SEWARD, Neb. – Hanah Barnard and visiting Doane hung around into the second half, but in the end, the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team chalked up its 25th-consecutive win. Sophomore Quinn Wragge starred in an offensively-oriented contest that culminated with a 97-73 Bulldog victory.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has extended what remains the second longest winning streak in school history. It has also locked up at least a share of the GPAC regular-season title for the third time in six years. Concordia is 25-1 overall and 16-0 in conference play.
“That’s a goal that we have, but we want to get better every day,” Olson said. “That’s what we talked about. I didn’t think we had the greatest focus tonight. That’s something we have to get better at. Tomorrow’s practice will be a little be more effective. We’ll be more focused for the Briar Cliff game on Saturday.”
Concordia has spent much of this season smothering opponents with a devastating press. On this night, the Bulldogs shot 49.2 percent from the floor and sped away from the Tigers after a sloppily played opening quarter. After halftime, Concordia aggressively attacked the basket with the likes of Wragge (19 points, seven rebounds), Erin Vieselmeyer (16 points, five rebounds) and Philly Lammers (16 points, seven rebounds, five steals).
Vieselmeyer got loose in the third quarter when she tallied 12 points, helping the Bulldogs push a five-point halftime lead (38-33) to 13 (71-58).
“They always say that mental part of the game comes over the physical part,” Vieselmeyer said. “I think that was definitely a big part of it – just having my confidence and being able to finish inside.”
Concordia shot 60.7 percent (17-for-28) from the field in the second half and made 23-of-26 attempts from the free throw line during that same stretch. The hot shooting made it easier to cover for a solid offensive night on the other side. Barnard, the GPAC’s second leading scorer, totaled 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Morgan Hill added 17 points for the visitors.
The Tigers (13-14, 7-10 GPAC) just don’t have the weaponry to keep up.
“I thought we did a better job of getting the ball inside (in the second half) and being more productive in there,” Olson said. “I thought Erin and Philly did a great job of attacking. I loved Quinn’s whole game, defensively and on the offensive end. She was really aggressive. Doane did a great job of continuing to compete and doing some different things that we haven’t seen this year.”
Mary Janovich chipped in nine points and a pair of steals in 17 minutes. Colby Duvel came off the bench and provided eight points and four boards.
Doane committed 10 turnovers in the first quarter but then settled in and gave it away only 13 times over the last 30 minutes of play.
The Bulldogs already own at least a piece of the GPAC title (making five conference championships under Olson – three regular season and two tournament). They will attempt to lock up the outright championship on Saturday when they travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to take on Briar Cliff (14-13, 8-9 GPAC) in a 2 p.m. CT matchup. Concordia will also be at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D., on Sunday for a 2 p.m. tilt with No. 12 Dakota Wesleyan (22-4, 13-4 GPAC).