SALINA, Kan. – For the second time in three days, Concordia men’s basketball went down to the wire on the road. After a tight loss on Saturday, the Bulldogs responded Monday night with a 75-72 win over host Kansas Wesleyan University (2-10), a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. First-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad bumped its overall record to 5-10.
Despite 19 turnovers – 12 in the first half – Concordia picked up its second road win of the season.
“We’ve got to solve the turnover thing. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot but give our guys credit,” Limback said. “Down the stretch our guys played with a lot of confidence. Robby (Thomas) hit a big three. Micah (Kolwey) had some big shots. And then our senior captain steps up to lead us to victory.”
Specifically, Limback referred to the cold-blooded dagger delivered by Adam Vogt with :29.5 remaining that pushed a tenuous 70-68 lead up to a five-point advantage. With the shot clock running down, Vogt drilled a triple from well beyond the arc to doom the Coyotes, who never got the ball back with a deficit lesser than two possessions the rest of the way.
Vogt piled up 13 of his team high 18 points in the second half when he drilled 3 of 6 shots from long distance. Thomas got in on the act with a pair of treys, none bigger than his momentum-builder with 3:31 to play that allowed for a five-point lead. The Bulldogs were 11-for-25 (.440) from long range.
Not to be outdone, sophomore Micah Kohlwey rose to the occasion after Kansas Wesleyan gained a late advantage. Kohlwey poured in a deep trey from the left wing and then completed a three-point play on the next possession for a 57-53 lead with 6:40 remaining. Kohlwey ended up with a career best 17 points.
“He’s got the ability to do that,” Limback said of Kohlwey’s scoring output. “The 17 points were something we hadn’t seen him do yet but I really liked his defense. We are putting him on the other team’s best player and he’s doing a great job.”
In one of its best efforts all season on the boards, Concordia outnumbered the Coyotes 37-25 on the glass. Freshman big man Chandler Folkerts just missed out on his first career double-double as he went for 12 points and nine rebounds.
“The last few games we’ve been emphasizing getting on the offensive glass,” Limback said. “It’s great to see us outrebound our opponent two games in a row. Tonight we had a size advantage and we were able to use that. Rebounding is always a key to winning.”
Kansas Wesleyan tried to ride star guard Michael Johnson to victory. Johnson had a monster second half complete with 20 of his 23 points. He scored a trio of buckets in the final two minutes before Concordia finally put the game away.
Limback’s crew, which shot 48.1 percent compared to 45.3 for the Coyotes, had four players finish in double figures. Thomas added 13 points, six rebounds, three steals and a block.
Monday's game was a rematch of last season's Cattle Classic contest in which Concordia won 84-56 in Seward.
The Bulldogs have completed their pre-New Year’s schedule and will get back to conference play on Saturday. That’s when Concordia travels to play No. 11 Dordt (15-1, 7-0 GPAC) in Sioux Center, Iowa, at 4 p.m. The Defenders topped the Bulldogs 93-70 in Seward on Dec. 7.