Concordia University continued its winning ways with an easy 82-43 win over Bethany College in the opening game of the Johnson & Wales University Tournament on Thursday in Denver. The 7th-ranked Bulldogs moved to 12-1 on the year and increased their current winning streak to four games.
Bethany stayed close for the opening few minutes of the contest, but it was all Concordia from there. Leading 5-4, the Bulldogs used a 16-0 run to take a 21-4 lead with just over 10 minutes to play in the half. The Concordia defense was solid, as the Swedes went almost eight minutes without scoring a point. The Bulldogs continued to pour it on and took a commanding 42-14 lead into halftime.
Bethany managed just 4-of-15 shooting in the opening half while committing 14 turnovers. Concordia totaled 20 points in the paint and had 10 offensive rebounds (which led to 12 second chance points) as they cruised to the huge halftime lead.
It was more of the same in the second half, as the Bulldogs started the half with a 19-4 run to take a 61-18 lead with 13 minutes remaining in regulation. The struggles continued for the Swedes, who finished the game with 22 turnovers compared to just four assists. For the game, Bethany was just 14-of-46 from the field overall (30.4 percent), 2-of-13 from deep (15.4 percent) and 13-of-24 at the charity stripe (54.2 percent). Tanya Garner led Bethany with eight points and six rebounds.
Concordia was 32-of-65 from the field for 49.2 percent. The Bulldogs hit 11 3-pointers on the day and held a commanding 45-33 rebounding advantage. Concordia totaled 13 offensive rebounds in the victory. The Bulldog bench scored 47 points in the win, while Concordia also totaled 36 paint points, 14 second chance points and 13 points off turnovers.
Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) scored a game-high 14 points to lead a balanced Concordia offensive attack. Conahan was 5-of-8 from the field overall and 4-of-7 from deep. Bailey Morris (Roseland, Neb.) added 11 points and three assists off the bench, while Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) also chipped in with 11. Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) grabbed a game-high seven rebounds for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs conclude play in their holiday tournament on Friday with a contest against the hosts from Johnson & Wales University.