Baker drops 24 in hard-fought loss at No. 10 Morningside

By Jacob Knabel on Dec. 1, 2021 in Women's Basketball

By Sam Firminhac, Athletic Communications

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – A spirited run in the middle of the contest by the Concordia Bulldogs Women’s basketball team wasn’t enough as they fell short against No. 10 Morningside on Wednesday (Dec. 1). The deficit was as much as 12 for the Bulldogs, who trailed by four in the final minute before falling in Sioux City, Iowa, 89-83. An upside for Concordia was Lauren Baker, who had a breakout performance in the game, making 6-of-9 attempts from 3-point range.

With the loss Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad falls to 5-4 overall (2-3 GPAC) with each of the four defeats coming against opponents currently ranked nationally.

“I thought we played really well and fought hard,” Olson said, “I was proud of how we kept our confidence and kept our composure and made a great run at them, especially at the start of the third quarter. Like I told our team, the margin of error in this league on the road against a good team is so small. We just didn’t do enough to find a way to win. They’re a great offensive team and we couldn’t get stops. I also think of all the 50-50 balls. They had a couple offensive rebound kickout threes that hurt and there were some deflections we couldn’t come up with.”

Rylee Pauli was one rebound shy of picking up a double-double in the contest, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds. Mackenzie Toomey was key off the bench for Concordia. She tossed in 15 points and grabbed five rebounds. Baker helped keep the visitors afloat at times on Wednesday. She led the Bulldogs with 24 points, gathering three assists and two steals along the way. She was 8-for-11 form the field in her starring performance.

Said Olson, “She’s a great player, incredible shooter. She can do even more things. We’re excited about her. It was great for her to do that today. It should continue to build her confidence.”

The Mustangs improve to 6-2 overall and remained undefeated in conference play with the win. They were led by fifth-year senior Sierra Mitchell who totaled 26 points. Sophia Peppers was also an issue for the Bulldogs, as she put up 20 points. McKenna Sims, Chloe Lofstrom and Taylor Rodenburgh were also in double figures. Credit to the Mustangs defense who held Bulldogs standout Taysha Rushton to just four points only one game after her 15-point game against No. 3 Wayland Baptist.

“Mitchell is really good,” Olson said, “She goes on that little run when we’re up two and all the sudden we’re down four after she hits back-to-back threes on us, which was kind of deflating. We played great in that third quarter and yet we’re still down four. I love our team. We’re competing, we’re right there.”

The Bulldogs will return home on Saturday to take on Northwestern (10-0, 4-0 GPAC). The two teams last faced off in the GPAC semifinal last year, where Concordia defeated the Red Raiders, 83-70. Saturday’s contest will get underway at 2 p.m. CT. in Fredrich Arena.