SEWARD, Neb. – Coming off its biggest offensive outburst of the season, the Concordia University men’s basketball team returns to the hardwood inside Walz Arena on Saturday when it hosts Mount Marty (1-11, 0-7 GPAC) at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs are looking for a regular-season sweep of the visiting Lancers, whom they defeated, 88-70, in Yankton, S.D., on Nov. 12.
Fans are encouraged to dress accordingly for the Christmas-themed afternoon that includes a women’s basketball game that tips off at 2 p.m. A live webcast of the contest will be available via the Concordia Sports Network.
Chandler Folkerts came through with one of his best statistical games of his career in Wednesday’s 96-78 win at Nebraska Wesleyan, posting 22 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Folkerts’ fourth double-double of the season evened him with teammate Robby Thomas for the most double-doubles among all GPAC players. Also among conference performers, Thomas and Folkerts rank 14th and 17th, respectively, in scoring and third and fourth, respectively, in rebounding. Thomas averages 14.4 points and 8.0 rebounds and Folkerts averages 13.2 points and 7.8 rebounds.
Thomas reaches career milestone
Thomas, a 6-foot-7 junior from Shawnee, Kan., reached an impressive milestone last week. His two blocked shots in the Dec. 6 loss at Dordt brought his career block total to 100. Thomas now ranks sixth all-time in program history in career blocks (see list below). Thomas, who has 35 blocks over the first 12 games, also has a shot to break Snodgrass’ record of 59 blocks in a single season (1997-98).
Career block leaders
188 – Glen Snodgrass (1995-98)
173 – Scott Ernstmeyer (1993-96)
109 – Marcus Wernke (2003-05)
106 – Matt Hoffart (1991-94)
106 – Sam Huebner (2008-11)
100 – Robby Thomas – (2012--)
Concordia stays hot on road
Head coach Ben Limback’s squad improved to 3-1 in conference road games by winning at Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday. The Bulldogs are 4-2 overall away from home, with additional road wins coming over Hastings (77-74), Kansas Wesleyan University (85-72) and Mount Marty (88-70). In those four road victories, Concordia has averaged 86.5 points per game. Wednesday’s 96-point outburst represents a season high. The Bulldogs shot 55.2 percent in dispatching of the Prairie Wolves.
Haywood collects 300th rebound
Senior Joel Haywood hauled in four rebounds in Wednesday’s victory to push his career total to 301. A steady all-around performer, the Lakewood, Colo., native has totaled 873 points, 301 rebounds, 255 assists, 92 steals and 101 3-point field goals over 90 career games as a Bulldog. This season Haywood sports career high averages of 12.5 points and 1.7 assists and career best shooting percentages of 51.9 percent from the field and 90.6 percent from the free throw line.
On the rise
Seeking the program’s first winning record since the 2010-11 season, the Bulldogs are well ahead of the pace put forth by the previous three Concordia squads. This year’s three GPAC wins equals Concordia’s total from last season and already surpasses its conference win number for the 2012-13 campaign. In addition, last season it took the Bulldogs until Jan. 24 to record their sixth overall win. They got win No. 7 on Jan. 25 and their eighth and final victory on Feb. 15.
Mount Marty seeks first GPAC win
Mount Marty has struggled to a 1-11 overall mark and 0-7 GPAC record under first-year head coach Andrew Baker. A bright spot has been the play of senior guard Bud Smith, who averages 17.9 points and 4.4 rebounds. He put up 30 points in the first meeting with Concordia on Nov. 12. As a team, the Lancers rank 11th in the GPAC in scoring offense (68.0) and 10th in scoring defense (86.2). Mount Marty’s lone victory was a 103-76 decision over Oglala Lakota on Nov. 18.