STERLING, Kan. – After a sluggish offensive first half for both sides, the Concordia University men’s basketball team turned on the jets in the second half while turning to budding star sophomore Clay Reimers in the post. The result was a 79-75 win at Sterling College (Kan.) as part of the Warrior Classic on Friday night (Nov. 11). The Bulldogs led by as many as 21 points in the second half.
Fifth-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad remains unbeaten at 4-0. Concordia has picked up a pair of road wins over opponents from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
“This team finds a way to get to the free throw line and make some plays when they need to,” Limback said. “Clay Reimers was a beast in the second half. He really carried us for a 10-minute stretch. We weren’t sharp tonight, but to come away with a win was nice. We’re going to have to play better and be more consistent on Saturday.”
The first four games have shown Concordia to have a dynamic sophomore trio in Reimers, point guard Jake Hornick and 3-point sniper Tanner Shuck. They combined for 49 points on the evening. With senior Kyle Pierce out of the lineup, Limback went with a lineup of sophomores only. He inserted Riley Tegtmeier into the starting group and he responded with 11 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes of action.
The time capsule that defined this game started at the 13:54 mark of the second half when Reimers converted a three-point play to turn a two-point lead into a five-point advantage (41-36). A 29-10 spurt gave the Bulldogs a seemingly commanding 67-46 lead with less than four-and-a-half minutes remaining. Reimers had eight of his game high 19 points during the splurge. Shuck also got hot, dropping in 14 of his 16 points after halftime.
At the point, Hornick continues to provide steady play. He chipped in 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Reimers posted a double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with his 19 tallies. The only negative offensively for a team that shot 62.5 percent (15-for-24) in the second half was its 21 turnovers. Limback also could have done without the late Sterling run that made the final score appear much closer than how the game was played.
The Warriors (2-2) dropped a 105-81 decision at Doane four days earlier. They were paced on Friday by the 15 points of Tim Hendrixson. Sterling put up a final record of 7-23 in 2016-17.
Day two of the Warrior Classic features the Bulldogs and 16th-ranked Tabor College (Kan.) (0-3) going head-to-head. Saturday’s tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT in Sterling, Kan. It will be Concordia’s first matchup with a top 25 opponent this season. The Bluejays got clipped by Hastings, 72-67, on Friday.