Bennett scores 22 in defeat at Mount Marty

By Jacob Knabel on Jan. 5, 2023 in Men's Basketball

YANKTON, S.D. – Trips to Yankton, S.D., always seem to come with their share of landmines. The Concordia University Men’s Basketball team struggled mightily on the defensive end on Thursday (Jan. 5) and stumbled at Mount Marty, 89-64. The Bulldogs have fallen in back-to-back trips to Yankton, S.D. Concordia played for the first time this season without the services of Tristan Smith.

Head Coach Ben Limback’s squad is in the process of rediscovering its identity to some degree. The Bulldogs slipped to 10-6 overall (6-4 GPAC). As Limback put it, “We got outplayed and outcoached. We have to be better tomorrow (at practice).”

Concordia will want to quickly flush this one. It trailed 11-2 out of the gate and never really gained much traction throughout the night. It became a two-man show put on by Mount Marty standouts Lincoln Jordre and Tash Lunday, who combined for 46 points. The freshman Lunday is a budding star who piled up 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor. He knocked down five 3-point field goals. As a team, the Lancers (7-11, 3-7 GPAC) shot 56.1 percent (32-for-57) from the floor and 52.2 percent (12-for-23) from 3-point range.

The bright spot for the Bulldogs on this evening was the play of Brad Bennett, who notched 22 points while making his fifth career start. The Elkhorn, Neb., native made 8-of-13 shots from the floor. The only other Concordia player to reach double figures was Gage Smith, who tallied 12 points and six rebounds. Smith has moved to No. 3 on the program’s all-time rebound list with 784 in his career (surpassing Scot Beck, 781, on Thursday).

It was an uncharacteristically inefficient shooting night for reigning GPAC Player of the Week Noah Schutte, who went 2-for-10 from the floor and totaled eight points. At the point, AJ Watson dished out six assists. In the absence of Tristan Smith, the Bulldogs were outrebounded, 31-28, and did not look like the same stellar defensive team it had been all season. With the game out of hand in the second half, 14 Concordia players saw action.

The Bulldogs had beaten Mount Marty by an 86-64 score back on Dec. 7. Concordia slipped to 4-4 in true road games (compared to 6-1 at home). Meanwhile, the Lancers are 4-5 at home this season.

Next up, the Bulldogs will welcome Dakota Wesleyan (7-7, 3-3 GPAC) to Seward on Saturday for a 3:45 p.m. CT tipoff in what will be the first home game since Dec. 15. Concordia swept the regular season series from the Tigers in 2021-22. The perennially strong DWU program qualified for the national tournament each season from 2014-15 through 2019-20.