SEWARD, Neb. – Visiting Briar Cliff protected the basketball and made 32 of 38 free throw attempts in a winning effort over the Concordia men’s basketball team inside Walz Arena on Saturday afternoon. The 91-85 loss dropped the Bulldogs to 5-14 overall and 2-10 in the conference.
Senior Adam Vogt did everything in his power to get the Bulldogs within striking distance down the stretch. The Syracuse, Neb., native got impossibly hot over the final few minutes and put up 20 of his career high 34 points in the game’s final five minutes.
During that stretch, Vogt drilled four 3-pointers even with the Charger defense focused on stopping him.
Said Vogt, “It doesn’t matter if one person scores 50 on this team. If we’re not tough we’re going to get beat every time.”
For the third-straight game, Concordia had to battle back after facing a double digit halftime deficit. The Bulldogs were still down 11 before Vogt began his late assault with a trey at the 4:50 mark that finally reduced the Briar Cliff lead under 10.
“We have to find a way to have urgency right from the start,” Limback said. “I think a lot of it is just lack of confidence. Fear or whatever it is – we’re just not coming out aggressive defensively."
During Vogt’s last five-minute barrage, Concordia outscored Briar Cliff 25-20. The problem for the Bulldogs was that the Chargers rarely missed from the charity stripe. Briar Cliff top scorer Zach Otting made 11 of 12 free throws and as a team, the Chargers went 17-for-20 from the line over the final five minutes and a perfect 10-for-10 in the last minute.
“The last four minutes when we started to press and Adam started to shoot – there was more of an urgency then than at the start of the game,” Limback said. “That’s what we have to figure out first because we’re scoring more, doing better things on the defensive end and rebounding a little better. We just don’t have the urgency you need to be great and to compete against the top teams in our league.”
Concordia shot a season high 62.5 percent (30-for-48) from the field and connected on 10 of 17 shots (.588) from beyond the arc. Vogt finished 6-for-8 from 3-point range and 11-for-17 overall from the field. He made all six free throw attempts. Vogt’s previous career high point total was 26 – a number he put up in a win over then No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan on Nov. 9.
Briar Cliff (14-7, 7-4 GPAC), paced by Otting’s 22 points, forced 19 Bulldog turnovers while committing nine of its own. The Chargers shot 48.1 percent from the field, plenty good enough on a night when they made a living at the free throw line.
Joining Vogt in double figures for the Bulldogs were Micah Kohlwey (11), Justin Damme (10) and Robby Thomas (10). Thomas added five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
The Bulldogs go back on the road on Wednesday when they take on No. 19 Hastings (15-5, 9-2 GPAC) at 8 p.m. The second-place Broncos defeated Concordia 78-71 on Nov. 26. Limback’s squad will look to snap a three-game losing streak in the series with Hastings.