SEWARD, Neb. – A hot shooting Concordia University Women’s Basketball team hit Mount Marty with a 14-1 run to begin the game and never looked back. The Bulldogs used their best perimeter shooting performance (21-for-47 from 3-point range) of the season in the process of routing the Lancers, 91-48, inside Friedrich Arena on Wednesday (Dec. 7). Off-the-bench sparkplug Kendal Brigham rained home five triples on the evening.
Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad moved back above .500 at 5-4 overall (3-4 GPAC). Concordia is 4-2 at home this season.
“I thought Mount Marty did a good job of taking away the paint,” Olson said. “When we drove in there, we were able to kick out for a lot of open looks. Thankfully we shot well, and I think we have a great shooting team. When we shoot like that, keep firing away.”
Concordia never let Mount Marty get its legs underneath it. The Lancers went scoreless the first four minutes of the game and were already down double digits by the 5:32 mark of the first quarter. The Bulldogs had no problem spreading the sugar as eight different players knocked down at least one trey. Brigham’s final triple kissed off the glass as a sign of what kind of night it was for the home team. Freshman Megan Belt also curled in four 3-point field goals and Mackenzie Koepke, Sadie Powell and Taysha Rushton added three apiece.
Mackenzie Toomey grabbed seven of her game high 10 rebounds in the opening quarter as Concordia mounted a 26-6 lead. As the lead grew to a margin of 40-plus in the second half, Olson unleashed the bench mob. In her most extended action to this point, Koepke reached double figures for the first time this season while totaling 11 points and six rebounds. A freshman from York, Neb., Destiny Shepherd got going with seven points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of action.
Said Koepke, who played 15 minutes, “It felt really good. I missed it a lot. My teammates have helped me a lot. They just encouraged me to get back on the court and they push me in practice so I’m ready to come out and play in a game. It was really fun.”
The top scorers for the Bulldogs were Brigham (15), Rushton (14), Belt (12) and Koepke (11). Concordia actually made three times as many 3-point field goals (21) as it did two-point shots (seven). The Bulldogs shot 44.4 percent (28-for-63) overall from the floor. They were also able to force 23 turnovers, a figure boosted by the four steals from Powell. Led by Toomey, Concordia won the rebound battle, 47-35.
Mount Marty (3-9, 1-6 GPAC) has shown signs of progress of the first year of Head Coach Allan Bertram’s tenure. A large percentage of the Lancer offense came from Eve Millar (12 points) and Macy Kempf (10 points) on Wednesday. Mount Marty, which recently defeated Midland, shot only 29.8 percent (17-for-57) from the floor.
Said Olson, “I think our confidence is definitely growing. I feel like defensively we’ve become really, really good. Can we sustain that focus for 40 minutes? That’s what we’re working on. Offensively, we’re still a work in progress. We’re still trying to tinker with some things, but I really like what we’re doing.”
The Bulldogs will take to the road on Saturday for a short journey to Hastings (6-4, 4-2 GPAC). Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT from Lynn Farrell Arena. The Broncos won the most recent meeting by a 68-60 score, snapping what had been a five-game series win streak for Concordia. Hastings is 3-0 in the month of December following its 61-48 win at Midland on Wednesday.