Dakota Wesleyan battled the 5th-ranked team in the country for all 40 minutes, but Concordia survived for a 68-59 women’s basketball win on Saturday afternoon in Seward. It was the sixth straight win for the Bulldogs, who improved to 19-2 overall and 11-2 in GPAC play. Dakota Wesleyan, who has played solid basketball as of late, dropped to 13-9 overall and 4-8 in the GPAC.
DWU came out strong and led by as many as five (15-10) in the opening five minutes of the contest. The Bulldogs quickly responded with a 9-0 run, however, to take a 19-15 lead. Leading 28-26, Concordia used a 7-0 burst to take a 35-26 lead on a layup by Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.). Dakota Wesleyan got back in the game in the final two minutes of the half and pulled within two with a half minute remaining. In the closing seconds of the half, Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) drained a 3-pointer from the corner to give Concordia a 39-34 lead heading into halftime.
In the second half, Concordia took its first double digit lead (48-38) with just over 13 minutes remaining in regulation. DWU pulled within seven at one point, but the Bulldogs maintained their double digit lead for much of the rest of the game. Concordia led by as many as 15 and settled for the 68-59 victory.
As has been the case throughout the season so far, Concordia used great balance offensively and pressure on the defensive end to pick up the win. Three players scored in double figures, and Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) led the way with a game-high 19. The sophomore knocked down five 3-pointers for the second straight game. Morris again provided a great spark off the bench, as the freshman poured in 16 points. She also added six rebounds and a career-high five steals. Kistler also reached double figures with 11. A total of 11 Concordia players scored in the win.
“We just continue to take things a game at a time,” remarked Conahan. “We didn’t play that great in the first half tonight, but the second half was better. We took better care of the ball and rebounded a lot better. We had a nice lift from our bench again tonight. We have a lot of balance on this team, and everyone is playing well in their roles.”
Concordia was 25-of-62 from the field for 40.3 percent. The Bulldogs were just 8-of-14 at the foul line for 57.1 percent, but Concordia managed to knock down 10 3-pointers in the victory. The Bulldogs forced 21 DWU turnovers and converted those turnovers into 31 points. Concordia finished with 16 assists on their 25 made field goals.
Brittany Pritchard scored 14 points off the bench for DWU. Elizabeth Lamb was the only other player in double figures with 10.
Concordia stays at home to host Doane College on Tuesday evening at the Walz Human Performance Complex.