SEWARD, Neb. – The GPAC schedule heats up for Bulldog men’s basketball as first-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad hosts No. 12 Dordt at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Concordia (3-6, 1-3 GPAC) sports a mark of 2-3 at home, including an upset of then No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan inside Walz Arena on Nov. 9.
Saturday’s game will be streamed live and free online via the Concordia Sports Network. Concordia head volleyball coach Scott Mattera will call the action.
Bulldogs aim to end Dordt series dominance
Dordt enters Saturday’s contest with six-straight wins in the series against Concordia, including a season sweep in two meetings last season. The Bulldogs last defeated the Defenders on Jan. 9, 2010, in Sioux Center, Iowa. Several recent meetings in Seward have produced wire-to-wire contests with three of those contests decided by a total of 12 points. The 2012 affair went to overtime as Dordt prevailed 87-83.
Last 10 meetings:
2/9/13 – Dordt 84-73 (Seward)
1/5/13 – Dordt 79-66 (Sioux Center)
2/22/12 – Dordt 78-57 (Sioux Center)
2/11/12 – Dordt 85-68 (Sioux Center)
1/7/12 – Dordt 87-83 OT (Seward)
1/8/11 – Dordt 92-72 (Seward)
1/9/10 – Concordia 83-75 (Sioux Center)
2/14/09 – Dordt 56-54 (Seward)
2/16/08 – Dordt 84-72 (Sioux Center)
1/13/07 – Dordt 72-66 (Seward)
Last time out
Concordia put an end to its GPAC losing streak by grinding out an 86-81 victory at Doane on Wednesday night. Sophomore forward Robby Thomas nailed a 3-pointer at the 1:35 mark to put the Bulldogs in the lead at 81-79. Concordia would not relinquish the advantage the rest of the way, holding the Tigers without a field goal over the final two-and-a-half minutes.
Thomas finished with 18 points, six rebounds, four blocks and two steals. All five Bulldog starters reached double figures as Adam Vogt (17), Deondre White (13), Chandler Folkerts (12) and Aaron Walker (10) joined Thomas in the scoring parade.
Running the gauntlet
Concordia will play a ranked opponent for the sixth time already this season when it takes the court on Saturday. The Bulldogs are 1-4 in their first five matchups with top 25 teams. They scored an 85-76 upset of then No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan at the Cattle Classic on Nov. 9. Counting Dordt’s 11-1 record, the Bulldogs’ first 10 opponents own a combined record of 67-33 (.670). The six teams that have defeated Concordia are 40-12 (.769) collectively.
Bulldogs rank in the top 10 nationally in two categories
Limback’s squad ranks as one of the top teams nationally in terms of free throw percentage and blocked shots. Behind senior Adam Vogt’s 87.7 percent free throw shooting (26th best among NAIA Division II players), Concordia is shooting 75.2 percent from the foul line – 10th best in the nation. The Bulldogs also own one of the NAIA’s top shot blockers in 6-foot-7 sophomore Robby Thomas, who is third in the nation with 2.78 rejections per game. As a team, the Bulldogs deny 5.22 shots per contest – the fifth best figure among NAIA Division II teams.
Thomas has blocked at least one shot in six-straight games, including seven over the past two contests. His career high of six denials cam against York on Nov. 1. He leads the GPAC with 25 blocks on the season.
Bulldogs get a boost
Junior guard Joel Haywood, who started each of the first 58 games of his career, has been sidelined for the first nine contests of this season due to injury. The native of Lakewood, Colo., averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game last season. He was named GPAC Co-Freshman of the Year following the 2011-12 season. He is expected to return to the lineup and provide a boost in the near future. Haywood will be uniform on Saturday and wear his customary No. 22.
Sophomore Micah Kohlwey, a 6-foot-3 guard from Seward, will also give Concordia more depth. He played his first career game as a Bulldog on Wednesday and scored five points in eight minutes. Per league transfer rules, Kohlwey had to sit out a full school year after making his way from Concordia via Nebraska Wesleyan. The son of current assistant coach Marty Kohlwey, Micah is a former standout at Seward High School and is known for his work ethic.
Notable career highs
Points: 12 (vs. Morningside, 11-16-13)
Points: 6 (vs. Morningside, 11-16-13)
Points: 15 (vs. Grace University, 11-12-13)
Rebounds: 7 (vs. Grace University, 11-12-13 / at York, 11-1-13)
Points: 16 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13)
Rebounds: 5 (vs. Grace University, 11-12-13)
Blocks: 3 (vs. Grace University, 11-12-13)
Points: 22 (at Northwestern, 1-4-12)
Rebounds: 6 (nine times)
Assists: 11 (vs. Dordt, 1-7-12)
Steals: 4 (at Briar Cliff, 12-5-12 / vs. Midland, 11-28-12)
Points: 18 (at Doane, 12-4-13)
Rebounds: 11 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13)
Assists: 5 (vs. Grace University, 11-12-13)
Blocks: 6 (at York, 11-1-13)
Points: 26 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13)
Rebounds: 6 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13 / at Mount Mercy, 12-29-12)
Assists: 5 (vs. Kansas Wesleyan, 11-4-11)
Steals: 4 (vs. Nebraska Wesleyan, 1-30-13)
3-point field goals: 7 (vs. Nebraska Wesleyan, 11-22-11)
Points: 15 (vs. Morningside, 11-16-13)
Rebounds: 4 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13 / vs. Bellevue, 11-2-13)
Assists: 4 (vs. Grace, 11-12-13 / at York 11-1-13)
Points: 20 (vs. Bellevue, 11-2-13)
Rebounds: 10 (at York, 11-1-13)
Blocks: 2 (three times)
Points: 13 (at Doane, 12-4-13)
Rebounds: 7 (vs. Grace, 11-12-13)
Assists: 5 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13)
Points: 13 (vs. Grace, 11-12-13 / vs. Hastings 11-26-13)
Rebounds: 5 (at York, 11-1-13)
Assists: 4 (vs. Grace, 11-12-13)
3-point field goals: 3 (vs. Grace, 11-12-13 / at York, 11-1-13)
Dordt, under the guidance of fifth-year head coach Ross Douma (108-35, .755), is rolling with eight-straight wins since a 91-65 loss to then No. 10 Davenport (Mich.) on Nov. 8. The Defenders enter play with records of 11-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference. They have ripped through Midland, Doane, Mount Marty and Briar Cliff to begin conference play. Senior forward Kyle Lindbergh leads the way with averages of 18.4 points and 10.0 rebounds for a Dordt squad that went from unranked in the preseason all the way up to No. 12 in this week’s top 25 poll. Three other Defender players average in double figures: freshman forward Dalton Franken (15.1 ppg), senior guard Austin Katje (13.5) and junior guard Tyler Wolterstorff (11.8).
As a team, Dordt ranks in the top 10 among the top rebounding teams in NAIA Division II. The Defenders are third nationally with a plus-14.6 rebound margin. Their high-octane offense generates 93.6 points per game – 10th in the nation.