Early flurry carries Bulldogs to lopsided GPAC win

By Jacob Knabel on Dec. 8, 2021 in Women's Basketball

By Sam Firminhac, Athletic Communications

SEWARD, Neb. – The series mastery of Mount Marty continues for the Concordia University Women’s Basketball team. After getting out to a hot 16-0 start, the 25th-ranked Bulldogs never looked back, winning by the final score of 88-53 inside Friedrich Arena on Wednesday (Dec. 8). The turnover margin was the story of the game as the Bulldogs converted 27 turnovers into 41 points.

Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad moved to 7-4 overall with the 11th-straight series win over Mount Marty. The conference record also breaks above .500 at it moves to 4-3 in GPAC play. Lauren Baker credited the hot start to ball movement and unselfish play.

“I would say we moved the ball around the perimeter really well at the beginning of the game,” Baker said. “Quick passes made their defense move and that led to open shots.”

Said Olson, “I thought we came out with focus and took care of business early. Taysha (Rushton) was phenomenal and Lauren continues to get better.”

It's hard to find a good place to start when delving into the stat sheet. Rushton led the way for Concordia with 18 points and three rebounds despite playing only briefly during the second half. She shot 8-14 from the field. Baker and Kendal Brigham were the other Bulldogs in double figures, both chipping in 12 points. Brigham was a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc.

The Concordia bench stepped up in a big way in the win scoring 55 points. A total of 13 players were able to get in the points column in the contest. The Bulldogs were efficient from behind the 3-point-line, cashing in on 12 treys and shooting 36.4 percent. The Concordia defense also came away with 19 steals on the night. The Bulldogs mixed in some full-court pressure looks while giving the Lancers (1-9, 1-5 GPAC) headaches.

Alexsis Kemp (14) and Callie Otkin (11) reached double figures for Mount Marty, which shot only 32.7 percent from the floor. The Lancers were outplayed significantly in the first (33-5) and third (28-12) quarters.

Baker has been playing exceptionally well as of late, earning a starting role in her first collegiate season. The Archbishop Bergan High School alum said postgame that she first had some nerves about being placed in the starting five. She’s responded by making 13-for-19 shots from beyond the arc over the past four games.

“Coach has just put a lot of confidence in me,” Baker said. “Whenever I get the ball, he says to look to shoot. On the bench, the girls are always pumping me up and giving me a lot of confidence. “

The Bulldogs won’t play another home game until the calendar flips. Their next contest will be in Hastings as they take on the Broncos (7-5, 3-3 GPAC) at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday (Dec. 11). Concordia will attempt to extend its four-game series win streak.