HASTINGS, Neb. – Another hot offensive start for the Concordia University Women’s Basketball team had host Hastings playing catch up all afternoon. Five Bulldogs wound up in double figures as the visitors ran away with it, 91-69, inside Lynn Farrell Arena on Saturday (Dec. 11). No. 25 Concordia shot 54.7 percent overall and started 7-for-10 from 3-point range in what amounted to the most lopsided Bulldog-Bronco get-together since the 2019 GPAC tournament.
Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad did not look past Hastings with a trip to Hawaii on the horizon. Concordia moved to 8-4 overall (5-3 GPAC) while winning its third in a row and fifth over the past six outings.
“That third quarter we went on a huge run,” Olson said. “We did an awesome job defensively getting stops and kind of wore them down. Our whole team played really well, but I thought our bench unit with Kendal (Brigham), Willy (Taylor Farrell), (Mackenzie) Toomey, Sadie (Powell) and Kayla (Luebbe) just did an awesome job. I thought our team had a great mindset going into the game – great maturity.”
With the Bulldogs leading 53-42 early in the third quarter, the Broncos were hanging close enough to still have hopes of pulling an upset. That hope was lost when Concordia ended the period on a 21-4 run that made this one comfortable down the stretch. During that run, Luebbe dropped in three layups in a stretch of less than three minutes and Brigham and Toomey feathered in a trey apiece.
It’s no picnic trying to defend the Bulldogs when their second wave plays like this. The five Concordia players to put up 10 or more points were Taysha Rushton (16), Lauren Baker (15), Powell (14), Luebbe (11) and Rylee Pauli (10). A freshman from Fremont, Neb., Baker has been impossibly hot from the perimeter. She nailed her first four attempts from 3-point range on Saturday and is now 18-for-25 from beyond the arc over the past five games. As a team, the Bulldogs went 12-for-26 on 3-point tries.
“Our team was definitely focused and ready to play,” Olson said. “That was evident in the first quarter because we shot great. We didn’t make a lot of defensive errors. Hastings hit a couple shots to stay close to us. I loved how our team came out. Thinking about our game before Thanksgiving with Jamestown, we didn’t have the same energy. Today we were really, really good.”
Concordia owned a 36-28 advantage on the boards with five rebounds apiece grabbed by Bailey Conrad and Pauli. Toomey dished out five assists while Farrell dropped four dimes and Brigham chipped in with seven points. In total, the bench was responsible for 43 points. Eleven Bulldogs cracked the scoring column on Saturday.
Hastings (7-6, 3-4 GPAC) was dealt its fifth loss in its past six games. The Broncos have also dropped each of the past five matchups with Concordia. Hastings got a team high 15 points from Riley Clavel and went an impressive 20-for-23 from the foul line. It wasn’t nearly enough to dig out of a hole that sunk to as large as 31 points (87-56).
The Bulldogs can now look forward to their upcoming journey to Honolulu, Hawaii, for action on Dec. 18-19. While in Hawaii, Concordia will go up against No. 1 Campbellsville University (Ky.) and No. 3 Thomas More University (Ky.).