By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant
SEWARD, Neb. – It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but the Bulldogs were happy nonetheless to take a much needed victory with an 81-67 defeat over the visiting Mount Marty Lancers. Concordia improved to 4-8, 2-5 (GPAC).
It took a while for either team to get on the board first, but nearly two minutes into the game, senior Adam Vogt nailed a jumper to get things started for the Bulldogs. Both teams traded baskets for the next three and a half minutes until freshman Chandler Folkerts added to his big night with a shot in the paint to kick start a 16-5 Concordia run.
The Bulldogs were feeling it from all over the court, shooting 50 percent from both the field and behind the arc, as well as a perfect 6-6 from the charity stripe. Combined with a stifling defense that permitted the Lancers to shoot just 30 percent from the field, the hot shooting gave them a 37-27 advantage at the half.
Concordia struggled to gain any momentum in the second half, although they managed to maintain a two to three possession lead throughout most of the half.
“It was ugly, especially in the second half. We just couldn’t get into a flow,” head Coach Ben Limback said. “Chandler dominated when he was in there, but we couldn’t get in an offensive flow. I thought we were stagnant and hesitating.”
It wasn’t until 5:18 left in the game that the Lancers pulled to within two, trailing 65-63. A Vogt free throw quelled the Lancer’s 13-5 run while a Micah Kohlwey jumper pushed the lead back to a two possession game, giving the Bulldogs a 68-63 lead on the next trip down the court. The Bulldogs were in control from there and cruised to the finish.
On the night, the Bulldogs mustered an impressive 48 percent shooting from the field and 58 percent from the three point line. Concordia’s bench was the difference maker, however, combining for 34 points to Mount Marty’s 10. The Bulldog defense also came up big, holding Mount Marty to just 36 percent from the field.
Coming off the bench to do work for the Bulldogs was freshman Matthew Goedeken and junior Joel Haywood, who contributed significantly to the Concordia cause.
“I think that Matt Goedeken came off the bench and gave us a nice lift with very aggressive rebounding,” Limback said. “Matt has good athleticism and obviously showed some great things today…I like the way he played tonight.”
Goedeken finished with two points and six rebounds, tying with Haywood to lead the team on the boards. Haywood finished with 10 points of his own.
Haywood, who is coming off an injury that kept him sidelined for much of the early season, commented on his health and status with the team.
“I’m doing better,” Haywood said. “The injury has pretty much taken care of itself. I’m just trying to get back in game shape. That’s the toughest part and coach has put me in a good spot and let me get some rhythm back.”
With numerous freshmen getting big minutes on the court, Haywood explained his role in the mentoring process of his youngest teammates.
“They’re doing a good job getting a rhythm themselves too,” Haywood said. “As upperclassmen, Adam and I are trying to get them motivated and have confidence because that’s the biggest part of the game for young guys.”
Folkerts finished the night with a team high 18 points, while Vogt added 15. Sophomore Robby Thomas chipped in with four assists.
There is no doubt that the win over Mount Marty was huge for the Bulldog morale. However, never a team to be satisfied, both coaches and players alike admitted there is work to be done.
“It was a win, and we needed a win,” Limback said. “There’s definitely some things we need to improve on still.”
“This helps a lot,” Haywood said. “We know it was ugly and we know we could have come out a done a lot of things better, but a win is a win and we got to make sure that we remember that and we come out hard Friday before the break.”
Concordia is set to host Dakota Wesleyan on Friday, Dec. 20 in their last before they begin a five-game stretch of games on the road.