SEWARD, Neb. – Visiting Waldorf University (Iowa) gave its best effort in attempting to spoil the opening night of the 22nd annual Cattle Classic, but the Concordia University Men’s Basketball team had too much firepower. Stars Carter Kent and Justin Wiersema both reached the 20-point mark in powering the Bulldogs to an 89-72 win inside Friedrich Arena on Friday (Nov. 5) night. Concordia shot 51.5 percent from the floor in the second half while responding to the Warrior comeback bid.
Head Coach Ben Limback’s squad has jumped out to a 3-0 record having also played last weekend at the Hastings Classic. One more game remains on this weekend’s slate.
“Give Waldorf and their staff a lot of credit. They came out, fought hard and chipped away,” Limback said. “I thought we took some quick shots in the second half. We didn’t get in a good rhythm and didn’t talk well enough in transition. We want to guard, we can guard. We just have to bring that mentality over 40 minutes. I loved how we answered at the end with some big plays.”
The Bulldogs saw a first-half lead as large as 18 points get whittled all the way down to three (64-61) with just under 8:30 left to play. Four minutes later, Waldorf was still hovering within six (75-69) before Concordia finally slammed the door. The Bulldogs outscored the Warriors, 14-3, over the final four minutes with the help of a trey from Wiersema and a couple of layups from Garrett Seagren.
Kent finished his night with a stat-stuffing 22 points (7-for-14 from the floor), six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Wiersema was similarly effective in notching 20 points, five rebounds and three steals. Wiersema got the crowd roaring in the first half with a steal and a two-hand slam. While making his return to the lineup, Gage Smith posted 11 points and nine rebounds. Off the bench, AJ Watson canned 14 points on the strength of four treys. Ryan Holt’s day included nine points, six assists and six rebounds. Seagren (transfer from Chaminade University) chipped in with seven points on 3-for-4 shooting.
Said Limback, “It was nice to see Gage back and I thought Garrett played really well defensively. He’s a guy who brings a lot of versatility. It was good to get them in and get some rhythm back. It’s an adjustment after two games without them. Now we’re just trying to figure out some of those rotations, but I thought both guys did some good things.”
For Waldorf (0-2), Lorenzo Smith did his best to keep his side in the game. He racked up 23 points and went 9-for-14 from the floor. Bryanth Farr totaled 16 points. The Warriors shot an impressive 63.0 percent (17-for-27) from the field in the second half. Located in Forest City, Iowa, Waldorf competes as a member of the NAIA’s North Star Athletic Association.
Concordia shot 49.3 percent (33-for-67) for the game. It made 11-of-26 (.423) tries from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs had a slight edge in rebounding, 38-34, and took care of the ball (just six turnovers).
Based on the rankings, Concordia will face its stiffest challenge so far this season when it hosts No. 18 Benedictine College (Kan.) at 4 p.m. CT on Saturday. It will mark the eighth and final game of the Cattle Classic, which raises canned food items and cash donations for the Blue Valley Community Action’s Food Pantry. The event is sponsored by Cattle Bank & Trust of Seward.