Defense, outside shooting power dominant home win

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 10, 2016 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – A transition-fueled 24-6 run to start the game propelled the Concordia University women’s basketball team to another dominant victory over rival Midland inside Walz Arena on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the evening on the way to an 81-59 win, the 16th straight in the series against the Warriors.

The result gave the program 21st all-time 20-win season and eighth in the 10 years under current head coach Drew Olson. At 20-7 overall and 12-7 in league play, Concordia now sits in a jumbled five-way tie for second place in the GPAC.

The nasty, suffocating Bulldog defense of old surfaced right out of the gate against an overmatched Midland squad. Concordia feasted on Warriors turnovers, oftentimes turning them into easy buckets for the gazelle-like freshman Quinn Wragge. Midland managed just a single first-quarter field goal and found itself down 17 after 10 minutes of action.

“I thought we came out with better energy and a bit more focus,” Olson said. “I thought they executed some of the sets that we ran really well. I just felt like we played harder and that’s what I was looking for.”

Wragge went silent for parts of the second and third quarters, but teammate Aubri Bro got Steph Curry ridiculous from beyond the arc. She nailed all five of her attempts from long range, including a hot-potato quick fire at the beginning of the fourth quarter that bulged the lead above 20. Bro, now 22-for-43 from 3-point range on the season, finished with a team high 15 points.

She provided the bulk of the long-range firepower for a squad that splashed in 12-of-27 (.444) tries from beyond the arc.

“(Aubri) was phenomenal,” Olson said. “We just keep telling her: she’s got to be more aggressive because her numbers are awesome. It’s just a matter of getting her a little bit more comfortable out there. She can really score.”

Junior Erin Vieselmeyer supplied big minutes off the bench, going for 13 points and six rebounds. The reserves outscored the starting five, 42-39, largely thanks to the combined 28 from Bro and Vieselmeyer. Starters Quinn Wragge (14 points) and Shelby Quinn (six assists) were key contributors. Wragge starred with seven of Concordia’s first nine points of the game.

The Warriors (7-19, 5-14 GPAC), who have lost 13-straight games, dressed only nine players on Wednesday. Midland got a game high 16 points from its star, Joelle Overkamp, but she managed to go only 3-for-14 from the field. Fellow standout backcourt mate Megan Kucks went 2-for-11 from the floor and had eight points. The Warriors were bothered into 35.3 percent (18-for-51) shooting.

Concordia led by as many as 26 points and may have grown an even larger lead if not for its 21 turnovers. The Bulldogs made up for some of that sloppiness by shooting 50.8 percent (30-for-59) from the field. They also owned a decided 41-25 advantage on the boards.

The three-game homestand continues on Saturday when Northwestern (14-11, 9-10 GPAC) pays a visit to Walz Arena for a 2 p.m. tipoff. In this season’s first meeting, the Red Raiders topped the Bulldogs, 99-80, in Orange City, Iowa, behind a game high 29 points by freshman Kassidy De Jong. Concordia is 68-9 over its last 77 home games, dating back to the beginning of the 2011-12 season.