Previewing CIT 2019 week on the women's side

By Jake Knabel on Jan. 21, 2019 in Women's Basketball

#CIT2019
Hosted by Concordia University, Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, Michigan (Cardinal Field House)

CIT links
CU-Ann Arbor tournament page
Advance tickets (available until 10 p.m. Jan. 23)
Live webcasts for CIT games
Radio coverage: 104.9 Max Country
Game recaps/interviews
CIT alumni and friends social

Tickets
$15 advanced weekend pass | $20 weekend pass purchased on site | $12 day pass | children under six are free

2019 Concordia Invitational Tournament Schedule

Friday, Jan. 25

  • 12 p.m. CST / 1 p.m. EST – Nebraska vs. Wisconsin (women)
  • 2 p.m. CST / 3 p.m. EST – Nebraska vs. Wisconsin (men)
  • 5 p.m. CST / 6 p.m. EST – Ann Arbor vs. Chicago (women)
  • 7 p.m. CST / 8 p.m. EST – Ann Arbor vs. Chicago (men)

Saturday, Jan. 26

  • 9:30 a.m. CST / 10:30 a.m. EST – Dance/Cheer competition
  • 11:30 a.m. CST / 12:30 p.m. EST – Women’s consolation game
  • 1:30 p.m. CST / 2:30 p.m. EST – Men’s consolation game
  • 4:30 p.m. CST / 5:30 p.m. EST– Women’s championship game
  • 6:30 p.m. CST / 7:30 p.m. EST – Men’s championship game

Watch Party at Bottle Rocket
Bottle Rocket Brewing Co. in Seward will host a watch party for all Bulldog games during CIT. Bottle Rocker Brewing Co. is located at 230 South 5th Street in Seward.

CIT dominance
Since seizing the program’s first CIT title in 1983, the Bulldogs have been utterly dominant in this annual event. CUNE’s 28 all-time CIT titles are far away the most in the tournament’s history, which dates back to 1973 on the women’s side (Concordia St. Paul has the second most titles with eight). The Bulldogs have come out on top in 27 of the last 32 CITs. Head coach Drew Olson’s program owns a 10-game CIT win streak during which each of the victories have come by double-digit margins. Over the past five CIT championship games, CUNE has won by margins of 20, 52, 22, 27 and 46, respectively.

At the 2018 event hosted by Concordia-Wisconsin, the Bulldogs defeated CU-Ann Arbor, 104-66, and CU-Chicago, 102-56, while celebrating another championship. Then senior Dani Hoppes went 10-for-19 from 3-point range and totaled a combined 36 points over the two victories. She became the 17th different Bulldog to earn the CIT MVP award. Current senior Quinn Wragge is a two-time CIT MVP (2016, 2017). Wragge is one of six Bulldogs all-time to earn multiple CIT MVP awards. The others are Bailey Morris (2014, 2015), Whitney Stichka (2006, 2008, 2009), Sarah Harrison (2002, 2004, 2005), Stacey Miller (1997, 1998) and Lynda Beck (1990, 1991).

First place Bulldogs
What was a three-way tie for first place atop the GPAC standings after action on Jan. 16 is now a two-way tie between the Bulldogs and Northwestern. Both teams won twice last week while No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan fell twice. The Tigers were even upset over the weekend by No. 21 Hastings, which had lost earlier in the week to Doane (previously winless in GPAC play). Concordia is aiming for its third GPAC regular-season title in a row.

The Bulldogs are now 19-2 overall (13-2 GPAC) after winning games last week over Midland, 84-74, and at Jamestown, 98-67. Sophomore guard Taylor Cockerill put up a combined 41 points in those victories. After a 3-for-14 shooting effort versus Midland, Cockerill nailed 5-of-6 3-point attempts at Jamestown. All-Americans Philly Lammers (34 points, eight rebounds, four steals) and Quinn Wragge (31 points, six steals) also enjoyed a fine week. Of the team’s 19 wins this season, 17 have been decided by double digit margins with the lone exceptions being eight-point victories over then No. 2 Southeastern University (Fla.) and then No. 5 Northwestern.

The scary thing for opponents is that Concordia seems to have hit its stride in terms of perimeter shooting. After failing to shoot above 40 percent from 3-point range in any of this season’s first 11 games, the Bulldogs have now accomplished that feat five times over the past 10 outings. As far as percentage, Concordia’s 13-for-29 shooting from beyond the arc at Jamestown was its best yet. The team leaders in 3-point percentage (with at least 15 makes) are Delani Fahey (.463), Wragge (.386), Cockerill (.384), Taryn Schuette (.348) and Mackenzie Koepke (.344).

Up next
Before heading out for CIT, the Bulldogs hope to take care of business on Wednesday when Doane (4-18, 1-14 GPAC) visits Walz Arena for a 6 p.m. CST tipoff. The Tigers got off the schneid in conference play last week by upsetting No. 21 Hastings, 68-62, behind 26-point, eight-rebound performance from Haylee Heits. There have been some rough moments this season for Doane, but head coach Tracee Fairbanks’ squad has been more competitive of late. It dropped a 48-45 decision at Midland on Jan. 9. In this season’s first meeting, Concordia trampled the Tigers, 93-53, in Crete. Low scoring outputs have been common for Doane, which averages 55.3 points and shoots 35.2 percent from the floor. Heits is the team scoring leader by a wide margin (14.5 ppg).

Wednesday’s game will be covered live by the Concordia Sports Network and by 104.9 Max Country.

The women’s CIT field

Concordia University, Nebraska
Head coach
: Drew Olson, 13th year
Record: 19-2
Conference: Great Plains Athletic Conference (NAIA Division II)
Location: Seward, Nebraska
Top player: The Bulldogs really have a ‘Big Four,’ but junior Philly Lammers has been the most decorated in terms of honors. The Omaha native has totaled 1,312 points, 709 rebounds, 223 steals and 129 blocked shots over her first 96 career collegiate games. CUNE boasts a three-year record of 89-7 with Lammers on its side.
Key stat: The majority of Bulldog opponents struggle mightily when faced with the press. CUNE has forced an average of 32.0 turnovers per game, which has fueled an offense that averages 88.9 points per game.
CIT titles: 28 (most recent: 2018)

Concordia University, Ann Arbor
Head coach
: Kiefer Haffey, 1st year
Record: 4-18
Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (NAIA Division II)
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Top player: Sophomore guard Katie Snow has been by far the team’s biggest scoring threat, averaging 16.2 points per game. The 5-foot-9 Snow also grabs 6.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals per contest. She has racked up 743 points over 58 career games for CU-Ann Arbor.
Key stat: Three senior starters and the head coach (CUNE alum Thad Sankey) departed after the Cardinals enjoyed a 22-14 campaign in 2017-18. Without star guard Kari Borowiak, CUAA has struggled to put the ball in the basket, averaging 58.8 points per game.
CIT titles: 2 (most recent: 2013)

Concordia University, Chicago
Head coach
: Lauren Rosengarden, 1st year
Record: 6-11
Conference: Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NCAA Division III)
Location: River Forest, Illinois
Top player: Sophomore guard Sam Bloom is a legitimate threat from the perimeter (37.5 3-point field goal percentage) who averages 13.1 points per game. She went off for 29 points in a conference game at Aurora University on Jan. 2.
Key stat: After a run of struggles in CIT, the Cougars topped CU-Wisconsin, 71-61, at the 2018 event and advanced to the CIT championship game. CU-Chicago put together a solid 17-9 record in 2017-18 under Rusty Rogers. Lauren Rosengarden is now in her first season as head coach.
CIT titles: 4 (most recent: 1986)

Concordia University, Wisconsin
Head coach
: Stacey Brunner-Jones, 15th year
Record: 12-4
Conference: Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NCAA Division III)
Location: Mequon, Wisconsin
Top player: The Falcons boast a nice combo of seniors in Baylee Barker in the backcourt and Ashley Solberg in the frontcourt. Barker is shooting 37.7 percent from 3-point range while averaging 12.7 points per game. Solberg tops the team in rebounds at 6.1 per outing.
Key stat: CUW has improved offensively, going from an average of 64.8 points per game to 70.7 through 16 games this season. The Falcons have been a strong program under Stacey Brunner-Jones’ direction. She is 280-119 as CUW’s head coach.
CIT titles: 3 (most recent: 2007)