The Concordia University men’s basketball team improved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play with a 69-53 win over Midland University on Tuesday evening in Fremont. The Bulldogs used balanced scoring and a suffocating defense to pull away for the easy victory. Midland dropped to 2-6 overall and 0-2 in the GPAC with the loss.
Concordia jumped out to a big lead in the opening minutes of the game. Barrett Braun (Lakeside, Calif.) hit a jumper to open the scoring. Tyler Byrd (Bennington, Neb.) followed with a 3-pointer to push the lead to 5-0. Ryan Shrum (Allen, Texas) then hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and Concordia grabbed an 11-0 lead.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 19 (25-6) in the opening half before Midland cut into the lead. The Warriors trimmed the lead down to seven (28-21) with just over three minutes remaining in the first half. Three made free throws by Sam Huebner (Aurora, Colo.) gave Concordia a 31-21 lead heading into halftime.
Early in the second half, Midland rallied to within six at 34-28 before Concordia went on another run. The Bulldogs used a key 18-7 run to take a 52-35 lead with just over 12 minutes remaining. Concordia cruised the rest of the way and led by as many as 24 on multiple occasions down the stretch.
Concordia was 20-of-46 (43.5 percent) from the field in the win. The Bulldogs were 8-of-22 (36.4 percent) from long range and 21-of-29 (72.4 percent) from the foul line. Concordia held a 43-37 rebounding advantage.
Byrd, this week’s GPAC Player-of-the-Week, scored a game-high 18 points to lead the way offensively for the Bulldogs. The junior was 6-of-12 from the field, 3-of-7 from 3-point land and 3-of-4 at the foul line. Huebner added a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Huebner was a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and 9-of-12 at the foul line on the night. Shrum chipped in with 14 points and seven rebounds.
The Bulldog defense was solid once again. Midland University was just 18-of-65 (27.7 percent) from the field. The Warriors hit just 8-of-35 shots in the first half for 22.9 percent. Midland connected on just 5-of-23 from deep for 21.7 percent.
Marcus Messersmith scored 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting to pace Midland University. Zach Rosenboom added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Warriors.
Concordia travels to Doane College on December 1 for an 8 pm matchup against the Tigers.