2013-2014 Men's Basketball

8-21 Overall, 3-17 GPAC - Season Stats


York College Tip Off Classic (Nov. 1-2)
Nov. 1 (24) York College Webcast Scheduled York, Neb. L, 79-86
Nov. 2 (19) Bellevue University Webcast Scheduled York, Neb. L, 76-93
Cattle Classic: Nov. 8-9 (also view Cattle Classic page for more tournament info):
Nov. 8 Jamestown (N.D.) vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan  Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. 3 p.m.
Nov. 8 (18) Culver-Stockton (Mo.)  Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 82-102
Nov. 9 Culver-Stockton (Mo.) vs. Jamestown (N.D.)  Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. 2 p.m.
Nov. 9 (13) Oklahoma Wesleyan  Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb W, 85-76
Nov. 12 Grace University Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. W, 87-72
Nov. 16 * Morningside College Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 67-85
Nov. 23 * Briar Cliff University Webcast Scheduled Sioux City, Iowa L, 61-103
Nov. 26 * (23) Hastings College Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 71-78


Dec. 4 * Doane College Webcast Scheduled Crete, Neb. W, 86-81
Dec. 7 * (12) Dordt College Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 70-93
Dec. 11 * Nebraska Wesleyan University Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 57-83
Dec. 14 * Mount Marty College Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. W, 81-67
Dec. 20 * Dakota Wesleyan University Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 56-88
Dec. 28 (19) St. Gregory's University (Okla.) Shawnee, Okla. L, 64-69
Dec. 30 Kansas Wesleyan University Webcast Scheduled Salina, Kan. W, 75-72


Jan. 4 * (11) Dordt College Webcast Scheduled Sioux Center, Iowa L, 61-69
Jan. 8 * (8) Midland University Webcast Scheduled Fremont, Neb. L, 45-70
Jan. 11 * Northwestern College Webcast Scheduled Orange City, Iowa L, 56-60
Jan. 18  * Briar Cliff University Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb.  L, 85-91
Jan. 22 * (15) Hastings College Webcast Scheduled Hastings, Neb. L, 66-71
Concordia Invitational Tournament:  Jan. 24-25
(view the CIT pages at CUNE for more information)
Jan. 24 Concordia-Ann Arbor Webcast Scheduled Mequon, Wis. W, 73-61
Jan. 25 CU-Wisconsin (CIT Title) Webcast Scheduled Mequon, Wis. W, 68-64
Jan. 29 * Doane College Webcast Scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 77-82


Feb. 1 * Mount Marty College Webcast Scheduled Yankton, S.D. L, 55-56
Feb. 5 * Nebraska Wesleyan University Webcast Scheduled Lincoln, Neb. L, 70-76
Feb. 8 * Dakota Wesleyan University Mitchell, S.D. L, 70-78
Feb. 12 * (8) Midland University Webcast Scheduled (Red Out) Seward, Neb.  L, 55-82
Feb. 15 * Northwestern College Webcast Scheduled (Senior Day/Fan Appreciation) Seward, Neb. W, 95-75
Feb. 22 * (18) Morningside College Webcast Scheduled Sioux City, Iowa L, 64-87
GPAC Tournament: Feb. 26, March 1, 4
Feb. 26 GPAC Quarterfinals TBA TBA
March 1 GPAC Semifinals TBA TBA
March 4 GPAC Championship TBA TBA


NAIA National Tournament: March 12-18
March 12-18 TBA Point Lookout, Mo. TBA

2013-14 Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown Previous School
10 Adam Vogt 5-9  Sr.  Syracuse, Neb. Syracuse 
12  Robby Thomas F 6-7 So. Shawnee, Kan. Maranatha Academy
14 Eli Ziegler G 6-0 Fr. Littleton, Colo. Heritage
20 Seth Curran G 6-0 Fr. Omaha, Neb. Omaha Burke
22 Joel Haywood G 6-4 Jr. Lakewood, Colo. Denver Lutheran
23 Aaron Walker F 6-3 Fr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Southeast
24 Isaiah Bockelman G 5-11 Jr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Lutheran
30 Micah Kohlwey G 6-3 So. Seward, Neb. NE Wesleyan Univ. / Seward
32 Max Wegener F 6-9 So. Wildwood, Mo. Eureka
34 Deondre White 6-2 So. Lincoln, Neb. Wayne State College / Lincoln
40 Matthew Goedeken F 6-4 Fr. Dodge City, Kan. Dodge City
42 Daniel Grundmeier G 6-0 Jr. Glendale, Ariz. Phoenix Christian
44 Chandler Folkerts C 6-8 Fr. Milford, Neb. Milford
50 Justin Damme C 6-10 Fr. Cook, Neb. Johnson County Central
52 Stephen Llewellyn C 6-5 Fr.  Oakley, Kan. Oakley

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Ben Limback

Assistant Coaches: Martin Kohlwey and Phil Friedrich

Graduate Assistant: Dustin Weber

Limback tabbed to lead Concordia men's basketball program

12 MAR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Ben Limback will return to his alma mater as Concordia’s head men’s basketball coach, the university announced Tuesday. Limback, formerly the head coach at Concordia University-Ann Arbor, steps into the role that Marty Kohlwey held during the 2012-13 season. Kohlwey will resume his position as the program’s top assistant.

“I feel truly blessed to be back at the university that gave me so much as a student-athlete,” Limback said. “The only thing better than sharing a history with a place like Concordia is being a part of its exciting future. I look forward to working with the current team, welcoming new Bulldogs and reconnecting with alumni.”

Limback emerged as the top candidate among a field of applicants of more than 100.

“I am ecstatic to welcome Ben back to the Bulldog family,” Director of Athletics Devin Smith said. “He is a proven winner with a track record of building and maintaining a highly competitive NAIA men’s basketball program. In addition, his familiarity with the GPAC and with our university and its Christ-centered foundation combine to make him the ideal choice to return Bulldog men’s basketball to excellence.”

Limback, a 1999 Concordia graduate and native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, brings nearly a decade of NAIA head coaching experience having spent nine years as the head coach at CU-Ann Arbor. Limback, who has also served as the school’s director of admissions since 2010 and its athletics director from 2009-2011, is the Cardinals’ all-time winningest men’s basketball head coach with 115 victories. He earned Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2007 and was recognized as the WHAC Champions of Character Coach by the NAIA in both 2009 and 2010. In 2007 Limback led CU-Ann Arbor to its first ever Concordia Invitational Tournament title.

Prior to becoming CU-Ann Arbor’s head coach, Limback filled the role of assistant coach for three seasons from 2000-2003 at NCAA Division II Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Ill., where he was tutored by current NCAA Division I Evansville University head coach Marty Simmons. That coaching stop was preceded by a one-year stint with Concordia-Nebraska for the 1999-2000 season under 23-year head coach Grant Schmidt.

From 1995-99, Limback donned the Bulldog jersey as a player for Coach Schmidt. As a senior during the 1998-99 season, he earned Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors and was named the Nebraska State College Player of the Year by the Omaha World-Herald. In addition, he twice received both NAIA honorable mention All-America (1998 and 1999) and NAIA Academic All-America (1998 and 1999) accolades. He was a member of Bulldog teams that advanced to the national tournament on three separate occasions.

Upon graduation from Concordia, Limback received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and physical education. He went on to earn his Master of Science degree in kinesiology from SIU-Edwardsville in 2002.

Limback and his wife Kelley have four children: Leighton, Malachi, Kennedy and Emerson.

Since 1991, Bulldog men’s basketball has appeared in the national tournament nine times, including a runner up finish in 2005 and an appearance in the semifinals in 1992 at the NAIA Division II National Championships. Since becoming a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference beginning with the 2000-01 season, Concordia has produced a league mark of better than .500 in seven seasons.

Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Neb. that currently serves over 2,200 students. Concordia offers more than 50 professional and liberal arts programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. For more information, visit cune.edu.

Limback's excited to join Bulldog family

4 APR 2013

New Concordia head men’s basketball coach Ben Limback jumped at the chance to return to the place he graduated from in 1999. Officially named head coach of the Bulldogs on March 12, Limback got started recruiting immediately and began his first day on campus on March 25.

“Having the opportunity to reconnect with a lot of familiar faces – faculty, players, former students that I went to school with – it’s been exciting,” Limback said. “Just to be back on campus has been great. A lot of things have changed. It’s been an amazing week-and-a-half so far to be able to reconnect with the Bulldog family.”

Limback, the 1998-99 Nebraska-Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a Bulldog, coached for nine seasons at Concordia-Ann Arbor. He enjoyed leading the Cardinals during a nine-year run as head coach, but is ecstatic to be back in Seward.

“This is something even when I graduated here, you always dream about coaching again at your alma mater,” Limback said. “The thing that excited me most was that the experience I had here as a student-athlete was awesome. To now come back and be part of that again but from the other side as a coach, that’s really what excited me most.”

The Cedar Falls, Iowa, native is now tasked with restoring the winning tradition of Bulldog men’s basketball while maintaining the program’s Christ-centered foundation. With the graduation of five seniors who logged heavy minutes this past season, Limback has his sights set on nailing down a 2013 recruiting class long on numbers and talent.

Limback says the response in recruiting has been excellent since he took over. However, there are obstacles in trying to find gems this late in the process.

“The challenge now is that a lot of the recruits have narrowed down their lists or they’ve made their decisions,” Limback said. “So we’ve had to contact coaches, and Coach (Marty) Kohlwey and Coach (Dustin) Weber have done a great job of building a list of recruits. Joining the staff last week, we were behind because the head coach (position) was vacant.

“We’ve definitely made some progress. We’ve had a couple commitments already.”

The former Omaha World-Herald Nebraska Player of the Year has adapted his coaching methods in part through his many influences in the profession. He credits his college coach Grant Schmidt as well as Concordia Director of Athletics Devin Smith, Evansville University head coach Marty Simmons (whom Limback worked under at SIU-Edwardsville) and University of Michigan head coach John Beilein, among others, with helping to shape him as a coach.

These experiences have taught Limback life lessons beyond basketball and helped strengthen his faith. Through it all, he has learned how to run a program and become well-versed on what values to instill in his players and what strategies to employ on the court.

“We’re a team, we’re a family,” Limback said. “I really emphasize that with the guys. Everything we do, I want them to be thinking about how they can make the team better. That starts everything. Offense, defense – we’re always together.”

Schematically, Limback wants to push the ball up the floor into a scoring position quickly and play tough man-to-man defensively. In the half-court, Concordia figures to run a motion offense borrowing some of the tenets of what he learned under Simmons.

“We’re going to push. We’re going to be up-tempo,” Limback said. “It doesn’t matter if we shoot with five seconds on the shot clock or if we still have 30 seconds left on the shot clock. I just want to get a high-percentage shot.”

For now, Limback tries to fit these pieces together as his family rides out the rest of the school year in Ann Arbor. His wife Kelley and his four children – Leighton, Malachi, Kennedy and Emerson – will soon join him in the Seward community and as part of the Bulldog family.

“We’re all excited about the opportunity,” Limback said. “We’re a basketball family. My wife comes from a coaching background so she understands the importance of why I’m here the first couple weeks and they have to finish there.

“It’s challenging. Not being around your family is difficult, but that’s why it’s so awesome to have the Bulldog family here to interact with them.”

Bulldog men's basketball to conduct Sunday youth basketball league this fall

18 JUL 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Under the direction of first-year head coach Ben Limback, Concordia men’s basketball will conduct a Sunday night youth basketball league on campus beginning this fall. The league, which is open to boys in grades three through eight, will get started on Sunday, Sept. 15 and continue on every Sunday through Oct. 27.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for boys in grades three through eight to enhance their basketball skills and compete against players of similar ages,” Limback said. “Led by Concordia coaches and players, it promises to be competitive and focused on youth development – all in a Christian environment.

“Not only is this a great avenue for youth basketball development, it also gives aspiring young coaches in our basketball program the opportunity to get hands on experience.”

Players sign up individually and are placed on a team based on evaluations the first night. Each Sunday from then on will consist of a 30-minute practice and two league games. A league tournament will be held the last night, Oct. 27. The cost of participation is $60, which includes a league t-shirt.

Concordia men's basketball lands 10th in GPAC preseason poll

10 OCT 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia men’s basketball has been picked to finish 10th by league coaches in the 2013-14 GPAC preseason poll, as released by the conference on Thursday afternoon. The Bulldogs picked up 18 points in the poll.

The program will be directed by a new leader this season as 1999 Concordia graduate Ben Limback returns to his alma mater as head coach. Limback scored more than 1,000 points in his Bulldog career and led the team to three national tournament appearances while playing for former head coach Grant Schmidt.

Concordia will look to backcourt veterans in senior Adam Vogt and junior Joel Haywood to guide a squad with a lot of new faces. Only four players on the roster have significant varsity experience, but Limback and assistant coach Marty Kohlwey have brought in a recruiting class that will add more athleticism and depth.

Midland gets the nod as the preseason favorite with 93 points and five first-place votes. In addition, Northwestern, Hastings, Morningside and Dordt all received at least one first-place vote.

2013-14 GPAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

1. Midland – 93 (5)
2. Northwestern – 80 (1)
3. Hastings – 78 (2)
4. Morningside – 77 (1)
5. Dordt – 75 (2)
6. Doane – 53
7. Nebraska Wesleyan – 49
8. Briar Cliff – 38
9. Dakota Wesleyan – 33
10. Concordia – 18
11. Mount Marty – 11

2013-14 Concordia men's basketball season preview

28 OCT 2013

At a glance:
2012-13 Record:
 6-22 overall, 2-18 GPAC (11th)
Head Coach: Ben Limback (1st year at Concordia, Neb.; 115-158 in 9 seasons at Concordia-Ann Arbor)
Returning Starters: Joel Haywood (Jr.), Adam Vogt (Sr.)
Other Key Returners: Max Wegener (So.), Robby Thomas (So.)
Total Letter Winners Returning/Lost: 4/7
Key Losses: Porter Birtell, Charles Dunbar, Brent Houchin, Beau Smith
2012-13 GPAC All-Conference: Porter Birtell (honorable mention), Beau Smith (honorable mention)


By Jake Knabel, Sports Information Director

A massive facelift took place over the offseason as a new head coach and a recruiting class of 19 injected new life into Concordia men’s basketball. The abundance of brand new faces means there are very few still within the program that experienced the challenging 2012-13 season.

With Ben Limback, a 1999 Bulldog graduate and former nine-year head coach at Concordia-Ann Arbor, taking over, the Bulldogs insist they are focused solely on what lies ahead.

“We all have goals and we all have aspirations to have a much different season,” Limback said. “Our goal is not really to look back on last year but to focus on what this year can be based on the guys we have. We lost some seniors – we know that – but we need to move on. Our focus is on this year and what we need to do to compete in the GPAC.”

Concordia’s new leader was officially announced as the program’s head coach on March 12. Limback racked up 1,158 points and led the Bulldogs to three national tournament appearances during his collegiate career from 1996-99. The Cedar Falls, Iowa, native is glad to be back.

“There are a lot of memories coming back,” Limback said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for my family to come to this great town of Seward. We’ve been excited anticipating this season coming up. Just being back in Bulldog land has been great so far.”

Limback’s return to Seward promises an exciting brand of basketball that includes complex language for play sets, an emphasis on pushing the ball offensively and tough man-to-man defense. With more depth and plenty of youthful exuberance, the Bulldogs will be much more adept at playing an uptempo style.

“I think you’ll definitely see more guys flying around,” said the team’s lone senior, Adam Vogt of Syracuse, Neb. “The energy will be up higher. We won’t be as passive. I think this year we’ll be more aggressive. There’ll be more young guys out there so we’ll have our ups and downs.”

The youngsters will look to a backcourt that includes Vogt and fellow returning starter Joel Haywood, a 6-foot-3 junior from Lakewood, Colo., to provide leadership. Haywood, who averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 rebounds last season, has started each of the first 58 games of his career. Meanwhile, Vogt has more game experience than anyone on the roster with 76 career appearances.

With a combined varsity and junior varsity roster complete with 16 freshman and eight sophomores, Haywood and Vogt will be leaned upon to show the way.

“Any time you have upperclassmen who have competed at the varsity level in the GPAC, you have to rely on them,” Limback said. “They’re making great strides to become more vocal leaders and to share insights on what the team needs to do. I’m pleased with their progress as leaders. They know it’s an important thing for our success.”

The only remaining holdovers with varsity experience are sophomores Robby Thomas (6-foot-7) and Max Wegener (6-foot-9). The pair of long and lean forwards got their feet wet last season in supporting roles, combining for 53 games played and four starts. Now they will both be called upon for much larger contributions.

“I think Robby Thomas is really coming out more aggressive this year,” Vogt said. “I think he’s had more dunks in preseason than he had his whole season last year. And Max Wegener, he’s really great in the post with his touch around the basket and his Dirk Nowitzki-like moves that we always joke about. He’s doing great in the post.”

The lack of returners leaves the door wide open for several transfers and freshmen newcomers. Sophomore Deondre White, a 6-foot-2 guard who transferred from Wayne State College, has made waves over the offseason with his playmaking ability in the backcourt. With a void at point guard, White is likely to see plenty of minutes along with Haywood and Vogt in the backcourt.

White, who saw action in four games last season at Wayne State, has already caught the attention of Vogt.

“I think Deondre White’s definitely going to be able to take care of the ball for us,” Vogt said. “He’s big and he’s quick so he’s going to be able to handle the ball, get to the rim and make plays for us.”

There will be several other inexperienced guards vying for playing time. Assistant coach Marty Kohlwey’s son Micah, a 6-foot-3 gym rat who transferred in from Nebraska Wesleyan, will be eligible for the second semester, per league transfer rules. Then there are freshmen like Seth Curran (Omaha, Neb.), Aaron Walker (Lincoln, Neb.) and Eli Ziegler (Littleton, Colo.) who could also figure into the backcourt mix.

“There are a lot of guys,” Limback said, “a lot of guys who can be in the mix. There are more that could surface at some point, but those are the guys on the perimeter right now that I think could see some minutes early.”

In the frontcourt, Thomas and Wegener will be flanked by freshmen bigs such as 6-foot-10 Justin Damme (Cook, Neb.), 6-foot-8 Chandler Folkerts (Milford, Neb.) and 6-foot-5 Stephen Llewellyn (Oakley, Kan.). The presence of guys like Damme, who is great at stepping out and shooting from the perimeter, and Folkerts will allow Limback to tinker with lineups and at times go with a group of five including individuals all at least 6-foot-3 or taller.

Both Damme and Folkerts were recruited to provide immediate help in the paint.

“Chandler and Justin both are big bodies, but the best thing about those guys is every day they want to get better,” Limback said. “They don’t take plays off. They work hard. They listen. The sky’s the limit.  They’re different in how they play so it’s nice to have different styles in those two bigs.”

Increased size and athleticism provides optimism that this year’s team will compete at a higher level as opposed to the frustrating 2012-13 season. But most of the team’s roster never went through it anyway.

“In all honesty, there are only four of us who remember that throughout the whole team,” Vogt said. “So it’s kind of been on the backburner. Us four are just trying to forget it and move on because we’re not trying to dwell on that.”

With many questions left to be answered, Limback’s life has been made easier by the willingness of his players to work together. The chemistry the Bulldogs have built throughout the offense serves as a foundation for a youthful squad.

“We definitely are young,” Limback said. “That’s going to be a challenge for us all year. We have to grow up quickly, especially the new guys. We lost some great seniors – some all-conference guys with (Porter) Birtell and (Beau) Smith and some guys who have been around. Any time you lose experience like that it’s a challenge. That’s what we’re trying to overcome.”

The Limback era begins on Friday, Nov. 1 when the Bulldogs take part in the York College Tip Off Classic. Concordia will play host York, a 2013 national tournament qualifier, at 8:30 p.m. on day one of the classic.

Rally falls short in Limback's debut

1 NOV 2013

YORK, Neb. – Head coach Ben Limback paced the sidelines for the first time at the helm of the Bulldog men’s basketball program on Friday. No. 24 York College spoiled the night by triumphing, 86-79, over visiting Concordia in York, Neb., in the season opener for both teams. The Bulldogs had hoped to duplicate their performance from last year when they topped the Panthers, 97-88.

“They are a good team. I tip my hat to them,” Limback said. “It was a good environment. We did compete. There were times when they went on runs and you don’t know how you’re going to respond as a young team. I thought we did a good job competing. We had chances in the last three minutes.”

York led the entire game but Concordia played well enough to remain within striking distance late in the game against the nationally-ranked Panthers. With lengthy sophomore Max Wegener (19 points and 10 rebounds) shining in the paint and freshman Eli Ziegler’s hot shooting, the Bulldogs came close to pulling the upset.

“I thought Max had a great second half,” Limback said. “And Eli gave us a lift off the bench.”

Concordia simply couldn’t survive its 22 turnovers that allowed York to get out and attack in transition.

“The biggest story was we had too many turnovers,” Limback said. “When you have 22 turnovers against a team like that, it’s tough. That put a lot of pressure on us defensively.”

Limback’s squad trimmed a double-digit second half deficit down to four (69-65) with 8:56 remaining when Deondre White cashed in on a shot in the lane. That capped a 13-6 run, but York followed with five-straight points and led by four or more points the rest of the way. A trey from Aaron Walker with :15 remaining closed the gap to four once again at 83-79 before three Panther free throws iced the game in the waning seconds.

Wegener topped his previous career highs of 13 points and seven rebounds with a huge second-half effort. Fellow sophomore Robby Thomas nearly posted a double-double of his own, finishing with 11 points and nine rebounds.

After York raced out to a 22-11 lead, the Bulldogs tried to rally back on the strength of their outside shooting. Ziegler sniped a trio of triples in a two-and-a-half minute stretch midway through the second half that brought Concordia within 31-23.

The Bulldogs chipped away the rest of the half and trailed 42-38 at the break. They ended the first half with a 6-1 spurt and had a late possession that offered a chance to cut into the four-point deficit.

Senior guard Adam Vogt joined Wegener and Thomas in double figures in scoring. Vogt struggled from 3-point range (1-for-8), but went 7-for-10 from the foul line and tallied 16 points.

Freshman post Chandler Folkerts of Milford, Neb., got the start in his first collegiate game and contributed four points and four rebounds. Justin Damme, another freshman big, came off the bench to deliver six points and seven boards.

York got a game high 22 points from Remi Mignott. Dylan Brewer (17 points) and Andre Vaughn (16 points) were the Panthers’ other double-figure scorers.

The Bulldogs will play another ranked opponent on Saturday as the York College Tip Off Classic comes to a conclusion. Concordia and No. 19 Bellevue will tip off at 3 p.m. from the Freeman Center. The two sides also met last year in York, where the Bruins won 84-74. Bellevue, which went 24-11 in 2012-13, opened the season with a 91-85 win over Kansas Wesleyan University on Friday.

Wegener caps big weekend in loss to No. 19 Bellevue

2 NOV 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

YORK, Neb. – The Concordia men’s basketball team dropped its second-straight game of the young season, falling to No. 19 Bellevue University, 93-76, on Saturday afternoon. It was the team’s second and final game of the York College Tip Off Classic in York, Neb.

The Bulldogs competed early, managing to stay close until 12:53 remained in the first half when Bellevue would go on a 19-0 run to set the tone for the rest of the game. Concordia headed into the half trailing 53-32.

The Bulldogs struggled from the field, connecting on just 10 of 29 field goals and went 3 for 13 from 3-point land. Bellevue’s hot shooting from the field and intense defensive pressure were keys in building the comfortable first half lead.

“In the first half we really dug ourselves a hole,” head coach Ben Limback said. “Offensively we weren’t scoring and we were turning the ball over. Our effort level defensively dropped off because of our offensive struggles. Bellevue’s got a lot of offensive weapons so our lack of effort on the defensive end, especially on the glass hit us pretty hard.”

Although momentum was hard to come by, Concordia was able to turn things around in the second half, outscoring the Bruins, 44-40. Senior guard Adam Vogt heated up and led the Bulldog charge with 14 second half points.

Sophomore forward Max Wegner added to his impressive weekend as he chipped in with 11 second half points. The Bulldogs shot much better from the floor, knocking in 18 shots on 34 tries, good enough for a 52.9 percentage.

“We competed better in the second half,” Limback said. “We still couldn’t make the plays defensively that could spark us and cut the deficit to a reasonable amount. We couldn’t get the stop down the stretch to get back in the game.”

Wegner and Vogt carried the Bulldogs offensively throughout the game, finishing with 20 and 19 points, respectively. Wegner’s nine boards were enough to lead the team. In his last two games, Wegner is averaging just under a double-double with 39 total points and 19 rebounds.

Early season action will be back in full swing on Friday, Nov. 8 when Concordia takes on Culver-Stockton (Mo.) in its opening game of the Cattle Classic at 8 p.m. inside Walz Arena.

Concordia falls to yet another ranked opponent on day one of the Cattle Classic

8 NOV 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia jumped out to an early lead over No. 18 Culver-Stockton College (Mo.), but the Wildcats cruised the rest of the way. Visiting Culver-Stockton earned a 102-82 victory to close day one of the 14th annual Cattle Classic at Walz Arena. The Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 with all three losses coming to ranked opponents.

“I thought in the second half we definitely moved the ball better and got it inside better,” Concordia head coach Ben Limback said. “That was something that we saw that we needed to get the ball in on them. We shot 48 percent in the second half so our attentiveness to get the ball inside was much better.

“We just couldn’t get stop their transition or force them to get anything other than layups. We have to get better defensively.”

Winner of 26 games last season, Culver-Stockton got strong performances from a host of different players. Leading returning scorer James Johnson poured in a game high 20 points. Johnson was joined by four other Wildcats in double figures in scoring: CJ Adams (19), Mario Gulley (14), Jonathan Miller (12) and Johnnie Mills (10).

Sophomore Robby Thomas teamed with freshman Chandler Folkerts to give head coach Ben Limback solid play on the interior. Thomas fell just short of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds while Folkerts, a Milford native, went for 13 points and four rebounds.

Culver-Stockton (3-0) went on a 19-3 run after digging a six-point hole to start the game. The Wildcats never looked back. They led 56-39 at the break and grew the advantage to as large as 28 points in the second half. The Wildcats outshot the Bulldogs 47.3 percent to 44.3 on the night.

Wegener, Concordia’s breakout star of the first two games, left Saturday’s contest early in the second half after falling hard to the floor on his knee. He did not return to the lineup, finishing the night with nine points and five rebounds.

Day two of the Cattle Classic will bring another ranked opponent for the Bulldogs as they square off with No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan University. The Eagles defeated Jamestown 89-85 on Friday afternoon inside Walz Arena. Saturday’s game will end a stretch of four-straight contests for Concordia against top 25 teams.

“Our focus remains the same,” Limback said. “We’ve got to continue to get better on defense. Oklahoma Wesleyan has great size that can score from three. They’re guards are tremendous. They’re tough and they can score in a variety of ways. We have to understand that it’s a team effort in order to stop them.

“I told our guys, you don’t get to play four ranked teams to start the year very often. We have to understand that we have compete right away.”

Vogt's big night carries young Bulldogs to upset of No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan

10 NOV 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Playing its fourth-straight game against a ranked opponent to open the 2013-14 season, head coach Ben Limback’s squad elevated its play to a level unlike what Walz Arena fans had seen a night earlier. Concordia shook off its 0-3 start to pull of an 85-76 upset of No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan (4-1) as part of the Cattle Classic on Saturday night. The victory gave Limback his first at the helm of Bulldog men’s basketball.

“We definitely had a different intensity tonight,” Limback said. “Defensively I liked our effort on the ball and off the ball. Adam Vogt was an animal. Robby Thomas stepped up and made some big plays. I really loved our focus tonight.”

An experienced Oklahoma Wesleyan group that won 21 games last season had trouble finding the 5-foot-9 Vogt, who exploded for 16 of his career high 26 points in the first half. Vogt made big shots from deep early on to allow Concordia to hang in. He then made crucial free throws down the stretch to thwart the Eagle comeback effort.

Vogt’s shooting proved critical, but so did the play of the host of youngsters surrounding the Syracuse, Neb., native.

“When I come out I’m almost scared, because Joel (Haywood)’s out too,” Vogt said. “When I look out there, there’s one sophomore and four freshmen. But I think we’re growing up really fast, especially tonight. It’s just going to keep getting better.”

Two of the game’s biggest buckets were scored by a freshman and a sophomore. After Oklahoma Wesleyan’s Devin Harris cut Concordia’s lead down to 70-66 with two free throws at the 3:25 mark, Bulldog freshman Chandler Folkerts went for two in the paint.

Next up, with ice-water running through his veins, sophomore Robby Thomas buried a deep 3-pointer off the assist from sophomore Deondre White to give Concordia a 75-68 advantage. The Bulldogs never let Oklahoma Wesleyan cut the lead to less than six the rest of the way. Vogt, who finished 10-for-10 from the foul line, made four free throws in the final minute to send the Eagles packing with their first loss of the season.

Limback, who previously coached for nine seasons at Concordia-Ann Arbor, sensed that the team’s mindset have shifted heading into Saturday’s tilt.

“We have a lot of young guys and we’re still trying to figure out how to do things to win,” Limback said. “But I really loved our mental preparation for tonight. There was just something different where there was an expectation to win. This is what we’ve been waiting for.”

Thomas finished with a double-double, collecting 13 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Two freshmen reached double digits in scoring as Folkerts dropped 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting and Aaron Walker added 13 points.

Oklahoma Wesleyan looked like it might have an easy time of things after bursting out to a 15-6 lead at the 12:11 mark. Trailing 17-10 with 11:02 left in the half, Vogt went on a 9-0 run by himself as he splashed home a trifecta of triples to put the Bulldogs in the lead for the first time. Concordia went to the half up 39-36.

The Eagles got 26 points from Harris and 22 from Josh Young. The rest of the team scored only 28 points combined.

Concordia sizzled with a 52.2 percent shooting clip compared to 40.0 percent for Oklahoma Wesleyan.

The victory was a great reward for a Bulldog team still looking to find its identity.

“We have a bunch of young guys and we’ll battle through some ups and downs,” Vogt said. “We can’t get too high or too low. It’s going to keep them steady and even keeled. We can’t get too down on ourselves and we can’t get too high on ourselves because we’re not there yet.”

Sophomore Max Wegener sat out Saturday’s game after leaving early Friday night with an injury.

The Bulldogs will be back at home on Tuesday when Grace University visits Walz Arena for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Royals entered the weekend with a record of 0-4.

2013 Men’s Cattle Classic All-Tournament Team
Devin Harris, Oklahoma Wesleyan
Mark Hoge, Jamestown
James Johnson, Culver-Stockton
Jonathan Miller, Culver-Stockton
Adam Vogt, Concordia

Thomas sparkles as Bulldogs win second straight

12 NOV 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia standouts Adam Vogt and Robby Thomas picked up where they left off on Saturday to power the Bulldogs to a second-straight win. Concordia defeated visiting Grace University 87-72 inside Walz Arena on Tuesday night. Head coach Ben Limback’s squad moved to 2-3 on the season.

“We’ll take it. It was sloppy at times,” Limback said. “We had some silly mistakes but any time you get a win you’ll take it.”

Thomas, who leads the GPAC in blocked shots, was a beast on both ends of the floor once again. Thomas set the tone early by drilling a pair of 3-pointers on the offensive end and then blocking a trio of shots within the first six-plus minutes.

The 6-foot-7 sophomore from Shawnee, Kan., had a big night with 16 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five blocks – pocketing his third double-double already this season.

“The coaches have been doing a really good job of helping us mold together as a team and help us play in our own roles,” Thomas said. “They’ve got me in something I’m a little more comfortable in. The fact that I can be more of a leader helps a lot. I can be more aggressive and such.”

Thomas pumped up the crowd early with three denials right at the rim all in a stretch of just over a minute early in the first half. His 3-pointer right before bumped the Bulldog lead to 15-6 in a game Limback’s crew trailed only briefly at the very outset.

By the 7:30 mark of the first half, Concordia had already built a 27-13 advantage after Vogt sniped his third trey of the night. After racking up a career high 26 points in Saturday’s 85-76 upset of No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan, Vogt added a team high 17 points to help lead another efficient offensive night.

Using excellent ball movement, Concordia built a lead as large as 76-56 after an Eli Ziegler triple in the right corner with 6:28 left in the game. Of the Bulldogs’ 27 field goals, 23 were assisted as part of a motion offense that operated at near peak proficiency whenever it avoided the turnover.

“It’s exciting. We had a lot of turnovers but that’s something we can control and we can get a handle on,” Thomas said. “Our offensive skill is coming along really fast. Our ball movement is great and we’re doing a good job of finding the open guy.”

In the paint, freshmen bigs Justin Damme (15 points, seven rebounds) and Chandler Folkerts (14 points, five rebounds, three blocks) were too much for the Royals (1-5).

“Justin and Chandler were like a two-headed monster out there tonight,” Limback said. “We really wanted to go inside and I thought we did a better job of that in the second half. Both of those guys worked extremely hard and they deserve a lot of credit for tonight’s win.”

Also in double figures was Ziegler, who chipped in 13 points while making 3 of 6 shots from downtown. For the second-straight game, the Bulldogs went 8-for-20 from 3-point range.

The Bulldogs finished with 11 blocked shots, the most for the program since Jan. 31, 2004, when Concordia also denied 11 shots in a 75-68 win over Concordia-Ann Arbor.

Despite outshooting the Royals 48.1 to 25.0 percent in the first half, Concordia led by only eight at halftime as turnovers allowed Grace to get several more offensive opportunities. The Royals finished with 80 shot attempts compared to 52 for Concordia. Grace’s 20 offensive rebounds and plus-eight turnover margin explained the discrepancy.

With an 8-for-8 night from the foul line, Vogt stretched his consecutive free throw makes to 19. He is 31-for-35 (88.6 percent) from the foul line on the season. “I’m not going to tell him that,” Limback quipped in his postgame interview.

The Bulldogs will begin conference play on Saturday when Morningside (2-2) visits Seward for a 7 p.m. tip off. Fans are encouraged to wear white as part of white-out ‘DawgStrong’ Saturday. The Mustangs received votes in the preseason national poll.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us but I like the way our team’s mindset is right now,” Limback said

Concordia cut down by red-hot Morningside shooting

16 NOV 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Visiting Morningside entered the weekend red hot from the 3-point arc and didn’t slow down on Saturday night. The Bulldogs (2-4, 0-1 GPAC) fell victim to the hot-shooting Mustangs, 85-67, to open up GPAC play.

“That was a big key coming into the game – contesting their threes,” Concordia head coach Ben Limback said. “Unfortunately we just didn’t do a good job of communicating and switching. We gave them too many wide open looks. You’ve got to hand it to them – they stuck the open looks tonight.”

The 3-point happy Mustangs (3-2, 1-0 GPAC) heated things up from deep right away, jumping out to a 23-10 lead midway through the first half on the back of 5 of 7 shooting from three. For the game, the Mustangs, who entered play ranked seventh in NAIA Division II in 3-point field goals per contest, drained 13 of 21 shots from beyond the arc.

Limback’s group gave Morningside a taste of its own medicine after the Mustangs had built a lead as large as 28 points in the second half. Senior guard Adam Vogt drilled back-to-back 3-pointers and junior guard Isaiah Bockelman followed with a 3-pointer of his own to cut the deficit down to 21 at 65-44. A few minutes later Morningside had restored its 28-point advantage to put the game out of reach.

Bockelman (Lincoln, Neb.) emerged as a bright spot for the Bulldogs as he came off the bench to knock down 4 of 6 shots from long range. He finished with 12 points in 14 minutes, reaching double figures for the first time in his career. As a team, Concordia also shot well from downtown, connecting on 11 of 26 tries (42.3 percent).

The Bulldogs simply could not keep up with the potent Morningside tandem of Tanner Miller and Jared Kolbush. They combined for 33 points while making 9 of 14 3-point shots. Miller finished with a game high 19 points.

Freshman Aaron Walker topped Concordia with a career high 15 points. Vogt also reached double figures with 10.

Sophomore Robby Thomas rejected three more shots on Saturday. He came into action with a GPAC-leading 14 blocks – only one fewer than the national best. Thomas’ five rebounds led the Bulldogs on Saturday. Morningside held a 38-24 team advantage on the glass.

Overall, the Mustangs shot 51.9 percent (28-for-54) from the field compared to 39.6 percent (21-for-53) by Concordia.

Limback felt the Bulldogs needed to get the ball down low to their freshmen Chandler Folkerts and Justin Damme more often.

“I thought our inability to get the ball inside (was a factor),” Limback said. “We just shot too many perimeter shots and we did not contest their threes. They had too many open looks for good shooters. That was the story of the day.”

Saturday’s contest marked the fourth straight at home for Limback’s crew. The Bulldogs will go on the road for the first time in conference play when they take on Briar Cliff (4-2, 2-0 GPAC) in Sioux City, Iowa, at 4 p.m. next Saturday. The Chargers won both meetings last season.

Concordia blitzed by Chargers in Sioux City

23 NOV 2013

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – A hot Briar Cliff team led visiting Concordia from start to finish as the Chargers went on for a 103-61 victory in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday. The Bulldogs struggled again on the defensive end in falling to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in conference action.

“Obviously it was a disappointing performance,” Concordia head coach Ben Limback said. “We had some early foul trouble with some key guys and we didn’t give enough effort defensively and on the boards. It really dug us a hole. We’re not good enough right now to recover from 18 points down at the half.”

The Chargers blitzed the Bulldogs from the beginning, jumping out to a 10-2 lead before pushing their advantage to as many as 20 points in the first half. Concordia would not threaten Briar Cliff’s stranglehold the rest of the way.

The numbers tell the story as Briar Cliff shot 55.6 percent to Concordia’s 31.6 percent. The Chargers also held a 2-to-1 rebounding advantage with 52 boards to the Bulldogs’ 26.

Sophomore Robby Thomas came off the bench on Saturday and had a solid day with 17 points, six rebounds and a blocked shot. He tied Adam Vogt for the team scoring lead. Chandler Folkerts also reached double figures with 10 points.

Meanwhile, Briar Cliff placed a dozen different players in the scoring column, topped by Bryan Forbes’ game high 18 points.

After allowing Morningside to make 13 of 21 attempts from long range a week ago, Concordia surrendered 55.0 percent 3-point shooting (11-for-20) to Briar Cliff.

The Bulldogs will play for the final time prior to the Thanksgiving holiday when they welcome No. 23 Hastings for an 8 p.m. tip off on Tuesday. The Broncos swept last season’s two meetings. Hastings entered the weekend at 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the GPAC.

Late Concordia rally not enough vs. No.23 Hastings

27 NOV 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – A 17-2 spurt early in the contest lifted 23rd-ranked Hastings to a comfortable margin that it maintained throughout most of Tuesday, allowing the Broncos (7-1, 4-0 GPAC) to remain perfect in conference play. Concordia’s rally came up short as Hastings won 78-71 inside Walz Arena. The Bulldogs are now 2-6 overall and 0-3 in league action.

After trailing by as many as 21 points with as little as six-and-a-half minutes to play, first-year head coach Limback liked the way his team finished the game.

“I did like the way we competed tonight,” Limback said. “I thought we came out with good intensity. We just made too many mistakes.

“I was pleased with our effort defensively.”

Concordia got better results on the defensive end after allowing its first two GPAC opponents to shoot better than 50 percent. The Bulldogs actually outshot Hastings, 49.1 percent to 41.7 percent for the night. The Broncos made up for that difference with a 41-29 rebounding advantage and by draining 19 of 26 shots from the foul line.

A Hastings squad that started all seniors simply appeared more ready for primetime than the group of Concordia youngsters still trying to find themselves.

“We’ve got to grow up,” Limback said. “There are a lot of mistakes that we’ve been making the last three or four games. We’ve got to start growing up quicker, but tonight we did have better effort and better intensity.”

Head coach Bill Gavers’ Broncos built a sizeable lead by getting contributions from a host of players. Hastings had six players with eight or more points, led by the 17 from Tobin Reinwald, who came off the bench. Zach Lenagh also had a good night in a reserve role with eight points and 12 boards.

Concordia sophomore Robby Thomas enjoyed a solid overall night with eight points, eight rebounds, six assists, three blocks and on steal. The stat-sheet stuffer from Shawnee, Kan., bumped his GPAC-leading block total to 21 on the season.

In addition, senior guard Adam Vogt dropped a game high 21 points, including a 3-pointer just before the final buzzer, and freshman big man Chandler Folkerts banked 16 points.

“We wanted to get the ball inside more to Chandler and Robby,” Limback said. “Robby’s got the ability to make plays for us. I think as we get more comfortable with each other we’ll be able to get the ball better to both of those guys.”

Concordia ended the game on a 19-7 run to close the final deficit to seven. Vogt scored 12 of his 21 points during this final push. He drained three triples in the closing 2:01 of game time.

The Bulldogs will have the rest of the holiday week off. They will look to put behind a tough start to GPAC play when they travel to Crete to take on Doane (4-5, 0-4 GPAC) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The Tigers, who dropped an 89-65 contest at No. 8 Midland on Tuesday night, have won the last three meetings with Concordia.

Sophomores rise to occasion in win at Doane

4 DEC 2013

CRETE, Neb. – In a battle between teams seeking their first GPAC victories of the season, Concordia burst out of the gates on the way to a nailbiting 86-81 victory over rival Doane (5-6, 0-5 GPAC) on Wednesday night. An early 17-2 spurt propelled the Bulldogs to their first victory in the past four meetings with the Tigers. First-year head coach Ben Limback’s crew also picked up its first road win and improved to 3-6 overall and 1-3 in conference action.

Trailing 79-78 with less than a minute-and-a-half to play, Concordia turned to sophomore Robby Thomas who tossed in a wide open trey off the assist from freshman Chandler Folkerts, putting the Bulldogs up for a good.

With Thomas’ clutch shot and sophomore Deondre White’s key driving layups down the stretch, Concordia showed the toughness to overcome a Doane rally on the road.

“Any time you win on the road it’s exciting,” Limback said. “At the same time we can’t be satisfied. We have some silly things to clean up before Dordt on Saturday, but there’s a lot of excitement in the locker room tonight. A lot of guys played big.”

White enjoyed perhaps his best game as a Bulldog. He put up a career best 13 points, had big buckets down the stretch and played aggressive defensively. The Lincoln native knifed through the Doane defense for layups at the 4:29 and 2:08 marks – both allowing Concordia to regain the advantage in the seesawing moments of the contest.

“He scored more than he has all year but it was his defense (that was key),” Limback said. “He guarded their best player and held him to two points in the first half. He was physical and he was a beast the whole game.”

Those heroics gave the Bulldogs confidence in the face of Doane’s late push. The Tigers led 4-0 to begin the game but did not hold an advantage again until a Dominique Smith lay in with 2:33 to play. That’s when White stepped up.

Concordia would go on to salt the game away at the free throw line with Thomas and senior Adam Vogt combining to make 5 of 6 from the stripe in the final minute.

Defensively, Concordia, ranked No. 5 nationally with 4.75 blocks per game entering the night, added nine more rejections and did not allow a Tiger basket over the final two-and-a-half minutes. Thomas added to his GPAC-leading block total with four more on Wednesday, including one during crunch time.

“That’s part of our strength this year. We’ve got length one through five,” Limback said. “Our bigs – Justin (Damme), Chandler and Robby get in position and do a great job stepping in. Robby just has amazing timing.”

Early on, Vogt gave Concordia a big lift by dialing up three treys in the game’s first 14 minutes. He teamed with Thomas for a potent one-two punch. They combined for 35 points as Thomas topped Concordia with 18 points.

Vogt and Thomas were the stars of an offensive effort that blistered to the tune of 55.6 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range. Concordia turned it over just nine times.

All five Bulldog starters reached double figures in scoring. Folkerts chipped in 12 points and freshman Aaron Walker added 10.

Sophomore Micah Kohlwey, son of assistant coach Marty Kohlwey, played Wednesday for the first time as a Bulldog. His scoop layup late in the first half was his first career bucket and gave Concordia a 40-24 lead. He finished with five points in eight minutes.

The Bulldogs are back at home on Saturday afternoon to host No. 12 Dordt (11-1, 4-0 GPAC) at 4 p.m. inside Walz Arena. The Defenders, who defeated Briar Cliff, 104-97, on Wednesday night, have won the last six meetings with Concordia.

Game notes: Concordia and No.12 Dordt clash Saturday in Seward

5 DEC 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – The GPAC schedule heats up for Bulldog men’s basketball as first-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad hosts No. 12 Dordt at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Concordia (3-6, 1-3 GPAC) sports a mark of 2-3 at home, including an upset of then No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan inside Walz Arena on Nov. 9.

Saturday’s game will be streamed live and free online via the Concordia Sports Network. Concordia head volleyball coach Scott Mattera will call the action.

Bulldogs aim to end Dordt series dominance
Dordt enters Saturday’s contest with six-straight wins in the series against Concordia, including a season sweep in two meetings last season. The Bulldogs last defeated the Defenders on Jan. 9, 2010, in Sioux Center, Iowa. Several recent meetings in Seward have produced wire-to-wire contests with three of those contests decided by a total of 12 points. The 2012 affair went to overtime as Dordt prevailed 87-83.

Last 10 meetings:
2/9/13 – Dordt 84-73 (Seward)
1/5/13 – Dordt 79-66 (Sioux Center)
2/22/12 – Dordt 78-57 (Sioux Center)
2/11/12 – Dordt 85-68 (Sioux Center)
1/7/12 – Dordt 87-83 OT (Seward)
1/8/11 – Dordt 92-72 (Seward)
1/9/10 – Concordia 83-75 (Sioux Center)
2/14/09 – Dordt 56-54 (Seward)
2/16/08 – Dordt 84-72 (Sioux Center)
1/13/07 – Dordt 72-66 (Seward)

Last time out
Concordia put an end to its GPAC losing streak by grinding out an 86-81 victory at Doane on Wednesday night. Sophomore forward Robby Thomas nailed a 3-pointer at the 1:35 mark to put the Bulldogs in the lead at 81-79. Concordia would not relinquish the advantage the rest of the way, holding the Tigers without a field goal over the final two-and-a-half minutes.

Thomas finished with 18 points, six rebounds, four blocks and two steals. All five Bulldog starters reached double figures as Adam Vogt (17), Deondre White (13), Chandler Folkerts (12) and Aaron Walker (10) joined Thomas in the scoring parade.

Running the gauntlet
Concordia will play a ranked opponent for the sixth time already this season when it takes the court on Saturday. The Bulldogs are 1-4 in their first five matchups with top 25 teams. They scored an 85-76 upset of then No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan at the Cattle Classic on Nov. 9. Counting Dordt’s 11-1 record, the Bulldogs’ first 10 opponents own a combined record of 67-33 (.670). The six teams that have defeated Concordia are 40-12 (.769) collectively.

Bulldogs rank in the top 10 nationally in two categories
Limback’s squad ranks as one of the top teams nationally in terms of free throw percentage and blocked shots. Behind senior Adam Vogt’s 87.7 percent free throw shooting (26th best among NAIA Division II players), Concordia is shooting 75.2 percent from the foul line – 10th best in the nation. The Bulldogs also own one of the NAIA’s top shot blockers in 6-foot-7 sophomore Robby Thomas, who is third in the nation with 2.78 rejections per game. As a team, the Bulldogs deny 5.22 shots per contest – the fifth best figure among NAIA Division II teams.

Thomas has blocked at least one shot in six-straight games, including seven over the past two contests. His career high of six denials cam against York on Nov. 1. He leads the GPAC with 25 blocks on the season.

Bulldogs get a boost
Junior guard Joel Haywood, who started each of the first 58 games of his career, has been sidelined for the first nine contests of this season due to injury. The native of Lakewood, Colo., averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game last season. He was named GPAC Co-Freshman of the Year following the 2011-12 season. He is expected to return to the lineup and provide a boost in the near future. Haywood will be uniform on Saturday and wear his customary No. 22.

Sophomore Micah Kohlwey, a 6-foot-3 guard from Seward, will also give Concordia more depth. He played his first career game as a Bulldog on Wednesday and scored five points in eight minutes. Per league transfer rules, Kohlwey had to sit out a full school year after making his way from Concordia via Nebraska Wesleyan. The son of current assistant coach Marty Kohlwey, Micah is a former standout at Seward High School and is known for his work ethic.

Quick hitters

  • Adam Vogt scored 21 points in last week’s loss to Hastings, giving him his second 20-plus point game of the season and fourth of his career.
  • Both Robby Thomas and Deondre White set new career highs for points in Wednesday’s win at Doane. Thomas poured in 18 and White added 13.
  • Freshman Eli Ziegler ranks 16th among all NAIA Division II players in 3-point field goal percentage with a 50.0 percent clip. Ziegler has made 3 of 4 shots from distance over the past two games and is 14-for-28 on the season.
  • Freshman center Chandler Folkerts went 4-for-7 from the field on Wednesday. He is shooting 67.3 percent from the field and has had just one game this season in which he has converted on less than 50 percent of his field goals.

Notable career highs

Isaiah Bockelman
Points: 12 (vs. Morningside, 11-16-13)

Seth Curran
Points: 6 (vs. Morningside, 11-16-13)

Justin Damme
Points: 15 (vs. Grace University, 11-12-13)
Rebounds: 7 (vs. Grace University, 11-12-13 / at York, 11-1-13)

Chandler Folkerts
Points: 16 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13)
Rebounds: 5 (vs. Grace University, 11-12-13)
Blocks: 3 (vs. Grace University, 11-12-13)

Joel Haywood
Points: 22 (at Northwestern, 1-4-12)
Rebounds: 6 (nine times)
Assists: 11 (vs. Dordt, 1-7-12)
Steals: 4 (at Briar Cliff, 12-5-12 / vs. Midland, 11-28-12)

Robby Thomas
Points: 18 (at Doane, 12-4-13)
Rebounds: 11 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13)
Assists: 5 (vs. Grace University, 11-12-13)
Blocks: 6 (at York, 11-1-13)

Adam Vogt
Points: 26 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13)
Rebounds: 6 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13 / at Mount Mercy, 12-29-12)
Assists: 5 (vs. Kansas Wesleyan, 11-4-11)
Steals: 4 (vs. Nebraska Wesleyan, 1-30-13)
3-point field goals: 7 (vs. Nebraska Wesleyan, 11-22-11)

Aaron Walker
Points: 15 (vs. Morningside, 11-16-13)
Rebounds: 4 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13 / vs. Bellevue, 11-2-13)
Assists: 4 (vs. Grace, 11-12-13 / at York 11-1-13)

Max Wegener
Points: 20 (vs. Bellevue, 11-2-13)
Rebounds: 10 (at York, 11-1-13)
Blocks: 2 (three times)

Deondre White
Points: 13 (at Doane, 12-4-13)
Rebounds: 7 (vs. Grace, 11-12-13)
Assists: 5 (vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 11-9-13) 

Eli Ziegler
Points: 13 (vs. Grace, 11-12-13 / vs. Hastings 11-26-13)
Rebounds: 5 (at York, 11-1-13)
Assists: 4 (vs. Grace, 11-12-13)
3-point field goals: 3 (vs. Grace, 11-12-13 / at York, 11-1-13)

Scouting Dordt
Dordt, under the guidance of fifth-year head coach Ross Douma (108-35, .755), is rolling with eight-straight wins since a 91-65 loss to then No. 10 Davenport (Mich.) on Nov. 8. The Defenders enter play with records of 11-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference. They have ripped through Midland, Doane, Mount Marty and Briar Cliff to begin conference play. Senior forward Kyle Lindbergh leads the way with averages of 18.4 points and 10.0 rebounds for a Dordt squad that went from unranked in the preseason all the way up to No. 12 in this week’s top 25 poll. Three other Defender players average in double figures: freshman forward Dalton Franken (15.1 ppg), senior guard Austin Katje (13.5) and junior guard Tyler Wolterstorff (11.8).

As a team, Dordt ranks in the top 10 among the top rebounding teams in NAIA Division II. The Defenders are third nationally with a plus-14.6 rebound margin. Their high-octane offense generates 93.6 points per game – 10th in the nation.

GPAC-leading Defenders outmuslce Bulldogs

7 DEC 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – A high-octane Dordt team outmuscled Concordia on the glass, powering its way to a 93-70 victory over the Bulldogs in GPAC action on Saturday afternoon. The 12th-ranked Defenders (12-1, 5-0 GPAC) broke open an early 13-3 lead and coasted the rest of the way to remain unbeaten in conference play. Concordia dropped to 3-7 overall and 1-4 in GPAC games.

“We knew coming in they were going to be tough on the boards, athletic and long at every position,” Concordia head coach Ben Limback said of Dordt. “We just didn’t do a good enough job on rebounds. You’re not going to win a lot of games doing that.”

In a contest that featured a frenetic pace, the Defenders operated in machine-like fashion in shooting 47.2 percent from the field while outscoring Concordia 20-6 in second chance points and 17-8 in points off turnovers. Head coach Ross Douma’s club got impressive balance as five players tallied 10 or more points, led by Dalton Franken’s 21.

Standout freshman Chandler Folkerts (11 points on 5-for-7 shooting) echoed his coach after the game. The Bulldogs, outrebounded 48-34 by the Defenders, have to be better on the glass in order to compete with the GPAC’s top dogs.

“Rebounding is one of our biggest weaknesses right now,” Folkerts said. “We have to work on that. Even if you’re young, you still have to grow up fast. You can’t use the excuse of being young for losses. You just have to take it to them.”

Saturday’s game, the sixth this season that has pitted Concordia against a ranked opponent, served as another learning experience for Limback’s young group that surrendered 18 offensive rebounds to Dordt.

On a positive note, the Bulldogs used a balanced effort once again with a combined 52 points coming from freshmen and sophomores. They simply couldn’t match Dordt’s talent and experience on the other end.

“I thought the first half we didn’t play very mentally tough,” Limback said. “(There were mistakes) on free throw box outs and we had 10 turnovers. The second half was better but it was too big of a deficit.”

Sophomore Micah Kohlwey, who played in his second game on Saturday, brought Concordia within 15 at the 14:18 mark of the second half after draining a three and then grabbing a steal and finishing with a layup. Dordt responded with a 12-3 run and led by as many as 26 points. The Bulldogs held the advantage only briefly in the game’s opening minute.

Robby Thomas, a sophomore from Shawnee, Kan., just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. He also added two more blocks to his GPAC-leading total. Senior Adam Vogt topped Concordia with 15 points while Kohlwey chipped in 10 to join Folkerts and Thomas in double figures.

Junior Joel Haywood came off the bench in his first game of the season after missing the opening nine contests due to injury. He scored three points in eight minutes of action.

The Bulldogs will play three more times at home prior to Christmas, including two contests next week inside Walz Arena. The stretch of home games continues with rival Nebraska Wesleyan (5-2, 1-2 GPAC) on Wednesday. The Bulldogs and Prairie Wolves will tip off at 8 p.m.

Nebraska Wesleyan blisters nets in convincing win at Concordia

12 DEC 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Rival Nebraska Wesleyan opened up a big early lead powered by a lights-out shooting effort en route to an 83-57 win over Concordia on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs were outplayed in many key statistical categories as they dropped to 3-8 overall and 1-5 in conference action.

The Prairie Wolves (6-2, 2-2 GPAC) knocked down nine of their first 13 shots and put up a 55.4 shooting percentage for the game. They also nabbed 36 boards to Concordia’s 31 as rebounding difficulties plagued first-year head coach Ben Limback’s young squad once again.

“We’ve got to be able to play better defense than that,” Limback said. “You have to hand it to Wesleyan. They came out and really played hard and (Trevor) Johnson killed us inside. I just didn’t like the way we competed in the first half.”

Wednesday’s game provided a remarkable contrast of experience against youth. The veteran Prairie Wolves started four seniors and a sophomore while the Bulldogs put one senior, three sophomores and a freshman on the floor to begin the game. That veteran lineup paid off down the stretch as Johnson and company held off a Concordia charge midway through the second half.

The Bulldogs were able to climb back within striking distance on the back of freshman Chandler Folkerts’ career best 23 points. He and senior Adam Vogt were the only Bulldogs to reach double figures. Vogt gave his team life with a trey at the 8:34 mark that brought Concordia within 10, 57-47.

But the Bulldogs would get no closer as Wesleyan took back control with a 26-10 run to end the contest with plenty of breathing room. Johnson and fellow senior Eric Jackson proved too difficult to keep up with. Johnson racked up a game high 24 points and Jackson collected 20 in providing the bulk of the Prairie Wolf offense.

Folkerts was again a bright spot despite the loss. The Milford native continued his near automatic touch in the paint. He made 7 of 10 shots from the field and connected on 9 of 13 attempts from the foul line. Vogt came in next with 14 points.

As a team the Bulldogs shot 36.2 percent. They were a solid 19-for-24 (.792) from the charity stripe.

Concordia remains at home to take on Mount Marty (0-9, 0-5 GPAC) on Saturday at 4 p.m. as part of another women’s and men’s GPAC doubleheader. Last season Concordia split two games with the Lancers with the home team winning in both instances. Mount Marty fell 102-77 to Morningside on Wednesday night and is still searching for its first win of the season.

Folkerts completes big week as Bulldogs grab win over Mount Marty

15 DEC 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant 

SEWARD, Neb. – It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but the Bulldogs were happy nonetheless to take a much needed victory with an 81-67 defeat over the visiting Mount Marty Lancers. Concordia improved to 4-8, 2-5 (GPAC).

It took a while for either team to get on the board first, but nearly two minutes into the game, senior Adam Vogt nailed a jumper to get things started for the Bulldogs. Both teams traded baskets for the next three and a half minutes until freshman Chandler Folkerts added to his big night with a shot in the paint to kick start a 16-5 Concordia run.

The Bulldogs were feeling it from all over the court, shooting 50 percent from both the field and behind the arc, as well as a perfect 6-6 from the charity stripe. Combined with a stifling defense that permitted the Lancers to shoot just 30 percent from the field, the hot shooting gave them a 37-27 advantage at the half.

Concordia struggled to gain any momentum in the second half, although they managed to maintain a two to three possession lead throughout most of the half.

“It was ugly, especially in the second half. We just couldn’t get into a flow,” head Coach Ben Limback said. “Chandler dominated when he was in there, but we couldn’t get in an offensive flow. I thought we were stagnant and hesitating.”

It wasn’t until 5:18 left in the game that the Lancers pulled to within two, trailing 65-63. A Vogt free throw quelled the Lancer’s 13-5 run while a Micah Kohlwey jumper pushed the lead back to a two possession game, giving the Bulldogs a 68-63 lead on the next trip down the court. The Bulldogs were in control from there and cruised to the finish.

On the night, the Bulldogs mustered an impressive 48 percent shooting from the field and 58 percent from the three point line. Concordia’s bench was the difference maker, however, combining for 34 points to Mount Marty’s 10. The Bulldog defense also came up big, holding Mount Marty to just 36 percent from the field.

Coming off the bench to do work for the Bulldogs was freshman Matthew Goedeken and junior Joel Haywood, who contributed significantly to the Concordia cause.

“I think that Matt Goedeken came off the bench and gave us a nice lift with very aggressive rebounding,” Limback said. “Matt has good athleticism and obviously showed some great things today…I like the way he played tonight.”

Goedeken finished with two points and six rebounds, tying with Haywood to lead the team on the boards. Haywood finished with 10 points of his own.

Haywood, who is coming off an injury that kept him sidelined for much of the early season, commented on his health and status with the team.

“I’m doing better,” Haywood said. “The injury has pretty much taken care of itself. I’m just trying to get back in game shape. That’s the toughest part and coach has put me in a good spot and let me get some rhythm back.”

With numerous freshmen getting big minutes on the court, Haywood explained his role in the mentoring process of his youngest teammates.

“They’re doing a good job getting a rhythm themselves too,” Haywood said. “As upperclassmen, Adam and I are trying to get them motivated and have confidence because that’s the biggest part of the game for young guys.”

Folkerts finished the night with a team high 18 points, while Vogt added 15. Sophomore Robby Thomas chipped in with four assists.

There is no doubt that the win over Mount Marty was huge for the Bulldog morale. However, never a team to be satisfied, both coaches and players alike admitted there is work to be done.

“It was a win, and we needed a win,” Limback said. “There’s definitely some things we need to improve on still.”

“This helps a lot,” Haywood said. “We know it was ugly and we know we could have come out a done a lot of things better, but a win is a win and we got to make sure that we remember that and we come out hard Friday before the break.”

Concordia is set to host Dakota Wesleyan on Friday, Dec. 20 in their last before they begin a five-game stretch of games on the road.

Game notes: Bulldogs look for second-straight GPAC win in Friday home contest

17 DEC 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – The Bulldogs end a stretch of four-straight home games when they host Dakota Wesleyan (7-7, 1-4 GPAC) at 8 p.m. on Friday. Concordia will aim for its second-consecutive GPAC victory after topping Mount Marty, 81-67, on Dec. 14. First-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad is 4-8 overall and sits in eighth place in the GPAC standings with a 2-5 league mark.

The game will be streamed live and free online via the Concordia Sports Network. Lucas Mohrman will handle the play-by-play duties.

Concordia and Dakota Wesleyan have won two games apiece over the past four meetings in Seward since February 2010. The Tigers earned a season sweep of the Bulldogs last season on the heels of Concordia’s sweep in the 2011-12 campaign. In the most recent matchup inside Walz Arena, Dakota Wesleyan won 75-65 by holding the Bulldogs to 32.8 percent shooting from the field. The Tigers got a game high 25 points from then senior guard Mike Lee.

Last 10 meetings:
1/20/13 – Dakota Wesleyan 79-63 (Mitchell)
12/8/12 – Dakota Wesleyan 75-65 (Seward)
1/21/12 – Concordia 67-62 (Seward)
12/10/11 – Concordia 80-78 OT (Mitchell)
1/16/11 – Dakota Wesleyan 92-64 (Mitchell)
12/4/10 – Concordia 82-71 (Seward)
2/6/10 – Dakota Wesleyan 73-63 (Seward)
12/5/09 – Dakota Wesleyan 78-64 (Mitchell)
2/28/09 – Dakota Wesleyan 83-64 (Mitchell)
2/18/09 – Dakota Wesleyan 75-68 (Mitchell) 

Last week
Limback’s crew split a pair of GPAC home contests. It responded to an 83-57 loss to Nebraska Wesleyan on Dec. 11 with an 81-67 victory over Mount Marty three days later. Freshman Chandler Folkerts, a Milford High School product had a monster week with a combined 41 points on 14-for-17 shooting. In the loss to Wesleyan he put a career high 23 points and then followed that performance up with 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting in only 17 minutes of action. Junior guard Joel Haywood, who returned from injury in the victory at Doane on Dec. 4, showed he’s close to full speed by collecting 10 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes to help the Bulldogs get past the Lancers.

Comfort in 80
Good things happen when Concordia reaches 80 points or more, as evidenced by last week’s triumph. Folkerts and the Bulldogs are now 4-1 when reaching that total and 1-7 when they do not. On the season Concordia is 10th in a high-scoring conference with an average of 75.2 points per game. In addition, in three of the four victories, the Bulldogs have held their opponents below 80 points.

Folkerts can’t miss
Freshman Chandler Folkerts has made a seamless transition from Milford High School to the collegiate game. He’s proved especially adept offensively after catching the ball on the interior. Folkerts is converting 70.9 percent (56-for-79) from the field, which would rank second in the GPAC and third nationally, however, he is just short of the five field goal makes per game required to qualify for the leaderboards. He also shoots an impressive 70.8 percent from the free throw line for a big man. On the season, Folkerts is second on the team with 12.2 points per game. He has scored in double figures in six-straight games.

Vogt surpasses career highs
In only 12 games, senior Adam Vogt has already set career season highs for points (195), free throws makes (69) and free throw attempts (77). Increased playing time (team high 30.2 minutes per game) and good health have allowed the Syracuse, Neb., native to establish himself as one of the top shooters in the GPAC. He is averaging a career best 16.3 points per game on the strength of 38.2 percent 3-point shooting (13th in the GPAC) and 89.6 percent free throw shooting (4th in the GPAC; 12th in the nation). He has gone 12-for-25 (.480) from beyond the arc over the last five games.

Scouting Dakota Wesleyan
Like Concordia, Dakota Wesleyan (7-7, 1-4 GPAC) has played a difficult early-season schedule, particularly within GPAC play. The Tigers have been competitive in losses at then No. 16 Midland (84-77) and to then No. 12 Dordt (92-81) in recent weeks. First-year head coach Matt Wilber’s squad picked up its first victory in GPAC action by defeating Doane 85-78 on Dec. 14. Dakota Wesleyan owns one win over a top 25 foe having knocked off in-state rival Dakota State on Nov. 13. The Tigers lean upon 6-foot-7 junior forward Jalen Voss (19.5 ppg) as well as impressive freshman point guard Tate Martin, who tops the GPAC with 7.1 assists per contest. With Martin running the show, the Tigers rank 11th in NAIA Division II with a 1.37 assist-to-turnover ratio while also ranking 13th in 3-point field goals per game (8.6).


Visiting Tigers outmuscle Bulldogs on the boards

20 DEC 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Visiting Dakota Wesleyan won its third-straight game by nearly doubling Concordia up on the boards. That advantage helped the Tigers run away with an 88-56 victory inside Walz Arena on Friday night. The loss dropped first-year head coach Ben Limback’s crew to 4-9 overall and 2-6 in conference action.

Dakota Wesleyan (8-7, 2-4 GPAC), also guided by a first-year head coach in Matt Wilber, racked up 20 second chance points on the strength of a 49-25 rebounding advantage. Star forward Jalen Voss (game high 21 points) and company managed 15 offensive rebounds while holding Concordia to a mere three offensive boards.

The lopsided totals on the glass allowed the Tigers to build a lead as large as 38 points late in the second half. They trailed only briefly at the beginning of the game, but roared back with guard Anthony Muilenburg’s (14 points, seven assists) hot shooting from beyond the arc out of the gates.

Concordia’s leading scorer and most consistent threat was held in check for most of the night as foul trouble limited senior guard Adam Vogt to 17 minutes. His six points were 10 below his season average entering play.

On the other hand, Dakota Wesleyan found a rhythm offensively with superior ball movement. Voss was too much inside and the trio of Trae Bergh (19 points), Kris Menning (19 points) and Muilenberg (also a star on the football team) bombed away from the outside with a combined nine treys. For the game, the Tigers outshot Concordia 46.4 percent to 35.3 percent.

Sophomore Robby Thomas topped the Bulldogs with 13 points and seven rebounds. None of Thomas’ teammates reached double figures but freshman Justin Damme was solid offensively with nine points on 4-for-6 shooting in 12 minutes. Fellow freshman big man Chandler Folkerts added eight points.

The Bulldogs have the next seven days off before getting back to the hardwood on Dec. 28 when they take on No. 19 St. Gregory’s University (Okla.) of NAIA Division I in Shawnee, Okla. The road trip continues from there as Concordia travels to Kansas Wesleyan University, located in Salina, Kan., for a Dec. 30 tilt. Check the men’s basketball schedule page leading up to game days for live video links.

Keep up with Concordia men's basketball on road swing

27 DEC 2013

The break is over for Concordia men’s basketball, which resumed practicing a day after Christmas. First-year head coach Ben Limback’s Bulldogs will take a dip outside the conference as they go on the road to Oklahoma and then Kansas. The slate includes another contest against a ranked foe.


Saturday, Dec. 28, 3 p.m. – Concordia at St. Gregory’s

Monday, Dec. 30, 7 p.m. – Concordia at Kansas Wesleyan

St. Gregory’s University
Location: Shawnee, Okla.
Record: 9-1
National Ranking: 19th (NAIA Division I)
Head coach: John Martin (6th year)
Conference: Sooner Athletic Conference
Leading Scorer: Marty Wilkerson – 24.6 ppg
Leading Rebounder: Josiah Campbell – 9.5 rpg
Assists Leader: Wilkerson – 5.9 apg
Team Scoring Offense: 92.0 ppg (13th in NAIA DI)
Team Scoring Defense: 85.7 ppg (82nd in NAIA DI) 

Kansas Wesleyan University
Location: Salina, Kan.
Record: 2-9
Head coach: Chris Fear (3rd year)
Conference: Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
Leading Scorer: Michael Johnson – 14.7 ppg
Leading Rebounder: Jacob Lunz – 6.9 rpg
Assists Leader: Michael Johnson – 2.5 apg
Team Scoring Offense: 74.0 ppg (88th in NAIA DII)
Team Scoring Defense: 81.5 ppg (100th in NAIA DII) 

The Bulldogs will play a ranked team for the seventh time already this season when they take the court at No. 19 St. Gregory’s on Saturday. The Cavaliers are in the midst of an impressive turnaround after going 7-21 overall and winless in Sooner Athletic Conference play last season. They are off to a 9-1 start led by the nation’s No. 2 scorer in Marty Wilkerson. After suffering a lopsided loss in their most recent outing, Adam Vogt and the Bulldogs could turn their fortunes around with an upset win on the road. Head coach Ben Limback’s crew will then focus its attention on Kansas Wesleyan two days later. It will be a rematch of last season’s Cattle Classic contest in which Concordia won 84-56.

Bulldogs to watch NBA game on Sunday: Limback and his team will use the off day on Sunday to head to the Oklahoma City Thunder pro basketball game versus the Houston Rockets at Time Warner Cable Arena at 6 p.m.

Concordia falls at No.19 St. Gregory's despite 'monster game' from Thomas

28 DEC 2013

SHAWNEE, Okla. – Concordia men’s basketball resumed its daunting pre-New Year’s schedule on Saturday afternoon against a potent 19th-ranked (NAIA Division I) St. Gregory’s University squad. The host Cavaliers (10-1) shot 48.1 percent on the way to a 69-64 win over the Bulldogs, who fell to 4-10 overall.

“Today we competed. We saw more of what I’d call Bulldog basketball,” first-year head coach Ben Limback said. “We saw more toughness. To beat a team like this on the road we just need to be able to shoot better from the perimeter and take care of the ball.”

Behind 20 points and 14 rebounds (both career highs) from 6-foot-7 sophomore Robby Thomas, the Bulldogs hung around all afternoon and held the lead late in the first half. After struggling last time out against Dakota Wesleyan, Concordia improved significantly on the boards (34-33 advantage) and pushed a St. Gregory’s crew that had entered the month of December without a blemish.

“Robby had a monster game,” Limback said. “He was very active and really kept us in the game.”

Thomas tried to will Concordia to victory down the stretch. His 3-pointer at the 3:21 mark cut a six-point deficit in half (65-62). Down 67-64 in the final minute, the Bulldogs got a key stop and took possession with :15 remaining. Sophomore Deondre White missed a shot in the paint on the ensuing trip and the Cavaliers sealed the game with two free throws.

While its 20 turnovers and 3-for-17 (.176) shooting from 3-point range may have kept Concordia from winning, Limback was particularly pleased with the late defensive stance that put the team within striking distance in the final seconds.

“Those are the types of things we hadn’t been doing – those toughness plays,” Limback said. “That’s all you can ask as a coach – that you do your best and put yourself in position to win the game against a good team.”

Dramatically better than the 2012-13 team that went 7-18, the Cavaliers used a remarkably balanced scoring effort to put away Concordia on Saturday. While NAIA Division II’s second leading scorer, Marty Wilkerson (24.6 ppg), was held to 13 points (none in the second half), he combined with Tilford Thornton (17 points) and Richard Shields (17 points) for 47 points.

Both teams shot respectably overall from the field with St. Gregory’s possessing a 48.1 percent shooting clip to Concordia’s 43.9 figure. The host got to the line 26 times but knocked down only 14 of those attempts. The Cavaliers went just 5-for-16 from the charity stripe in the second half.

St. Gregory’s 69 points were a season low. Their high-powered offensive attack entered the game ranked 13th in NAIA Division I with an average of 92.0 points per game.

Thomas, a native of Shawnee, Kan., now has five double-doubles on the season – second most in the GPAC.

Concordia senior guard Adam Vogt chipped in 11 points and freshman teammate Chandler Folkerts booked 10 points and seven rebounds.

The Bulldogs will be off on Sunday before continuing the road trip on Monday when they play at Kansas Wesleyan University (2-9) at 7 p.m. Concordia will use Sunday to catch an NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at 6 p.m. The team may also pay a visit to the site of the Oklahoma City bombing memorial.

Bulldogs nip Coyotes on road

30 DEC 2013

SALINA, Kan. – For the second time in three days, Concordia men’s basketball went down to the wire on the road. After a tight loss on Saturday, the Bulldogs responded Monday night with a 75-72 win over host Kansas Wesleyan University (2-10), a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. First-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad bumped its overall record to 5-10.

Despite 19 turnovers – 12 in the first half – Concordia picked up its second road win of the season.

“We’ve got to solve the turnover thing. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot but give our guys credit,” Limback said. “Down the stretch our guys played with a lot of confidence. Robby (Thomas) hit a big three. Micah (Kolwey) had some big shots. And then our senior captain steps up to lead us to victory.”

Specifically, Limback referred to the cold-blooded dagger delivered by Adam Vogt with :29.5 remaining that pushed a tenuous 70-68 lead up to a five-point advantage. With the shot clock running down, Vogt drilled a triple from well beyond the arc to doom the Coyotes, who never got the ball back with a deficit lesser than two possessions the rest of the way.

Vogt piled up 13 of his team high 18 points in the second half when he drilled 3 of 6 shots from long distance. Thomas got in on the act with a pair of treys, none bigger than his momentum-builder with 3:31 to play that allowed for a five-point lead. The Bulldogs were 11-for-25 (.440) from long range.

Not to be outdone, sophomore Micah Kohlwey rose to the occasion after Kansas Wesleyan gained a late advantage. Kohlwey poured in a deep trey from the left wing and then completed a three-point play on the next possession for a 57-53 lead with 6:40 remaining. Kohlwey ended up with a career best 17 points.

“He’s got the ability to do that,” Limback said of Kohlwey’s scoring output. “The 17 points were something we hadn’t seen him do yet but I really liked his defense. We are putting him on the other team’s best player and he’s doing a great job.”

In one of its best efforts all season on the boards, Concordia outnumbered the Coyotes 37-25 on the glass. Freshman big man Chandler Folkerts just missed out on his first career double-double as he went for 12 points and nine rebounds.

“The last few games we’ve been emphasizing getting on the offensive glass,” Limback said. “It’s great to see us outrebound our opponent two games in a row. Tonight we had a size advantage and we were able to use that. Rebounding is always a key to winning.”

Kansas Wesleyan tried to ride star guard Michael Johnson to victory. Johnson had a monster second half complete with 20 of his 23 points. He scored a trio of buckets in the final two minutes before Concordia finally put the game away.

Limback’s crew, which shot 48.1 percent compared to 45.3 for the Coyotes, had four players finish in double figures. Thomas added 13 points, six rebounds, three steals and a block.

Monday's game was a rematch of last season's Cattle Classic contest in which Concordia won 84-56 in Seward.

The Bulldogs have completed their pre-New Year’s schedule and will get back to conference play on Saturday. That’s when Concordia travels to play No. 11 Dordt (15-1, 7-0 GPAC) in Sioux Center, Iowa, at 4 p.m. The Defenders topped the Bulldogs 93-70 in Seward on Dec. 7.

Upset bid comes up short at No.11 Dordt

4 JAN 2014

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Twenty-eight days after a 23-point home loss to nationally-ranked Dordt, the Concordia men’s basketball team had the 11th-ranked Defenders on upset alert in Sioux Center, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon. The host Defenders (16-1, 8-0 GPAC) dominated down the stretch and melted away a 16-point first-half Bulldog lead for a 69-61 come-from-behind victory.

Concordia, who played a ranked team for the eighth time this season, dropped to 5-11 overall and 2-7 in conference play.

“Really pleased with the effort,” first-year head coach Ben Limback said. “We showed a lot of mental toughness and kept fighting and fighting. When Dordt would make a run, someone would step up and make a play for us. I was pleased with our competitiveness and overall effort.”

The Bulldogs rode the hot shooting of Robby Thomas (10 points) and Adam Vogt (19 points, 5-for-9 3-point shooting) and a spirited first-half defensive effort in pushing Dordt to the brink. The Bulldogs held the lead for roughly 34 minutes of game time. Dordt finally took the lead at the 5:56 mark when Kyle Lindbergh knocked in a pair of free throws.

Concordia answered the Defenders’ initial run that began late in the first half and spilled over into the second half. After Dordt scored nine of the first 11 points in the second half, Vogt splashed in a long 3-pointer to squelch the Defender momentum and provide a 39-35 lead with 17:18 remaining.

The 5-foot-9 native of Syracuse, Neb., made another big triple a few minutes later that boosted Concordia’s lead to 47-42 at the 12:55 mark. Concordia would hang onto the advantage for another seven minutes until the Defenders made the game-winning push.

Lindbergh played a huge role in Dordt avoiding its first GPAC loss. He amassed 17 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocks to control the action inside. Led by Lindbergh’s monster night on the boards, the Defenders outrebounded Concordia 45-33.

“You have to hand it to Dordt,” Limback said. “Lindbergh had a tremendous game. We couldn’t score anything inside with him in there. I thought we were a little timid attacking the basket. We showed our youth.”

Another key storyline involved the foul trouble that Thomas and Vogt played through. Both Concordia standouts had three fouls by the early minutes of the second half. They played a combined 48 minutes – 12 below their collective season average.

The other Bulldog to reach double figures in scoring was Micah Kohlwey, who had 10 points. Junior Joel Haywood added nine points and freshman Chandler Folkerts pitched in six points and six boards. Limback commended Kohlwey once again for his play on the defensive end.

Against a solid Concordia defensive performance, Dordt shot only 35.5 percent in the first half before improving to 50 percent in the second half. On the other hand, the Bulldogs were limited to 5-for-25 shooting in the second half.

Dordt fifth-year head coach Ross Douma praised Concordia in his postgame radio interview, saying the Bulldogs improved immensely from their previous meeting in Seward.

“This should give our guys some confidence,” Limback said. “It was a difficult environment and a great crowd. We showed a lot of poise. I think we did grow up. I told them after the game that I was proud of their effort. At the same time, we can’t be satisfied.”

The Bulldogs continue their road trip next week when they take on No. 15 Midland (14-1, 6-1 GPAC) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8. Concordia will aim to end a five-game losing streak in the series against the Warriors, who have won 11-consective contests.

No.8 Midland runs away from Concordia in Fremont

8 JAN 2014

FREMONT, Neb. – A Midland team that garnered a No. 8 national ranking this week justified its placement among the nation’s elite by thumping the visiting Concordia men’s basketball team, 70-45, in Fremont, Neb., on Wednesday night. The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 5-12 overall and 2-8 in conference action.

The Warriors (16-1, 7-1 GPAC) won their 13th-straight game by dominating Concordia in virtually every phase. Midland outshot Concordia 41.9 percent to 31.9, held a 39-27 rebound advantage and turned it over only seven times compared to 15 giveaways by the Bulldogs.

Behind star Marcus Franklin (16 points), Midland quickly earned a double digit advantage and possessed a commanding 45-19 halftime lead before coasting over the final 20 minutes. Concordia went on to outscore the Warriors 26-25 in the second half with freshman Chandler Folkerts notching all six of his points after halftime.

Franklin finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists for an attack that did most of its damage in the first half prior to a sloppily played final 20 minutes. Galen Gullie backed Franklin with 14 points and five assists.

Concordia was paced by junior Joel Haywood’s nine points. Leading scorer Adam Vogt (four points) was held roughly 11 points below his season average.

Wednesday’s blowout loss was a frustrating setback considering the Bulldogs’ recent competitiveness against ranked opponents. They led then No. 11 Dordt by 16 points before dropping a 69-61 decision on Jan. 4. A week earlier the Bulldogs pushed then No. 19 (NAIA Division I) St. Gregory’s to the wire in another defeat at the hands of top 25 foe.

The 45 points were a season low for Concordia, which entered the night averaging 72.4 points per game. Midland began play with the conference’s second-ranked scoring defense (65.6 ppg) and top-ranked field goal percentage defense (.428).

The Bulldogs remain on the road this weekend to take on Northwestern (10-8, 3-6 GPAC) in Orange City, Iowa, at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Red Raiders, who were ranked 15th in the preseason poll, has won three straight in the series with Concordia. They topped Dakota Wesleyan 70-66 in overtime on Wednesday night

Seventeen-point halftime deficit too much to overcome on road

11 JAN 2014

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Just like Wednesday’s game at No. 8 Midland, the Concordia men’s basketball team dug itself a significant early hole. Unlike three days ago, the Bulldogs put together a second half run before Northwestern held on for a 60-56 win at the Bultman Center in Orange City, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon. The strong Red Raider defensive effort sent the Bulldogs (5-13, 2-9 GPAC) to their third-straight defeat.

“I was proud of how our guys responded in the second half,” first-year head coach Ben Limback said. “We really played great team defense and Micah (Kohlwey) did a great job on their leading scorer. The last four games, other than the first half against Midland, I think we’ve figured out that when we guard we can be in any game on our schedule.”

Despite trailing by as many as 17 points, Concordia had a chance to tie in the final minute when Robby Thomas elevated for a 3-point attempt. Northwestern (11-8, 4-5 GPAC) corralled the miss and got one of two free throws from Rob Gill with :12.8 left to end all scoring.

The 3-point miss was a reflection of the game as a whole as the Bulldogs were limited to 34.4 percent shooting from the field and 31.6 percent from 3-point range. Thomas finished with 10 points and eight rebounds but he was held to 3-for-16 shooting.

“Offensively we struggled shooting the ball,” Limback said. “We did some good things defensively but have to put a whole game together. We’ve been talking about doing the same things now all season.”

After trailing 40-23 at halftime, the Bulldogs hinted that the second half would be different by going on a 10-0 run to get within seven. The spurt was fueled by back-to-back treys delivered by Kohlwey and Joel Haywood. The Red Raiders responded with the next six points to regain a double-digit advantage until Concordia stormed back once again.

Kohlwey and company mounted the rally by holding the Red Raiders to 26.3 percent second half shooting and only one field goal over the final 11 minutes. Kohlwey put the clamps on leading scorer Zack Leeper, who scored 11 of his 17 points in the first half.

Foul trouble became a story again as Haywood and Robby Thomas both went to the bench with four fouls in the second half. Thomas managed to play 30 minutes before fouling out while Haywood put up seven points (all in the second half) in 18 minutes.

Kohlwey, Thomas and freshman Chandler Folkerts tied a team high with 10 points each. Folkerts’ inside scoring punch was key in the second half when he posted eight points.

In support of Leeper’s 17 points, Jordan Baker put up a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Northwestern, who has won three-straight games.

The Bulldogs will return to action next Saturday when they host Briar Cliff (13-7, 6-4 GPAC) at 4 p.m. inside Walz Arena. Limback’s squad will look to avenge a lopsided loss at Briar Cliff back on Nov. 23. The Chargers upset Midland, 68-66, on Saturday.

The break in the schedule will help a few key players rest up.

“Some guys need a little time to recover,” Limback said. “Micah was hobbling a little tonight. He just wasn’t himself driving to the basket. Guys like him, Adam (Vogt) and Robby who get a lot of minutes could use some rest. At the same time we’ve got things to work on and improve on.”

Game notes: Vogt and company look to earn series split vs. Briar Cliff in Saturday tilt

16 JAN 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – The five-game road trip is over for first-year head coach Ben Limback’s Bulldog men’s basketball team. Ending a stretch of 28-straight days without a home game, Concordia welcomes Briar Cliff (13-7, 6-4 GPAC) to Seward for a 4 p.m. tip off on Saturday. The contest is a rematch of the Chargers’ lopsided home win over the Bulldogs (5-13, 2-9 GPAC) on Nov. 23.

The game will be streamed live and free online via the Concordia Sports Network. Concordia head volleyball coach Scott Mattera will call the action.

Recent series history
The Chargers have dominated the series, winning eight-straight meetings with Concordia. The Bulldogs’ last win over Briar Cliff came on Feb. 23, 2010, when they upset the then fifth-ranked Chargers, 64-62. Current graduate assistant coach Dustin Weber started at a guard position in that contest. The most recent meeting was the biggest blowout in the series as Briar Cliff won by a 42-point margin in Sioux City. The Chargers got 18 points from Bryan Forbes and shot a blistering 55.6 percent compared to 31.6 percent for Concordia. On the other hand, both of last year’s meetings were decided by seven points or less.

Last 10 meetings:
11/23/13 – Briar Cliff 103-61 (Sioux City)
2/6/13 – Briar Cliff 72-68 (Seward)
12/5/12 – Briar Cliff 75-68 (Sioux City)
2/8/12 – Briar Cliff 71-65 (Sioux City)
12/7/11 – Briar Cliff 86-74 (Seward)
2/9/11 – Briar Cliff 59-57 (Seward)
1/22/11 – Briar Cliff 79-66 (Sioux City)
2/23/10 – Briar Cliff 62-53 (Seward)
1/23/10 – Concordia 64-62 (Seward)
2/26/09 – Concordia 101-97 OT (Sioux City)

Last time out
Led by a stingy defense that limited Northwestern to 20 second half points, Concordia nearly erased a 17-point halftime deficit before falling 60-56 in Orange City, Iowa, on Jan. 11. The Bulldogs just couldn’t find enough offensive production as they shot 34.4 percent and their trio of leading scorers (Chandler Folkerts, Micah Kohlwey and Robby Thomas) had 10 points apiece. The Red Raiders also limited Concordia top scorer Adam Vogt to nine points on 3-for-8 shooting. The game carried significant weight as far as jockeying for the final couple spots in the GPAC tournament, which fields the top eight teams in the league standings. At 2-9 in the conference, Concordia is 2.5 games out of eighth place.

Dogged defense
With 6-foot-3 guard Micah Kohlwey typically assigned to the opposing team’s top backcourt scorer, Concordia’s defense has made a huge leap forward. Even in a pair of losses last week, the Bulldogs held No. 9 Midland and Northwestern to combined second half shooting percentages of 29.5 (13-for-44) and a combined point total of 45. The Bulldogs Midland and Northwestern 59-45 in the second halves but could not overcome 26 and 17-point halftime deficits, respectively. Last week’s solid defensive play helped Concordia move up to No. 5 in the GPAC in field goal percentage defense (.442).

On the grind
Saturday’s contest will mark the 11th time this season (out of 19 games) that Concordia will go up against a team that is either ranked or receiving votes in the national poll. So far the Bulldogs are 1-9 in such games with the lone victory an 85-76 decision over then No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan on Nov. 9. Concordia has played only four teams that currently have a record below .500. Its first 18 opponents have a combined overall mark of 203-116 (.636). The spectrum ranges from fifth-ranked Dordt (18-2) to nonconference foe Kansas Wesleyan (2-14), whom the Bulldogs defeated 75-72 on the road just before New Year’s.

Bulldogs in the GPAC rankings
Senior Adam Vogt ranks third in the GPAC in free throw percentage (.875), ninth in 3-point field goals per game (2.11), ninth in total 3-point field goals (38), 14th in scoring (14.6 ppg). Sophomore Robby Thomas ranks first in blocks per game (1.89), first in total blocks (34), second in rebounding (7.5 rpg), third in double-doubles (4) and 19th in free throw percentage (.726). Freshman Chandler Folkerts ranks 11th in total blocks (11), 12th in blocks per game (0.61) and 14th in free throw percentage (.750). As a team, the Bulldogs rank fourth nationally in free throw percentage (.754).

Scouting Briar Cliff
Led by the GPAC’s fifth-leading scorer in junior Zach Otting (19.7 ppg), the Chargers boast the third-highest scoring offense in the conference with an average of 84.3 points per game. They have gotten there by making the 11th most 3-pointers (160) in NAIA Division II. While Otting can shoot the trey (36.2 percent), teammate Clayton Harreld is the gunner with 51 triples – third most in the GPAC. In addition, third-year head coach Nic Nelson’s team is coming off 68-66 upset of No. 9 Midland on Jan. 11. Like the Bulldogs, the Chargers have been off since the weekend. Concordia hopes that will be enough to cool down a team that has won four of five games and is receiving votes in the latest national coaches’ poll.

Vogt-powered rally comes up short

18 JAN 2014

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.

No.15 Hastings evades Bulldog upset bid

22 JAN 2014

HASTINGS, Neb. – The Concordia men’s basketball team held a lead after nearly 30 minutes of play at No. 15 Hastings before the host Broncos put together a game-clinching run to take a 71-66 decision on Wednesday night. Hastings (16-5, 10-2 GPAC) survived despite a pair of significant second half spurts from a resilient Bulldog bunch.

“We had a couple dry spells but overall I liked our competitiveness,” Concordia head coach Ben Limback said. “Defensively we did a good job on No. 15 (Brady Lollman) until the very end. We had some mental mistakes we couldn’t overcome. We’d give up a lob on an inbounds or mix up who’s guarding who, but there were a lot of positives.”

Similar to Saturday’s home loss to Briar Cliff, Concordia charged hard in the waning moments. Junior guard Joel Haywood, who finished with a season high 18 points, cut the Hastings lead down to 69-66 with seven seconds left by draining a trey. The triple capped a 13-3 Bulldog run, during which Haywood collected five points.

After a foul on the ensuing possession, Lollman canned a pair of free throws to allow the Broncos to escape with their third-straight win.

Faced with another conference meat grinder on the road, Concordia showed toughness by coming back from a 38-30 halftime deficit. The Bulldogs followed a 12-1 Bronco run to end the first half with a 10-0 run of their own that put Limback’s crew up 40-38 with 15:44 to play.

Neither team led by more than three points for the next eight minutes. That’s when Hastings began a 17-4 run that crippled Concordia and left it needing a minor miracle over the final three minutes. During the game’s most crucial stretch, the Bulldogs failed to score on six-consecutive possessions.

Four days after going off for a career high 34 points, Concordia senior guard Adam Vogt was held to seven points on 1-for-8 shooting from the field.

The rest of the starting lineup reached double figures in scoring, paced by Haywood’s 18. Sophomores Micah Kohlwey and Robby Thomas recorded 11 points apiece and freshman Chandler Folkerts chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds.

“Our bigs Justin and Chandler did some nice things inside and it was nice to see Joel really step up,” Limback said. “Joel was much more of an offensive threat.”

The Bulldogs outscored Hastings 36-33 in the second half, continuing a trend of improved play after facing first-half deficits. Concordia, which has trailed by eight points or more in each of the last four games, has outscored its foes in the second half four contests in a row.

Lollman, the GPAC’s third-leading scorer, tallied a game high 24 points for the Broncos.  Lollman helped ice the game by making 11 of 14 free throw attempts.

Neither team shot particularly well with Hastings’ 41.5 percent clip besting Concordia’s 39.7 percent figure.

Wednesday’s game marked the ninth this season in which Concordia has gone up against a nationally-ranked opponent.

The Bulldogs now look forward to the 63rd annual Concordia Invitational Tournament on Friday and Saturday in Mequon, Wis. Limback’s squad will take on Concordia-Ann Arbor (8-11) at 3 p.m. on Friday. Limback served as head coach of the Cardinals for nine seasons. The 2014 CIT will be hosted by Concordia University Wisconsin. For a preview of CIT, click HERE.

“It will be fun to see (some of my former players),” Limback said. “But we’re there to come out and play our best and bring home a trophy.”

Bulldogs erase 18-point deficit, advance to CIT title

24 JAN 2014

MEQUON, Wis. – The Concordia University Nebraska men’s basketball team used a 19-2 run to come all the way back from a 18-point deficit and defeat Concordia University Ann Arbor, 73-61, in the first men’s game of the 2014 Concordia Invitational Tournament. Friday marked day one of two at the annual CIT. Concordia University Wisconsin is this year’s host.

A more focused defensive effort keyed the Bulldogs’ improbable march all the way back from a double digit deficit and then some. After Cardinal marksmen Josh Fugate and John Schaeffer went wild in the first half, Micah Kohlwey and company clamped down and held CUAA (9-12) to 25 percent shooting and 19 points in the second half.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Bulldog head coach Ben Limback said. “Each team had a good half. Fortunately we were able to pull ahead.”

Kohlwey also came up big at the free throw line by converting 8 of 9 attempts from the charity stripe. He tied freshman Chandler Folkerts for a team high 14 points. Three other Bulldogs reached double figures as part of a balanced offensive attack that featured the likes of Justin Damme (11 points), Robby Thomas (11 points) and Adam Vogt (10 points).

Kohlwey knew the key to getting back into the game would be limiting Fugate and Schaeffer, who combined for 23 of their 30 points in the first half.

“In the second half we shut them down,” Kohlwey said. “They only got two threes. I think that was one of the main keys in the second half that helped us win.”

With 7:19 left to play, the two teams were knotted at 56. A driving Joel Haywood layup began a 17-5 Bulldog spurt to close the game. During the game-winning stretch run, CUNE made all 10 free throw attempts and got a backbreaking corner 3-pointer from Vogt to push a six-point lead to nine in the final two minutes.

Down 18 points in the first half, CUNE (6-15) turned the game around with a 19-2 run that spilled over into the second half. The Bulldogs came all the way back to tie on a Robby Thomas triple from the left wing that made it 43-43 at the 15:30 mark. The Cardinals answered impressively with back-to-back threes.

After being held without a single point or rebound in the first half due to foul trouble, Folkerts dominated in the second half. He put up all 14 points and seven boards after the intermission. At one point Folkerts scored in the paint on three-consecutive possessions to aid the rally.

On the other hand, Damme did most of his damage in the first half to help the Bulldogs keep within striking distance at a time when it looked like the Cardinals might run away and hide.

“Both of those freshmen play extremely hard for us,” Limback said of Damme and Folkerts. “Justin did a phenomenal job of going inside and finishing when we needed some tough buckets. And Chandler, you can see what he’s capable of when he’s on the floor. He had a great second half.”

In addition, Limback praised sophomore guard Deondre White (seven points, four rebounds, two assists) for his steady play in 23 minutes of action. White received the game ball following the contest.

For Limback the game felt brought a degree of awkwardness going up against a program he coached for nine years.

“It’s emotional. I can’t say it wasn’t,” Limback said. “There are only four guys on that roster that I didn’t recruit or have a hand in the recruiting process.”

The Bulldogs have advanced to Saturday’s title game at the 63rd annual Concordia Invitational Tournament. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from R. John Buuck Fieldhouse. Limback’s squad will go up against Concordia-Wisconsin (9-9) on Saturday in a rematch of last year’s championship contest.

'Dogs take back CIT trophy behind MVP Vogt

25 JAN 2014

MEQUON, Wis. – The Concordia University men’s basketball flipped the script at Saturday’s 63rd annual Concordia Invitational Tournament title game and roared out of the gates. The hot early start helped the Bulldogs seize their tournament record 25th CIT championship in program history. First-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad held off Concordia University Wisconsin for a 68-64 win inside jam-packed R. John Buuck Field House.

“I’m just so proud of the guys,” Limback said. “I thought both teams deserved to win tonight based on how hard they were playing. I’m so proud of the guys for how hard they fought and the intensity they brought.”

The Bulldogs’ Adam Vogt (14 points) picked up tournament MVP honors by remaining unflappable no matter the situation. The senior floor general shook off a pair of charging calls and dropped in one of the game’s biggest shots with a corner triple as the Falcons attempted to rally back. The 3-pointer made it 63-55 with 3:54 left.

“Last year we fell short to Wisconsin in the championship game at our place and we came up here and we stole it,” Vogt said. “I know these guys are going to win many more after I’m gone.”

After Vogt’s three, the Falcons came right back with a 9-2 run that left the Bulldogs clinging to a 65-64 advantage. That’s when big freshman Chandler Folkerts, an all-tournament selection, came up with a layup and a pair of free throws in the final minutes to stave off the CUW rally.

Folkerts piled up 18 points and 12 rebounds a night after putting up 14 points and seven boards. The Milford, Neb., native was one of three Bulldogs to reach double figures on Saturday, along with Vogt and sophomore Robby Thomas (11 points, seven rebounds, three blocks).

“This weekend a lot of guys stepped up and played well,” Vogt said. “And Joel Haywood the last three games – Hastings and now CIT – he’s starting to play like we all know he can. If we keep that up collectively, we’ll have a good chance these last seven games.”

The frenetically paced title game saw the Bulldogs hold the advantage for almost the entirety of the action in front of a rowdy CUW home crowd. Unlike Friday when the Bulldogs found themselves down 18 in the first half against CU-Ann Arbor, CUNE put together a strong first half in which it shot 46.7 percent. The Bulldogs led by as many as 10 points and took a 35-30 lead to the half.

Vogt’s contributions went past the box score. Limback praised the native of Syracuse, Neb., who totaled 24 points on the weekend.

“(He makes) a lot of big shots,” Limback said. “Adam’s such a competitor. He hit a big three and then a big free throw at the end to put us up four. He provides a lot of the toughness in our team and we’re finally starting to get it out of some other guys.”

That toughness showed up on the defensive end, particularly in the second half when CUW managed to shoot only 29.7 percent. The Bulldogs also held a 41-34 advantage on the glass.

The Falcons were led by the 18 points from Eric Kittel, who went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc.

The Bulldogs have finished non-conference action for the season and will return home on Wednesday to host Doane (10-12, 3-10 GPAC) at 8 p.m. CUNE won the first meeting in Crete by a count of 86-81 on Dec. 4. The Tigers topped Mount Marty, 78-65, on Saturday.

The Bulldogs will look to carry the momentum into GPAC play.

“This weekend was an awesome weekend and it was a goal of ours to come here and get a victory in the championship game,” Limback said. “The first thing we’re going to say is don’t be satisfied.”

CIT All-Tournament Team:
MVP: CUNE – Adam Vogt
CUNE – Chandler Folkerts
CUAA – John Schaeffer
CUC – Brandon Stinson
CUW – Garret Wenzelburger

Smith's 34 points foil run at third-straight win

29 JAN 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – A frustrating pattern continued on Wednesday night when the Concordia men’s basketball team found itself down double digits in the opening half. Reminiscent of last week’s comeback victory over Concordia Ann Arbor at CIT, the Bulldogs battled back to take the lead. But it was not to be this time as visiting Doane College sent first-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad to an 82-77 defeat.

Concordia dropped to 7-16 overall and 2-12 in GPAC action.

“(Domonique) Smith had another good game at their place and tonight was no different,” Limback said. “They have some guys that are tough matchups for us. We did a pretty good job on their leading scorer (Nick) Reed but 34 points to one guy just isn’t going to get it done.”

Smith powered Doane (11-12, 4-10 GPAC) to a lead as large as 11 points in the first half. He then made sure the Tigers did not let one slip away by coming up with crucial buckets in crunch time. The 6-foot-4 senior guard poured in five points during the Tigers’ 9-0 run that pushed Doane in front 76-71 with 3:09 left.

The capper for Smith (34 points on 13-for-23 shooting from the field) was his steal and thunderous breakaway dunk that seemingly put the Bulldogs on their heels. But yet Concordia kept on coming and was within a nose of tying it up when Joel Haywood’s 3-point attempt misfired with :41 remaining.

“I liked how we fought and took the lead down the stretch,” Limback said. “We just didn’t make the plays to win the game. You have to tip your cap to Doane. They made the plays.”

A strong second half push spurred by freshman Chandler Folkerts put the Bulldogs in position to win their third-straight game. Folkerts, who put up 18 points and 10 rebounds for his second-straight double-double, racked up 14 points after halftime.

Folkerts would be aided by the hot shooting of his teammates. Down 63-51, the Bulldogs put together a 14-0 spurt to take the lead with 7:01 left to play. The run was fueled by sizzling 3-point shooting as Concordia connected on four-straight attempts from beyond the arc. Included in the surge was one trey apiece from Justin Damme (12 points, 5-for-5 from the field), Haywood, Aaron Walker and Robby Thomas (12 points, six rebounds, two blocks).

Despite the loss, the growth of the big guys – Folkerts and Damme – bodes well for the future.

“I thought Chandler again had a good second half,” Limback said. “Justin didn’t miss a shot tonight. He did a great job.

“Really, offense wasn’t our problem tonight – it was just stopping Smith.”

Senior Adam Vogt finished with 12 points to join Damme, Folkerts and Thomas in double figures on a night when Concordia shot 52.9 percent from the field and went 9-for-19 from deep.

Meanwhile, Doane shot 51.8 percent and got 10 or more points from Deonte Holt (15), Reed (11) and Nate Kuhl (10), in addition to Smith’s 34.

The Bulldogs will go back on the road next time out when they battle Mount Marty (3-19, 1-13 GPAC) in Yankton, S.D., at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Concordia is looking for a season sweep of the Lancers after having won the first meeting 81-67 in Seward on Dec. 14. Mount Marty’s single conference victory came at Nebraska Wesleyan on Jan. 4.

Last second shot sends Bulldogs to road defeat

1 FEB 2014

YANKTON, S.D. – Despite a second half of hot shooting from Concordia senior leader Adam Vogt, the Bulldogs fell by a single point, 56-55, to host Mount Marty (4-19, 2-13 GPAC) in Yankton, S.D., on Saturday afternoon. The Lancers’ Chris Richardson sent the Bulldogs to defeat by draining the game-winning 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds left.

First-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad fell to 7-17 overall and 2-13 in GPAC play.

“It shouldn’t have come down to that shot,” Limback said. “We missed five layups in the first half. We just left a lot of points out there. It was a low possession game. Both offenses were patient. We just didn’t execute in the first half.”

Concordia had one last shot to win it when Joel Haywood lofted a floater that misfired just before the final buzzer. That capped a frustrating offensive day in which the Bulldogs shot only 33.3 percent for the game (23.3 percent in the first half).

The second half turned into a seesaw affair in a game that saw 11 lead changes and eight ties. The Bulldogs had hoped to take the lead for good when Vogt drained a pair of free throws with :50 left. The 55-53 advantage held up until Richardson threw in the back-breaking trey.

While Concordia struggled offensively, it gave itself a chance on the road by outrebounding the Lancers 37-26. Sophomore Robby Thomas was a monster on the glass as he snared a career high 15 boards. He also blocked two shots.

“We did a good job on the glass, especially Robby,” Limback said. “We had some stupid turnovers but Robby on the glass made up for some of it. We were able to get some extra possessions because of it.”

Vogt finished with a team high 18 points on the strength of 4-for-7 shooting from downtown. He really got going in the second half when he poured in 13 points. He made critical 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions late in the game to put the Bulldogs in front.

Unfortunately it would not be enough to offset a great afternoon for Richardson, who went for a game high 19 points. He made all three of Mount Marty’s 3-pointers. The Lancers also got 15 points from Bud Smith and another 11 from Alex Irvine. They shot 40.5 percent from the field as a team.

The loss puts 3.5 games out of eighth place with five league games remaining. The top eight teams in the standings advance to the GPAC tournament.

The Bulldogs will play their second of three-straight road games on Wednesday when they drive to Lincoln to challenge Nebraska Wesleyan (10-9, 5-9 GPAC). The Prairie Wolves won the first meeting of the season by a score of 83-57 in Seward. Wesleyan defeated Morningside 86-76 on Saturday.

Thomas-led charge comes up short at Nebraska Wesleyan

5 FEB 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. – The young Concordia men’s basketball team is still figuring out how to win tight games in the rugged GPAC. That point proved true again on Wednesday night as the Bulldogs fell, 76-70, to host Nebraska Wesleyan at Snyder Arena. Concordia’s last seven losses have all come by six points or less.

Despite a monster game from sophomore Robby Thomas (21 points, eight rebounds, three blocks), the Bulldogs slipped to 7-18 overall and 2-14 in the GPAC.

“I thought Wesleyan’s experience showed in how they kept their composure,” first-year head coach Ben Limback said. “We lost our composure on offense a little bit. We don’t know the different yet between being aggressive and being out of control.”

The Bulldogs led by as many as seven points early in the second half, but Nebraska Wesleyan followed with a 32-13 run over the next 12 minutes to go up double digits with under six minutes remaining. Concordia threatened by getting back within five before running out of gas. While Prairie Wolf sophomore guard Trey Bardsley (19 points) struggled from the field, his 12-for-12 free throw shooting was crucial over the final minutes.

Concordia still had life when Adam Vogt plucked a steal and delivered a three-point play to cut the deficit to 66-60 with 1:29 left. Bardsley then made four free throws, with an empty Bulldog possession sandwiched in between, to put the game on ice.

Thomas powered the 3-point flurry that helped Concordia take a halftime lead. At one point he made 3 of 4 attempts from beyond the arc to quiet the momentum Wesleyan had gained by way of an 8-0 run early on. Behind Thomas’ 13 first-half points, the Bulldogs led 30-27 at the break.

Thomas (5-for-9 from beyond the arc) wasn’t done yet. After struggling to find shots early in the half, the Shawnee, Kan., native got loose again late in the game. He knocked down triples at the 5:20 and 3:50 marks to keep Concordia within striking distance.

“Robby had a great game,” Limback said. “He was very active on both ends and he shot the ball really well.”

Freshman Chandler Folkerts (Milford, Neb.) was effective when he stayed on the court. After being held scoreless in only three first-half minutes, he put up seven points on 3-for-4 shooting after the break.

Four of Wesleyan’s five starters reached double figures, including Eric Jackson who chipped in 16 points and four rebounds. As a team, the Prairie Wolves shot 47.3 percent compared to 45.5 percent for the Bulldogs. Nebraska Wesleyan won for the second time in a row.

Meanwhile, junior Joel Haywood (15 points) and senior Adam Vogt (11 points) joined Thomas in double figures.

Freshman Stephen Llewellyn also saw action and made his only shot attempt in eight minutes.

The Bulldogs take to the road again on Saturday when they play Dakota Wesleyan (13-13, 6-10 GPAC) at 4 p.m. The Tigers dominated the season’s first meeting on the way to an 88-56 victory in Seward on Dec. 20. Dakota Wesleyan fell 100-90 at first-place Dordt on Wednesday.

Concordia runs out of steam at Dakota Wesleyan

8 FEB 2014

MITCHELL, S.D. – Saturday’s GPAC battle featuring the Concordia men’s basketball team and Dakota Wesleyan bared no resemblance to the earlier season meeting between the two squads. This time the Bulldogs were up to the challenge, only to let the game slip away late in a 78-70 loss at the Corn Palace.

Concordia, which fell to 7-19 overall and 2-15 in GPAC contests, followed a similar plotline as its previous six GPAC losses – all coming by six points or less.

“We’re in a good place mentally. Everyone wants to finish strong for Adam (Vogt),” first-year head coach Ben Limback said. “We just go out trying to get better every day. The frustrating thing tonight is that we really battled, we just let it go at the end.”

Despite another close loss, sophomore Robby Thomas continues to see his star brighten. After going for 21 points, eight rebounds and three blocks on Wednesday, the Shawnee, Kan., native followed it up with 16 points, six rebounds and three blocks three days later.

Thomas served as a big reason why the Bulldogs jumped out to an 11-4 lead. He made an early 3-pointer for a Concordia team that drilled its first three shots from downtown. After going 9-for-13 to start the game, the Bulldogs cooled off but still held a lead as late as the 8:21 mark of the second half.

With Concordia leading 55-54, Dakota Wesleyan (14-13, 7-10 GPAC) made its game-winning push with a 17-3 run that put it firmly in control (71-57) with 3:42 left on the clock. The spurt began with five Luke Bamberg (12 points, 14 rebounds) points before he passed the baton to Jalen Voss (22 points), who added six points during the run.

Prior to the big Tiger finish, the Bulldogs played solid in nearly pulling off a complete 180 from their 88-56 blowout loss to Dakota Wesleyan in Seward on Dec. 20. On Saturday, four of five Concordia starters reached double figures with freshman Chandler Folkerts posting 12 points and nine rebounds.

“It’s frustrating because we did a lot of things well,” Limback said. “We have to find a way to get out of this rut. I have to look at things I’m doing as far as rotations to help clear things up inside. We aren’t potent enough offensively to overcome the mistakes we had.”

The Tigers shot 47.3 percent compared to 44.3 percent for the Bulldogs. Dakota Wesleyan held a 36-31 advantage on the boards.

Concordia, ranked fourth among all NAIA Division II teams in free throw percentage (.751) entering the night, made all 10 foul shots at Dakota Wesleyan.

The loss eliminates Concordia from contention for the eight-team GPAC tournament that begins Feb. 26. The Bulldogs have three games remaining on the schedule.

They return to Walz Arena on Wednesday to begin a week in which they play host for the final two times of the season. First up is No. 7 Midland (22-4, 12-4 GPAC), who visits Seward for an 8 p.m. mid-week tilt. The Warriors dominated the first meeting in Fremont, winning 70-45.

Concordia looks for strong finish as Vogt plays final home games

11 FEB 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – This week will mark the end of senior Adam Vogt’s playing career within the friendly confines of Walz Arena. The Bulldogs will look to get back on the right side of the scoreboard as they host No. 7 Midland (22-4, 12-4 GPAC) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday and then Northwestern (14-12, 7-9 GPAC) at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be streamed live and free online via the Concordia Sports Network.

Home basketball promotions this week:
-Wednesday: Concordia vs. Midland (6/8 p.m.) – Red out game (fans are encouraged to wear red in support of Heart Health Month). Prizes will be given away at halftime.
-Saturday: Concordia vs. Northwestern (2/4 p.m.) – Fan Appreciation/Senior Day. An ice cream social will be held in between games.

Close calls
Prior to Saturday’s defeat at Dakota Wesleyan, the Bulldogs’ previous six GPAC losses all came by six points or less. Nine of the team’s 25 games have been decided by six points or fewer. Concordia’s record in those contests is 2-7. The two victories have come over nonconference foes Kansas Wesleyan and Concordia Wisconsin.

Adam Vogt day
Saturday is unofficially “Adam Vogt day” for Concordia men’s basketball. Vogt, who has played in 102 career games as a Bulldog, will play at Walz Arena for the final time. The senior from Syracuse, Neb., has 868 career points and has increased his scoring productivity each season, posting averages of 4.1, 6.4, 10.1 and 14.5 over his four seasons. Vogt has stuck it out through three different head coaches – Grant Schmidt, Marty Kohlwey and now Ben Limback.

Vogt: “My four years on the basketball team have been the best years of my life. Everyone says that college athletics is a full time job but it never felt that way because I loved it so much. I had no idea what CIT was when I came in as a freshman, but winning it as a sophomore and senior will be memories that I never forget. Playing for three different head coaches has been a challenge but it will ultimately be a blessing when I become a coach myself. The main thing that I will miss is being with my teammates on a daily basis and the great conversations/debates that have been had in the locker room. I wouldn't trade my experience on the basketball team here for anything. It has truly been a pleasure playing for Concordia.”

Head coach Ben Limback on Vogt:

“Adam Vogt represents everything a Bulldog student-athlete should be – passionate, tough, unselfish, a great teammate, excels in the classroom and a great role model for kids. It has truly been an honor coaching Adam his senior year. As the only senior on this year’s team, it has been fun to see him grow as a leader. It is this leadership and his championship character that will greatly be missed. On behalf of all the players and coaches in the program, we want to thank Adam for his loyalty and dedication to Bulldog basketball and wish him God’s blessings the rest of his senior year and after graduation.”

Previous meeting with Midland
A stifling Midland defense (ranked eighth in NAIA Division II in scoring defense) held the Bulldogs to 31.9 percent shooting in a 70-45 Warrior win in Fremont, Neb., on Jan. 8. Marcus Franklin topped Midland with 16 points while Concordia did not have a single individual reach double figures in scoring. The 45 points are a season low output for the Bulldogs.

Previous meeting with Northwestern
Another slow start doomed the Bulldogs, who fell behind 40-23 at the half after shooting 26.7 percent in the first half. Concordia nearly rallied all the way back, getting within three in the final minutes. It even had a chance to tie late, but Robby Thomas’ 3-pointer misfired. Northwestern, a preseason nationally-ranked squad, escaped with a 60-56 victory behind 17 points from Zack Leeper.

Concordia at a glance
Individual leaders
Scoring: Adam Vogt – 14.5
Rebounds: Robby Thomas – 7.4
Assists: Thomas – 2.12
Steals: Vogt – 0.81
Blocks: Thomas – 1.92
Scoring offense: 70.1 (10th in GPAC)
Scoring defense: 77.9 (10th in GPAC)

Midland at a glance
Individual leaders
Scoring: Ben Imig – 17.1
Rebounds: Alex Starkel – 5.2
Assists: Imig – 3.46
Steals: Imig – 1.41
Blocks: Montrel Billups – 1.17
Scoring offense: 77.2 (7th in GPAC)
Scoring defense: 65.4 (1st in GPAC)

Northwestern at a glance
Individual leaders
Scoring: Zack Leeper – 19.0
Rebounds: Jordan Baker – 6.5
Assists: Joey Habtemariam – 3.62
Steals: Habtemariam – 1.42
Blocks: Baker – 0.60
Scoring offense: 74.5 (9th in GPAC)
Scoring defense: 75.0 (5th in GPAC)

Weekend outlook

While the Bulldogs have been eliminated from contention for the GPAC tournament, there is still plenty of motivation to finish strong. Limback says his team wants to send senior Adam Vogt out on a high note. They also want to build momentum with a young team that will have a solid nucleus back next season.

Midland presents a significant challenge on Wednesday night. The Warriors rank first in the conference in both scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. They had won six-straight games until falling victim to an upset at Morningside over the weekend. Head coach Todd Eisner’s club is still mathematically alive for the GPAC crown and is a virtual lock to make the national tournament.

On the other hand, Northwestern (Saturday’s opponent) is still fighting to remain in the top eight and advance to the conference tournament. The Red Raiders own the GPAC’s sixth-leading scorer in Zack Leeper. Northwestern is 5-7 on the road this season. The first meeting between the Bulldogs and Red Raiders went down to the wire in Orange City.

Young 'Dogs mowed down by No. 8 Midland

12 FEB 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Up against the top-rated defensive team in the GPAC, the Concordia men’s basketball team had little margin for error. The long and lengthy eighth-ranked Midland squad dominated and used a big second half to pull away for an 82-55 victory inside Walz Arena on Wednesday night.

The Bulldogs slipped to 7-20 overall and 2-16 in GPAC action.

“Midland came out real strong and aggressive (to start the second half),” Concordia first-year head coach Ben Limback said. “We just didn’t match it. Against teams like this that are high-powered offensively, athletic, you just come into a half and approach it that way.”

Known as a defensive team, Midland (23-4, 13-4 GPAC) sizzled with a 61.1 percent shooting night behind leading scorer Ben Imig (22 points). After leading 40-32 at the half, the Warriors squeezed the life out of Concordia with a 12-0 run to begin the second half. Down large, the Bulldogs could not mount a serious rally the rest of the way and trailed by as many as 28 points.

Most of the glimmers of hope came during the first half. Concordia battled back within five, 30-25, with 3:52 left in the first half on the strength of Joel Haywood’s bucket and one. It also took some momentum into halftime as Adam Vogt banked in a 3-pointer at the close of the first 20 minutes.

Coming off the bench, freshman Stephen Llewellyn continues to progress and see more time. He tallied four points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action. The 6-foot-5 native of Oakley, Kan., is one of several rookie post options at Limback’s disposal.

Those youngsters simply need more seasoning to match up with national-tournament bound teams like Midland.

“We’re not at this level yet,” Limback said. “We have to get there by hard work and we have to get tougher mentally and physically.”

Three Bulldogs reached double figures in scoring, topped by Vogt’s 13. Freshman Chandler Folkerts chipped in 12 points and six rebounds and Robby Thomas added 10 points. As a team, Concordia out-rebounded the Warriors by a count of 30-28.

A total of 11 players got into the scoring column for Midland, which raised its road record to 11-3. The 6-foot-6 Brandon Williams was automatic inside. He tallied 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting in 15 minutes of floor time.

Concordia’s previous seven GPAC losses had all been decided by eight points or less.

The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday when they host Northwestern (14-13, 7-10 GPAC) at 4 p.m. for Senior Day. The Red Raiders held off Concordia’s late rally in the first meeting in which Northwestern won 60-56 in Orange City. On Wednesday night, the Red Raiders were defeated 102-85 at Dakota Wesleyan.

Season-best scoring splurge sends Vogt out a winner

15 FEB 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – With a berth in the GPAC tournament already off the table entering the weekend, the Concordia men’s basketball team looked to finish strong for senior Adam Vogt. The Bulldog offense broke out in time to snap a five-game losing streak as they defeated Northwestern, 95-75, inside Walz Arena on Saturday afternoon.

The win bumped the Bulldogs to 8-20 overall and 3-16 in the GPAC and provided a perfect send off for Vogt, who played the final home game of his career.

“If you’re going to pick a time to win it may as well be your last one at home,” Vogt said.

Using a more up-tempo style on Saturday, Concordia piled up a season high point total. The Bulldogs really heated up over the last 10:57 of game time, outscoring Northwestern 33-16 during that stretch. Chandler Folkerts, who amassed all 19 of his points in the second half, punctuated the spurt with a crowd-roaring two-handed slam over a Red Raider defender.

Folkerts was one of six Bulldogs to reach double figures in scoring. Concordia shot an efficient 52.5 percent from the field and assisted 24 of its 31 made field goals.

“We started to get some confidence towards the middle of the second half,” first-year head coach Ben Limback said. “That’s something that we’ve really been struggling with all year – getting some swagger and some confidence to shoot it and score.”

Down 44-43 at the half, Limback talked to his frontcourt players about being more aggressive over the final 20 minutes. Folkerts answered the call. He scored on five-straight possessions at one point during the second half in a dominant stretch.

But he was not alone. Vogt dropped 17 points, including a momentum-building 25-footer to beat the first half buzzer. In addition, Robby Thomas added 13 points and six rebounds and Joel Haywood, Micah Kohlwey and Aaron Walker each chipped in 11 points. Haywood also dished out seven dimes.

“In the first half they were letting us shoot threes like crazy,” Vogt said. “They were really trying to sag in. We didn’t have very good movement but we were hitting shots. In the second half the floodgates kind of opened up in the last 10 minutes. They tried to press but we handled it well and broke it.

“Chandler Folkerts was just a beast.”

Vogt exited the game with under two minutes remaining and received a standing ovation from the large crowd at Walz. Over 104 career games, the native of Syracuse, Neb., has totaled 898 points.

“He’s a warrior,” Limback said. “He’s been the heart and soul of our team this year, keeping us competitive and focused. Right now we have nothing in terms of the conference tournament to play for and this just shows the makeup of the team and the character of Adam Vogt.”

Concordia finished 12-for-19 from beyond the arc. Kohlwey, Thomas and Vogt each drained three treys apiece.

Northwestern (14-14, 7-11 GPAC), still battling to make the eight-team GPAC tournament, remained in ninth place after the loss. The Red Raiders shot 47.1 percent and got 17 points from leading scorer Zack Leeper.

The Bulldogs have a week off before concluding the 2013-14 season next Saturday at Morningside (20-8, 14-4 GPAC). In the season’s first meeting, the Mustangs won 85-67 in Seward. Morningside triumphed 95-82 at Doane on Saturday. Next week will mark the final game of Vogt’s collegiate career.

Vogt, Bulldogs conclude season with loss at No. 18 Morningside

22 FEB 2014

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Bulldog’s loss on Saturday night marked both the end and the beginning of a new era in Concordia hoops. It will bid farewell to their senior leader, Adam Vogt and a tough season that lays the foundation for the future. With head coach Ben Limback at the helm with a year of experience under his belt and a young, talented squad that will return 14 varsity athletes, hopes are high for the Concordia basketball program.

The Bulldogs fell to Morningside (22-8, 16-4 GPAC), 87-64, to conclude their season on Saturday. Limback’s squad finished up at 8-21 overall and 3-17 in the GPAC.

Concordia was able to keep the game close through the first seven minutes of the game, trailing by just eight until a Morningside three-point bucket took the lead to double digits and sparked a 12-2 Mustang run that would be hard for the Bulldogs to recover from.

Despite connecting on 12 of 13 free throws and hot shooting from 6-foot freshman Eli Ziegler, who connected on three of four three-point buckets, the Bulldogs were cold, going just 6-for-22 (27 percent). At the end of the first half, Ziegler led the Bulldogs with 11 points, though they trailed 44-28.

The large halftime deficit was difficult to surmount as the Bulldogs struggled to gain any momentum. Despite a layup by junior Joel Haywood to trim the lead to 12 with 14:39 left to play, a Morningside three-point bucket on the next possession throttled the Bulldogs attempt to make a run. Concordia did manage to heat up in the second half, shooting 44 percent from the field.

Ziegler finished the night with 14 points to lead the Bulldog scoring attack. Junior Joel Haywood contributed with 13 points and three assists while senior Adam Vogt added 12 points. Freshman Chandler Folkerts and sophomore Robby Thomas worked hard on the glass, coming up with six and five rebounds, respectively.

Vogt closes career with second team all-conference recognition

5 MAR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – On the heels of a career best season, Concordia senior guard Adam Vogt was named second team all-conference by the GPAC on Wednesday. In addition, sophomore Robby Thomas and freshman Chandler Folkerts received honorable mention.

Vogt, a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete, ranked 13th this season in the GPAC in scoring at 14.5 points per game. The sharpshooter from Syracuse, Neb., posted impressive percentages of 41.3 from 3-point range and 84.3 from the free throw line. Vogt best showcased his abilities in a 34-point career high outburst versus Briar Cliff on Jan. 18. In that game the 5-foot-9 guard piled up 20 points in the last five minutes.

Even more crucial than his scoring ability of the CIT MVP was his leadership that set the example for a young team.

“He’s a warrior,” said head coach Ben Limback following the team’s final home game of the season. “He’s been the heart and soul of our team this year, keeping us competitive and focused. Right now we have nothing in terms of the conference tournament to play for and this just shows the makeup of the team and the character of Adam Vogt.”

Thomas, who started 28 of 29 games, emerged as a breakout performer in 2013-14. The 6-foot-9 forward from Shawnee, Kan., stuffed the stat sheet, averaging 11.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 blocks. Thomas led the conference and ranked 13th nationally in rejections per game.

Folkerts provided Concordia its most productive inside scoring presence in his first collegiate season. The native of Milford, Neb., started all but one game and posted averages of 11.2 points and 4.7 rebounds. He made 62.2 percent of his shots.

Both Thomas and Folkerts will serve as key components of a more experienced squad in 2014-15.

Kohlwey and Vogt named scholar-athletes

17 MAR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Senior Adam Vogt and sophomore Micah Kohlwey made the list of 2013-14 NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, released on Monday by the NAIA. The announcement marks the second-straight year that Vogt has represented Concordia men’s basketball with scholar-athlete honors. Kohlwey earns academic laurels for the first time in his career.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

Vogt, a native of Syracuse, Neb., is studying secondary education (math and physical education). He plays to be a coach. Kohlwey, who hails from Seward, is majoring in exercise science.

Concordia ranks as the NAIA’s all-time leader in number of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes with 964 and counting. (This figure includes all 41 Concordia scholar-athletes announced for the fall season). During the 2012-13 academic year, Concordia had 71 Scholar-Athletes and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams.

A total of 134 NAIA Division II men’s basketball student-athletes across the nation were named 2013-14 scholar-athletes by the NAIA.

Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Neb., that currently serves over 2,200 students. Concordia offers more than 50 professional and liberal arts programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world.

Vogt placed on OWH All-Nebraska second team

20 APR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – A second team all-conference choice this past season, Concordia senior Adam Vogt collected another honor on Sunday as the Omaha World-Herald named him to its NAIA All-Nebraska second team.

Freshman Chandler Folkerts and sophomore Robby Thomas collected honorable mention from the Omaha World-Herald.

Vogt (Syracuse, Neb.), also a two-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete, started all 29 games and averaged 14.5 points (13th in the GPAC), 2.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 0.9 steals. Vogt shot 38.4 percent from the field, 41.3 percent from 3-point range and 84.3 percent from the free throw line.

Folkerts (Milford, Neb.) had an impressive freshman season, averaging 11.2 points (third on the team), 4.7 rebounds (second on the team), 0.7 assists and 0.6 blocks in 29 games.

Thomas (Shawnee, Kan.) averaged 11.3 points (second on the team), 7.0 rebounds (second in the GPAC), 2.1 assists and 1.79 blocks (13th in NAIA Division II) in 29 games.

Omaha World-Herald NAIA All-Nebraska Men’s Basketball Teams
First Team
G Nick Reed, Doane, 22.3
F Trevor Johnson, Neb. Wesleyan, 17.5
G Brady Lollman, Hastings, 20.1
G Ben Imig, Midland, 18.0
G Lee Ames, Bellevue, 14.1

Second Team
G Galen Gullie, Midland, 12.2
G Given Kalipinde, Bellevue, 11.9
G Adam Vogt, Concordia, 14.5
G Dylan Brewer, York, 18.2
C Alex Starkel, Midland, 12.1

Honorary captain: Reed

Honorable mention: Thomas Hammock, Taylor Young, Bellevue; Chandler Folkerts, Robby Thomas, Concordia; Domonique Smith, Doane; Lance Evans, Spencer Plank, Grace; Brett Wells, Jake Hamburger, Hastings; Trey Bardsley, Eric Jackson, Tim Schweitzer, Nebraska Wesleyan; Nate Bohy, Taylor Christensen, Kody Kirkpatrick, Peru State; Heyvis Jackson, Remi Mignott, Andre Vaughn, York College.