Bulldogs fast paced offense cooks Dakota Wesleyan

By Chase Benton on Jan. 6, 2024 in Men's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – The Bulldogs came home to find their first win of 2024 in Friedrich Arena versus Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday (Jan. 6). Rebounding and fast break points helped Concordia light up the scoreboard early, creating a double digit (19) halftime lead and never looking back in the 92-71 dominant conference win. Tristian Smith collected his third consecutive double double (19 points, 11 rebounds) and his sixth of the year. Noah Schutte garnered 17 points in 25 minutes as Lukas Helms was one rebound (13 points, nine rebounds) shy of a double double against the striped opponents.

Head Coach Ben Limback’s squad reaches up to a 10-4 overall record and 5-3 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). Coach Limback commented on the different phases of the game throughout the 40 minutes.

“Offensively, we had some good spurts. In transition, we ran the floor hard. Defensively, I thought we were in and out with how we played. Credit to them, they moved really well and cut hard. We had a lot of contributions throughout, and it was good to get a home win.”

Down 8-6 with under 16 minutes left in the first, the offensive intensity grew with Schutte lifting the Dawgs to an 11-0 run on consecutive baskets, scoring his only two free throws of the game. The Schutte power game would add to the home team’s first half paint advantage (28-8) through the opening frame.

The Bulldogs would follow the first act with an 18-4 scoring drive, starting with two early Helms lay-ins and finishing with one-of-two first half treys via Joel Baker.

Coming out of the break, 47-28, the Tigers cut the lead down to 14 but it would stay in double figures after a rebound (40-24) and fast break (18-0) dominant edge by Concordia. In a five minute span, the Bulldogs hit six three pointers, pushing the lead back up to 20 with Hayden Frank and Bradley Bennett making two apiece. The home squad would hit 13 total on 48 percent (13-27) for the night.

Smith would go six-of-seven from the charity stripe and Schutte would add four assists to his seven-of-nine shooting. Bennett stroked 11 points, as Baker and Brooks Kissinger put up seven apiece. The Dawgs shot 56 percent (33-59) from the field and went deep into the bench with 11 different players adding to the scoreboard.

Said Limback, “Our guys off the bench come in hungry and we need that. Certainly, we had different guys step up in different moments. To have a long GPAC season and not have to have Noah and Tristian out there all 40 minutes … it helps when you have guys step up out there.”

The Tigers lose their second straight game in 2024 moving to .500 (8-8) overall and 3-5 in the conference. Jakob Dobney led Dakota Wesleyan with 19 points and seven assists, while not far behind was Diang Gatluak at 14. Three point misses (8-32) tripped up the slow paced offense along with being outrebounded by 16. The bright spot was shooting 79 percent or 11-of-14 from the free throw line.

Concordia will host four of their next five games after spending much of the early part of the season on the road. Next up is Doane (7-9, 2-6 GPAC) for a midweek matchup on Wednesday night. Tip-off is set for 7:45 p.m. at Friedrich Arena. The Bulldogs won both matchups in the 2022-23 campaign.