The Concordia University men’s basketball team will step out of GPAC play when they host York College on Friday evening. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Walz Human Performance Complex.
The Bulldogs snapped a mini 3-game losing streak with an overtime victory over Dakota Wesleyan this past weekend. The win moved Concordia back to .500 with a 5-5 overall record to go along with a 2-4 mark in GPAC play.
The win at DWU didn’t come easy, but a career night by junior post Porter Birtell helped Concordia secure the 80-78 overtime win. Dakota Wesleyan had no answer for Birtell, as he poured in 36 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field. Birtell also went 14-of-18 at the foul line on the night, as he nearly totaled the same amount of free throws as the entire DWU team. Porter also scored 27 points in CU’s loss to Briar Cliff on December 7. For his efforts in the two games, Birtell was honored as the GPAC Player-of-the-Week.
York College opened the season with three straight wins, including victories over Hastings College (76-75) and Morningside College (89-87). Since then, however, the Panthers have struggled. York has gone 3-6 in their past nine games to sit at 6-6 overall on the year. The Panthers have had balanced scoring this year, as four players currently average double figures. Thad Varmall (14.3 ppg) and Marcus Johnson (13.3 ppg) have led the way offensively, while Keenan Gaskin (11.5 ppg) and Desmond Strickland (10.7 ppg) also average double figures in scoring for the Panthers.
Concordia picked up a convincing 91-66 win over York early in the season. Concordia placed six players in double figures in the win. Joel Haywood and Beau Smith each scored 15 to lead the team, and the Bulldogs were 60 percent from the field in the victory.
The Concordia Sports Network will cover Friday’s game with a live video webcast. The Bulldogs return to conference action with a road game at Doane College on December 20.