LAWRENCE, Kan. – A day after rallying for a memorable overtime win at No. 4 College of the Ozarks, the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team had to come down from an emotional high and refocus. The Bulldogs weren’t as crisp offensively, but they flustered host Haskell Indian Nations University into 28 turnovers in what amounted to an 82-75 win in Lawrence, Kan., on Wednesday evening (Dec. 20).
After Tuesday’s taxing win in Point Lookout, Mo., 12th-year head coach Drew Olson just wanted to see his team finish out the trip with another win – and keep everyone heatlhy. Concordia will return home with a perfect 13-0 record for the second best unbeaten run to begin a season during Olson’s tenure.
“You have this instant classic and you’re on this emotional high and it’s like, oh yeah, we still have to play another game,” Olson said. “It’s a game that we’re supposed to win. We played them last year and beat them handily, but this was a much, much better Haskell team. They kept making shots. It ended up being closer than it should have been, but we were able to play a whole bunch of players and get them experience.”
This won’t go down as one of their prettiest wins of the campaign, but the Bulldogs got the job done on Wednesday while using all 15 players that made the trip. Concordia turned a tie game (17-17) late in the opening quarter into a 45-29 halftime advantage. The lead ballooned to as many as 21 points early in the third quarter. To its credit, Haskell (4-14) never quit. It got within six points (77-71) in the final couple minutes following a three-point play from standout Keli Warrior.
The Bulldogs just had too much of an advantage in the talent department to see their perfect season fall by the wayside. Four different Concordia team members registered in double figures in scoring: Brenleigh Daum (12), Dani Hoppes (12), Quinn Wragge (12) and Philly Lammers (11). MacKenzie Helman (nine) and Taylor Cockerill (nine) weren’t far behind. Helman nailed a triple in the final minute that snuffed out any potential upset bid that had lingered.
In some ways, Olson liked seeing the game tighten up down the stretch to see how some of his reserves would react. The Bulldog bench mob combined for 32 points. Sophomore Taryn Schuette got into the act with a 3-point shot that helped provide some breathing room in the fourth quarter.
“I was happy to see Taryn step up and hit a three, which turned out to be a pretty big shot to extend the lead and keep us with a comfortable double-digit lead,” Olson said. “Then Riley (Sibbel) had a great drive and finish. It was good to see those kids make some plays.”
Only two Bulldogs saw more than 20 minutes of action. On the other side, the Indians rode a starting five that averaged out to nearly 30 minutes per person. Warrior notched a game high 18 points while adding five steals. Point guard Justina Coriz played all 40 minutes and put up a line of 16 points, seven assists, five rebounds and seven turnovers. Haskell shot 43.3 percent (26-for-60) compared to 44.8 percent (26-for-58) shooting by Concordia.
The season will resume prior to New Year’s Day with a trip to the Windy City for the Saint Xavier University Classic, held Dec. 28-29. The Bulldogs will take on Robert Morris University (4-7) on the event’s first day before a much-anticipated matchup with top-ranked Saint Xavier (11-1) the following day. Concordia and Saint Xavier met in the 2017 national semifinals.