Leu, Heemstra and Snodgrass help punish Flames in route to 20th win

By Chase Benton on Feb. 7, 2024 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – The Bulldogs seemed to be on an NBA type schedule, playing a game every other day in the last six days. The team finished the stretch against common conference opponent College of Saint Mary on Wednesday night (Feb. 7). Concordia threw water on the Flames early, splashing in three-point land and shooting 75 percent (6-of-8) in the first quarter. The blue and white dropped 20 total treys on its way to a 106-59 route. The points were spread between 12 players and six hit double digits.

CUNE reaches 20 wins (20-3, 14-3 GPAC) on the year, marking the 15th time in 18 seasons that the program has hit that mark under Head Coach Drew Olson. He commented on getting through the last three games and the focus of his team.

“It was good for us," Olson said. "We just got through a lot of games and a tough one on Monday. For us to come in and have the focus we needed was good. In the beginning, it felt like we weren’t playing as hard as we could, but then we kicked it into gear. Each group that went in did some really good things.”

Anytime a team hits 20 3-pointers, it makes it extremely difficult to defeat an opponent. After reaching that feat for the second time this year, the Bulldogs could have outscored the Flames (60-59) with beyond-the-arc buckets. After the home squad jumped out to a 19-6 lead from the opening whistle, the double-digit lead was never surrendered throughout the 40 minutes.

Concordia had five different players with three-pointers and nine different players with points after the opening frame. Forward Abby Heemstra did her damage in the paint by halftime, ending with a dozen points and five rebounds. The Rock Valley, Iowa native, tied her second-best performance (12 points) from this season.

Sammy Leu (13 points), Megan Belt (12 points) and Reece Snodgrass (12 points) accounted for 12 of the 20 treys, scoring four apiece. Leu drained her four in the third quarter, bringing flashbacks of her opening game as a Bulldog. Snodgrass, the West Point Beemer High School product, went 3-for-3 from long range in the final minutes to help hit the century mark and her collegiate career high.

Coach Olson said, “It was great to see Sammy hit shots. That’s going to build confidence. Reece is an incredible team player. She comes every day and works hard in practice, but in these kinds of games it's great for her to get that experience.”

Snodgrass commented, “It was awesome. We had good passes from our teammates. It was a really good team win. I am happy I got to go out there with them.”

Seemingly everyone contributed, and some of the other scorers were Taysha Rushton (13), Kendal Brigham (10), Abby Krieser (8), Kristin Vieselmeyer (7) and Sadie Powell (7). The hungry defense forced 28 turnovers and 20 steals (2nd most this season), as Raelyn Kelty and Bree Bunting led the pack with three apiece.

College of Saint Mary’s Tia Murray paced the visitors with 15 on 3-of-6 from three. The Flames shot 37.7 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line.

Concordia (20-3, 14-3 GPAC) will take some rest the next couple of days, before traveling to the World’s Only Corn Palace to square off against Dakota Wesleyan (17-6, 12-5 GPAC) on Super Bowl Sunday. The Bulldogs escaped in a narrow victory (69-61) in the bout at home earlier this season.