However, the Bulldogs nailed 13 3-pointers on the night compared to just three for the Flames. 

Concordia held a slim 43-39 rebounding advantage in the contest.  The Bulldogs pulled down 20 offensive rebounds on the night and finished with 22 assists compared to just 10 for College of St. Mary.  Conahan finished with a game-high 19 points to go along with five assists and four steals.  Kistler added 16 points and six rebounds.  Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) had a nice all-around game with eight points, five rebounds and a game-high six assists.  Jericca Pearson (Gibbon, Neb.) and Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) added eight and seven points, respectively, off the Bulldog bench.  Rich handed out five assists on the night.  The Bulldog defense was once again the story.  For the second straight game, Concordia forced 37 turnovers.   

Theresa Elworth had a team-best 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Flames.  Karyn Bixler added 13 points, and Olivia Grigg chipped in with 10 points and 12 rebounds.  

The 2011 Cattle Classic Tournament will be held in Seward on Friday and Saturday.  Doane College, Bethel College and William Penn University will join the Concordia women in this year’s tournament field.  Games are scheduled for 6 and 8 on Friday evening and 2 and 4 on Saturday afternoon.  All games will be held at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Concordia to host Cattle Classic on November 11 and 12

9 November 2011

The 2011 Cattle Classic Tournament will be held this Friday and Saturday at Concordia University.  This year’s tournament will feature four women’s games.  Doane College, William Penn University and Bethel College (Kan.) will join Concordia in this year’s tournament field. 

The Cattle Classic is sponsored by the Cattle National Bank and Blue Valley Food Pantry.  Admission to the games is as follows; Adults – six cans of food or $6 per game or 10 cans of food or $10 for a weekend pass; Students – three cans of food or $2 per game or six cans of food or $6 for a weekend pass. 

Doane College and Bethel College open the tournament on Friday evening starting at 6 p.m.  The host Bulldogs will then take on William Penn at 8 p.m.  The Concordia Sports Network will cover both Friday evening games with live audio and video webcasts.  Lucas Mohrman will call the action for both contests. 

On Saturday, Doane College and William Penn play at 2 p.m.  Bethel College and Concordia play in the final game of the tournament with tip scheduled for 4 p.m.  Due to scheduling conflicts, there will be no webcasts for the Saturday contests. 

Following the 4 p.m. game on Saturday, the All-Classic Team will be announced. 

November 11 Schedule
Doane College vs. Bethel College @ 6 p.m.
William Penn vs. Concordia University @ 8 p.m. 

November 12 Schedule
Doane College vs. William Penn @ 2 p.m.
Bethel College vs. Concordia University @ 4 p.m.

Big second half lifts #22 Concordia to 86-70 win over William Penn

11 November 2011

Concordia University used a big second half to pull away for an 86-70 women’s basketball win over William Penn in the opening night of the Cattle Classic Tournament.  All 10 of Concordia’s players scored in the victory that moved the Bulldogs to 4-0 on the young season.  William Penn remained winless at 0-5. 

In the first half, Concordia jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead, forcing a quick timeout by the Statesmen.  However, cold shooting hurt the Bulldogs as the half went on, and William Penn managed to hang in the game.  Concordia held a slim 31-28 lead at halftime despite hitting just 11-of-37 shots overall (29.7 percent) and 2-of-19 3-point attempts (10.5 percent).  William Penn shot it well in the first half (11-of-18 for 61.1 percent), but the Bulldog defense forced several turnovers in the half. 

“Even when we struggled offensively in the first half, our defense was still good,” remarked Bulldog head coach Drew Olson.  “We weren’t hitting our shots early, but our defense kept us going through the cold spell.” 

Things changed dramatically in the second half for the Bulldogs offensively.  Concordia connected on 21-of-37 shots overall for 56.8 percent.  The Bulldogs were also 4-of-9 (44.4 percent) from deep in the final 20 minutes.  The Concordia depth also proved to be too much for the Statesmen to handle, and multiple scoring runs by the Bulldog reserves proved to be a key in the Concordia win. 

“We really settled down in the second half,” said Bulldog guard Amber Kistler.  “We played tough defense all night, and we’re blessed to have a deep and talented bench.  With that depth, we’re able to play hard and play with great tempo throughout the game.” 

Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 18 points on the night.  The senior was 7-of-14 from the field overall.  Kistler also added eight rebounds and five assists, something that Olson noticed just as much as her points. 

“Amber scored well for us tonight, but her effort is what stands out to me,” noted Olson.  “There are nights when Amber is going to put up points for us, but she’s always willing and able to do the little things that don’t always show up in the box score.  Our team feeds off of her energy, and it also helped that she hit a few 3-pointers tonight to get her going.” 

Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) and Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) also reached double figures with 10 points apiece.  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) added nine, while a total of four other Bulldogs scored seven points each in the victory.  Concordia totaled 19 assists and 17 steals in the win.  The Bulldogs also forced 32 William Penn turnovers, marking the third straight game a Concordia opponent has finished with 30+ turnovers.   

A total of four players reached double figures for William Penn.  Jessi Kreuser and Sam Abens each scored 11, while Orielle Thomas and Janay Pritchett chipped in with 10 apiece for the Statesmen.

Earlier in the evening, Doane College picked up an easy 82-57 win over Bethel College.  The Tigers led 48-21 at half and were led by Cheryl Braithwait’s 13 points.  Brittany Luettel and Morgan Dubas added 11 points apiece, while Hannah Dostal poured in 10 off the bench for Doane. 

Jess Muckenthaler scored a game-high 17 for Bethel in the loss.  Chelsea Harris scored 15 to go along with eight rebounds, and Payton Walker added 11 for the Threshers. 

The Cattle Classic Tournament will conclude on Saturday with games scheduled for 2 and 4 at the Walz Human Performance Complex.  Doane and William Penn will square off at 2, with Concordia and Bethel in action at 4. 

Bulldogs move to 5-0 with 83-53 win over Bethel College

12 November 2011

The Bulldog women’s basketball team continued to impress with a convincing 83-53 win over Bethel College on the final day of the Cattle Classic Tournament.  The Bulldogs used a run late in the first half to take a 41-23 lead into halftime, and the Threshers were unable to get back into the game in the second half.  Defense was again the story, as Concordia forced 28 turnovers on the day.  With the win, Concordia improved to 5-0.  Bethel College slipped to 1-2. 

Concordia was just 15-of-41 from the field in the opening half for 36.6 percent.  However, Concordia’s pressing and trapping defense caused problems for the visiting Threshers.  Bethel was just 5-of-27 from the field in the opening 20 minutes for 18.5 percent.  Despite hitting just 15-of-41 shots overall, Concordia hit six 3-pointers and was 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the opening half. 

It was more of the same in the final half of play.  Bethel was just 10-of-25 from the field, and the Threshers continued to have difficulty solving Concordia’s pressure defense.  The Bulldogs totaled 16 steals on the day.  Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) led the way defensively with four steals in the win. 

For the game, Concordia was 28-of-79 from the field for 35.4 percent.  The Bulldogs were 8-of-23 from long range for 34.8 percent and a solid 19-of-23 at the charity stripe for 82.6 percent.  Concordia completely dominated the glass with a 56-38 rebounding advantage.  The Bulldogs had 28 offensive rebounds in the contest.  Concordia’s depth was again on display, as the Bulldog bench outscored Bethel’s bench by a total of 44-14.  The Bulldogs totaled 30 points off turnovers and poured in 22 second-chance points in the victory.   

Concordia was led by Kristen Conahan’s 14 points.  Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) hit two 3-pointers and was a perfect 4-of-4 at the foul line.  Beth Kohmetscher (Deweese, Neb.) and Brittany Benson (Naples, Fla.) each added 12 off the bench.  Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) chipped in with 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds (six offensive rebounds).  Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) had nine points, six rebounds and three assists on the day. 

Bethel was led by Chelsea Harris, who scored 15 points.  Jess Muckenthaler added 11 points and seven assists for the Threshers. 

Earlier on Saturday, Doane College held on for a 66-56 win over William Penn.  The game was tied at 24-24 at halftime, but the Tigers hit 14-of-25 shots in the final half to secure the victory.  Madara Upeniece scored a Cattle Classic Tournament-high 27 points to go with 11 rebounds for Doane in the win.  Savannah Lohmeier added 12 points for the Tigers.  Orielle Thomas had 11 points and 14 rebounds for William Penn in the loss. 

The Cattle Classic All-Tournament Team was announced following Saturday’s games.  Chelsea Harris (Bethel College), Orielle Thomas (William Penn), Madara Upeniece (Doane College), Kristen Conahan (Concordia) and Amber Kistler (Concordia) were named to the team. 

2011 Cattle Classic All-Tournament Team
Chelsea Harris – G – Bethel College
Orielle Thomas – F – William Penn
Madara Upeniece – F – Doane College
Kristen Conahan – G – Concordia University
Amber Kistler – G – Concordia University

#22 Concordia opens GPAC play on Saturday at Mount Marty

17 November 2011

The Concordia University women’s basketball team opens conference play this weekend with a road contest at Mount Marty College.  Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon in Yankton.  Live stats for the game will be available through the Mount Marty website;http://www.mtmc.edu/athletics/index.aspx

Concordia takes a 5-0 record into Saturday’s contest.  The 22nd ranked Bulldogs have cruised through the first five games of the season.  Concordia picked up an easy 82-52 win over College of St. Mary on November 8.  The Bulldogs then picked up wins over William Penn (86-70) and Bethel College (83-53) in the Cattle Classic Tournament last weekend.  So far this season, Concordia scores 79.6 points per game while allowing just 51.8.  The Bulldogs have forced 156 turnovers in the first five games of the season. 
Mount Marty is 5-2 on the young season.  The Lancers have wins over Oglala Lakota College (101-42), William Penn (89-68), Dakota State (70-49), Jamestown (81-74 OT) and Grace University (92-44).  Mount Marty has losses to Bethel (70-55) and Valley City (54-51).  The Lancers average 77 points per game while allowing 57.3. 
Following Saturday’s contest, Concordia returns home to host Nebraska Wesleyan in the home conference opener on November 22. 

#22 Concordia defeats Mount Marty to improve to 6-0

19 November 2011

The 22nd ranked Concordia women’s basketball team moved to 6-0 on the season with a 67-61 win over Mount Marty College on Saturday afternoon in Yankton.  It was the opening conference game for both teams.  The Bulldogs built a lead as big as 20 in the contest but had to hold on for the victory over the Lancers, who dropped to 5-4 on the year. 

Concordia took control of the game midway through the first half.  A 10-2 run put Concordia on top by the score of 25-13 with eight minutes left in the half.  The host Lancers followed with a 10-0 run to pull back within two at 25-23 with four minutes remaining.  The Bulldogs rebuilt a 7-point lead (33-26) and took a 33-29 lead into halftime. 

The Bulldogs were 12-of-28 (42.9 percent) from the field in the opening half.  The Concordia defense also forced 11 Mount Marty turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.  The Lancers were 9-of-19 from the floor for 47.4 percent. 

Concordia again used a big run to create some separation early in the second half.  The Bulldogs scored the first 13 points of the half to claim a 46-29 lead with 17 minutes remaining in regulation.  Concordia led by as many as 20 (52-32), but the Lancers started to chip away with around six minutes left in the game. 

Mount Marty trailed by just five (61-56) with two minutes to play.  However, the Bulldogs connected on 6-of-7 free throws down the stretch to secure the 67-61 win. 

For the game, Concordia was 24-of-62 from the floor for 38.7 percent, including 8-of-21 from long range for 38.1 percent.  The Bulldogs were 11-of-18 at the free throw line for 61.1 percent.  Concordia also held a slim 41-36 rebounding advantage.  The Bulldogs totaled 15 offensive rebounds on the night.  Defensively, the Bulldogs forced 26 Mount Marty turnovers in the win. 

Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) scored a team-best 17 points for Concordia.  Kistler was 4-of-7 from the field (a percent 3-for-3 from deep) and 6-for 6 at the charity stripe.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) delivered 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field.  Conahan hit three 3-pointers and added a game-high four steals.  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) chipped in with 11 points and a team-best seven boards. 

Kylie Gross scored a game-high 18 points for Mount Marty in defeat.  Gross was 6-of-10 from the floor and 6-of-8 from the foul line.  She also added eight rebounds.  Taylor Forsch scored 12, and Alexa Berg also reached double figures with 10 points on the day. 

Concordia hosts Nebraska Wesleyan on November 22.  Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Hot shooting sparks Bulldogs in 99-48 rout of Nebraska Wesleyan

22 November 2011

Concordia University pounded Nebraska Wesleyan by the score of 99-48 in GPAC women’s hoops on Tuesday evening in Seward.  The 22nd ranked Bulldogs shot over 50 percent from the field and from behind the three point line in the victory.  Concordia moved to 7-0 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.  Nebraska Wesleyan dropped to 1-3 (0-1 GPAC). 

The visiting Prairie Wolves scored the first three points of the contest, but it was all Concordia the rest of the way.  The Bulldogs scored 15 straight to take a 15-3 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the first half.  Concordia continued to build their lead with great shooting and presure defense, and the Bulldogs took a 51-22 lead into halftime. 

Wesleyan struggled with turnovers and managed just 18 field goal attempts in the opening half of play.  The Prairie Wolves were 7-of-18 from the floor and 0-of-5 from long range while committing 22 turnovers.  Concordia, on the other hand, was 18-of-35 from the field in the opening half for 51.4 percent.  The Bulldogs were 7-of-12 (53.3 percent) from deep and 8-of-10 at the foul line.  Senior guard Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) had a big first half for the Dogs, totaling 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field (4-for-4 from behind the arc). 

It was more of the same in the second half, as Concordia opened the half with an 11-0 run to take a 62-22 lead.  The hot shooting from the field continued.  The Bulldogs led by more than 40 for the final six minutes of the game.  Concordia actually increased its field goal percentage in the second half, hitting 15-of-28 shots for 53.6 percent.  The Bulldogs again connected on 7-of-12 from long range in the final 20 minutes, and Concordia was also 11-of-12 from the charity stripe in the second half. 

For the game, the Bulldogs were 33-of-63 from the field overall for 52.4 percent.  Concordia was lights out from deep, connecting on 14-of-24 shots for 58.3 percent.  At the line, the Bulldogs were 19-for-22 for 86.4 percent.  Concordia totaled 30 paint points and 19 second chance points.  Concordia totaled 21 assists on their 33 made field goals.  The Bulldog defense was also impressive.  Concordia forced 36 NWU turnovers and scored 47 points off of those turnovers.  The Bulldog bench totaled 47 points on the night. 

Kistler finished with a game-high 20 points.  The senior was 7-of-11 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from long range.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) had another big night with 17 points and four steals.  Conahan was 6-of-12 from the field overall and 4-of-7 from deep.  Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) and Katie Herther (Sioux Falls, S.D.) also reached double figures with 10 points apiece off the bench.  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) had a solid all-around game with eight points, four assists and a game-high six steals. 

Wesleyan was 15-of-39 from the field on the night for 38.5 percent.  The Prairie Wolves were just 1-of-10 from deep and 17-of-26 at the foul line.  Mallory Shanahan scored eight points to lead NWU. 

Concordia travels to Midland University on November 29 for a 7:30 p.m. matchup against the Warriors.

#9 Bulldogs travel to Midland on Tuesday to continue GPAC play

28 November 2011

The #9 Concordia University women’s basketball team looks to continue its strong start to the season on Tuesday evening with a road game at Midland University.  Tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Midland Event Center in Fremont.  The Bulldogs are a perfect 7-0 overall and 2-0 in GPAC play so far this year.  Midland brings a 3-4 record (0-2 GPAC) into Tuesday’s matchup. 
 
Midland suffered a 77-75 loss to Bethel College in the opening game of the season.  The Warriors followed with three straight wins, however, to improve to 3-1.  Midland has lost three straight, including conference losses to Northwestern College (80-54) and Hastings College (67-51).  Jamilah Johnson, Jami Thramer and Tricia Hoffman all average double figures in scoring for a Warrior team that scores 69 points per game while allowing 70 points per game on the year. 
 
Concordia has rarely been tested in the early stages of the season.  All but one of Concordia’s seven victories have come by double digits.  Concordia averages 80.6 points per game while allowing just 52.6 on the season.  The Bulldogs currently rank in the top 10 of the NAIA in multiple categories including; steals per game (18.1), turnover margin (13.7), offensive rebounds per game (20.6), 3-point field goals made per game (9.4), scoring margin (28), scoring offense (80.6), total steals (127), assist/turnover ratio (0.9), total rebounding margin (9.9) and total rebounds per game (45.4).  Sophomore guard Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) leads the team with 15 points per game, while senior Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) is close behind with just over 14 points per game for the Bulldogs. 
 
This past week, Concordia picked up an easy 99-48 win over Nebraska Wesleyan.  The Bulldogs shot over 50 percent from the field overall and from long range in the victory.  A total of four players reached double figures in scoring, while the Bulldog defense forced 36 turnovers in the contest. 
 
Fans unable to make the trip to Fremont can catch a live broadcast of the game via the Midland University athletic website.  http://www.midlandathletics.com/index.php

The Bulldogs return home to host traditional GPAC power Morningside College on December 3.  Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Concordia moves into top 10 in latest NAIA top 25 poll

29 November 2011

The latest NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll was released on Monday.  Concordia University has moved all the way up to 9th in the poll. 

The Bulldogs were 22nd in the preseason poll, but an impressive 7-0 start to the season has pushed Concordia into the top 10.  The Great Plains Athletic Conference is well represented in the top 25, as Briar Cliff (2nd) and Hastings College (5th) join Concordia in the top 10.  Morningside College is 13th, while Northwestern College and Mount Marty College received votes in the poll. 

Concordia is 2-0 in conference play on the young season with wins over Mount Marty and Nebraska Wesleyan.  The Bulldogs will face some tough tests in the next couple of weeks.  Concordia travels to Midland University on Tuesday evening before returning home to host #13 Morningside College (Dec. 3) and #2 Briar Cliff University (Dec. 7).

Bulldogs defeat Midland University to remain perfect on the year

29 November 2011

Concordia used a big first half to help pick up a 67-54 women’s basketball win over Midland University on Tuesday evening in Fremont.  The Bulldogs, ranked 9th in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, improved to a perfect 8-0 on the year with the victory.  The Bulldogs also remained perfect in GPAC play at 3-0.  Midland slipped to 3-5 overall.  The Warriors remained winless in GPAC play at 0-3. 

In the first half, the Bulldogs used the long ball to build a big lead.  Midway through the half, Concordia used an 11-0 run to take a 22-7 lead.  The Warriors cut the lead to eight at one point, but the Bulldogs rebuilt the lead to as big as 21 (39-18) late in the half.  Concordia was 13-of-28 overall from the field in the opening 20 minutes for 46.4 percent, but 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) shooting from long range helped the Bulldogs take a 39-20 lead into the halftime break.  The Bulldog defense limited Midland to just 4-of-19 shooting in the half for 21.1 percent. 

The Bulldogs cooled off significantly from the field in the second half but still managed to maintain a double-digit lead throughout much of the half.  Midland pulled within nine (63-54) with less than a minute remaining in the contest, but the Bulldogs secured the 67-54 win.  The Bulldogs were just 7-of-25 from the field in the second half for 28 percent.  The solid shooting from deep in the opening half did not continue, as Concordia was 0-of-7 from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes.  Midland was 11-of-29 from the field in the final half for 37.9 percent. 

For the game, Concordia was 20-of-53 from the field for 46.4 percent.  The Bulldogs were 10-of-26 from deep for 38.5 percent and 17-of-23 at the foul line for an even 70 percent.  The Bulldogs finished with just 10 assists with 16 turnovers on the evening, and Midland held a 43-32 rebounding advantage.  The Bulldogs were solid once again on the defensive end, forcing 25 Midland turnovers in the contest. 

Individually for CU, Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) scored a team-best 13 points off the bench.  Rich was 3-of-6 from the field and 6-of-8 at the foul line.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) was the only other Bulldog to reach double figures with 12 points.  Conahan was 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.  Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) added nine points, while Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) and Jericca Pearson (Gibbon, Neb.) chipped in with eight points apiece off the bench.  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds in the Bulldog victory. 

Midland was just 15-of-48 from the field for 31.3 percent.  The Warriors went 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from deep and 21-of-32 (65.6 percent) at the charity stripe.  Tricia Hoffman scored a game-high 15 points for the Warriors.  Darien Moon also reached double figures with 11.  Jami Thramer added seven points and a team-best nine boards, while both Hoffman and Moon added seven rebounds apiece. 

Concordia now returns home to host #13 Morningside College on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

#9 Bulldogs set for Saturday matchup with #13 Mustangs

2 December 2011

#9 Concordia University will square off with #13 Morningside College in a key early season GPAC contest on Saturday afternoon in Seward.  Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Jersey Day at the Walz Human Performance Complex.  Fans are encouraged to support the Bulldog basketball teams by wearing any kind of jersey. 

Concordia brings a perfect 8-0 record into Saturday’s action.  The Bulldogs are 3-0 in GPAC play, and all but one of Concordia’s wins so far this year has come by double digits.  Concordia has conference wins over Mount Marty (67-61), Nebraska Wesleyan (99-48) and Midland University (67-54) so far this year.  The Bulldogs continue to do it with defense, ranking first in the NAIA in steals per game (17.8) and turnover margin (13.1).  Concordia also ranks in the NAIA’s top 10 in scoring margin (26.1), offensive rebounds per game (18.8), 3-point field goals made per game (9.5), total steals (142), scoring defense (52.8), scoring offense (78.9), and total 3-point field goals made (76). 

The Bulldogs will be tested Saturday by a talented Morningside team that brings a 6-3 overall record (1-1 GPAC) into Seward.  The Mustangs opened GPAC play with a 54-50 loss to Hastings College.  Morningside responded with a 68-52 win over traditional power Northwestern College.  The Mustangs picked up an 81-70 win over Grand View on November 30 for their sixth win of the season.  Morningside averages just over 75 points per game while allowing 65 on the year.  The Mustangs are led by Chelsie Trask.  Trask, who is one of the top players in the GPAC, is the only player averaging double figures in scoring for Morningside so far this season.  Trask averages 17 points per game and is also one of the top rebounders for the Mustangs. 

The Concordia Sports Network will feature a live audio and video webcast of Saturday’s contest.  Keegan Bloomfield will call all the action from the Walz Complex.

#13 Morningside College holds on for 69-66 win over #9 Concordia

3 December 2011

A three point play by Shelby Beaudette with 16 seconds remaining in the contest lifted Morningside College to a 69-66 women’s basketball win over Concordia on Saturday afternoon in Seward.  The visiting Mustangs improved to 7-3 overall (2-1 GPAC) with the victory.  Concordia’s winning streak was snapped at eight games, as the Bulldogs dropped to 8-1 overall (3-1 GPAC).  Saturday’s contest featured a pair of the NAIA’s top 15 teams.  Concordia entered the contest ranked ninth, while Morningside was voted 13th in the latest top 25 poll.   

The first half went back and forth.  The half featured two ties and six lead changes.  The Mustangs held a slim 35-34 lead with just under three minutes remaining in the half.  A quick 6-0 run gave Morningside a 41-34 lead.  Concordia’s Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) scored in the lane late in the final minute to pull the Bulldogs within five (41-36) at halftime.  The Bulldogs managed to stay close despite poor shooting in the opening 20 minutes.  Concordia was just 11-of-37 from the field overall (29.7 percent) and 3-of-15 from long range (20 percent).  Morningside was 13-of-29 from the field in the opening half for 44.8 percent.  The Mustangs connected on five 3-pointers in the opening half of play and were led by Hanna Blum’s 10 first half points.  Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 12 points to pace Concordia in the first half. 

In the second half, Morningside built their lead to 11 on two separate occasions.  A layup by Leann Osten gave the Mustangs a 63-52 lead with nine minutes remaining in the contest.  Concordia didn’t go away, however, and chipped away at the deficit.  Trailing by eight (66-58) with four minutes to play, Concordia used an 8-0 run to tie the score with one minute to play.  A 3-pointer by Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) pulled the Bulldogs within one at 66-65, and a free throw by Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) tied the score to set up an exciting finish. 

Following a Morningside turnover, Concordia had two opportunities to take the lead.  The Bulldogs missed a pair of layups, however, and Morningside got the ball back with 40 seconds to play.  Late in the shot clock, Beaudette hit a tough jumper in the paint and was fouled on the play.  The made free throw gave Morningside the 69-66 advantage. 

The Bulldogs tried for a quick field goal, but Conahan missed a layup with seven seconds left, forcing Concordia to foul.  Blum missed the front end of a one-and-one, which gave Concordia one final attempt.  A desperation heave from midcourt by Kistler didn’t connect, and the Mustangs held on for the victory.  Both teams struggled from the field in the second half.  Morningside was 11-of-29 for 37.9 percent, while Concordia was just 9-of-34 for 26.5 percent. 

Morningside finished 24-of-58 from the field for 41.4 percent.  The Mustangs were 9-of-29 from deep (31 percent) and 12-of-17 at the foul line (70.6 percent).  The Mustangs finished with 15 assists on their 24 made field goals and scored 20 fast break points.  Blum scored a game-high 20 points and added eight boards for Morningside in the win.  She was 7-of-11 from the field.  Beaudette was 7-of-12 from the field overall and 3-of-6 from deep to finish with 18 points on the day. 

Concordia was just 20-of-71 from the field for 28.2 percent.  It was a struggle from deep all afternoon, as the Bulldogs managed just 5-of-29 from beyond the arc for 17.2 percent.  The Bulldogs were a respectable 21-of-27 at the foul line for 77.8 percent.  As has been the case all year, the Concordia defense was solid, forcing 28 Mustang turnovers.  The Bulldogs scored 23 points off of those turnovers.  Kistler scored a team-best 14, and Conahan added 13 for the Bulldogs.  It was a struggle from the field, however, as the duo combined to hit just 9-of-34 shots in the loss.  Morris and Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) added 10 points apiece, and Rich added a game-high 15 rebounds for a double-double. 

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Bulldogs. Concordia hosts #2 Briar Cliff University on December 7 at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Bulldogs move up in latest NAIA top 25

5 December 2011

Concordia moved up two spots to seventh in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll released on Monday.  The Bulldogs are 8-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play so far this year. 

A total of four schools from the GPAC are featured in the top 10.  Briar Cliff (9-1 on the year) remained second.  Morningside College (7-3 overall), who handed Concordia a 69-66 loss on Saturday, sits in a tie for fifth with Davenport (Mich.).  Concordia is seventh, with Hastings College right behind in eighth with an 8-1 season record. 

Concordia suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday.  The Bulldogs rallied in the second half, but the visiting Mustangs used a late three point play to secure the 69-66 win.  Concordia now hosts #2 Briar Cliff on Wednesday evening with tip scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

#7 Concordia to clash with #2 Briar Cliff on Wednesday evening

6 December 2011

For the second straight game, Concordia will square off with one of the NAIA’s best, as #2 Briar Cliff comes to Seward on Wednesday evening.  Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex. 

Concordia suffered its first loss of the season this past Saturday.  The Bulldogs, who moved up to 7th in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, rallied late but dropped a tough 69-66 contest to then #13 Morningside College over the weekend.  Despite the loss, Concordia still sits in a tie for second in the current GPAC standings.  Briar Cliff is the only remaining unbeaten team in conference play at 4-0. 

The Bulldogs continue to be ranked at or near the top of the NAIA in several statistics including; first in turnover margin, second in steals per game, third in offensive rebounds per game, fourth in 3-pointers made per game, fourth in scoring margin, fourth in total steals, seventh in scoring defense, eighth in scoring offense and 10th in total 3-pointers made.  Concordia averages 77.4 points per game while allowing just 54.6 on the year. 

Briar Cliff, which brings a 9-1 overall record (4-0 GPAC) into Seward, will provide a big test for the Bulldogs.  The Chargers also rank at or near the top of the NAIA in several categories including; first in assists per game, first in field goal percentage, third in scoring offense, third in total steals, fifth in scoring margin, sixth in turnover margin, sixth in total assists and 11th in total blocks.  The Chargers average 82.6 points per game while allowing just 60.  Briar Cliff’s only loss of the season was in the second game of the year (67-58 to Grand View).  The Chargers have conference wins over Northwestern (76-69), Dakota Wesleyan (96-70), Doane (90-69) and Nebraska Wesleyan (59-46). 

Fans unable to attend Wednesday’s matchup can catch a live webcast on the Concordia Sports Network.  Lucas Mohrman will call the action from the Walz Complex.

#7 Concordia picks up 89-87 overtime win over #2 Briar Cliff

7 December 2011

Wednesday night’s top 10 matchup between Concordia University and Briar Cliff University certainly lived up to expectations.  In the end, #7 Concordia picked up a thrilling 89-87 overtime win over #2 Briar Cliff at the Walz Human Performance Complex.  The Bulldogs improved to 9-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play with the victory.  Briar Cliff dropped to 9-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play. 

Concordia struck the first blow with a quick 9-3 run to open the game.  Briar Cliff quickly answered with a 14-1 run to lead 17-10 with just under 12 minutes to play in the half.  There were multiple ties and lead changes down the stretch in the first half.  A 3-pointer by Concordia’s Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) tied the score at 38-38 heading into halftime.  There were seven total lead changes in the first half of play.  Both teams struggled with turnovers (BCU – 15, and CU - 14).  Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) scored 12 points to pace the Bulldogs, while Kelsey Evans knocked down five 3-pointers to score 15 first half points for the visiting Chargers. 

Briar Cliff looked to pull away midway through the second half.  The Chargers led by as many as 13 (75-62) with six minutes to play, but as has been the case lately, Concordia refused to go away.  The Bulldogs went on an 11-1 run to pull within three (76-73) on a layup by Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) with just over two minutes remaining in the contest. 

A layup by Summer Gordon pushed the BCU lead back to five (78-73) with just 58 seconds left in regulation.  However, four straight points by Conahan trimmed the BCU lead to one at 78-77 with less than a half minute remaining.  Megan Salcedo knocked down two clutch free throws to push Briar Cliff’s lead back to three (80-77) with 25 seconds left to play.  On Concordia’s next possession, Laboda connected on a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the score at 80-80 to force the game into overtime. 

The Chargers scored the opening two points of the overtime period on a layup by Ashley Zobel.  Conahan came right back with a 3-pointer to give Concordia the 83-82 advantage.  A made free throw by Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) pushed the Concordia lead to two at 84-82, but Kristen Twait connected on 1-of-2 free throws to pull BCU back within one at 84-83.  The teams then traded baskets.  Conahan hit a runner to make the score 86-83, but Twait answered with a layup to again cut the lead to one at 86-85 with two minutes remaining. 

Following a Bulldog miss, BCU scored a bucket in transition to reclaim the lead at 87-86.  Conahan again responded with a layup to put Concordia back on top with a minute to play.  On BCU’s next possession, Zobel missed a 3-pointer.  Concordia had an opportunity to put the game away, but Kistler had a shot blocked to give the ball back to the Chargers with time winding down.  Twait missed a jumper, and Concordia secured the rebound with less than 10 seconds remaining. 

Kistler was fouled and made 1-of-2 free throws to give the Bulldogs the 89-87 lead.  BCU had one final opportunity to tie or win, but a steal by Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) in the closing seconds secured the victory for Concordia. 

“This win feels very good,” remarked Bulldog head coach Drew Olson.  “They’re a great team, and every night is such a challenge in this conference.  We really just kept our composure, and our team continues to grow up each and every day.  We kept fighting tonight, and we played very hard.” 

The Bulldogs were led by the combination of Laboda and Conahan.  Each scored 23 points, and Laboda added 13 boards for a huge double-double.  Conahan struggled from the field overall (8-of-23 and just 3-of-15 from deep) but came up with huge buckets down the stretch for the Bulldogs.  After the game, Laboda talked about the win. 

“We really came together as a team tonight,” remarked Laboda.  “We learned some things from the Morningside game.  A win like this shows how good we can be, and this is a real confidence boost for us.  Individually, I had a few tough games lately.  Tonight was just what I needed.  I just did what I could to help the team.” 

Concordia was 28-of-79 from the field for 35.4 percent compared to 33-of-63 (52.4 percent) for Briar Cliff.  Rebounding and second chance points were huge for the Bulldogs in the win.  Concordia held a 51-41 rebounding advantage, and the Bulldogs used 23 offensive rebounds to score 22 second chance points in the win.  Laboda grabbed seven offensive boards by herself on the night.  Morris scored 12 points and added seven assists.  Kistler finished with 13 points and five steals, while Rich delivered 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Bulldogs.

Evans and Stewart each scored 18 for Briar Cliff.  Mattie Murren and Summer Gordon each added 15 for the Chargers.  

Concordia travels to Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday for a 6 p.m. matchup against the Tigers.

#7 Bulldogs travel to Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday

9 December 2011

Following an impressive overtime win over #2 Briar Cliff earlier this week, the #7 Concordia University women’s basketball team looks to keep things rolling at Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.

Concordia moved to 9-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play with the exciting win over Briar Cliff.  It was the first conference loss of the season for the Chargers.  The Bulldogs rallied from 13 down to pick up the victory.  A 3-pointer by Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) forced the game into overtime, and Kristen Conahan scored seven of Concordia’s nine points in overtime to lift the Bulldogs to the win.  Both Laboda and Conahan scored 23 points in the Bulldog victory. 

The Bulldogs average 78.6 points per game while allowing just 57.8 points per game so far this season.  Concordia has struggled from the field at times, but solid rebounding and defense has put consistent pressure on Concordia’s opponents so far this year.  Conahan and Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) have led a balanced Bulldog scoring attack.  Conahan averages a team-best 15.3 points per game, while Kistler pours in 13.6 points per game on the season.   

Hastings and Briar Cliff join Concordia at the top of the current GPAC standings.  The Great Plains Athletic Conference currently has four teams ranked in the NAIA’s top 10, while Northwestern College (20th) and Doane College (receiving votes) also made an appearance in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll. 

Dakota Wesleyan is 6-4 overall and 1-3 in GPAC play so far this season.  The Tigers have played a tough conference schedule so far, however, so their 1-3 conference mark is misleading.  DWU suffered a 96-70 loss to then #5 Briar Cliff to open conference play.  The Tigers then defeated Dordt College by the score of 63-56 for their lone conference win.  DWU then suffered losses to Hastings (64-59) and #5 Morningside College (73-64).  All three of their conference losses are to teams currently ranked in the NAIA’s top 10. 

The Tigers average 65.7 points per game while allowing 61.5 points per game.  Amanda Hart is the only Tiger player averaging double figures in scoring.  Hart scores 14 points per game on the year, while a total of four other Tigers average six points or better on the season. 

Fans unable to make the trip to Mitchell can catch a live audio broadcast as well as live stats from the game at the above links.

Defense shines in 62-49 win over Dakota Wesleyan

10 December 2011

Concordia University pulled away in the second half for a 62-49 women’s basketball win over Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday evening in Mitchell.  The Bulldogs, who are currently 7th in the NAIA Top 25, moved to 10-1 overall and 5-1 in conference play.  Dakota Wesleyan slipped to 7-5 overall with a 1-4 GPAC mark. 

Both teams struggled offensively in the opening half.  Only one basket was scored in the first four minutes of action, while poor shooting and turnovers plagued both teams throughout the half.  DWU led by as many as five, but a jumper by Beth Kohmetscher (Deweese, Neb.) in the closing minute gave Concordia a 25-24 lead at half.  Concordia was 7-of-27 overall and 3-of-18 from deep in the opening half.  Kohmetscher was the lone bright spot offensively for the Bulldogs.  She scored 11 first half points and hit all three of Concordia’s made 3-pointers.  DWU also struggled offensively in the first half, making just 5-of-20 shots from the field.  Both teams committed 15 first half turnovers.  Free throws kept the Tigers in the game, as DWU was 14-of-17 at the charity stripe in the opening 20 minutes.   

The Bulldogs built an early 8-point lead (32-24) in the opening minutes of the second half.  Concordia built a double-digit lead (42-32) on a pair of made free throws by Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) with 12 minutes to play.  The Bulldogs continued to extend the lead, and a 3-pointer by Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb.) gave Concordia its biggest lead (54-38) with just over five minutes remaining in the contest.  The Bulldogs held a double-digit lead the rest of the way and secured the 62-49 victory. 

Following the tough first half, Concordia was 14-of-34 (41.2 percent) from the field in the second half.  For the game, Concordia was 21-of-61 (34.4 percent) overall and just 6-of-30 (20 percent) from deep.  The Bulldogs connected on 14-of-19 free throw attempts for 73.7 percent.  Conahan scored a game-high 15 points and also added a game-high four steals on the night.  Kohmetscher was held scoreless in the second half to finish with 11 points, while Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) chipped in with 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds off the bench. 

It was a struggle offensively for the Tigers all evening.  The Bulldog defense was solid, limiting DWU to 11-of-47 shooting from the field for 23.4 percent.  The Tigers made just 3-of-18 shots from deep for 16.7 percent but were a respectable 24-of-32 at the foul line for 75 percent.  DWU committed 25 turnovers in the loss.  Elizabeth Lamb and Brittany Pritchard scored 13 points apiece off the bench for the Tigers.  No starters scored in double figures, as the starting five combined to go just 3-for-23 from the field.  

The Bulldogs will have some time off before traveling to Doane College on December 20.  Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Crete.

Bulldogs hold steady in latest NAIA Top 25 Poll

13 December 2011

Concordia University remained seventh in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll which was released on Monday.  The Bulldogs have a 10-1 overall record to go along with a 5-1 mark in the always competitive Great Plains Athletic Conference. 

The GPAC continues to be represented well, as four teams are still ranked in the top 10 of the NAIA.  Briar Cliff, who was second in last week’s poll, dropped one spot to third following their loss to Concordia.  Morningside College remained fifth with a 9-3 record, while Hastings College (9-2) is eighth in this week’s poll.  Northwestern College remained 20th this week, while Doane College received votes. 

The Bulldogs picked up a pair of wins this past week, starting with a thrilling 89-87 overtime win over then No. 2 Briar Cliff.  Concordia followed with a 62-49 win over Dakota Wesleyan at the Corn Palace on Saturday.  The Bulldogs have some time off before traveling to Doane College on December 20.

Concordia returns to action Tuesday with road contest at Doane

19 December 2011

Concordia University will look for its third straight win on Tuesday when they travel to Doane College.  Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Crete. 

The Bulldogs haven’t played since a 62-49 victory at Dakota Wesleyan on December 10.  Concordia, ranked seventh in the latest NAIA top 25 poll, takes a 10-1 overall record with a 5-1 conference mark into Tuesday’s contest.  Concordia currently sits second in the GPAC standings, trailing only Morningside College (6-1 GPAC).  Kristen Conahan and Amber Kistler continue to lead the way offensively for the Bulldogs.  Conahan scores 15.3 points per game (15.8 in GPAC play), while Kistler adds 13.1 points per game (13.7 in GPAC) on the year.  Concordia also has five other players that average at least six points per game.  Concordia is second in the GPAC in scoring offense (77.1 points per game) and first in scoring defense (57 points per game).  

Doane College is 7-4 overall and 4-3 in GPAC play so far this season.  The Tigers have won four of their last five games and are coming off a 64-58 win over Dakota Wesleyan on December 16.  The Tigers are led in scoring by Cheryl Braithwait’s 13.1 points per game.  Braithwait has averaged over 14 points per game during conference play.  Madara Upeniece averages over 11 points per game on the year, while Hannah Dostal has scored 11.6 points per game during conference play. 

Last season, Doane College won both meetings between the two schools.  The Tigers picked up an 87-72 win in Crete and then held on for a 53-52 win over the Bulldogs in Seward later in the season.  The Tiger Sports Network will provide a live video feed for Tuesday’s game at the link below. 

The Concordia women will travel to Denver on December 29-30 for the Johnson & Wales Classic.  

Huge second half lifts Bulldogs to 84-58 win over Doane College

20 December 2011

Concordia University exploded for 54 points in the second half and pulled away for an easy 84-58 win over Doane College on Tuesday evening in Crete.  The Bulldogs, ranked seventh in the NAIA, improved to 11-1 overall and 6-1 in conference play.  Doane dropped to 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the GPAC. 

The Bulldogs, who were off since December 10, started slow and struggled with missed shots and turnovers in the opening minutes of the contest.  The defense stayed strong, however, and Concordia held an 8-2 lead with 15 minutes remaining.  Doane quickly responded with a quick 7-0 run over the next two minutes to claim a 9-8 lead.

The Tigers rattled off four more points to take a 13-8 lead before a basket by Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) pulled Concordia back within three at 13-10.  The Tigers followed with some easy baskets to take a 19-10 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the half.  A layup by Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) stopped the Doane scoring run. 

With Doane leading 21-12, Concordia used a quick 7-0 run to pull back within two.  A 3-pointer by Ashley Daily pushed the Doane lead back to five, but a layup by Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) pulled Concordia back within three at 24-21.  A pair of made free throws from Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) pulled Concordia within one, and a 3-pointer in transition by Conahan gave the Bulldogs a 26-24 lead with less than four minutes to play in the half. 

Both teams struggled with turnovers and missed opportunities down the stretch.  A put back by Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) gave Concordia a 30-26 advantage, and a free throw by Alyssa Willicott pulled Doane within three (30-27) at halftime. 

Concordia forced 13 Doane turnovers in the first half.  The Bulldogs were just 12-of-43 from the field, but 17 offensive rebounds and 14 points off turnovers gave Concordia the advantage.  The Bulldogs had 43 shots in the half compared to just 26 for the Tigers.  Conahan scored 10 first half points to lead the way offensively. 

The Bulldogs settled in and completely controlled much of the second half.  Concordia scored the opening eight points of the half to extend their lead.  Doane didn’t score for over four minutes to open the half.  A jumper by Cali Bellar ended the Bulldog scoring run and cut the deficit to nine at 38-29.  Another quick four points cut the CU lead to five at 38-33 with just over 13 minutes remaining in regulation.  The Tigers pulled within three, but back-to-back layups by Kistler pushed the Bulldog lead back to seven at 42-35.  Kistler’s layups sparked Concordia, and the Bulldogs began to pull away.   

With nine minutes remaining in regulation, the Bulldogs opened up a 54-41 lead.  A pair of made free throws by Laboda increased the CU lead to 58-44.  A jumper in transition by Jericca Pearson (Gibbon, Neb.) and a 3-pointer by Beth Kohmetscher (Deweese, Neb.) gave Concordia a 63-44 advantage with seven minutes to play.  The Bulldogs poured it on down the stretch and secured the 84-58 victory.      

Concordia finished just 29-of-81 (35.8 percent) from the field.  However, CU held a commanding 53-38 rebounding advantage, including a 28-13 advantage in offensive rebounds.  The Bulldogs finished with 33 points off turnovers and 25 second chance points in the victory.  Kistler came on strong in the second half to finish with a game-high 23 points.  Conahan added 12 points, and Laboda delivered a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds on the night.  A total of 13 players scored for the Bulldogs. 

Cheryl Braithwait scored a team-high 13 points for Doane.  Cali Bellar and Madara Upeniece added 10 points apiece for the Tigers. 

The Bulldogs travel to Colorado for the Johnson & Wales Classic on December 29 and 30.

#7 Bulldogs set for Johnson & Wales Tournament on December 29-30

28 December 2011

The Bulldog women’s basketball team gets back to action on Thursday and Friday at the Johnson & Wales University Tournament in Denver.  The seventh-ranked Bulldogs will take on Bethany College on Thursday and will conclude tournament play against the hosts from Johnson & Wales on Friday. 

Concordia is 11-1 on the season following an 84-58 rout of Doane College last week in Crete.  The Bulldogs continue to impress with balanced scoring, solid rebounding and pressure defense.  Concordia still ranks in the top 10 in the NAIA in several categories including; first in offensive rebounds per game (19.5), first in steals per game (17.2), first in turnover margin (11.3), fourth in total steals (206), seventh in scoring margin (20.6), eighth in free throw percentage (75%), ninth in scoring offense (77.7), ninth in 3-point field goals per game (8.3) and 10th in total rebounds per game (45.3). 

The Bulldogs open tournament play against Bethany College on Thursday afternoon.  The Swedes have struggled this year with an overall record of 3-10.  Bethany averages just 52.2 points per game while allowing 63.1 on the season.  The Swedes have a four-game losing streak entering Thursday’s contest. 

The hosts from Johnson & Wales University bring a 9-7 record into this week’s tournament.  The Wildcats are 2-2 in their last four games and have been led this season by Caitlin Durkin.  Durkin averages over 19 points per game and has scored over 20 points in five games this season, including a 40-point outburst in a 78-76 loss to Valley City State on December 17. 

Johnson & Wales will provide live stats for all tournament games at the following link; http://denver.jwuathletics.com/sports/mbkb/2011-12/releases/5280_Classic

Concordia will return to conference play with a road contest at #20 Northwestern College on January 4.

Bulldogs move to 12-1 with 82-43 rout of Bethany College

29 December 2011

Concordia University continued its winning ways with an easy 82-43 win over Bethany College in the opening game of the Johnson & Wales University Tournament on Thursday in Denver.  The 7th-ranked Bulldogs moved to 12-1 on the year and increased their current winning streak to four games.    

Bethany stayed close for the opening few minutes of the contest, but it was all Concordia from there.  Leading 5-4, the Bulldogs used a 16-0 run to take a 21-4 lead with just over 10 minutes to play in the half.  The Concordia defense was solid, as the Swedes went almost eight minutes without scoring a point.  The Bulldogs continued to pour it on and took a commanding 42-14 lead into halftime. 

Bethany managed just 4-of-15 shooting in the opening half while committing 14 turnovers.  Concordia totaled 20 points in the paint and had 10 offensive rebounds (which led to 12 second chance points) as they cruised to the huge halftime lead. 

It was more of the same in the second half, as the Bulldogs started the half with a 19-4 run to take a 61-18 lead with 13 minutes remaining in regulation.  The struggles continued for the Swedes, who finished the game with 22 turnovers compared to just four assists.  For the game, Bethany was just 14-of-46 from the field overall (30.4 percent), 2-of-13 from deep (15.4 percent) and 13-of-24 at the charity stripe (54.2 percent).  Tanya Garner led Bethany with eight points and six rebounds. 

Concordia was 32-of-65 from the field for 49.2 percent.  The Bulldogs hit 11 3-pointers on the day and held a commanding 45-33 rebounding advantage.  Concordia totaled 13 offensive rebounds in the victory.  The Bulldog bench scored 47 points in the win, while Concordia also totaled 36 paint points, 14 second chance points and 13 points off turnovers. 

Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) scored a game-high 14 points to lead a balanced Concordia offensive attack.  Conahan was 5-of-8 from the field overall and 4-of-7 from deep.  Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) added 11 points and three assists off the bench, while Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) also chipped in with 11.  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) grabbed a game-high seven rebounds for the Bulldogs. 

The Bulldogs conclude play in their holiday tournament on Friday with a contest against the hosts from Johnson & Wales University.

Bulldogs pull away for 103-70 win over Johnson & Wales

30 December 2011

Concordia University shot 59 percent from the field and pulled away for a 103-70 women’s basketball win over Johnson & Wales University on Friday evening in Denver.  The 7th-ranked Bulldogs used depth and a strong second half to improve to 13-1 on the season.  

It was an interesting first half.  Concordia seemed to have complete control of the contest by just looking at the numbers.  The Bulldog bench held a 17-0 scoring advantage over the Johnson & Wales bench.  Concordia also had 30 paint points in the half.  However, despite those numbers, Concordia led by just five (45-40) at halftime. 

The combination of Caitlin Durkin and Samantha Neal kept the host Wildcats in the game.  The duo combined for 23 first half points.  The foul line was also good to the Wildcats in the half, as Johnson & Wales was 11-of-15 at the line.  Concordia, on the other hand, was just 1-of-3 from the charity stripe in the first half.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) led the way for the Bulldogs with 11 points in the opening half of play.

The Bulldogs completely turned things around in the second half and quickly opened up a double-digit lead.  Johnson & Wales, who lacked depth, ran out of gas on both ends of the floor.  The Bulldogs took full advantage and led 57-43 with 16 minutes remaining following a 12-3 run to open the half.  The Bulldogs built the lead to 20 (65-45) with 14 minutes left in regulation and continued to pour it on from there.  Concordia maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way and settled for the 103-70 victory. 

Even though Concordia struggled from deep (8-of-24) and at the foul line (7-of-17 for 41.2 percent), the Bulldogs totaled 68 points in the paint and were 44-of-75 from the field overall.  Concordia totaled 20 steals on the night and converted 29 Johnson & Wales turnovers into 29 points.  The Bulldog bench scored 47 points on the night compared to just two points scored by the Wildcat bench. 

Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) scored a game-high 22 points for Concordia on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.  The senior guard connected on four 3-pointers on the evening.  Conahan finished with 13 and a career-high nine assists, while Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) added 12 off the bench on 4-of-6 shooting.  Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) poured in 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting, and Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) grabbed a game-best eight rebounds.  The balanced scoring for Concordia continued, as a total of nine players scored at least six points in the contest.

Durkin scored 20 points for Johnson & Wales but was just 5-of-16 from the field.  Neal added 19 points for the Wildcats. 

Concordia returns to GPAC play on January 4 with a road contest at Northwestern College.

Bulldogs struggle from the field, suffer 74-67 loss at Northwestern

4 January 2012

Northwestern used a run in the second half to pick up a 74-67 women’s basketball win on Wednesday evening in Orange City.  The 20th-ranked Red Raiders won their eighth straight game to improve to 12-4 overall and 6-2 in conference play.  Concordia, ranked seventh in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, had its 5-game winning streak snapped.  The Bulldogs dropped to 13-2 (6-2 GPAC).   

The first half was tightly contested.  Defense controlled much of the half, but both teams traded scoring runs in the opening 20 minutes.  Northwestern used a 6-0 run to take a 21-16 lead, forcing a Concordia timeout with just under seven minutes left in the half.  An offensive rebound and put back by Jericca Pearson (Gibbon, Neb.) ended the Northwestern run, and the Bulldogs followed with a run of their own.  Concordia took a 23-21 lead on a 3-pointer by Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) with four minutes left in the half.  Northwestern had another answer, as the Raiders scored eight straight points to take a 29-23 lead.  Trailing 31-25, however, the Bulldogs rattled off five straight points to end the half, and Northwestern held a slim 31-30 halftime lead.

Concordia reclaimed the lead early in the second half.  An offensive rebound and score by Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) gave the Bulldogs a 34-33 advantage.  The teams traded the lead multiple times, but a quick 7-0 run put the Raiders back on top by the score of 46-40 with 12 minutes left in the contest.  Mackenzie Small scored five points in the Northwestern scoring run.  A free throw by Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb.) stopped the Raider scoring run and pulled the Bulldogs back within five (46-41), but a 5-0 run put Northwestern on top by 10 (51-41) with just over 10 minutes remaining. 

Northwestern extended their lead to 61-47 with eight minutes remaining.  Concordia wouldn’t go away, and a 3-pointer by Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) cut the Raider lead to six (68-62).  Following a steal and Northwestern foul, Peitz made two free throws to pull Concordia within four at 68-64.  Concordia had multiple opportunities to cut into the lead, as Northwestern had four straight turnovers.  However, Concordia missed multiple shots against the Northwestern zone defense.  Conahan managed to hit a 3-pointer to cut the Raider lead to three (70-67) with 19 seconds remaining.  The Raiders put the game away with made free throws by Small and Samantha Kleinsasser.  

For the game, Northwestern shot 51 percent from the field.  The Raiders were 3-of-7 from deep.  The combo of Kami Kuhlmann and Kendra De Jong did some damage.  Kuhlmann finished with a game-high 18 points and seven assists.  She scored 12 of her 18 in the second half.  De Jong added 15 points (7-of-11 from the field) and eight rebounds. 

Concordia managed just 34 percent shooting on the evening, including just 6-of-24 shooting from long range.  Conahan scored a team-high 15 points but was just 6-of-18 from the field (3-of-13 on 3-pointers).  Rich added 13 points off the bench.  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) delivered 10 points and pulled down eight boards for the Bulldogs in the loss. 

Dordt College comes to Seward on Saturday evening following the Lutheran Invitational High School Tournament.  Tip between the Bulldogs and Defenders is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Bulldogs fight through tough shooting night, pick up 65-54 win over Dordt

7 January 2012

Despite a tough shooting night, 7th-ranked Concordia picked up a 65-54 women’s basketball win over Dordt College on Saturday evening in Seward.  The Bulldogs managed just 36.9 percent shooting overall and 15.4 percent shooting from deep in the win.  Concordia’s defense came up big, however, forcing 27 Dordt turnovers on the evening.  With the victory, the Bulldogs improved to 14-2 overall and 7-2 in conference play.  Dordt slipped to 6-11 and 2-8 in the GPAC with the loss. 

Concordia led by as many as eight on multiple occasions in the first half and took a 29-22 lead into halftime.  The Bulldogs were just 12-of-35 from the field but took 16 more shots than the Defenders, who committed 19 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.  Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) scored seven points off the bench for the Bulldogs in the first half of play. 

The Bulldogs really never pulled away in the second half.  Concordia maintained a lead of at least seven for the final 10 minutes of the contest.  Concordia took its largest lead of the game (53-40) with just over six minutes to play and secured the 11-point victory. 

Offensively, Concordia was just 24-of-65 from the field overall and 4-of-26 from long range.  Free throw shooting was pretty solid at 13-of-16 for 81.3 percent.  The Bulldogs held a slim 39-37 rebounding advantage and totaled 13 offensive rebounds in the win.  Turnovers and bench play were keys.  Concordia capitalized on Dordt mistakes and finished with 25 points off turnovers.  The Bulldog bench also played a key role, outscoring the Dordt bench 36-23. 

Three players reached double figures in scoring.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) scored a game-high 16 points.  Rich chipped in with 13 points and four steals, while Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) added 12 points and three steals.  Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.), Concordia’s second leading scorer, managed just three points, but came through in other areas with nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists.  Concordia finished with 18 assists on their 24 made field goals. 

“We didn’t shoot the ball very well tonight, but our depth really helped us out,” said Bulldog sophomore Kristen Conahan.  “Our bench play was huge tonight, as both Katie and Bailey came in and gave us a big lift offensively.” 

Brianna Spronk scored a team-high 10 points for Dordt in the loss.  Kayla Broekhuis added eight. 

Concordia faces a challenging week ahead.  The Bulldogs travel to 8th-ranked Hastings College on Wednesday with a rematch against 5th-ranked Morningside College looming next weekend.  Morningside handed Concordia a 69-66 loss in Seward in early December.   

“We need to keep improving with our shooting and maintain our discipline defensively,” added Conahan.  “We know we have some challenges coming up, so we need to play better on both ends of the floor.  Defensively, we need to continue moving our feet without getting into foul trouble.  Offensively, we need to continue moving the ball and just be active.”

Concordia moves up a spot in latest NAIA top 25 poll

9 January 2012

The Bulldog women’s basketball team moved up one spot to sixth in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll.  Concordia currently has a 14-2 overall record to go along with a 7-2 mark in conference play. 

Concordia went 1-1 last week.  The Bulldogs suffered a 74-67 loss at then #20 Northwestern College before earning a 65-54 victory over Dordt College at home this past Saturday.  Despite the loss at Northwestern, Concordia has won five out of its last six games.  So far this year, Concordia has three wins over teams currently in the top 25 or receiving votes in the poll.  

The Great Plains Athletic Conference currently has five teams in the NAIA’s top 15.  Briar Cliff moved up a spot to second in the latest poll, while Morningside remained one spot in front of Concordia in fifth.  Northwestern College jumped all the way up from 20th to 10th.  Hastings College slipped from eighth to 14th, while Mount Marty College received votes in this week’s poll.  

The 7th-ranked Bulldogs have a huge week.  Concordia travels to #14 Hastings College on Wednesday, followed by a trip to #5 Morningside College on Saturday.

Conahan and Kistler combine for 36, Bulldogs pick up 59-47 win over #14 Hastings College

11 January 2012

Concordia University and Hastings College battled in a top-15 matchup on Wednesday evening in Hastings.  Concordia, the 6th-ranked team in the NAIA, secured a 59-47 win to improve to 15-2 overall and 8-2 in conference play.  Hastings College, the 14th-ranked team in the NAIA, dropped to 14-5 overall and 6-4 in GPAC play. 

In a battle between the top two defensive teams in the GPAC, points were tough to come by throughout the contest.  Both teams struggled to find the range from the field in the opening 20 minutes of play.  A 3-pointer by Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) gave the Bulldogs a 28-24 lead heading into halftime.  Conahan hit three 3-pointers and had nine points in the half.  The Bulldogs also pulled down 10 offensive rebounds, while the Hastings bench contributed 13 of their 24 points in the opening half.  

Concordia built an 11-point lead (36-25) in the early stages of the second half, and a 3-pointer by Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) gave the Bulldogs a 41-29 lead with just under 14 minutes left in the contest.  The Broncos used a 7-0 run to pull back within five (41-36), but Kistler quickly responded with another 3-pointer to push the Bulldog lead back to eight at 44-36. 

The teams then traded scoring runs.  The host Broncos pulled back within five once again, but the Bulldogs again had an answer.  Concordia increased the lead back to 11 at 53-42, but Hastings rallied to pull within six at 53-47 with two minutes to play.  Conahan ended the Hastings scoring run with a floater in the lane, and Concordia reclaimed an 8-point lead (55-47) with 1:30 left in regulation.  The Bulldogs sealed the win with free throws and a breakaway layup by Conahan in the final minute. 

Hastings College managed just 16-of-58 shooting from the field for 27.6 percent.  The Broncos finished with 21 turnovers and went just 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from long range.  Kayli Rageth and Alicia Statler scored 14 points apiece to lead the way offensively for Hastings in the loss. 

Concordia also struggled from the field, finishing just 20-of-62 overall for 32.3 percent.  Long range shooting was big for the Bulldogs, however, as Concordia hit nine 3-pointers on the evening.  Conahan and Kistler combined for eight makes from deep.  Conahan finished with a game-high 19 points, while Kistler added 17.  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds on the evening.  The Bulldogs had just 10 turnovers in the win. 

Things don’t get any easier, as Concordia travels to 5th-ranked Morningside College on Saturday.  The Bulldogs will look for some payback following a 69-66 loss to the Mustangs earlier this season.  Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Sioux City.

#6 Concordia set for key GPAC matchup with #5 Morningside on Saturday

12 January 2012

Concordia University and Morningside College meet up on Saturday for a top-10 matchup in Sioux City.  The 6th-ranked Bulldogs and 5th-ranked Mustangs square off at 2 p.m. on Saturday in what will be a key battle in the GPAC standings.  Concordia and Morningside are part of a 4-way tie at the top of the GPAC standings.  Concordia, Morningside, Briar Cliff, and Northwestern all have 8-2 marks in GPAC play heading into the weekend. 

The Bulldogs moved to 15-2 on the year following a 59-47 win over 14th-ranked Hastings College on Wednesday evening.  Kristen Conahan and Amber Kistler combined for 36 points, while the Bulldog defense limited Hastings College to just 16-of-58 shooting from the field (27.6 percent).  Hastings had 21 turnovers in the contest, while Concordia had just 10 turnovers in the victory. 

Last meeting - Earlier this season, Morningside handed Concordia its first loss of the season (69-66) in a game played in Seward.  A 3-point play by Shelby Beaudette with just 16 seconds remaining in the contest lifted the visiting Mustangs to the victory.  The Bulldogs struggled from the field in the loss, hitting just 20-of-71 shots overall (28.2 percent) and 5-of-29 shots from deep (17.2 percent).  Kistler scored a team-best 14, while Conahan chipped in with 13.  Katie Rich had a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.  Beaudette and Hanna Blum combined for 38 points for Morningside in the victory. 

Scouting the Mustangs – Morningside has won three of their last four games and is coming off a 68-59 win over Mount Marty on Wednesday.  The Mustangs have GPAC losses to Hastings College (54-50) and Briar Cliff (97-84).  Morningside averages 75.6 points per game (3rd-GPAC) while allowing 64.8 points per game (7th-GPAC).  Chelsie Trask ranks sixth in the GPAC with 14.9 points per game.  Leann Osten adds 10.3 points per game on the year for the Mustangs.  Morningside has four straight wins over Concordia. 

Broadcast - Morningside provides live audio and/or video broadcasts as well as live stats for most women's and men's basketball games.  The broadcasts and live stats can be accessed through the Morningside athletic website (bottom of the page) at  http://www.morningside.edu/mustangs/index.htm. 

Up next – Concordia hosts Midland University on January 17.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Balanced scoring lifts Bulldogs to 74-65 win over #5 Morningside

14 January 2012

Concordia, the 6th-ranked team in the NAIA, made it back-to-back wins over top-15 teams with a 74-65 victory over 5th-ranked Morningside College on Saturday in Sioux City. The Bulldogs improved to 16-2 overall and 9-2 in GPAC play with the win. Concordia also avenged an earlier season loss to the Mustangs. Morningside dropped to 14-6 overall and 8-3 in conference play.

Morningside came out strong with a quick 5-0 run to open the game. Concordia responded, however, and a 9-0 run by the Bulldogs forced an early Morningside timeout. The game remained close for the next several minutes of action, but Concordia’s pressure defense caused problems for Morningside throughout the remainder of the half. The Bulldogs extended their lead and led by as many as 11 on two occasions. Concordia had several deflections and eight steals in the half, and the Bulldogs turned multiple Morningside turnovers into points. Concordia shot an even 50 percent (16-of-32) from the field in the half and took a 42-34 lead into halftime.

Chelsie Trask and Leann Osten combined for 19 points to lead the way for Morningside in the opening half. The Mustangs were 12-of-26 (46.2 percent) from the field but totaled 11 turnovers in the half. Concordia had a balanced scoring attack in the opening half, as a total of seven players scored. Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb.) and Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) scored nine points apiece, while Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) added eight to help the Bulldogs to the halftime lead.

Things got off to a rocky start for Concordia in the opening minute of the second half. The Bulldogs committed two early fouls and had a turnover. Morningside took advantage of the mistakes and quickly pulled within four at 42-38. Conahan ended the Mustang scoring run by draining a 3-pointer to push the Bulldog lead back to seven at 45-38 with 18 minutes remaining.

The Mustangs continued to keep the pressure on, and a 3-point play by Trask pulled Morningside within one (47-46) with 13 minutes remaining. A pair of Concordia 3-pointers gave the Bulldogs a 53-46 lead, but the Mustangs again pulled within two following a 5-0 run. Conahan again had the answer, and her fourth 3-pointer of the game gave the Bulldogs a 56-51 lead. A runner in the lane by Conahan increased the Bulldog lead back to seven with 10 minutes left in the contest.

Concordia pushed the lead back to 10 with five minutes remaining, but the Mustangs didn’t go away. Back-to-back buckets by Morningside, including a 3-pointer by Trask, pulled the Mustangs back within five at 66-61. Conahan knocked down a pair of free throws to increase the Concordia lead back to seven (68-61), but a jumper in the lane by Trask again pulled Morningside within five with just over a minute to play. That was as close at Morningside would get, however, as Concordia took care of business at the foul line down the stretch. The Bulldogs, who opened the game just 6-of-12 at the foul line, made their final eight free throws to close out the win.

For the game, Concordia was 26-of-61 from the field for 42.6 percent. The Bulldogs connected on eight 3-pointers on the day. Three players reached double figures, and Conahan led the way with a career-high 25 points. The sophomore guard hit four 3-pointers and was 9-of-12 overall from the field. Morris added a career-high 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field.  Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) also reached double figures with 10 points, while Peitz finished with nine. Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) pulled down a team-best nine rebounds, as the Bulldogs held a slim 37-36 rebounding advantage.

Trask scored a game-high 23 points for Morningside in the loss, while Brittany Alfredson secured a game-high 12 rebounds. The Mustangs were 21-of-53 (39.6 percent) overall from the field but just 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) from long range. The Mustangs finished with 19 turnovers in the loss.

Concordia returns home to host Midland University on January 17.

Bulldogs host Midland on Tuesday, search for fourth straight win

16 January 2012

Coming off a huge 74-65 win over then 5th-ranked Morningside College on Saturday, the Bulldog women’s basketball team looks for its fourth straight win on Tuesday evening in Seward.  The Bulldogs host Midland University in an 8 p.m. contest at the Walz Human Performance Complex. 

Concordia improved to 16-2 overall and 9-2 in GPAC play with the road win over Morningside.  The Bulldogs avenged an earlier season loss to the Mustangs and stayed atop the GPAC standings with the victory.  Concordia is now tied with Northwestern with 9-2 conference records.  Several players had big games in the victory over Morningside.  Sophomore guard Kristen Conahan poured in a career-high 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field.  Freshman reserve guard Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) added a career-best 16 points off the bench, while senior Amber Kistler also reached double figures with 10.  Defense again was a big factor, as Concordia forced 19 Mustang turnovers in the contest. 

Despite playing two of the GPAC’s top defensive teams in the past week, Concordia continues to rank second in the conference in scoring offense with 76.8 points per game.  The Bulldogs lead the GPAC in scoring defense (57.7) and scoring margin (+19.1) while also ranking first in rebounding offense.  Individually for the Bulldogs, Conahan has moved up to fifth in the GPAC with 15.7 points per game.  Kistler currently ranks 11th with 13.2 points per game, while Lori Laboda is sixth in rebounding with 7.1 per game. 

Scouting the Warriors – Midland enters Tuesday’s contest with a 7-13 overall record, but it has been a tough year in the GPAC for the Warriors.  Midland is 0-11 in GPAC games so far this year, and the Warriors have lost three of their last four overall entering Tuesday’s matchup.  Jamilah Johnson leads the way for Midland with 11.6 points per game.  Tricia Hoffman (10.2 ppg) and Jami Thramer (10 ppg) also average double figures in scoring for a team that ranks eighth in the GPAC in scoring offense (64.9). 

Broadcast – The Concordia Sports Network will provide a live audio and video webcast.  Mike Grosz will call all the action from the Walz Complex. 

Up next – The Bulldogs continue conference play at home against Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday with tip scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Walz Complex.

Conahan picks up GPAC award

16 January 2012

Concordia’s Kristen Conahan is this week’s GPAC Player-of-the-Week.  The sophomore guard led the way, as Concordia picked up wins over then 14th-ranked Hastings and then 5th-ranked Morningside last week. 

Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) scored 19 points in Concordia’s 59-47 road win over Hastings College last Wednesday.  She followed with a career-high 25 points in CU’s 74-65 win at Morningside on Saturday.  She was 9-of-12 from the field and connected on four 3-pointers in the win over the Mustangs. 

For the year, Conahan leads Concordia with 15.7 points per game.  Her scoring average ranks fifth in the GPAC.  She also leads Concordia in minutes per game (28.5) and 3-pointers made (53) while ranking second on the team in steals (45) and third in assists (39). 

The Bulldogs host Midland University and Dakota Wesleyan University this week at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

5th-ranked Bulldogs catch fire in second half, defeat Midland to move to 17-2

17 January 2012

Concordia University shook off a slow start and pulled away in the second half for a 79-67 win over Midland University on Tuesday evening in Seward.  The 5th-ranked Bulldogs improved to 17-2 (10-2 GPAC) with the victory.  Midland (7-14 overall) remained winless in conference play at 0-12. 

The first half went back and forth.  Midland took an early 4-point advantage before Concordia responded to lead by as many as seven in the opening 20 minutes.  Concordia held a slim 33-29 lead at halftime.  The Bulldogs were just 12-of-35 from the field overall (4-of-16 from deep) in the half, but points off turnovers and bench scoring kept the Bulldogs in front.  Concordia forced 13 Midland turnovers and converted those turnovers into 17 points.  The Bulldog bench also held a 14-4 scoring advantage over the Midland bench in the half.  Midland stayed in the game, however, with solid free throw shooting.  The Warriors were 9-of-11 at the charity stripe in the half.   

The Bulldogs came out firing early in the second half and quickly built a 44-33 lead in the opening three minutes.  Concordia held a 53-43 lead with less than 13 minutes remaining.  From there, the Bulldogs used a 12-3 run to take their largest lead of the game (65-46) with just over eight minutes left in the contest.  The Warriors pulled within 11 on two separate occasions down the stretch but would get no closer.  The Bulldogs settled for the 12-point win.  Following the game, Bulldog head coach talked about the highs and lows of the contest. 

“I was really disappointed with our start tonight, because we just didn’t play well in the first half,” noted Olson.  However, I credit the girls, because they came out ready to play in the second half.  We certainly played a lot better as the game went on.” 

Concordia finished 27-of-67 from the field for 40.3 percent.  The Bulldogs connected on 11 3-pointers on the evening and were 14-of-16 (87.5 percent) at the foul line.  Three players scored in double figures, and a total of 10 players scored for the Bulldogs in the win.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) and Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) scored 17 points apiece to pace the Bulldog offense.  Conahan connected on five 3-pointers on the night.  For the second straight game, Morris poured in a season-high in points.  The freshman was 4-of-8 from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 at the foul line.  Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) added 14 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the field.  Concordia totaled 19 assists on their 27 made field goals.  Morris dished out a game-high five, while Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb.) and Conahan each added four assists apiece.  The Bulldog bench outscored the Midland bench by a final total of 36-11, something that Coach Olson was very pleased with.   

“Our depth is such a plus,” added Olson.  We utilized our bench again tonight.  We got a great lift from several players off the bench, and we really wore them down as the night went on.” 

As has been the case all season, the Bulldog defense was solid.  Midland shot a respectable 45.8 percent from the field (22-of-48).  However, the Warriors turned the ball over 25 times, leading to 35 Concordia points off of turnovers.  Concordia totaled 15 steals in the win.  Peitz led the way with four steals. 

“Our defense really went to work tonight when we were struggling offensively,” remarked Olson.  “We didn’t have a lot going in the opening half.  We really feed off our pressure defense, and we were able to take them out of what they wanted to do for most of the evening.  We were able to get some easy points, and we did a nice job of taking advantage of their mistakes.” 

Jami Thramer had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead Midland in the loss.  Thramer was just 4-of-9 from the field but went 11-of-12 at the foul line.  Sammy Hislop and Jamilah Johnson added 11 points apiece for the Warriors. 

Concordia travels to Nebraska-Omaha on Thursday evening.  The Bulldogs then return home to host Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.

#5 Bulldogs improve to 18-2 with impressive 68-60 win over Nebraska-Omaha

19 January 2012

Concordia University stepped out of conference play on Thursday evening and picked up a 68-60 women’s basketball win over Nebraska-Omaha.  Concordia, currently the 5th-ranked team in the NAIA, improved to 18-2 with the victory.  UNO, who converted to NCAA Division I status and will compete in the Summit League beginning next year, dropped to 11-9 with the loss.  It was just the second home loss of the season for the Mavericks.   

The Bulldogs got off to a slow start from the field and went just 1-of-6 in the opening few minutes of the contest.  Concordia settled in, however, and Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) provided a nice spark off the bench.  The freshman guard poured in nine early points to get things rolling for the Concordia offense. 

With the game tied at 17-17, Concordia put together a 17-0 run to grab a 34-17 lead.  Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) scored five straight points to give the Bulldogs a 22-17 lead.  A layup by Morris and a pair of free throws by Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) gave Concordia a 26-17 lead.  A 3-pointer by Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) and a layup by Rich increased the Concordia advantage to 14 (31-17) with six minutes to play in the half.  The scoring run continued, as Conahan buried another 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the half at 34-17.  

A jumper by Jamie Nash ended the Concordia scoring run, and UNO got right back in the game with a 12-0 run of their own.  The Mavericks pulled within five (34-29) with two minutes to play in the half.  Morris had an answer for Concordia, as she sank a 3-pointer to push the Bulldog lead back to eight (37-29), but a layup by Rese Huddlin pulled UNO within six (37-31) heading into halftime.    

The Concordia defense did its part in the opening half.  UNO was 11-of-22 from the field, but the Bulldogs forced 18 Maverick turnovers in the half.  UNO also struggled from deep, hitting just 1-of-8 attempts in the half.  The Bulldogs totaled five 3-pointers, but free throw shooting was a problem for Concordia.  Concordia was just 4-of-10 at the line in the opening 20 minutes.  Morris led the way for the Bulldogs with 14 first half points.  

In the second half, Concordia reclaimed an 8-point lead (47-39) on a 3-pointer by Conahan with less than 14 minutes remaining in regulation.  UNO got back into the game at the free throw line.  The Mavericks scored their next six points at the charity stripe to pull within two (47-45) with 12 minutes to play.  Conahan buried another 3-pointer, however, and Concordia held a 50-45 lead with less than nine minutes remaining. 

Both teams went cold from the field over the next few minutes, and Concordia maintained a 52-49 lead with six minutes to play.  A 3-pointer by Brittany Benson (Naples, Fla.) increased the Concordia lead to six at 55-49.  A pair of made free throws by Rich pushed the lead to eight (57-49).  Following a UNO layup by Jamie Nash, Kistler knocked down a pair of free throws to build the CU lead to eight at 59-51.  Following a Bulldog timeout, Conahan knocked down her fifth 3-pointer of the evening to give the Bulldogs a 62-51 lead.  Following a UNO made free throw, Kistler scored on a layup to give Concordia a 64-52 advantage with two minutes left.  The Mavericks made a little run in the closing minute, but Concordia secured the 68-60 victory. 

“We feel like we have a good team, and we went into this game with confidence,” said Bulldog head coach Drew Olson.  “Once the game got going, we went on a run and started to hit some shots.  Our defense was solid, and our kids did a great job with their rotations throughout the game.  We forced them into making some mistakes, and our rebounding was fantastic.  They have such a tall team, but our whole team really crashed the boards tonight.” 

Concordia placed three players in double figures.  Morris led the way with 16 points to go along with four steals and two assists.  Conahan added 15 on her five 3-pointers and also added three assists and three steals.  Kistler poured in 13 points with a team-high seven rebounds and four steals.  Rich and Jericca Pearson (Gibbon, Neb.) added eight points and seven points, respectively, for the Bulldogs.  Concordia finished with 18 steals and 30 points off turnovers on the night.  The Bulldog bench also held a commanding 36-14 scoring advantage over the UNO bench.   

UNO also placed three players in double figures.  Nash and Paige Frauendorfer each scored 14.  Frauendorfer also added a game-high 10 rebounds.  Stacia Gebers added 11 points and six boards for the Mavericks, who committed 29 turnovers in the contest.  Nash and Frauendorfer combined for 17 of those turnovers.  Outside shooting and free throw shooting were also a nightmare for UNO.  The Mavericks were just 2-of-16 (12.5 percent) from deep and 16-of-27 (59.3 percent) at the foul line. 

The Bulldogs return to conference play this weekend with a home game against Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.  Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.  While excited about Thursday’s win, Coach Olson talked about the quick turnaround his team must now face. 

“We can take a lot from this win tonight, but we also need to refocus,” noted Olson.  “We have a tough and confident team, and tonight was a nice win for us.  However, we have to get ready to jump back into conference play.  We’ll enjoy this one for a little bit, but our focus must quickly turn to Dakota Wesleyan.”

#5 Bulldogs secure 68-59 win over DWU, improve to 19-2 on the year

21 January 2012

Dakota Wesleyan battled the 5th-ranked team in the country for all 40 minutes, but Concordia survived for a 68-59 women’s basketball win on Saturday afternoon in Seward.  It was the sixth straight win for the Bulldogs, who improved to 19-2 overall and 11-2 in GPAC play.  Dakota Wesleyan, who has played solid basketball as of late, dropped to 13-9 overall and 4-8 in the GPAC. 

DWU came out strong and led by as many as five (15-10) in the opening five minutes of the contest.  The Bulldogs quickly responded with a 9-0 run, however, to take a 19-15 lead.  Leading 28-26, Concordia used a 7-0 burst to take a 35-26 lead on a layup by Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.).  Dakota Wesleyan got back in the game in the final two minutes of the half and pulled within two with a half minute remaining.  In the closing seconds of the half, Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) drained a 3-pointer from the corner to give Concordia a 39-34 lead heading into halftime. 

In the second half, Concordia took its first double digit lead (48-38) with just over 13 minutes remaining in regulation.  DWU pulled within seven at one point, but the Bulldogs maintained their double digit lead for much of the rest of the game.  Concordia led by as many as 15 and settled for the 68-59 victory. 

As has been the case throughout the season so far, Concordia used great balance offensively and pressure on the defensive end to pick up the win.  Three players scored in double figures, and Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) led the way with a game-high 19.  The sophomore knocked down five 3-pointers for the second straight game.  Morris again provided a great spark off the bench, as the freshman poured in 16 points.  She also added six rebounds and a career-high five steals.  Kistler also reached double figures with 11.  A total of 11 Concordia players scored in the win. 

“We just continue to take things a game at a time,” remarked Conahan.  “We didn’t play that great in the first half tonight, but the second half was better.  We took better care of the ball and rebounded a lot better.  We had a nice lift from our bench again tonight.  We have a lot of balance on this team, and everyone is playing well in their roles.” 

Concordia was 25-of-62 from the field for 40.3 percent.  The Bulldogs were just 8-of-14 at the foul line for 57.1 percent, but Concordia managed to knock down 10 3-pointers in the victory.  The Bulldogs forced 21 DWU turnovers and converted those turnovers into 31 points.  Concordia finished with 16 assists on their 25 made field goals. 

Brittany Pritchard scored 14 points off the bench for DWU.  Elizabeth Lamb was the only other player in double figures with 10. 

Concordia stays at home to host Doane College on Tuesday evening at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Winning streak hits seven, Bulldogs pull away for 78-57 win over Doane

24 January 2012

In a game very similar to the first meeting between the two schools earlier this season, 5th-ranked Concordia used a big second half to pull away for a 78-57 women’s basketball win over Doane on Tuesday evening in Seward.  The Bulldogs led by just three at halftime but outscored the Tigers 43-25 in the final half to move to 20-2 (12-2 GPAC) on the year.  Doane College dropped to 10-9 overall (6-8 GPAC) with the loss. 

The first half was rough on the offensive end for both teams.  The half featured four ties and five lead changes, but neither team found a rhythm offensively.  Concordia was just 13-of-42 overall from the field (31 percent) and 5-of-20 (25 percent) from deep.  The Bulldogs did force 15 Doane College turnovers in the half.  Doane also struggled from the field in the opening 20 minutes, hitting just 9-of-26 shots for 34.6 percent.  The Tigers hung around by getting to the free throw line.  Concordia totaled 14 fouls in the opening half compared to just six for Doane.  The Tigers were 12-of-18 at the charity stripe, and despite the turnovers, Doane trailed by just three (35-32) at halftime. 

Things remained close in the second half for the first four minutes.  Doane tied the game on two separate occasions, but the Bulldogs began to pull away.  With the game tied at 40, Concordia used a quick 7-0 run to grab a 47-40 lead with just over 15 minutes remaining in the contest.  Doane would get only as close as five the rest of the way.  The Bulldogs took a double-digit lead (57-46) on a transition layup by Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.), and Concordia continued to pull away from there.  The Bulldogs led by at least 11 points for the final six minutes of regulation.  Concordia built the lead to 22 (76-54) at one point before securing the 78-57 win. 

Following the tough first half offensively, Concordia shot a blistering 54.3 percent in the second half (19-of-35).  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.), who had just three points in the opening half, finished with 17 for the game.  For the third straight contest, she drilled five 3-pointers.  Conahan also added seven rebounds, four assists and five steals.  Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) and Rich had 13 and 11 points, respectively, off a Concordia bench that outscored Doane’s bench by a final of 45-22. 

The Bulldogs totaled 34 paint points, 29 points off turnovers, and 17 fast break points on the night.  Concordia had 21 assists on their 32 made field goals, and the Bulldogs had 17 steals in the win.  Doane finished with 28 free throw attempts in the game compared to just nine for the Bulldogs.  Despite the free throw discrepancy, head coach Drew Olson was pleased with the aggressive play of his team. 

“We played really hard and unfortunately had quite a few fouls called against us throughout the game,” remarked Olson.  “However, we stayed really composed and put together a really solid stretch in the second half to create some separation.  I thought we played even harder in that stretch and really got after it defensively.  We turned our defense into offense, and hitting some shots from the outside also helped us out.” 

Madara Upeniece scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for Doane.  She was the only player in double figures, however, as Cali Bellar was the next highest scorer with eight points.  The Tigers finished with 33 turnovers on the evening. 

Concordia travels to Chicago for the Concordia Invitational Tournament this weekend.  The Bulldogs open play on Friday against Concordia University-Wisconsin.  A win over CU-Wisconsin could produce a matchup between the 5th and 6th rated teams in the country, as Concordia University-Ann Arbor is currently right behind the Bulldogs in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll. 

“It would be fun to have a matchup of two top-10 teams at the CIT,” added Olson.  We won’t look past our first game, however.  CU-Wisconsin has a good squad, so that’s our focus right now.”

#5 Bulldogs pound CU-Wisconsin at Concordia Invitational Tournament

27 January 2012

Concordia, Nebraska opened play in this year’s Concordia Invitational Tournament with a convincing 98-58 win over CU-Wisconsin on Friday afternoon in Chicago.  The 5th-ranked Bulldogs won their eighth straight game to improve to 21-2 on the year.  CU-Wisconsin dropped to 12-7 with the loss. 

The Falcons kept things close for the first seven minutes of the first half, but the Bulldogs took over from there.  The Dogs took their first double digit lead (29-18) with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half.  Over the next five minutes, the Bulldogs built their lead to 18 (45-27), and a 9-1 run to close the half gave Nebraska a 54-29 halftime lead.  The Bulldogs were 18-of-31 (58.1 percent) from the field overall and 6-of-10 from deep in the opening half.  The Bulldogs also connected on 12-of-13 free throw attempts in the first 20 minutes of action. 

CU-Wisconsin pulled with 21 on two occasions early in the second half, but that’s as close as the Falcons would get.  The Bulldogs continued to shoot it well from the field, hitting 16-of-29 shots in the final half for 55.2 percent.  A total of 13 players scored for the Bulldogs in the easy victory. 

For the game, CU-Nebraska was 34-of-60 from the field for 56.7 percent and 21-of-25 at the foul line for 84 percent.  From long range, the Dogs were 9-of-19 (47.4 percent) in the win.  The Bulldogs dominated the glass and held a 42-25 rebounding advantage.  Four players reached double figures.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) knocked down three 3-pointers and scored a game-high 15 points.  Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb.) added 11 points (5-of-6 shooting) and five assists, while Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) and Beth Kohmetscher (Deweese, Neb.) added 10 points apiece. 

Katie Luethe and Kendall Kerns scored 13 opints apiece for CU-Wisconsin in the loss.  The Falcons finished 19-of-48 (39.6 percent) from the field and just 17-of-32 (53.1 percent) at the foul line. 

With the win, the Bulldogs advance to Saturday’s CIT championship game at 5 p.m. against either Concordia-Chicago or #6 Concordia-Ann Arbor.  The Bulldogs will vie for their fourth CIT championship in the last five years.

#5 Concordia claims 2012 CIT title with 72-68 win over #6 CU-Ann Arbor

28 January 2012

It was a battle of top-10 teams in the championship of the 2012 Concordia Invitational Tournament.  The matchup certainly lived up to expectations, and the 5th-ranked Bulldogs picked up a 72-68 win over the 6th-ranked Cardinals in a game that went right down to the wire.  The victory secured the fourth CIT title in five years for the Bulldogs.  Looking back even further, CU-Nebraska has now won 15 of the last 17 women’s championships in the tournament.  The Bulldogs won their ninth straight game to move to 22-2 with the win.  The Cardinals dropped to 20-4 with the loss.     

CU-Ann Arbor built an early lead in the opening three minutes of the contest.  The Bulldogs came back to tie the score at 8-8, but the Cardinals built a 13-8 lead.  The Bulldogs quickly responded with a run to claim their first lead.  A layup by Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb.) pulled the Bulldogs within one (13-12).  A free throw and 3-pointer by Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) gave the Dogs their biggest lead of the half (16-13) with 10:45 remaining.  CU-Ann Arbor controlled the rest of the half, however, and a 3-pointer by Catherine Herriman gave CU-Ann Arbor their biggest lead of the half at 28-20.  The Cardinals took a 37-30 lead into halftime. 

Foul trouble and offensive struggles plagued the Bulldogs in the opening half.  Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) picked up her third foul with over seven minutes remaining in the half.  Backup point guard Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) and starting post Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) also had three fouls, and CU-Ann Arbor was in the bonus for the final 14 minutes of the first half.  The Bulldogs were just 9-of-28 from the field (32.1 percent) and 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) from the foul line in the opening half.  CU-Ann Arbor was 12-of-25 from the field (48 percent) and 12-of-15 at the foul line for 80 percent.   

The Bulldogs opened the second half with a big run fueled by defense.  CU-Ann Arbor had four quick turnovers, and the Dogs took full advantage.  The Dogs grabbed a 39-37 lead in the first two minutes of the half.  The Bulldogs built the lead to five (51-46), but the Cardinals rallied over the next six minutes.  A 17-4 run gave CU-Ann Arbor a 63-55 lead with 7:20 remaining. 

Trailing by seven (64-57), Beth Kohmetscher (Deweese, Neb.) hit a big 3-pointer to pull the Dogs within four.  Following multiple missed opportunities by both teams, the Bulldogs pulled within one with a 3-pointer by Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.).  After another CU-Ann Arbor turnover, Kohmetscher gave the Dogs the lead (65-64) with a layup.  The Bulldogs would lead the rest of the way, but the game was tightly contested right until the end. 

Solid free throw shooting by Kistler kept the Bulldogs in front.  Kistler knocked down a pair from the charity stripe to increase the lead to 67-64.  The Cardinals responded with a layup by Hannah Sabol.  Following a turnover and two missed shots by CU-Ann Arbor, Kistler connected on two more free throws to push the lead back to three (69-66).  Made free throws by Kelly Cieslak again cut the lead to one, but Kistler again hit a pair from the line to give the Bulldogs a 71-68 lead with just four seconds remaining.  The Bulldogs fouled to keep CU-Ann Arbor from a potential game-tying 3-pointer.  The free throws were missed, and a free throw by Conahan secured the 72-68 win for the Bulldogs. 

Defense and rebounding were keys to the Bulldog win.  The Bulldogs forced 25 CU-Ann Arbor turnovers on the night.  Nebraska held a slim 41-36 rebounding advantage, but the Dogs had 20 offensive rebounds in the win.  The Dogs won despite a tough night shooting from the field.  Nebraska was just 20-of-61 from the field overall for 32.8 percent and 7-of-23 from deep for 30.4 percent.  The Bulldogs were 25-of-36 from the line overall, but a 15-of-19 performance from the line in the second half helped secure the victory. 

Kistler had a huge night to lead the way.  The senior guard scored a game-high 26 points.  Kistler was just 6-of-17 from the field, but her 12-for-12 performance at the free throw line proved to be huge.  Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) added 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench.  Conahan and Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb.) added eight points apiece.  Both Kistler and Rich were selected to the CIT All-Tournament Team.  Kistler was named Tournament MVP.  

CU-Ann Arbor was balanced offensively.  The Cardinals also put together a solid shooting performance (11-of-22) in the second half, but it was not enough.  Kortni Elsworth scored a team-high 16 points.  Sabol added 12 points and nine rebounds, while Brittany Simmons delivered a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.  Cieslak also reached double figures with 10 points. 

The Bulldogs return to GPAC play at Nebraska Wesleyan (Feb. 1) and vs. 9th-ranked Northwestern (Feb. 4).

2012 CIT All-Tournament Team

Krystyna Rickett, Concordia-Chicago
Katie Luethe, Concordia-Wisconsin
Kortni Ellsworth, Concordia-Ann-Arbor
Katie Rich, Concordia Nebraska
Amber Kistler, Concordia Nebraska (MVP)

Bulldogs up to 3rd in latest NAIA top 25

30 January 2012

Following a CIT Championship and a win over 6th-ranked Concordia-Michigan over the weekend, the Bulldog women’s basketball team moved up two spots to 3rd in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll.  The Bulldogs also received three of the possible 14 first place votes in this week’s poll.  Concordia improved to 22-2 on the season with a pair of wins at the Concordia Invitational Tournament over the weekend. 

The Bulldogs return to GPAC play this week on the road at Nebraska Wesleyan (Wednesday) and at home against 7th-ranked Northwestern College on Saturday.  Concordia also has an upcoming road test at 10th-ranked Briar Cliff.  The GPAC continues to be well represented in the polls, as five teams are currently ranked in the top 25. 

Concordia and Nebraska Wesleyan face off at 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening in Lincoln.

#3 Bulldogs too much for Nebraska Wesleyan, pick up 82-58 victory for 10th straight win

1 February 2012

Nebraska Wesleyan hung around early, but the Bulldog women’s basketball team pulled away for an 82-58 win on Wednesday evening in Lincoln.  It was the 10th straight win for Concordia, currently the 3rd-ranked team in the NAIA.  The Bulldogs improved to 23-2 overall and 13-2 in conference play.  Wesleyan dropped to 5-16 overall and 2-14 in the GPAC. 

Concordia jumped out to a quick 11-3 lead in the opening four minutes of play.  The Bulldogs led by eight on multiple occasions in the first half, but the Prairie Wolves hung around.  NWU scored seven straight points to tie the game at 25-25 with just over seven minutes remaining in the first half.  Concordia quickly responded, however, and an 11-2 run gave the Bulldogs a 36-27 advantage.  Concordia scored the final four points of the half to take a 43-33 lead into halftime. 

Wesleyan continued to keep things close in the early stages of the second half.  The Bulldogs held a slim 50-44 lead with 17 minutes left in the contest.  From there, Concordia pulled away and led by double digits for the final 15 minutes.  The Prairie Wolves scored just two points in the final six minutes, and Concordia secured the 82-58 win. 

For the game, Concordia was 34-of-72 from the field for 47.2 percent.  The Bulldogs hit seven 3-pointers on the evening.  Defensively, the Bulldogs totaled 18 steals and limited NWU to 18-of-56 (32.1 percent) shooting from the field.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) drilled four 3-pointers and scored a team-high 20 points.  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) added 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.  Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) came off the bench to add 12 points and four assists, while Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) also reached double figures with 11 points. 

Shea Rasmussen scored a game-high 21 points.  Rasmussen also dished out six assists.  Janelle Baal added 11 points, while Melissa Bennett pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds for the Wolves.  Wesleyan struggled with 27 turnovers in the loss. 

Concordia plays host to Northwestern College on Saturday.  It will be a top-10 matchup, as the Raiders are currently seventh in the NAIA Top 25.  The Bulldogs will look to avenge an earlier season loss.  Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Fan Appreciation Day at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Winning streak continues, Bulldogs pull away for 76-62 win over #7 Northwestern

6 February 2012

Concordia University closed the game on a 21-6 run over the final seven minutes to pull away for a 76-62 women’s basketball win over Northwestern College in an NAIA top 10 battle on Monday evening in Seward.  The now 2nd-ranked Bulldogs avenged an earlier season loss and won their 11th straight game to improve to 24-2 (14-2 GPAC).  Northwestern, ranked 7th in the latest NAIA top 25 poll, dropped to 18-6 (12-4 GPAC).  With the victory, the Bulldogs maintained their half-game lead over Morningside College in the GPAC standings.  Northwestern also dropped to two games behind the Bulldogs in the standings. 

The Bulldogs struggled offensively in the opening half but stayed in the game at the foul line.  Concordia managed just 8-of-33 (24.2 percent) shooting in the opening 20 minutes, including just 1-of-12 from long range.  The Bulldogs went 12-of-13 at the charity stripe and had just six turnovers, however, to hang close.  Northwestern, on the other hand, struggled with free throw shooting and turnovers in the first half.  The Raiders were 13-of-26 from the field overall but just 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from the foul line.  Northwestern also totaled 15 turnovers in the opening half which led to 12 points for Concordia.  The Raiders led by as many as 10 but took a 33-29 lead into halftime. 

Early in the second half, the teams traded runs.  Concordia rallied to take a 42-38 lead, but the Raiders came right back to lead 45-42.  There were multiple ties and lead changes over the next several minutes, but Concordia began to pull away with just over seven minutes remaining in the contest.  The Raiders took their final lead (56-55) on a layup by Mel Babcock, but a 3-pointer by Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) put the Bulldogs back in front by the score of 58-56. 

Northwestern pulled back within one with a free throw by Kendra De Jong with less than seven minutes to play.  Over the next five minutes, Concordia put the game away with a decisive 16-0 run to take a 74-57 lead with just over a minute remaining in regulation.  The Bulldogs went on to secure the 14-point win. 

“Tonight was a big win against a good team,” said freshman guard Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.).  With the loss to them earlier this season, we had added motivation tonight.  A lot of players stepped up, and our defense really helped us.  We got more stops and rebounds, and that fueled our offense down the stretch.”

The Bulldog defense was huge, as Northwestern finished with 26 turnovers on the night.  Concordia scored 30 points off those turnovers.  Free throw shooting was also a major difference in the game.  The Bulldogs were 26-of-27 (96.3 percent) on the night, including a perfect 14-of-14 in the second half.  Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) had a huge night to lead the way.  The senior scored a game-high 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field.  Conahan struggled from the field (just 4-of-17) but scored 14 points on the night.  Conahan scored 12 of her 14 in the second half.  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) added a game-best nine rebounds for the Bulldogs. 

Northwestern finished the game 23-of-49 (46.9 percent) from the field overall.  The Raiders were 6-of-15 from deep and just 10-of-23 (43.5 percent) at the charity stripe.  Kami Kuhlmann scored 15, while De Jong added 12 and seven rebounds for Northwestern.

Things don’t get any easier for the Bulldogs, as Concordia travels to 11th-ranked Briar Cliff on Wednesday.  Concordia then travels to Dordt College over the weekend. 

“Tonight was a great win, but we have to move on,” added Morris.  “We know our goals, and it’s important for us to remain focused moving forward.”

Concordia moves up to second in NAIA top 25

7 February 2012

The Bulldog women’s basketball team moved up a spot to second in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll.  This week’s poll was released just hours before Concordia’s 76-62 win over 7th-ranked Northwestern College on Monday evening in Seward. 

Concordia continued to impress in Monday’s victory over the defending national champs from Northwestern College.  The Bulldogs sit atop the GPAC standings with a 14-2 mark, and Monday’s win pushed their overall record to 24-2.  Concordia has now won 11 straight games and with the win over the Raiders on Monday, Concordia has now avenged both of their losses from earlier in the season.  Monday’s win also pushed Concordia’s home record to 10-1 on the year. 

Indiana Wesleyan remained at the top of this week’s NAIA rankings.  The Wildcats, who are 24-2 on the year, earned nine first place votes and 370 points in this week’s poll.  Concordia received five first place votes and 364 points.  The Great Plains Athletic Conference again has the most teams ranked in the top 25.  Morningside College (5th), Northwestern College (7th), Briar Cliff (11th), and Hastings College (19th) join Concordia in this week’s poll, while Mount Marty College received votes. 

The Bulldogs hit the road on Wednesday to take on 11th-ranked Briar Cliff.  Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Sioux City

#2 Concordia uses hot shooting from deep and a career night by Kistler to pick up 102-96 win over #11 Briar Cliff

8 February 2012

Wednesday evening’s GPAC matchup between 2nd-ranked Concordia and 11th-ranked Briar Cliff turned out to be an offensive showcase.  In the end, Concordia held on for a 102-96 win behind a career night by Amber Kistler and unbelievable 3-point shooting by the entire Bulldog team.  It was the 12th straight win for Concordia, who improved to 25-2 overall and 15-2 in conference play.  Briar Cliff, who was 9-1 at home entering Wednesday’s contest, dropped to 20-7 (11-6 GPAC) on the year.   

Concordia, who came into the game allowing just 58.7 points per game on the year, allowed 58 points in the first half alone.  Both teams shot over 50 percent in the opening half.  Briar Cliff led from the start and led by as many as 10 in the first half.  BCU was 21-of-36 (58.3 percent) from the field.  The Chargers went 13-of-18 from the foul line and scored 20 paint points to take a 58-51 halftime lead. 

Kelsey Evans and Kylie Dilla combined for 23 first half points for BCU.  Concordia was 51.5 percent from the field overall, and 7-of-10 shooting from long range kept the Bulldogs in the game.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.), Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) and Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) all reached double figures for the Bulldogs in the opening half. 

Briar Cliff built their lead to 13 in the opening minutes of the second half, but Concordia didn’t go away.  A run sparked by more hot shooting from the outside pulled the Bulldogs back within five (70-65) with 13 minutes remaining in the contest.  Later in the half, a made free throw by Jericca Pearson (Gibbon, Neb.) and a 3-pointer by Kistler pulled the Bulldogs back within one (73-72), but Evans scored on a layup to push the BCU lead back to three.  Kistler again responded with a jumper to pull the Dogs back within one, but a layup by Kristen Twait again gave BCU a three point advantage.  Another layup increased the Charger lead back to five, and Evans followed with a 3-pointer to give Briar Cliff an 82-74 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining. 

Concordia caught a break, as Evans picked up two quick fouls to foul out of the game with around nine minutes left in the contest.  She fouled out with 20 points on the night, and the Bulldogs took full advantage.  The BCU scoring run was stopped with a pair of made free throws by Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb.).  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) followed with made free throws to cut the Charger lead to four.  BCU answered once again, however, and five quick points pushed the lead back to nine. 

Kistler took over from there and pulled Concordia within three (87-84) with back-to-back 3-pointers.  Following a made free throw by BCU, Pearson scored in the paint to pull Concordia within two (88-86) with six minutes remaining.  A made free throw by Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) cut the deficit to one.  Following a made free throw by BCU, a long jumper by Laboda tied the game at 89-89.  A made free throw by Rich gave Concordia its first lead (90-89) with 4:25 remaining.  The lead didn’t last long, however, as a pair of made free throws reclaimed the lead for the Chargers with four minutes to play. 

Another 3-pointer by Kistler gave Concordia a 93-91 advantage.  Dilla knocked down a pair at the line to tie the game once again, but Kistler’s eighth 3-pointer of the night gave CU a 96-93 lead.  BCU hit a free throw to pull within two, but Morris scored a big basket in the lane to push the Bulldog lead back to four.  Kistler put the game away with free throws in the closing minute, and the Bulldogs secured the 102-96 victory. 

Kistler poured in a career-high 37 points and was a perfect 8-of-8 from long range on the evening.  The senior was 10-of-11 from the field overall and 9-of-10 at the foul line.  She also added eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.  Morris and Conahan added 19 and 18 points, respectively.  Conahan also had six steals.  The Bulldogs were 17-of-24 (70.8 percent) from long range in the victory.  Concordia was 32-of-61 from the field overall.  Following the game, Bulldog head coach Drew Olson discussed the maturity and toughness of his team. 

“Tonight was a tremendous GPAC basketball game,” said Olson.  “They have such a solid team, and they had answers for every run we had in the first 36 minutes of the game.  We just hung in there.  We hit a ton of big shots throughout the game and especially in the second half.  We kept trying to defend, and we finally got some stops when we really needed them late.  I’m really proud of the maturity shown by our team again tonight.” 

Briar Cliff placed six players in double figures.  Evans led the way with her 20.  Dilla scored 16 and added five assists, while Kela Cihak delivered 14 points.  Sara Reeves and Twait added 12 points apiece, and Megan Salcedo also reached double figures with 11. 

Concordia travels to Dordt College on Saturday for a 2 p.m. matchup with the Defenders.  The Bulldogs then conclude regular season play with home games against Hastings College (Feb. 14) and Mount Marty College (Feb. 18).

#2 Bulldogs hold off Dordt College for 13th straight win

11 February 2012

For the second time this year, Dordt College played the Bulldog women’s basketball team very tough.  The Bulldogs survived Saturday’s upset bid, however, and a 71-64 win improved Concordia to 26-2 on the season.  The 2nd-ranked Bulldogs also improved to 16-2 in GPAC play.  Dordt slipped to 10-17 overall and were eliminated from GPAC Tournament contention with a 5-14 conference mark. 

It was a tough shooting first half for the Bulldogs, who went just 8-of-26 from the field for 30.8 percent.  Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) scored seven points in the half, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with a balanced Dordt College offensive attack.  Jaimie Kok was 4-of-4 from the field and scored 10 first half points to lead the way for Dordt.  Kayla Broekhuis and Danelle Boone added seven points apiece for a Defender team that shot over 50 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes.  Dordt did total 12 turnovers in the half, but Concordia struggled to capitalize on the mistakes.  The Defenders took a 33-25 advantage into halftime. 

The Bulldogs used a big run to start the second half to reclaim the lead.  Concordia opened the half on a 14-3 run to take a 39-36 lead with less than 16 minutes remaining.  Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) scored nine quick points in the Bulldog scoring run.  A pair of made free throws by Elise Maresh ended the Concordia run and pulled the Defenders back within a point.  Another mini scoring run by the Bulldogs gave Concordia a 45-39.  Dordt rallied to within two, but a 3-pointer by Kistler increased the Bulldog lead back to five at 48-43.  Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) followed with a 3-point play to give Concordia a 51-43 advantage with 11 minutes remaining in the contest. 

Dordt College rallied over the next three minutes.  A pair of 3-pointers by Broekhuis pulled the Defenders within two at 51-49.  A 3-pointer by Bailey Spencer reclaimed the lead for Dordt with seven minutes remaining.  The Defender lead didn’t last long, as Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) scored and was fouled on the play.  The 3-point play by Rich gave Concordia a 54-52 lead. 

Spencer drilled a jumper to tie the game once again, and Dordt College had opportunities to reclaim the lead.  Two missed layups, however, gave the ball back to Concordia, and a 3-pointer by Conahan gave the Bulldogs a 57-54 advantage.  Broekhuis responded with a pair of made free throws to pull the Defenders back within one.  Laboda connected on 1-of-2 at the foul line to make the score 58-56 with four minutes remaining.  Conahan knocked down a pair at the line to increase the Bulldog lead to four. 

The Defenders pulled within two once again with made free throws by Brianna Spronk.  Kok then scored to tie the game and was fouled on the play.  She missed the free throw, however, and a layup by Rich gave the Bulldogs a 62-60 lead with two minutes to play.  Spronk knocked down another pair at the line to tie the score once again.  Kistler had the answer, and her 3-pointer gave the Bulldogs a 65-62 advantage.  Dordt again answered with makes at the foul line to pull within one with a minute to play. 

A layup by Laboda pushed the Concordia lead back to three, and a Dordt College turnover gave the ball back to CU with 30 seconds left in the contest.  Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) knocked down two free throws to build the Concordia lead to five, and free throw makes by Rich made the final score of 71-64. 

Conahan knocked down four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 19 points.  Kistler added 13 points and a game-high six assists, while Rich chipped in with 13 points off the Bulldog bench.  The Bulldogs connected on 10 3-pointers and were 17-of-21 at the foul line for 81 percent. 

Dordt College was just 6-of-23 from the field in the second half.  The Defenders finished with 25 turnovers on the day.  Broekhuis scored 17 points, while Spronk and Kok added 12 points apiece. 

Concordia hosts Hastings College on Tuesday evening.  Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.

Kistler earns NAIA Player of the Week honors

14 February 2012

Concordia's Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) of has been named the NAIA National Division II Women's Basketball Player of the Week. Kistler was selected based on her performances from Feb. 6 – Feb. 12.

Kistler continued to prove herself as one of the nation's top long-range snipers in a big week for her and No. 2 Concordia. Her 14-for-19 shooting effort from beyond the arc ignited the Bulldogs to three wins over the past week, including victories over No. 7 Northwestern (Iowa) and No. 11 Briar Cliff and Dordt College. In the 102-96 triumph over Briar Cliff, she poured in a career-high 37 points on a near-perfect shooting night in which she netted all eight 3-point field goal attempts.

For the week, she averaged 25.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and shot 24-for-35 (68.6 percent) from the field and 15-of-16 (93.8 percent) from the charity stripe. The 5-foot-9 senior guard from Minatare, Neb., is second on her team in scoring with 14.5 points per game, while ranking 11th in the nation in free throw percentage (84.8) and 12th in 3-point field goal percentage (41.4).

Kistler has helped put Concordia atop the Great Plains Athletic Conference with a 16-2 league mark.

Source: NAIA Sports Information

#2 Bulldogs take down #18 Hastings, 70-54

14 February 2012

Three different players scored in double figures as the second-ranked Concordia University, Nebraska women’s basketball team defeated No. 18 Hastings College Broncos, 70-54, on Tuesday night in Seward, Neb.

Concordia (27-2, 17-2 GPAC) ran their win streak to 14 games, despite attempting just four free throws in the contest. The loss snapped Hastings (19-9, 11-8 GPAC) four-game winning streak.

Offensively both teams came out of the gate slowly, with Hastings holding a 4-2 advantage after the first three and a half minutes of play. Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) gave the Bulldogs the lead for good on a three-point play with 16:32 remaining in the first half. 

Over the next five minutes Concordia went on an 18-7 run that featured baskets by six different Bulldogs, including long range field goals from Rich, Beth Kohmetscher (Deweese, Neb.) and Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.).

The Bulldogs came out firing in the second half, pushing their advantage to 22 points, out-scoring the Broncos 12-4 in the first four and half minutes of the second stanza. The lead hovered around the 20-point mark until the Broncos made a run, cutting the Bulldog lead to 15 with three and a half minutes left in the contest, but that proved to be as close as the Broncos would get.

Rich and Conahan led Concordia's scoring with 12 points each. Also reaching double figures was Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) with 10 points. Birtell turned in an impressive all-around performance, grabbing four rebounds to go along with four steals. All twelve Bulldogs that played in the game, scored.

Hastings had just one player, Kayli Rageth, reach double figures with 12 points. The Broncos had trouble keeping possessions alive, as Concordia forced 26 turnovers, converting them into 30 points. 

Concordia wraps up the regular season on Saturday against Mounty Marty College at 2 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex as part of a women’s/men’s doubleheader.

Bulldogs claim GPAC trophy after 73-55 thumping of Mount Marty

18 February 2012

The Concordia Bulldogs earned the right to add new furnishings to the Walz Human Performance Complex with their 73-55 win over the Mount Marty Lancers on Saturday, Feb. 18. The victory awarded Concordia sole possession of the GPAC regular-season champion trophy, its first since 2003.

“It's pretty special," said head coach Drew Olson about the title-clinching victory. "It’s something these kids will always remember. There's going to be a new banner hanging up that nobody can take away."

With the win the second-ranked Bulldogs wrapped up their regular season with a 28-2 record and an 18-2 mark in conference play.  Mount Marty (RV) fell to 15-14 overall and 9-11 in conference. 

Early on it was a game that had more to do with sharp elbows than precise shooting, with Concordia falling behind 12-8 until midway in the first half. The Bulldogs would mount a 13-2 run to take control of the game at the 9:44 mark of the opening half. Sophomore Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) ignited the run with a 3-pointer from the wing. Concordia eventually extended its lead to double digits, heading into halftime at 32-22. 

Concordia came out of the locker room pressing on defense, as usual for the Bulldogs, and improved their offense, extending their lead with a 15-3 run.  This time it was sophomore Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) that led the way with four of her nine points during the run.  With 14:41 remaining in the game, the Bulldogs were ahead by 22 at 47-25 and went on for the comfortable 18-point win.

Senior Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) celebrated senior day with 21 points for the Bulldogs, leading all scorers.  Freshman Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) meanwhile, notched 15 points. Mount Marty's Alexa Berg had 15 points to lead the Lancers in scoring.

The Bulldogs return to action at home at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, against Dakota Wesleyan in the opening round of the GPAC Tournament.

Bulldogs advance to semifinals of GPAC tourney with 93-63 win over Dakota Wesleyan

22 February 2012

Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) scored 22 for Concordia women's basketball in its opening round GPAC tournament game in Seward. She didn't miss a shot all night, in fact, including the four 3-pointers she sank as Concordia blew past Dakota Wesleyan and cruised to a 93-63 victory. With the win, the No. 2 Bulldogs improved to 29-2 on the year. Concordia will next host Hastings College at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Seward.

Dakota Wesleyan kept the game tight until just after the 10-minute mark of the first half, getting most of their points from Kim Johnson and Katie Johnson.  With the score tied at 19-19, Concordia's Brittany Benson (Naples, Fla.) hit a 3-pointer and the Bulldogs shifted into a gear that the Tigers could not match. Concordia put on an impressive 30-9 run to close out the half. The Bulldogs capitalized on steals and Kistler hit a pair of threes during the run for good measure. The Bulldogs went into locker room with a 49-28 lead.

After the break, Concordia stepped on the gas again, finding scorers across their lineup. Dakota Wesleyan traded baskets with the Bulldogs, cutting Concordia's lead to as few as 18 points at the 13-minute mark, but that was as close as the contest would get. The Bulldogs continued to pressure the Tiger backcourt and create extra scoring opportunities, eventually rolling to a 93-63 finish.

As strong as Kistler's shooting was -- she was the only Bulldog in double digits -- one of most impressive stats Wednesday was the 49 points Concordia got from its bench. Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) scored 9 points on the night and five other Bulldogs scored 7 or 8 points.

Kim Johnson led Dakota Wesleyan with 19 points.  The Tigers ended their season at 16-15 overall.

In Concordia's semifinals match on Saturday, the Bulldogs will face No. 17 Hastings College, a squad that is hot off two upsets. In Hastings final regular season game the Broncos knocked off No. 5 Morningside College, 69-42, and in the GPAC tournament quarterfinals Hastings beat No. 11 Briar Cliff, 86-75 .

Bulldogs clamp down on Hastings, pick up 30th win

25 February 2012

Behind a 25-6 run to open the game, the No. 2 Concordia Bulldogs breezed into the Great Plains Athletic Conference Championship by defeating the No. 17 Hastings Broncos, 86-48 on Saturday, Feb. 25. The win lifted the Bulldogs to 30-2 on the season, their first 30-win season since 2005. Hastings fell to 21-10, with three of those losses to the Bulldogs.

Concordia's defense was relentless in this semifinal matchup, forcing Hastings into 29 turnovers. The Bulldogs cashed in those turnovers for 38 points.

"Our defensive pressure kind of got to them a little bit," said Drew Olson, head coach for Concordia. Coach Olson was also pleased with the persistence of his squad. "Our focus was good. Even with the lead at half, we kept playing each possession and the lead kept building."

The guard play of freshmen Tracy Peitz (Hartington, Neb.) and Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) set the Bulldogs on fire in the opening 12 minutes, forcing 10 Bronco turnovers and notching a combined 10 points during the 25-6 run. Concordia stretched its lead to 19 points at the 8:23 mark thanks to a short jumper from the wing by sophomore Kristin Conahan (Omaha, Neb.).

Trailing 29-11 with 5:38 remaining in the half, Hastings mounted a charge with five consecutive points from Alicia Statler to pull within 13 at 29-16. Concordia responded by turning up the defensive intensity once again. The Bulldogs closed the half on an 11-0 run to take a 44-19 lead into the locker room.

The second half was merely a continuation of the Bulldogs dominance. Senior Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) sank a triple for the first bucket of the second half to push Concordia’s lead to 47-19. Throughout the second half the Bulldogs lead grew steadily, hitting a high of 39 with 2:34 left in the contest at 84-45.

Kistler led the way for the Bulldogs with a game-high 19 points, Morris posted 11 points and Peitz and Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) both finished with 10 points.

Olson lauded Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.), Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) and Birtell for their play down low. "They really battled inside against Statler, who is one of the best post players."

Statler finished with a team-high 13 points for the Broncos, but was plagued by foul trouble.

Concordia will host Morningside College in the GPAC Tournament championship. The teams have played twice this year, both winning on the other team's home court. Tip-off for the game is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Concordia and Morningside square off Tuesday in GPAC tournament championship

26 February 2012

The top-seed Concordia and second-seed Morningside women each posted semifinal wins on Saturday in the GPAC women's basketball tournament. In Seward, Neb., the NAIA second-ranked Bulldogs of Concordia defeated No. 17 Hastings 86-48, while in Sioux City No. 5 Morningside Mustangs defeated No. 8 Northwestern 90-83.

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, Concordia will host Morningside for the GPAC Championship, Presented by Rawlings. The Bulldogs take a 30-2 record into the game while the Mustangs are 25-7. The Bulldogs and Mustangs split their season series.  Morningside won in Seward 69-66 on Dec. 7 and Concordia won in Sioux City 74-65 on Jan. 14.

Both teams have secured NAIA national tournament berths. Since the GPAC receives two bids and Concordia secured the regular season bid, Morningside will receive the second bid win or lose on Tuesday.

The NAIA Women's Division II National Basketball Championship, Presented by State Farm, is in Sioux City, Iowa, at the Tyson Events Center March 7-13.  Brackets for the National Tournament will be released on Wednesday, Feb. 29.

Bulldogs win GPAC post-season tournament, downing Morningside 73-66

28 February 2012

In front of a raucous crowd at the Walz Complex in Seward, Concordia University, Nebraska picked up a 73-66 victory over Morningside College (Iowa) in the GPAC Tournament Championship game to sweep the regular season and tournament titles.

Concordia (31-2, 18-2 GPAC) overcame 27 turnovers in the title game to run their winning streak to 18 games. Morningside (25-6, 16-4 GPAC), who lost for the second time in their last four contests, shot just 30.9 percent from the field and 21.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Early on Morningside made the most of some miscues by the Bulldogs, going on an 8-4 run to take a 16-11 lead with 12:36 left in the opening half after a steal and a layup by Shelby Beaudette. It was one of three consecutive turnovers in a 40 second span by the Bulldogs, who finished with 15 turnovers in the first half.

“It was a pretty frenetic pace and we kind of got caught in the moment a little bit with the crowd and the energy and the moment,” said Concordia Head Coach Drew Olson. “I felt like we played a little faster than we should have and that was uncharacteristic for us.”

The Bulldogs were able to battle back with an 8-0 run of their own, to take a three-point lead with 10:48 left in the first half. From that point on it was a tightly contested back-and-forth game, with neither team leading by more than three the rest of the half.

Morningside stayed close thanks to some sharpshooting from the charity stripe, going 14-of-17 in the opening frame and 28-of-33 for the contest.

Concordia closed the first half on an 8-2 run, sparked by a 3-pointer from Bailey Morris with 2:19 remaining. A layup by Tracy Pietz gave the Bulldogs a 39-36 lead at intermission.

The Bulldogs picked up where they left off in the second half, with Amber Kistler getting a steal on the opening possession and Lori Laboda converting on a layup.  Concordia pushed their lead to seven after another steal by Kistler, who this time finished with a bucket of her own.

“We had a lead to start the second half and that always gives us a little more confidence,” said Olson. “Once the lead got to seven or eight, the team really believed that were going to win and settled down a little more.”

A 3-pointer by Concordia’s Kelsey Hizer pushed the Bulldog lead to a dozen with 11:24 remaining, but the Mustangs wouldn’t go quietly, cutting the Concordia lead to one, 62-61, after a pair of free throws by Leann Osten with 5:40 remaining.

That proved to be as close as the Mustangs would get, as Concordia got big buckets down the stretch, including back-to-back buckets, a layup and a triple, by Brittany Benson off the bench.

“Morningside is a great team and they made a big push at the end,” Olson said. “But our kids, just like they have all year, found ways to get stops and get baskets when they needed it.”

Concordia held the Mustangs to just one field goal the final 6:45 of the game, although Morningside did have eight free throws during that period. The Bulldogs were equally impressive from the line when it counted, going 4-of-4 in the final 29 seconds.

For the game Concordia had three players in double figures, led by Katie Rich with 13 points off the bench. Kirsten Conahan added 10 points, to go along with 10 point from Morris. On the night the Bulldog bench out-scored Morningside’s bench, 37-17.

Off the bench for Concordia, Hizer made the most of her time on the floor, scoring eight points, grabbing three rebounds to go along with two blocked shots in 12 minutes of action. Laboda led the Bulldogs with eight rebounds, four coming on the offensive end to go along with her nine points.

Morningside was paced by Brittany Alfredson who scored a game-high 17 points. The only other Mustang in double digits was Beaudetter who finished with 11. Chelsie Trask and Leann Osten each chipped in with nine points.

As a team Morningside shot 30.9 percent from the field, hitting just seven field goals in the second half. Most of their damage was done at the charity stripe, where they went an impressive 28-of-33 for the game.

Both teams earned automatic qualifying bids to the NAIA Division II National Tournament scheduled for March 7-13 in Sioux City, Iowa. Morningside gets the GPAC Tournament bid since Concordia already earned a bid for winning the GPAC Championship during the regular season.

Complete brackets for the NAIA National Tournament will be released via the NAIA website on Wednesday, Feb. 29, around 6 p.m.

Concordia earns No. 1 seed in NAIA National Tournament, Bulldogs to face Sterling (Kan.) in opening round

Behind their 31-2 record, the Concordia Bulldogs women's basketball team heads into the NAIA National Championship Tournament as one of four No. 1 seeds.  The Bulldogs will open the tournament against Sterling (Kan.) on Thursday, Mar. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

Sterling (18-12) comes into the tournament riding a three game winning streak to claim the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament's automatic berth.  The Lady Warriors entered its conference tournament as the No. 4 seed after dropping the final three regular season contests, including a 50-35 loss at Tabor College on Feb. 16.

Concordia is looking to extend its season-high 18-game winning streak.

Rich nets 20 points to lead Concordia past Sterling in first round of NAIA National Championships, 78-54

8 March 2012

Keyed by a 12-0 run late in the first half, the No. 2 ranked Concordia University (Neb.) Bulldogs defeated the Sterling Warriors, 78-54 at the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championships in Sioux City, Iowa on Thursday, March 8. 

With the victory the Bulldogs advance to the round of 16 on Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m.  The Bulldogs will face Cardinal Stritch (Wisc.), who defeated Bethel (Ind.), 71-58 in late action Friday evening

Following the win, Concordia improved to 32-2 on the season, while the loss ended Sterling’s season at 27-7.

Concordia got off to a fast start, taking an 8-3 lead in the opening four minutes of the contest.  Junior Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) led the early surge with four points.  The Warriors, however, responded in less than a minute by draining back-to-back three pointers to take a 9-8 lead.  The Bulldogs reclaimed the lead on the next possession on a short jumper from freshman Jericca Pearson (Gibbon, Neb.). 

The two teams traded blows over the next ten minutes, but the game changed at the 5:47 mark with Concordia holding a slim 26-24 edge.  Over the next three minutes, Concordia freshman Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) took control of the contest, leading the Bulldogs on a 12-0 run. 

Morris found sophomore Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) open for a mid-range jumper to make it 28-24.  Moments later Morris hit Conahan on the wing for a three-pointer, then knocked in two from the free throw line herself to make it 33-24.  Sophomore Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) knocked in the next basket for the Bulldogs, finally senior Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) capped the run with another deep trifecta courtesy of Morris.

With 2:46 remaining in the half, Concordia had pushed its lead to 38-24 and went into the locker room at halftime holding a 40-26 edge.

The second half began with another push by the Bulldogs as after two Warrior free throws made it 40-26, Concordia rattled off eight straight.  Rich notched five of her team-high 20 points on back-to-back buckets and a free throw to ignite this run, then Laboda pushed the Bulldog lead out to 48-26 with another three-pointer. 

Concordia cruised the rest of the way for the comfortable 78-54 win.  Rich led the Bulldogs with 20 points, connecting on all seven shots she took from the field.  Laboda and Conahan finished with 12 points, while Kistler added 11.  Sterling’s Kayla Eilert led the Warriors with 14 points.

Bulldogs to face Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) in round two of NAIA Basketball Tournament

Concordia advanced to the second round of the NAIA Women's Division II Tournament with a 78-54 victory over Sterling College Thursday afternoon. The Bulldogs are scheduled to face the Cardinal Stritch Wolves Friday evening at 7. The Wolves notched a 71-58 victory over Bethel College (Ind.) to advance to Friday's round of 16.

The Wolves entered the tournament ranked No. 15 nationally and as champions of the post-season Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. Stritch's scoring leader is sophomore guard Julie Raeder with 13.8 points per game. Lisa Lawrence, a 6-foot 1-inch senior center, is the Wolves leading rebounder, pulling down 7.4 per game. Lawrence and company are second nationally in team rebounding margin, out-rebounding opponents by 11.5 boards per game.

Concordia makes quick work of Cardinal Stritch, 69-48, to advance to NAIA Quarterfinals

9 March 2012

The Concorida University, Nebraska women’s basketball team continued its march through the NAIA Division II National Championships with a 69-48 win over Cardinal Stritch in the second round on Friday, March 9 in Sioux City, Iowa.

With the victory, No. 2 Concordia moves on to the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Championship on Saturday, March 10 at 8 p.m.  The Bulldogs will face No. 7 Grand View (Iowa), who defeated No. 10 Corban (Ore.), 73-57.

Concordia moved to 33-2 in 2011-12, while No. 15 Cardinal Stritch ended its season with a 27-7 record. 

The Bulldogs raced out to an early 12-1 run in the opening five minutes of the contest thanks to a combined nine points from sophomores Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) and Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.).  

Conahan ignited the Concordia run with three to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead with 18:14 remaining in the half.   Moments later Laboda converted consecutive jump shots to make it 10-1 at the 16:34 mark.  Finally Conahan forced a turnover and went to the rack to boost the Bulldogs lead to 12-1 with 15:16 left.

The Bulldogs maintained a double-digit lead throughout the majority of the first half, closing the period on a 9-4 run to push their lead to 17 points at the half, 34-17.

Concordia continued to roll as the second half opened, pushing its lead to 40-19 with a quick 6-2 burst in the opening minutes. Cardinal Stritch responded with a slow and steady climb, getting as close as nine points at 46-37 with just over nine minutes to go.

The Bulldogs veterans rose to the challenge as senior Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) and junior Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) began driving the bucket and getting to the free throw line.  Kistler and Rich sank a combined 8-of-8 free throws over the next two minutes, while Laboda tossed in 1-of-2 from the line to push the Concordia lead back to 55-39 with 7:02 left.

After two free throws by the Wolves, Laboda and Conahan each tossed in a bucket to make it a 59-41 contest at the 6:05 mark.  Concordia went on to lead by as much as 23 points at 69-46 and ultimately collected the 69-48 victory.

Four Bulldogs finished in double figures in points, led by 13 points from Laboda and Rich.  Kistler finished with 12 points, while Conahan added 11. Laboda also led the way for Concordia with eight rebounds.

The Wolves got a game-high 14 points from Janelle Bagneski to lead the way.

Concordia moves into NAIA semifinals with 80-68 win over Grand View

10 March 2012

The No. 2 Concorida Bulldogs women’s basketball squad earned a hard fought 80-68 win over No. 7 Grand View (Iowa) in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division II National Championships on Saturday, March 10 in Sioux City, Iowa. 

The victory moves Concordia University, Nebraska into the semifinals of the national tournament on Monday, March 12 at 8 p.m.  The Bulldogs will face No. 3 College of the Ozarks (Mo.), who defeated No. 24 Eastern Oregon 74-55 earlier in the day.

Following Saturday’s action, Concordia’s record advanced to 34-2, while Grand View ended its season with a 30-6 record. 

The Bulldogs moved through the first two games in the NAIA National Championships relatively untested, collecting convincing back-to-back victories over Sterling (78-54) and No. 15 Cardinal Stritch (69-48).

All that changed on Saturday night as the Vikings gave Concordia a serious push.

The Bulldogs bounded out to a 13-4 lead in the opening six minutes as six different Concordia players scratched the scoring column.  Sophomore Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) led the charge with three of her game-high 28 points. 

The Vikings ended Concordia’s run on a three-ball from Kristin Rasmussen with 13:29 left in the first half.  Concordia maintained its edge through the majority of the first half, holding a 31-25 advantage with four minutes remaining in the period. 

Over the final four minutes, however, it was Grand View that surged.  The Vikings outscored Concordia 14-2 to take a 39-33 lead into halftime. 

Grand View continued to extend its lead as the second half began with a 6-2 run to take a 45-35 lead with 17:29 remaining in the game.

Concordia senior Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) had seen enough, so she took matters into her own hands.  Kistler scored five points in the next 27 seconds, by draining a three-pointer, then converting a steal into a layup. 

Kistler’s efforts rallied the Bulldogs as Concordia stormed on a 16-2 run to take a 51-47 lead with 14:47 left in the game.  In addition to Kistler’s five points, junior Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) added four during the run. 

The two teams battled back-and-forth for the next few minutes with Grand View reclaiming a one-point lead (56-55) with 11:11 to go. 

Freshman Jerrica Pearson (Gibbon, Neb.) reclaimed the lead for Concordia on a short jumper, then Conahan converted a three-point play to put the Bulldogs in front at 60-56 with 10:51 remaining. 

Trailing 63-62 with 7:59 left, the Bulldogs delivered the knockout blow with a 13-3 surge.  Rich and freshman Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) combined for 12 points during the run, six each to give Concordia some breathing room at 75-66 with just under two minutes left in the game.

Conahan’s 28 points led Concordia, while Morris finished with 16 points and Rich added 13 points.

Jennifer Jorgensen, who finished with 19 points, led Grand View.

Concordia and Ozarks to square off in NAIA tournament semifinals

At 8 p.m. Monday, Concordia will tip off against College of the Ozarks, the lone non-GPAC school remaining in the semifinals of the NAIA Division II National Women's Basketball Championship Tournament. The Bulldogs punched their ticket to the final four with a 80-68 comeback win over Grand View in the quarterfinals.

No. 3 Ozarks' path to the final four started with a 57-51 victory over Valley City State in the first round, followed by a 64-52 win over Hastings and then a 74-55 drubbing of Eastern Oregon in the quarters.

Junior center Morgan Smith leads the Lady Bobcats in scoring with 19.5 points per game. As a team the Bobcats lead the nation in assists and offensive rebounding. Defensively Ozarks regularly put a chill on their opponent's shooting percentages from the field. The Bobcats are third nationally in 3-point defense and overall field goal defense, holding opponents to 24.9 percent and 33.1 shooting respectively.

Bulldogs come up just short to College of the Ozarks, 74-70

12 March 2012

No.2 Concordia University, Nebraska, suffered a hard-fought 74-70 loss to No. 3 College of the Ozarks in the semifinals of the NAIA Division II women's basketball national championships on Monday, March 12.

The loss concludes the Bulldogs season at 34-3, while the Bobcats moved into the Championship Final with an overall record of 33-3.  

College of the Ozarks will face No. 8 Northwestern (Iowa) in the NAIA Division II Championship Final on Tuesday, March 13 at 8 p.m.

After trailing throughout the first half, Concordia got things going in the second half.  Trailing 39-36 early in the decisive period, the Bulldogs appeared to take control of the game behind a 12-2 run to push their lead to its largest point at 48-41with 16:06 to go. 

Basketball, however, is a game of runs and unfortunately it was the Bobcats' turn.  College of the Ozarks posted a 9-2 run over the next four minutes to pull even at 50-50.  

Down the stretch the two teams traded blows, battling through 10 lead changes and seven ties to bring the game to 69-69 with 1:07 remaining.

The final push came from the Bobcats as College of the Ozarks sank 5-of-7 free throws in the final moments to claim the game, 74-70.

Early in the game, the Bulldogs found themselves in unfamiliar territory.  In each of their first three contests Bulldogs got off to a fast start building sizeable leads on their opponents. The Bobcats flipped the script on the Bulldogs Monday night as College of the Ozarks burst out to a 13-2 lead on Concordia in less than four minutes.  Concordia junior Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) delivered five straight points to pull the Bulldogs back into contention at 13-7.  

Unfortunately the Bobcats pushed the lead back to double digits at 17-7 by the 12-minute mark. 

Concordia chipped away at the Bobcats lead over the next six minutes to get within a point at 24-23 with 6:39 remaining in the half.

College of the Ozarks continued to push the Bulldogs, building its lead back to five at 33-28 with under two minutes to go.  One more time, Rich led a charge for Concordia, draining a three in the closing minute to cap a 6-2 run and send the game to the break with the Bobcats holding the slimmest of leads, 35-34.

Rich and senior Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) led the way for Concordia, finishing with 20 and 17 points respectively. 

For College of the Ozarks it was all Morgan Smith, who finished with a game-high 30 points.

The key statistic of the game was the performance at the free throw line.  Concordia finished the game, 18-of-30 (60%).  College of the Ozarks, meanwhile, was 23-of-30 (77%).

Herther, Kistler and Martin named 2012 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes

Senior Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) as well as juniors Katie Herther (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Dawn Martin (Rockford, Ill.) were named 2012 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes for women's basketball on Monday, March 12.

Herther, Kistler and Martin were three of 162 Division II Women’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.

Olson Named 2012 Russell Athletic/WBCA Region 2 Coach of the Year

21 March 2012

Concordia University, Nebraska, women's basketball head coach Drew Olson was selected by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association as the Region 2 Coach of the Year on Wednesday, March 15.  

Olson led the Bulldogs to an astounding 34-3 mark and a semi-final berth in the NAIA Division II National Tournament this season.  The Bulldogs entered the tournament with the No. 2 overall ranking.  A final record of 34-3 is the best record since Concordia posted a 36-2 mark in 2002-03. In his sixth season, Olson has a combined record of 141-60 at Concordia.

Olson is in his sixth year as head coach at Concordia. Under Olson’s direction, the team has seen four NAIA national championship berths in the past five seasons. The 2012 Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Coach of the Year honoree has led his team to a GPAC title and a No. 1 seed in the NAIA Division II National Tournament. 

Olson joins Brian Orr of Lewis-Clark State College (Region 1), Steve Brooks of Indiana Wesleyan University (Region 3), Dale Neal of Freed-Hardeman University (Region 4) and Marty Rowe of Lee University (Region 5) as finalists for the 2012 RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA NAIA National Coach of the Year.  The winner will be announced during the second annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 2, in Denver. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four®.

“The WBCA would like to congratulate these five coaches on being named finalists for this year’s NAIA Coach of the Year award,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “Each coach was selected by their peers and is deserving of this honor for their terrific seasons. On behalf of the WBCA and its members, I wish all five of these finalists the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show in Denver.”

“Russell Athletic believes in the ‘Power of Team’ and no team can be successful without a powerful leader,” said Executive Vice President Gary Barfield. “Russell Athletic is pleased to honor the coaches nominated for Coach of the Year and applaud their successes.”

RUSSELL ATHLETIC and the WBCA present the national coach of the year award annually in each of the five WBCA membership divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III; NAIA; junior/community college and high school). This marks the 28th year the award has been presented, which has been selected by the WBCA since 1985.

Kistler and Conahan earn NAIA All-America honors, Rich named to NAIA All-Tournament Team

Senior Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) and sophomore Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) received the highest athletic honor available on Wednesday, March 14 as the duo were both named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) 2012 Division II Women's Basketball All-America teams.  

Kistler earned NAIA 2012 Division II Women's Basketball All-America First Team honors, while Conahan was a Second Team selection. 

Kistler finished the season second on the team in points scored (483), points per game (13.8), assists (87) and shooting percentage (.460).  Conahan led the team with 510 points and averaged 14.6 ppg.  Her 102 three-point field goals this season is the most by any NAIA Division II women’s basketball player.  Conahan also ranks seventh overall in three-pointers per game (2.889) and steals (94). 

Meanwhile, junior Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) was named to the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship All-Tournament First Team.  Conahan also picked up NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship All-Tournament Second Team honors.

During Concordia’s four games in the NAIA National Tournament, Rich led the Bulldogs with 66 points (16.5 ppg), including 18-of-21 (.857) from the free throw line and 22-of-32 (.688) from the field.  Rich also led Concordia with 13 steals and was second in rebounding with 21 (5.3 rpg).  Conahan delivered 45 points (11.3 ppg) and 11 steals, including 26 points in the Bulldogs semifinal 80-68 win over Grand View on March 10.

Kistler, Conahan, Rich and Morris named to Omaha World Herald NAIA All-Nebraska Team

26 April 2012

Senior Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.), sophomore Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.), junior Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) and freshman Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) were each named to the Omaha World Herald NAIA All-Nebraska team on Wednesday, April 25.  

Kistler earned the distinction of sharing the co-captain designation with Hastings' Alicia Statler.

Kistler and Conahan were named to the OWH NAIA All-Nebraska First Team, while Rich was a Second Team selection.  Morris received Honorable Mention.  

Earlier this offseason Kistler earned the NAIA 2012 Division II Women's Basketball All-America First Team honors, while Conahan was a Second Team All-American selection. 

Kistler finished the season second on the team in points scored (483), points per game (13.8), assists (87) and shooting percentage (.460). 

“If we didn't have Amber, there probably are about four games we would not have won. They were the biggest games of the year,” Concordia coach Drew Olson said. “I don't know if we would have won the conference if we didn't have that performance out of her for that stretch.”

Conahan led the team with 510 points and averaged 14.6 ppg.  Her 102 three-point field goals this season is the most by any NAIA Division II women’s basketball player.  Conahan also ranks seventh overall in three-pointers per game (2.889) and steals (94). 

Rich closed out the 2011-12 season second on the team in rebounding (165, 4.6 rpg) and second in steals with 85.  She shined in the NAIA National Tournament, twice posting a season-high 20 points during the Bulldogs run.  During Concordia’s four games, Rich led the Bulldogs with 66 points (16.5 ppg), including 18-of-21 (.857) from the free throw line and 22-of-32 (.688) from the field.  Rich also led Concordia with 13 steals and was second in rebounding with 21 (5.3 rpg).

The Bulldogs point guard, Morris led Concordia with 97 assists despite coming off the bench in all 36 appearances.  She finished the season with 76 steals and 306 points (8.5 ppg). 

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

Post Season Honors

Amber Kistler:
All-GPAC First Team
2012 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete
NAIA 2012 Division II Women's Basketball All-America First Team
OWH NAIA All-Nebraska First Team (Co-Captain) 

Kristen Conahan:
All-GPAC First Team
NAIA 2012 Division II Women's Basketball All-America Second Team
2012 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship All-Tournament Second Team
OWH NAIA All-Nebraska First Team (Co-Captain)  

Katie Rich:
All-GPAC Defensive Player of the Year
All-GPAC Second Team
2012 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship All-Tournament First Team
OWH NAIA All-Nebraska Second Team 

Bailey Morris:
All-GPAC Honorable Mention
OWH NAIA All-Nebraska Honorable Mention 

Lori Laboda:
All-GPAC Honorable Mention