SEWARD, Neb. – By this week’s end, the Concordia University men’s basketball team will have finished off its regular-season home schedule. The Bulldogs have plenty of work to do if they want to be back at home in conference postseason play. Head coach Ben Limback’s squad is getting set to host Hastings on Wednesday and No. 18 Mount Marty on Saturday. The program will recognize its six seniors prior to tip off on Saturday.
With how jumbled the league standings remain, the results of one or two games can swing a team’s placement in dramatic fashion. Concordia recently stood in third place before its current three-game skid dropped it to seventh at 8-8 inside the GPAC. In order to jump back into the top four by the time the regular season concludes, the Bulldogs may need to go 4-0 down the stretch of the regular season. Directly in front of them in the GPAC standings sits Northwestern (10-6), Dordt (10-7), Jamestown (9-7) and Mount Marty (9-7).
If Concordia falls short of a top four seed in the GPAC tournament, that will mean seniors such as Tanner Shuck and Brevin Sloup are about to make the final two home appearances of their careers. Both are members of the program’s 1,000-point club. A Grand Island native, Shuck has been the program’s iron man having played in all 118 games since the start of the 2016-17 season. He currently ranks ninth in school history with 1,452 career points. Sloup has racked up 1,091 career points and leads the team with an average of 14.5 points per game. The rest of the senior class includes Sammy Adjei, Chuol Biel, Jacob Jennings and Anthony Wolter.
The recent three-game losing streak has include defeats at No. 10 Dakota Wesleyan, 71-50, Doane, 64-59, and Dordt, 86-76. Though the Bulldogs came up short over the weekend at Dordt, the performance was a significant improvement as compared to the contests at Dakota Wesleyan and Doane. While in Sioux Center, Iowa, Concordia shot 46.9 percent from the floor and canned 13 treys. That type of output has normally put the Bulldogs in the W column. They are 14-5 when making at least 10 3-point field goals. With 290 3-point baskets on the season, Concordia needs 20 more to break the program record for a single season (309 by the 2016-17 squad).
The Bulldogs have had Hastings’ number, winning each of the last seven series meetings. The Broncos went on a four-game win streak in January and have since followed it up by dropping three in a row (all at home). The win streak featured quality wins over ranked teams in Mount Marty and Dakota Wesleyan. Head coach Bill Gavers leans upon one of the league’s top players in Bart Hiscock, who averages 21.2 points and 8.3 rebounds. At 6-10 in GPAC play, Hastings is still working on securing a spot in the GPAC tournament.
Mount Marty has been a breakthrough team this season. Its 18 victories far exceed the total of six it had during the entire 2018-19 campaign. Head coach Todd Loresen quickly upgraded the talent in his first season. The Lancers wreak havoc with the dynamic duo of Colby Johnson and Chris King. Concordia will have to figure out how to slow down Chris King, who nailed eight treys in Mount Marty’s 97-70 win over the Bulldogs on Dec. 14. The Lancers enter the week having dropped four of their past five GPAC games.
In the final week of the regular season, Concordia will be at Midland on Feb. 19 and at Jamestown on Feb. 22.
Concordia (17-9, 8-8 GPAC)
G – Brevin Sloup, Sr., 5-9 (14.6)
G – Justin Wiersema, So., 6-3 (8.9)
G – Carter Kent, So., 6-2 (13.1)
F – Tanner Shuck, Sr., 6-4 (12.7)
F – Chuol Biel, Sr., 6-8 (5.5)
Hastings (13-13, 6-10 GPAC)
G – Logan Cale, Sr., 6-0 (7.6)
G – Mason Hiemstra, Fr., 6-0 (9.8)
F – Brendan Lipovsky, Sr., 6-4 (12.1)
F – Zach Kitten, Sr., 6-5 (9.1)
F – Bart Hiscock, Sr., 6-6 (21.2)
Mount Marty (18-8, 9-7 GPAC)
G – Ryan Warren, Jr., 5-8 (6.2)
G – Chris King, Sr., 6-1 (21.2)
G – Colby Johnson, Sr., 6-2 (17.2)
G – Keegan Savary, Jr., 6-2 (4.3)
F – Saba Gvedashvili, Jr., 6-7 (6.4)