Concordia University rallied for a key 81-78 men’s basketball win over Morningside College on Saturday in Sioux City. It was the first win for Concordia over the Mustangs in Sioux City since the 2003-04 season. The Bulldogs improved to 16-10 overall and moved into a tie for fourth place in the GPAC standings with a 10-6 mark. Morningside slipped to 12-16 overall and 8-8 in the GPAC.
The game remained tight through much of the first half, but Morningside eventually built a 12-point lead (34-22) with around five minutes remaining. Concordia closed the first half strong, and a 3-pointer by Brent Houchin (Bruning, Neb.) pulled the Bulldogs within six (39-33) at halftime.
Concordia opened the second half on an 11-5 run to tie the game at 44-44 with over 16 minutes remaining. From there, Concordia used a 15-3 run to grab their biggest lead of the game, and a three point play by Porter Birtell (Madison, Neb.) gave Concordia a 59-47 advantage with less than 11 minutes left in the game.
Morningside wasn’t done, however, and the Mustangs responded with a 20-7 run of their own to reclaim the lead at 67-66 with just under four minutes left in regulation. A 3-pointer by Ryan Shrum (Allen, Texas) put Concordia back in front for good at 69-67 with just over three minutes to play.
The Bulldogs built the lead to seven (76-69) before Morningside cut the lead to two on multiple occasions in the closing minutes of the game. The Bulldogs struggled from the foul line down the stretch but held on for the 81-78 victory.
Concordia was 26-of-61 from the field on the night for 42.6 percent. Following a tough first half, the Bulldogs were 13-of-25 (52 percent) from the field in the second half. Concordia was 9-of-18 from deep, and five players hit from behind the arc in the win. Concordia was just 20-of-36 at the foul line for 55.6 percent. The Bulldogs held a 46-34 rebounding advantage.
Sam Huebner (Aurora, Colo.) led four Concordia players in double figures with 16 points. Birtell finished with a double-double of 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Shrum also delivered 14 points. Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) poured in 13 points, and Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) dished out six assists in the Bulldog win.
Morningside was led by Trent Miller’s game-high 17 points and seven assists. Danny Rudeen added 15 points, and Bryan Borchers had 13 points and 10 boards. Garth Hamilton also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Cory Gaston also reached double figures for the Mustangs with 10 points.
Concordia hosts Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday evening. Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Senior Night at the Health, Human Performance and Athletic Center.