Balanced Bulldogs roll over Dordt on senior day

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 18, 2017 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – The second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team put a cap on the regular season by dominating visiting Dordt, 90-55, inside Walz Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs celebrated their group of six seniors, which played at home for the final team in regular-season action. The seniors have helped the program to a four-year record of 110-23.

Eleventh-year head Drew Olson’s squad is now 28-2 overall. At 19-1 in GPAC play, the 2016-17 team has broken a program record for most conference wins in a single season.

“I was really proud of our group. We played with a lot of energy and a lot of toughness,” Olson said. “We just flew around. It was fun going in waves like we did today. I couldn’t be more proud of our senior group and what they’ve accomplished in their careers.”

Olson went with an all senior starting five on a day when he distributed minutes up and down the roster. While hitting the Defenders with waves of fresh legs, Concordia’s defensive intensity was overwhelming. Dordt shot just 27.0 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 28 times.

This is the type of game that results when the shots are falling for the Bulldogs, who absorbed an early third quarter push from the Defenders (13-17, 5-15 GPAC) before running away with another blowout win. As part of a 42-11 second half splurge, Brenleigh Daum drained consecutive treys before passing the baton to Dani Andersen, who promptly knocked in two perimeter jumpers of her own.

In the second half, Concordia looked like the vintage powerhouse it’s been throughout most of this season. The Bulldogs had struggled on the offensive end in their previous two outings, at Hastings and at Dakota Wesleyan. But over the final 20 minutes on Saturday, they shot 53.1 percent (17-for-32) from the floor. Concordia got all that production while deploying all 15 players for more than 10 minutes each.

Daum found her stroke, making 4-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc on her way to a game high 14 points in less than 12 minutes of action. Andersen drilled each of her four attempts, including three triples, as part of her 11-point outing. Quinn Wragge posted 11 points and six rebounds while Philly Lammers chipped in nine and four.

“I haven’t been having the greatest shooting percentages,” Daum said. “In warmups I was a little frustrated with myself. Coach came over and was like, ‘Relax. It’s our last regular season game. Just go out and have fun.’ That’s what I did.”

Olson had a little more fun late in the game when he decided to send all six seniors into the game at the same time as a show of appreciation for their dedication to the program. Olson wasn’t worried about the resulting technical.

“I wanted all six of them to be on the floor together one time,” Olson said. “I knew what the penalty was, but I wanted to send them off in their last home regular-season game all together. We told them to stay on the floor as long as possible until the officials blew the whistle. I think we made it about four or five seconds.”

Not a single Dordt player reached double figures. Paige Engbers had a team best nine points. The Defender starting five combined for 19 turnovers and just nine field goal makes.

It’s tournament time for the Bulldogs, the No. 1 seed in the GPAC tournament. Concordia will host eighth-seeded Midland (15-14, 7-13 GPAC) at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday. The winner will advance to play in the semifinals next Saturday. By way of their GPAC regular-season title, the Bulldogs have already clinched a spot in the national tournament.