Dawgs handle Warriors through defense and rebounding on senior day

By Chase Benton on Feb. 24, 2024 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia Women’s Basketball team collected its 23rd triumph of the 2023-24 campaign, breaking into a double digit lead (12) by halftime and finishing over Midland (80-50). With Senior Day being celebrated for nine Bulldogs, the defense held the Warriors to 28.1 percent (16-of-57 FG) shooting and seized a season high 48 rebounds off the glass. A pack of seniors led the way in scoring, which started with Taysha Rushton (14), Mackenzie Toomey (13), Kendal Brigham (11) and Powell (11). The senior, out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, hit a trey in the fourth quarter to grab her 1,000thcareer point. Other teammates honored as the class of 2024 were Lydia Dose, Carolyn Esh, Maggi Hughes, Elayne Poppe and Hanna Spearman.

CUNE reaches up to 23-5 overall and 17-5 in the GPAC, sitting them at No. 2 in the conference. Head Coach Drew Olson commented on answering a challenge in rebounds and what the seniors mean to him and the program.

“Overall, I thought we played with good energy. Defensively, we were doing the right things and we just played really hard. We challenged them, that we should win the rebound margin today and I thought our team did a really good job responding to that. The bottom line is how much I appreciate them (seniors) and love them. What they mean to the program and me. It has been an incredible journey with all nine of them through the four years. But what we are looking forward to is that our journey is not done, and we get to keep going.”

The seniors took the challenge to heart and racked up 31 of the 48 grabbed by Brigham (9), Rushton (9), Powell (8) and Toomey (5). The response fueled the Dawgs, who found their running legs in the second quarter sprinting to a 21-8 scoring drive right before jogging in the locker. Six different Bulldogs made baskets in the run started by Kristin Vieselmeyer and ended on a corner jumper by Abby Heemstra.

A 13-6 opening second half blaze led to the game being blown open by the home team, after Brigham and Rushton knocked down a trey. The defense caused blistering 16 turnovers and were paced in steals by Toomey and Rushton. Abby Krieser went 4-for-5 with nine points and two assists.

Midland drops to 7-21 overall and 4-18 in the conference, as the young group will continue to get better with experience. Sarah Shepard paced the team with 11, but teammates’ Kennedy Darner and Jenna Weber followed with 10 apiece. The Warriors struggled from beyond the arc, shooting 21.4 percent on 6-of-28.

No. 2 seed Concordia (23-5, 17-5 GPAC) has been announced to welcome No. 7 seed Morningside (15-12, 12-10 GPAC) into Friedrich Arena on Wednesday night (Feb. 28). Tip-off is set for the usual 6 p.m. CT in Seward. The Bulldogs bested the Mustangs consecutive times in the regular season, adding up a +37 point differential in two wins.