SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Women’s Basketball team has made tremendous strides during November while reeling off a five-game win streak. The Bulldogs will look to extend their winning streak with a trip to Hastings on Wednesday before traveling to first place Briar Cliff on Saturday. Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad owns an overall record of 5-3 overall and are 4-1 in GPAC play.
(11) Concordia (5-3, 4-1) at Hastings (2-2, 2-1)
Wednesday, Dec. 2 | 6 p.m.
Lynn Farrell Arena | Hastings, Neb.
Webcast: Hastings Sports Network
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
Radio: 104.9 Max Country
Commentator: Evan Jones
*2020-21 NAIA national rank in parentheses
-NOTE: 158 of 235 NAIA women’s basketball programs have played at least one game this season.
Scoring Offense: 84.13 (21st)
Scoring Defense: 68.63 (83rd)
FG% Offense: .394 (T-90th)
FG% Defense: .382 (69th)
3-pt FG% Offense: .323 (59th)
3-pt FG% Defense: .335 (121st)
Rebound Margin: -0.25 (114th)
Turnover Margin: +9.63 (10th)
Scoring Offense: 71.0 (82nd)
Scoring Defense: 75.25 (T-86th)
FG% Offense: .416 (58th)
FG% Defense: .449 (T-142nd)
3-pt FG% Offense: .354 (T-29th)
3-pt FG% Defense: .256 (35th)
Rebound Margin: -13.0 (175th)
Turnover Margin: +3.5 (T-49th)
Scoring Offense: 75.83 (31st)
Scoring Defense: 57.67 (104th)
FG% Offense: .448 (T-28th)
FG% Defense: .408 (99th)
3-pt FG% Offense: .366 (27th)
3-pt FG% Defense: .288 (T-63rd)
Rebound Margin: +2.0 (72nd)
Turnover Margin: +10.50 (9th)
Protocols for fans
Hastings: Visiting teams are allotted 120 slots for fan attendance. Fans must be on the pre-approved list in order to be admitted into the game.
Briar Cliff: Tickets must be purchased online at the following URL in order to ensure entry: https://bcuchargers.com/sports/2020/10/29/Tickets.aspx?id=92.
Last time out
Concordia began its thanksgiving feast early with a 99-47 beatdown of the College of Saint Mary in Omaha back on Nov. 24. The Bulldogs stormed out of the gates knocking down 10 of their first 19 three-point attempts. Freshman Taysha Rushton led all scorers with 17 points. Taylor Farrell added 13 points to join Rushton in double figures. All Dawgs contributed as the whole Concordia roster saw action and 14 out of 15 Bulldogs contributed to the scoring efforts. Defensively Concordia stymied the flames, holding College of Saint Mary’s to 30.2 percent (16-for-53) from the floor and 7.6 percent (2-for-26) from behind the arc.
Dawgs on fire
The Bulldogs began the season with three-straight losses during a challenging stretch that included games against Dakota State University (S.D.), No. 20 Carroll College (Mont.) and Midland. Since then, however, Concordia has shown tremendous growth while reeling off five consecutive wins. During the five-game win streak, the Bulldogs have outscored opponents by an average of 89.2 to 58.2, while having a turnover margin of plus-73. Concordia has also warmed up from behind the arch as the Bulldogs are shooting 39.0 percent from deep. Taysha Rushton has executed her role as floor general almost flawlessly as she has one turnover in her last 62 minutes of action.
Cockerill joins 1,000-point club
Taylor Cockerill became the 30th member of the program’s 1,000-point club when she reached that mark in the second quarter of the Bulldogs win over Northwestern on Nov.14. Cockerill is also the 14th different player during Drew Olson’s tenure to score 1,000 or more points. The Waverly High School native may be one of the top pure scorers in all of the NAIA. She currently ranks 18th nationally with an average of 22.6 points per game. Cockerill’s respective game-by-game scoring totals have been 33, 25, 17, 25 and 15. She’s also averaging 9.2 rebounds per game.
A familiar look
Since halftime of the loss to Midland, Concordia has played at a higher level. After shuffling the starting lineups early in the season, head coach Drew Olson has seemed to find his starting five. Over the past five games, the starting lineup has featured guards Taylor Cockerill, Averie Lambrecht and Taysha Rushton and forwards Rylee Pauli and Faith Troshynski. Not surprisingly, Cockerill has played the most minutes (28.0 per game). Rushton (25.6) and Pauli (22.6) have also been leaned upon heavily. Cockerill is the team’s second-leading scorer at 15.3 points per game, while Rushton follows right behind with 13.8 points per contest.
The backcourt duo of Cockerill and Rushton currently rank in the Top-20 in numerous national statistical categories. Rushton currently ranks 10th nationally in steals per game (2.38) and eighth in assists per game (4.00). The Lubbock, Texas, product’s ten assists in Concordia’s win over Northwestern back on Nov. 14 is the seventh-highest single-game mark nationally this season. Cockerill ranks 18th nationally in scoring averaging 15.3 points per contest. While her 33-point outburst in the Bulldogs home-opening loss to Dakota State on Nov. 5 is the eighth-highest scoring mark in a single game nationally.
The Broncos are off to a 2-2 start during limited action this season. Hastings is coming off consecutive wins over Jamestown (70-68) and College of Saint Mary (71-62). Concordia will look to slow down the Broncos outside shooting as Hastings currently ranks 29th nationally in three-point field goal percentage (35.4 percent). Guard Kaitlyn Schmidt is the focal point of the Hastings offense, averaging 18.5 points per game while also shooting 33.3 percent from behind the arch. Head Coach Jina Douglas’ squad was picked fifth in the 2020 GPAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Scouting Briar Cliff
Briar Cliff has raced out to a 6-0 start this season in dominant fashion. The Chargers have won every game by double figures and are outscoring opponents by 18 points per contest. Briar Cliff is coming off its most impressive win of the season back on Nov. 24 as they defeated eighth-ranked Dordt 79-69. Briar Cliff applies lots of pressure defensively and is very good at creating turnovers, ranking ninth nationally in turnover margin (+10.50). Briar Cliff has a very talented backcourt as guards Kennedy Benne (15.5 ppg) and Konnor Sudmann (14.5 ppg.). The backcourt matchup will be a key factor in the outcome of Saturday’s game.
The Bulldogs will host Mount Marty (2-5, 0-4 GPAC) at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Dec. 9., before traveling to Morningside (4-1, 2-0 GPAC) on Saturday, Dec. 12.