DENVER, Colo. – Concordia men’s basketball fell to Johnson & Wales University on Saturday evening, 82-81. The atmosphere in the Wildcats Center was tense as the two opposing teams took turns stealing the lead. A one-point advantage from a made free-throw in the last minute of the game was not enough to stop JWU from making a comeback in the last eight seconds of the game.
The whistle-happy referees called multiple fouls on both sides, slowing down the speed of the game. But, head coach Ben Limback, who is in his fourth year of coaching the Bulldogs, attributed the loss to a lack of preparation and simply being outplayed by Johnson & Wales.
“Johnson & Wales had a great momentum,” said Limback. “We just couldn’t get it going. Defensively, I thought we allowed a lot of drives down the middle. Offensively, I thought we pressed a little bit and started to come unraveled, and we didn’t stick with our game plan.”
Just before going into the locker room at halftime, Eli Ziegler buried a corner three-point shot and a tough buzzer-beating jump-shot to spur a mini 5-0 run to end the half, giving the Bulldogs a much-needed confidence boost.
Upon returning from the locker room to start the second half, the sluggish Bulldogs still needed to get their heads back into the game. That is when Chandler Folkerts stepped up to the plate and came through with a two-handed slam dunk that spurred a 7-0 run, bringing CUNE to a one-point lead above the Warriors.
There was one Bulldog standout toward the end of the game who really stepped up to the plate, Brevin Sloup. The freshman, who is a native of Seward, Neb., stole the show by coming off of the bench and knocking down a couple of big three-pointers down the stretch.
“He controlled the tempo,” said Limback of Sloup.
This loss comes as a learning experience for the season ahead as the conference games are quickly approaching. The Bulldogs return to the court on Nov. 4 as they host the Cattle Classic and take on Waldorf University (Iowa).