Kent, Dawgs sizzle offensively in win at Midland

By Jacob Knabel on Dec. 16, 2020 in Men's Basketball

FREMONT, Neb. – Host Midland had few answers for how the Concordia University Men’s Basketball team executed on the offensive end in Tuesday (Dec. 15)’s meeting at the Wikert Event Center in Fremont, Neb. While netting 10 first half treys, the Bulldogs built a lead as large as 19 points and coasted to a 95-81 victory. Concordia shot a blistering 60.7 percent from the floor and earned a regular season sweep of the Warriors.

After losses in back-to-back road outings, Head Coach Ben Limback liked seeing his team build confidence very early in the contest. The Bulldogs (10-3, 7-2 GPAC) have reached double figures in the win column.

“I felt like the ball was moving and guys were in attack mode tonight,” Limback said. “That was very evident in both halves. We really got it going offensively … They shoot it well here at home and have been playing a lot of teams tough here. We’re fortunate to come out with a win.”

It’s a good sign when Carter Kent is knocking down jump shots. He carried over his hot shooting from the second half at Morningside this past weekend and collected a game high 21 points on a 7-for-11 performance from the field. There may have been some breakdowns on the defensive end, but Concordia was in control throughout the evening. It maintained a double-digit advantage for the final 29 minutes of game time.

Incredibly, eight different Bulldogs canned at least one triple in the sizzling first half performance. Concordia even managed to score just before the buzzer on Sam Scarpelli’s in-bounds to Kent with 0.4 seconds remaining. Scarpelli dished out six assists without turning the ball over (turnovers were even at eight apiece).

This looked much more like the Bulldogs who won eight games in a row. Said Kent, “Obviously we were disappointed about the loss on Saturday, but it was important how we responded and I felt like we responded well today. I think we really played for each other today. We shared the ball, we talked and we communicated. There are definitely parts we can be better at.”

Midland (3-9, 1-8 GPAC) showcased some offensive firepower of its own. The Warriors were led by the 21 points from Jake Rueschhoff (4-for-7 from 3-point range) and 16 points from Josh Lambert (7-for-9 from the field). Midland shot 52.5 percent overall, but it was out-rebounded, 35-26. The Warriors have now dropped six in a row against GPAC opponents.

The likes of Gage Smith and Justin Wiersema gave their typical non-stop motor efforts. Smith put up 18 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes. Wiersema notched 14 points and six rebounds. Three additional Bulldogs chipped in with eight points or more: Ryan Holt (nine), Jackson Hirschfeld (eight) and AJ Watson (eight). Eleven Concordia players registered in the scoring column as part of the offensive flurry. The Bulldogs went a dizzying 16-for-32 from beyond the arc.

It may take a better combined performance on both ends for Concordia to get the result it seeks on Friday. Said Limback, “I’d like to see us sustain some runs. I feel like we were really humming offensively tonight, but our defensive wasn’t with it. I’d like to see us put together a complete (effort) on both ends, offense and defense and really string together stops and buckets.”

Concordia will be tasked with defending Jamestown (9-3, 5-2 GPAC) and big man Mason Walters on Friday. Tipoff at Newman Arena in North Dakota is set for 8 p.m. CT on Friday. The Bulldogs will seek to continue the success they enjoyed last season when they took both meetings from the Jimmies.