Bulldogs torch nets in thumping of Mount Marty

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 19, 2016 in Men's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – Senior Chandler Folkerts scored almost at will on the interior and the Concordia University men’s basketball team thrashed Mount Marty, 102-69, inside Walz Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs blistered the nets, shooting 63.9 percent in the first half and 59.7 percent for the game. Meanwhile, the Lancers shot 36.9 percent while failing to put a stop to their lengthy GPAC losing streak.

Fourth-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad has been especially good at home so far this season. The Bulldogs are 4-0 at home and have won seven-straight games played inside Walz Arena dating back to last season. Concordia is now 5-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play.

“It was good energy today. I liked the way everyone played,” Limback said. “We had waves of guys coming in playing hard defensively. We wanted to take away the 3-point line. Coming into this game they were making a lot of threes, so that was a big key. We did a good job on their leading scorer today (OJ Thok), holding him to three points. I was really pleased with our defense.”

A low post touch for Folkerts was essentially an automatic two points for the Bulldogs. He put up 18 points in the first half and then played only sparingly in the second half when the game was well in hand. He finished with 22 points on 10-for-13 shooting from the floor. Four teammates joined Folkerts in double figures in scoring: Eli Ziegler (15), Justin Damme (12), Tanner Shuck (12) and Brevin Sloup (12). All of Damme’s points came in the second half.

On this particular day, Concordia shared the ball masterfully. Of its 43 field goals, 35 were assisted. Ziegler handed out eight assists while Jake Hornick dished out six and Sloup racked up five. Their passing helped lead to 11-for-22 (.500) shooting from beyond the arc.

Mount Marty (3-5, 0-2 GPAC) showed some life early on with a 7-0 run that cut the Bulldog lead to 18-17 at the 12:54 mark. But the Lancers didn’t remain competitive for long. Folkerts followed with a personal 6-2 surge and Concordia quickly built the advantage to double figures. Mount Marty had little hope left by the halftime break when it trailed, 55-35.

Freshmen played a big role in the lopsided victory, combining for 40 points. Sloup and the fellow rookies are gaining confidence.

“It’s definitely an adjustment from high school,” Sloup said. “The speed of the game is a lot different and the physicality is a lot more, but each game all of us freshmen are getting more and more used to it. It’s a lot of fun.”

Part of Mount Marty’s troubles offensively was just getting shots off. Concordia rejected eight Lancer attempts. Kyle Pierce denied four shots and Folkerts swatted two. Mount Marty got a team high 15 points off the bench from Trent Wilson. Thok, who had been averaging 17.6 points, went just 1-for-5 from the field. The Lancers were also held well below their average of 12.3 3-point field goals per game. They went 5-for-16 from long range on Saturday.

Before breaking for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Bulldogs will be at Doane (5-4, 0-1 GPAC) on Tuesday. Tipoff from the Haddix Center is set for 8 p.m. CT. Last season Concordia swept the regular-season series from the Tigers, winning both meetings by a combined 11 points. Doane fell, 79-68, in its GPAC opener at Northwestern on Saturday.