By Sam Firminhac, Athletic Communications
SEWARD, Neb. – In an early season bout between two undefeated teams, the Concordia University Men’s Basketball team managed to fend off 18th-ranked Benedictine College (Kan.), ending the Cattle Classic with a win. Despite shooting struggles for the Bulldogs, their defense held strong and they gritted out a 68-53 victory on Saturday (Nov. 6). Two Concordia players, Carter Kent and Justin Wiersema, were both named to the Men's All-Cattle Classic team after the matchup.
Head Coach Ben Limback’s squad has been hot early, as it improves to 4-0 on the young season. Limback was happy with the fast start that the Bulldogs jumped out to.
Said Limback, "I thought the first half set the tone and we were ready. The guys brought a lot of energy, I thought our bench was outstanding. I think that's really what it stems from, this team chose the theme of ‘All In’and it was certainly very evident to start this game. I was really proud of the way we came out."
Wiersema led the Bulldogs in scoring with 18 points. He also added 12 rebounds, giving him the double-double. AJ Watson tossed in 11 points and a pair of assists. Noah Shutte finished with 10 points for Concordia. Carter Kent had eight points and six assists in the contest. The Bulldogs went cold from beyond the arc (3-for-26), but they made up for it by scoring 42 of their 68 points in the paint.
Despite some of the second half shooting struggles, Concordia maintained a double-digit lead for the entire second half.
"It felt like a good old-fashioned rock fight in the second half where it was just back in fourth and where neither team could really ball in the hole,” Limback said. “I thought there was some fatigue their and both teams playing hard but just couldn't get shots to fall. The second half was ugly, but this is a team that can defend and score. When you put both together it's special, but certainly if you can win both ways that's a sign of a great team.”
Benedictine finished with two players in double figures. Jaiden Bristol ended the contest with 16 points and five assists. Eric Krus tossed in 18 himself and led the Ravens in scoring. Benedictine fell to 4-1 with the loss. The Raves earned an 82-62 win over Hastings on Friday.
Concordia will be at home again on Tuesday, welcoming Peru State College to Friedrich Arena. The Bobcats are 1-2 so far on the season. The Bulldogs fell to Peru State in last year's meeting in late December. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT.
2021 All-Cattle Classic Team
TJ Babikir, Hastings
Jaiden Bristol, Benedictine
Carter Kent, Concordia
Quincy Minor Jr., Waldorf
Justin Wiersema, Concordia