Tigers overcome Shuck's career game

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 18, 2017 in Men's Basketball

MITCHELL, S.D. – Jake Hornick and Clay Reimers have paced the Concordia University men’s basketball team in scoring in the early going this season, but Saturday (Nov. 18) was sophomore Tanner Shuck’s day. Ultimately, 10th-ranked Dakota Wesleyan outgunned the Bulldogs, 77-69, inside the Corn Palace. Concordia managed only three points over the game’s final seven minutes.

Fifth-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad slipped to 5-2 overall and to 1-1 in conference play. The Bulldogs won their previous two true road contests (Kansas Wesleyan and Sterling).

“We weren’t finishing very strong. We didn’t shoot a very high percentage in the paint, which you have to do,” Limback said. “Tanner had an outstanding game where he was moving and freeing himself. Guys were looking for him. Offensively we just didn’t have enough guys finishing inside. Defensively we did a decent job guarding the three in the first half. Then in the second half we over helped in a couple situations. We had some mental breakdowns that gave them some threes we didn’t want to give them.”

For most of the evening, Concordia hung right with a third opponent that reached the 2017 national tournament. Shuck caught fire for a career high 29 points while tickling the net with five treys. His final trey of the night came at the 7:25 mark of the second half and staked the Bulldogs to a 66-62 advantage. The game spiraled in the opposite direction from that point on.

The potent Tigers (5-3, 1-1 GPAC) ended the game on a 15-3 rampage. Out of a timeout, Trae Vandeberg threw down a dunk that sparked the furious Dakota Wesleyan finish. On the other end, Concordia went just 1-for-9 from the field over the last seven minutes. Its only field goal during that stretch was a Hornick 3-pointer that pulled the Bulldogs to within four (73-69). The Tigers quickly responded with a Jason Spicer bucket in the paint.

Three days after sinking 15 treys in the GPAC opening win over Midland, Concordia dropped in 12 more triples at Dakota Wesleyan. The Bulldogs went just 15-for-37 (.405) on shots inside the 3-point arc. Meanwhile, the Tigers got most of the offense they needed from three players. Spicer (21), Ty Hoglund (19) and Vandeberg combined for 59 points. Dakota Wesleyan shot 46.9 percent overall and 38.5 percent (10-for-26) from distance.

Shuck didn’t quite have enough help offensively though Zach Friel (11 points, nine rebounds) and Hornick (10 points) both reached double figures. Before fouling out, Reimers totaled eight points and 10 rebounds. Shuck kept Concordia competitive on a day when the production of some of his teammates dipped.

“I felt like Tanner was a beast tonight and Zach Friel did some nice things offensively off the bench,” Limback said. “He gave us a nice spurt where we made a good push. We weren’t strong enough to overcome our offensive inefficiency down the stretch.”

The Bulldogs are set to return home on Tuesday (Nov. 21) to host Mount Marty (1-6, 0-2 GPAC) inside Walz Arena. Concordia has won its first three home contests of this season. The improved Lancers have dropped five games by margins of seven points or less, including Saturday’s road defeat at Hastings that ended with a final of 70-65. Tuesday has been declared Seward County Appreciation Night. No admission will be charged.