SEWARD, Neb. – Despite a 17-5 run late in the game, the Bulldogs came up just short in another thrilling, down to the wire game. The 15th-ranked Dakota Wesleyan Tigers hung onto their lead and took an 84-80 victory in Walz Arena.
The Bulldogs drop to 11-8 overall and 5-7 in GPAC play while the Tigers improve to 15-6, 7-4 GPAC.
Head coach Ben Limback said, “We got stuck in offense and just didn’t play well offensively at times. They shot lights out in the second half and we just couldn’t close out well enough. They were really collapsing. We weren’t just getting that easy pass out. Offensively we need to continue to improve and make that extra pass.”
The Bulldogs shot .471 from the field (32-68) and .261 from 3-point range. Dakota Wesleyan shot over .500 in all shooting categories as a team. Concordia grabbed 37 rebounds compared to the Tigers’ 32 boards.
Leading the Bulldogs with his fifth-straight double-double was Chandler Folkerts. The junior center compiled 23 points and 11 rebounds, going 9-for-12 from the field, and also tacked on three steals. Jamie Pearson added 17 points and four rebounds while Eli Ziegler tallied 15 points.
Concordia went into the half with a three point lead, leading by as much as 12 over the first half. During the second half, the Tigers shot a sweltering 60 percent from the field and had a 16 point lead with just under five minutes to play.
The double-digit lead was wiped away with a 17-5 Bulldog run. Micah Kohlwey shot a 3-pointer with 2:14 left to play to pull his team within eight. A couple Pearson layups and a long ball from Curran later, the Bulldogs were in a familiar place. To make the game even more of a nail biter, Folkerts drained two free throws to make the score 81-80 in the Tigers’ favor. Wesleyan then made free throws to seal their four point victory.
“We got a few deflections at the end of the game which is why we were able to make it a close game. They (Dakota Wesleyan) are a good team but I like how we fought back at the end of the game and had that run,” Limback said.
Concordia has just one win in 2016 against Northwestern. However, the four losses have been decided by a combined 20 points. The Bulldogs look to be on the other side of the win-loss column when they host Hastings next Wednesday. The contest will begin at 8 p.m. in Walz Arena.