FREMONT, Neb. – After a close call in a weekend home win, the third-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team got back to its dominant ways by thumping host Midland, 105-66, in Fremont, Neb., on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs won their 14th-straight meeting with the Warriors while remaining undefeated away from Walz Arena (13-0).
In the process, ninth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad tied the second-longest winning streak in program history, equaling the 21-consecutive victories posted by Olson’s 2011-12 team. Concordia is 26-1 overall and 17-1 in conference action. A two-horse race for the GPAC regular-season title will come down to the Bulldogs and No. 1 Morningside (17-0 GPAC).
On Wednesday Concordia pulverized the Warriors by forcing 29 turnovers after having coerced 70 combined turnovers in its previous two contests. Like many opponents, Midland had no answers for a Bulldog press led by senior Kelsey Hizer.
“I thought defensively we were as good as we’ve been in terms of knowing exactly what we were doing and what they were doing,” Olson said. “Our effort and our rotation was really good.”
Fueled by Becky Mueller’s hot start, Concordia quickly grabbed a double-digit advantage. Mueller knocked down treys on back-to-back possessions to give the Bulldogs a 21-10 lead less than nine minutes after tipoff. Just one minute later the advantage grew to 28-12 after a six-point possession that began with Mary Janovich’s theft. On Janovich’s proceeding layup, she was pushed in the back, drawing an intentional foul.
Mueller wasn’t done. She sniped two more triples in the first half and another in the second half in helping lead the blowout victory. Mueller poured in a game high 21 points for a Bulldog squad that got at least three points from all 15 players who suited up. They combined to give Concordia its seventh 100-point contest of the campaign.
“Becky was a big reason we were able to get the lead from six to about 14,” Olson said. “Then she went on another run to help us get it up to 20. I pulled her out early after she missed a few shots. When she went back in she just had that look in her eye like she was going to go out and dominate.”
All-time leading scorer Bailey Morris did not even register on the scoreboard until the 6:00 mark of the first half. Her nine points over the opening half’s final six minutes helped push the lead to as many as 28 points before the break. Morris ended up with 16 points and five steals while adding another crowd-pleasing no-look assist (one of five assists).
Late in the contest Jade Gottier (seven points in seven minutes) and Devin Edwards joined the party by splashing home a trey apiece. As a team, Concordia made 11 of 34 attempts from 3-point range. It shot 45.8 percent overall compared to 37.7 percent by Midland.
The Warriors (10-17, 4-13 GPAC), who have lost eight of 11, were topped by Taylor Shepard’s 14 points.
Even in a lopsided win, Olson saw areas in need of improvement with two conference road showdowns yet to come.
“We can get a little better offensively,” Olson said. “There were times where we were stagnant and our spacing wasn’t good. Plus we had some foul issues.”
The Bulldogs will hit the road again on Saturday when they play at Northwestern (16-9, 10-7 GPAC) at 2 p.m. Concordia has not won in Orange City, Iowa, since a 67-63 victory over the Red Raiders on Feb. 5, 2005. Despite playing without Tracy Peitz in this season’s first meeting, Concordia topped Northwestern, 90-80, in Seward on Jan. 10. The Red Raiders have won five of their last six games.