Bulldogs dominate fourth quarter, rally past No. 10 Hastings

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 15, 2017 in Women's Basketball

HASTINGS, Neb. – It was rarely a thing of beauty, but the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team is back in the win column. Another slow start didn’t doom the Bulldogs this time. They followed essentially the same script they used exactly three weeks ago, dominating the fourth quarter while sewing up a 60-46 win over host and 10th-ranked Hastings inside Lynn Farrell Arena on Wednesday evening.

Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad, champions of the GPAC regular season, has moved to 27-2 overall and to 18-1 in conference play. The Bulldogs went 9-1 in conference road games this season.

“Despite us not playing our best game, we still had the toughness to stay together and to continue to grind out possessions and find a way to win,” Olson said. “That’s a really good team on their home floor. I thought we did a great job in the fourth quarter.”

The Broncos (21-8, 13-6 GPAC) have had no problem hanging with Concordia for three quarters, but the fourth quarter has been a completely different story. Eventually, the Bulldogs wore Hastings down with their signature defensive tenacity. Trailing 42-37 after 30 minutes, Concordia went on a 20-0 run that included seven points from Quinn Wragge. The Crofton native brought the bench to its feet with a steal, layup and one that helped break Hastings’ spirit in the final stanza.

In two meetings this season, the Bulldogs have outscored the Broncos by a combined total of 49-9 in the fourth quarter.

“We weren’t playing the best, but we just tried to keep playing our game and keep hustling,” said senior guard Shelby Quinn. “They’re a very good team. We just had to make the simple plays and go out there and play basketball like we know how.”

For the second-straight road outing, Concordia struggled to knock down shots, but it didn’t let that effect its play on the other end. Hastings shot only 30.2 percent (16-for-53) from the floor. It was a particularly rough go in the second half when it made only 7-of-29 (.241) attempts.

The bench kept the Bulldogs afloat early on. Erin Vieselmeyer made all four shots from the field and all six attempts from the free throw line on her way to a team high 14 points. Reserves actually accounted for the first 13 points of the game for Concordia. Sydney Feller dropped in seven points and Devin Edwards and Laurel Krohn contributed six points apiece off the bench.

“I’m really proud of our bench group, especially Erin Vieselmeyer,” Olson said. “She really lifted us in the first quarter during that time when we were struggling. I felt like we got settled in and finally played free in the second half. That was the difference.”

The Broncos have dropped three-consecutive conference games and will be either the No. 3 or 4 seed in the GPAC tournament that begins next week. Holly Hild paced Hastings with 15 points on 4-for-9 shooting. The rest of the team’s starters were a combined 8-for-23 from the field. It got only 11 points from its bench.

Wragge (12 points, five rebounds) and Vieselmeyer were the only Bulldogs to find their way into double figures. Philly Lammers posted five points and five rebounds.

The Bulldogs will put a bow on the regular season on Saturday when they host Dordt (13-16, 5-14 GPAC) inside Walz Arena. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT. Concordia will recognize its six seniors at halftime of the men’s game as part of Senior Day festivities. The seniors have helped the program to a combined record of 109-21.