YANKTON, S.D. – The second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team started sluggishly, but finished with a flurry in its latest victory. Philly Lammers, winner of two-straight GPAC player of the week awards, went for her third double-double in four games while leading the Bulldogs to an 84-62 win at Mount Marty on Saturday afternoon.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad stands at 24-1 overall and remains unbeaten in conference play at 15-0. The active 24-game win streak is the longest for the program during Olson’s tenure.
“We definitely weren’t sharp early on. Part of that is Mount Marty’s defense,” Olson said. “They do a great job in their man-to-man and they’re well coached. Anything we tried to run, they were basically telling their players what’s about to happen. We didn’t get a whole lot of easy baskets from our sets like we normally do. It was up to our kids to make plays. Thankfully we’ve got really talented kids that can make plays.”
Concordia simply grinded out a victory in Saturday’s affair. The Lancers (11-15, 5-11 GPAC) trailed by just nine points (56-47) after Ali Kuca drained one of her five treys with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Bulldogs didn’t panic. Mary Janovich followed with a three-point play and Concordia maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Mount Marty hung around with a solid defensive effort, but it didn’t have an answer for Lammers, who totaled 17 points and 10 rebounds. The always reliable Janovich racked up 14 points while Shelby Quinn (12 points, six assists) and Quinn Wragge (11 points, seven rebounds, three steals) also found their way into double figures in scoring.
Concordia also pulled away by doing the fundamentals well. It outrebounded the Lancers, 40-32, and committed only one turnover the entire second half. Meanwhile, Mount Marty gave it away 23 times, leading to 25 points off turnovers for the Bulldogs.
Olson continues to marvel at the work of Lammers, who is enjoying one of the best rookie seasons in program history.
“Philly was phenomenal,” Olson said. “We kept telling our kids, ‘We’ve got to get the ball inside more.’ Philly does such a good job of sneaking into position inside the lane. When she catches the ball inside the lane, she’s going to finish it. It was a pretty impressive performance on both ends. She does so many things for us in the press.”
Kuca equaled Lammers with a game high 17 points. A sharpshooter herself, Logan Wagner poured in 16 points. As a team, Mount Marty went 18-for-46 (.391) from the floor. The Lancers appeared in the national semifinals in 2016.
Concordia has now won 19 games by a margin of 20 points or more. Its 24-game win streak tops the 23-game run put together by the 2014-15 national runner-up squad for the longest win streak during Olson’s 11 years leading the program.
The Bulldogs will return home on Wednesday to host Doane (13-13, 7-9 GPAC) for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff. Concordia is a perfect 12-0 at home this season and owns a home record of 82-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season. Only once in program history (2002-03) have the Bulldogs sported a 16-0 mark in conference play.
At 15-0 in the GPAC, Concordia holds a four-game lead in the loss column in the conference standings. It can clinch at least a share of the GPAC title with a win on Wednesday.