Schutte pours in career high 36 in regular season closing defeat

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 19, 2023 in Men's Basketball

MITCHELL, S.D. – About this same time a year ago, the Concordia University Men’s Basketball program traveled to the Corn Palace and celebrated a share of the GPAC regular season title. This time around, the Bulldogs had an opportunity to improve their at-large national tournament prospects. Unfortunately, the regular season finale went to host Dakota Wesleyan, 75-72, in a contest Concordia failed to secure down the stretch in Mitchell, S.D., on Saturday (Feb. 18). Noah Schutte went wild for a career high 36 points in the defeat.

Head Coach Ben Limback’s squad closed the regular season at 17-11 overall (11-9 GPAC). This contest wasn’t going to affect their conference tournament seeding, but the Bulldogs still needed this one.

“We got on a run because we started to make shots, get some easy buckets and some threes,” Limback said. “Once they got the momentum, I feel like the game changed with free throws and how it was called. We just didn’t adjust to it very well. Down the stretch we had chances. I thought Jaxon Weyand had a great game other than a few plays. Obviously Noah did what he needed to do today – tremendous effort there. We just didn’t rebound well enough on the road.”

This one hurt in that Concordia held the lead for the majority of the contest and pushed the advantage to 13 points with the help of Schutte’s layup at the 14:21 mark of the second half. But Kallan Herman and the Tigers found their footing. A 10-1 run edged DWU in front, 63-62, at the 3:21 mark in what became a nail-biter. In a career high effort himself, Weyand canned a trey to make it a 67-65 Bulldog lead in the closing few minutes. The Tigers made 7-of-8 from the foul line in the final 1:39 of game time to pull it out.

The circumstances spoiled what was another sensational outing from Schutte. He made 13-of-25 shots from the floor and grabbed 13 rebounds. He’s not just one of the best players in the GPAC, he’s become one of the NAIA’s top players. Schutte’s 36 points are the most scored by a Bulldog in a single game since Chandler Folkerts tallied 37 at Dakota Wesleyan on Feb. 12, 2017.

Said Limback, “Every team knows what he’s going to try to do. They know we’re going to go to him. For him to still score 36 is impressive. He’s a tremendously gifted player. He’s a leader for sure. That’s something we needed. This is the game that makes you better if you approach it the right way as we get into the conference tournament. We have a lot of young guys and they need to learn what these environments are like.”

Weyand supplied 16 points (6-for-13 from the floor) and was the only other Bulldog to reach double figures. Gage Smith totaled eight points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots and Garrett Seagren contributed six points, eight rebounds and four assists. Concordia was held to 39.4 percent (26-for-66) shooting overall.

Dakota Wesleyan (13-15, 9-11 GPAC) will be the No. 6 seed in the GPAC tournament. The Tigers got a team high 23 points from Herman and 16 from Blaze Lubbers. DWU managed to outrebound the Bulldogs, 41-38, a category Concordia typically wins. The two sides settled for a regular season split.

As the No. 5 seed in the GPAC tournament, the Bulldogs will be headed to play fourth-seeded Northwestern (20-8, 13-7 GPAC) in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT in Orange City, Iowa. The home team won both regular season meetings. The full tournament pairings can be found HERE.