Bulldogs pull away for 103-70 win over Johnson & Wales
Concordia University shot 59 percent from the field and pulled away for a 103-70 women’s basketball win over Johnson & Wales University on Friday evening in Denver. The 7th-ranked Bulldogs used depth and a strong second half to improve to 13-1 on the season.
It was an interesting first half. Concordia seemed to have complete control of the contest by just looking at the numbers. The Bulldog bench held a 17-0 scoring advantage over the Johnson & Wales bench. Concordia also had 30 paint points in the half. However, despite those numbers, Concordia led by just five (45-40) at halftime.
The combination of Caitlin Durkin and Samantha Neal kept the host Wildcats in the game. The duo combined for 23 first half points. The foul line was also good to the Wildcats in the half, as Johnson & Wales was 11-of-15 at the line. Concordia, on the other hand, was just 1-of-3 from the charity stripe in the first half. Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.) led the way for the Bulldogs with 11 points in the opening half of play.
The Bulldogs completely turned things around in the second half and quickly opened up a double-digit lead. Johnson & Wales, who lacked depth, ran out of gas on both ends of the floor. The Bulldogs took full advantage and led 57-43 with 16 minutes remaining following a 12-3 run to open the half. The Bulldogs built the lead to 20 (65-45) with 14 minutes left in regulation and continued to pour it on from there. Concordia maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way and settled for the 103-70 victory.
Even though Concordia struggled from deep (8-of-24) and at the foul line (7-of-17 for 41.2 percent), the Bulldogs totaled 68 points in the paint and were 44-of-75 from the field overall. Concordia totaled 20 steals on the night and converted 29 Johnson & Wales turnovers into 29 points. The Bulldog bench scored 47 points on the night compared to just two points scored by the Wildcat bench.
Amber Kistler (Minatare, Neb.) scored a game-high 22 points for Concordia on 9-of-15 shooting from the field. The senior guard connected on four 3-pointers on the evening. Conahan finished with 13 and a career-high nine assists, while Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) added 12 off the bench on 4-of-6 shooting. Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) poured in 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting, and Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) grabbed a game-best eight rebounds. The balanced scoring for Concordia continued, as a total of nine players scored at least six points in the contest.
Durkin scored 20 points for Johnson & Wales but was just 5-of-16 from the field. Neal added 19 points for the Wildcats.
Concordia returns to GPAC play on January 4 with a road contest at Northwestern College.