Bulldogs turn page on November with trip to Dordt

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 30, 2017 in Men's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – The best nine-game start to a season during fifth-year head coach Ben Limback’s tenure carries the Concordia University men’s basketball team into the month of December. Now 7-2 overall, the Bulldogs moved up two spots from their preseason GPAC ranking of eighth and were listed sixth in this week’s conference poll. The only defeats have come away from home to nationally-ranked opponents in contests decided by single-digit margins.

In this week’s only action, Concordia will be at Dordt (7-5, 2-0 GPAC) for a 4 p.m. CT tipoff inside De Witt Gymnasium in Sioux Center, Iowa, on Saturday. Tyler Cavalli will call the action for 104.9 Max Country radio.

Limback’s crew enjoyed a solid Thanksgiving week, claiming a lopsided home win over Mount Marty, 105-63, and a neutral court victory over NCAA Division II Colorado Christian University, 79-66. Sandwiched in between those triumphs was an 86-84 overtime loss at Colorado School of Mines (exhibition for the Bulldogs), a squad ranked sixth in the NCAA Division II coaches’ poll. Point guard Jake Hornick went off for 26 points in the defeat. Meanwhile, sophomore post Clay Reimers totaled a combined 41 points, 24 rebounds and eight assists over the two games that counted towards Concordia’s record.

A great deal of the Bulldog firepower comes from the sophomore trio of Hornick (17.1 ppg), Reimers (17.1 ppg) and Tanner Shuck (14.8 ppg). All three standouts average more than 27 minutes per game. Reimers is the current GPAC leader in rebounding average (9.4). In the backcourt, Hornick does it all. Among conference players, he ranks No. 1 in assists (5.1), eighth in rebounding (6.1), ninth in steals (1.1) and 10th in scoring. Hornick and Northwestern’s Nathan Wedel are the only two players in the league to rank inside the top 10 in all four categories.

Dordt has started five players all listed as guards for each of its first 12 games. Only one starter stands taller than 6-foot-2. The makeup of the Defender roster has led to a perimeter-oriented offense under head coach Ross Douma. Nine different players average 6.5 points or more for a team that sports national rankings of 10th in 3-point field goals per game (11.3) and 11th in scoring average (92.9). One of only three GPAC teams without a conference loss, Dordt has begun league play with a 73-67 win at then 10th-ranked Dakota Wesleyan and a 101-55 home blowout of Mount Marty.

Concordia will also play only one time next week when it puts an active 10-game home win streak on the line on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Hastings (8-3, 1-2 GPAC) will serve as the opponent for a contest scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. CT.

Projected lineups

Concordia (7-2, 2-1)
G – Jake Hornick: 17.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.1 spg, .538 fg%, .467 3-pt fg%, .870 ft%
G – Cordell Gillingham: 5.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.1 apg, .388 fg%
G – Tanner Shuck: 14.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, .484 fg%, .435 3-pt fg%, .813 ft%
F – Kyle Pierce: 9.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.5 apg, .468 fg%, .448 3-pt fg%
F – Clay Reimers: 17.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, .628 fg%, .679 ft%

Dordt (7-5, 2-0)
G – Chad Barkema: 8.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, .603 fg%, .391 3-pt fg%
G – Chandler Brunsting: 8.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.5 spg, .576 fg%, .541 3-pt fg%
G – Kobe Critchley: 4.1 ppg, 2.3 apg, 1.7 rpg, 1.0 spg, .548 fg%
G – Alec Henrickson: 12.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, .418 fg%, .367 3-pt fg%, .889 ft%
G – Marcus Winterfeld: 13.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, .563 fg%, .462 3-pt fg%