FREMONT, Neb. – After a long 11 days and a Thanksgiving break, the Bulldogs resumed action at Wikert Event Center, taking on Midland on Wednesday night (Nov. 29). Concordia seized the lead early and ran with it for the full 40 minutes, keeping the improved Warriors at bay in the 104-86 win. Noah Schutte imposed his will with 26 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists, leading the team in each category. With his sixth rebound, Schutte surpassed the 500 career rebound mark, becoming the 15th player in the program history to reach that feat. Tristan Smith (19) and Lukas Helms (17) added big numbers in the triple-digit win.
The Dawgs are now 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the GPAC. Head Coach Ben Limback commented on finding a rhythm after the long break and getting their first conference win on the road.
“Anytime you have that many days off, you don’t know what to expect rhythm-wise. We came out aggressive and were ready to play. I was proud of the start to the game. We gave up too much in the first half at the rim. Derek Merwick was good for them, but Noah Schutte throughout gave an incredible effort. Tristian Smith was really good in the second half, and it was fun to see Lukas Helms get going today. A lot of guys contributed. That’s a good team and I was proud of how we came out on the road tonight.”
Leading 54-39, Helms came out swinging with 12 points before the first half buzzer. Coming out of the locker rooms, Tristian Smith made a home in the opposing team’s paint with six early points in the 14-8 scoring run. The Elizabeth, Colo. product garnered 12 points and four rebounds after the break, proving a lift in the second half.
Warriors’ Merwick continued to score for the home crowd with a 30-point, 11 rebounds and seven assists performance.
Mad Man Schutte scored with ease, breaking down multiple Midland defenders on his way to 14 second half points, pushing the lead to 21 with under 12 minutes remaining. Zac Kulus and Hayden Frank hit a three pointer apiece with a sandwiched bucket by Schutte, pulling away with a 94-75 lead on 58.2 percent shooting.
In the final minutes, Brad Bennett drained a ball from beyond the arc to put the Bulldogs in triple digits before time expired. Frank added 12 points total, as Bennett added a double-digit 11.
Concordia (4-2, 1-2 GPAC) will get ready for Jamestown (2-6, 1-3 GPAC) for a Saturday afternoon clash inside Friedrich Arena. Tip off is set for 3:45 p.m. CT after the women’s game. The Bulldogs went 0-3 last season against the Jimmies but will look to continue a winning streak following their first conference win.