FREMONT, Neb. – Any hopes of staying unbeaten were ended early on Wednesday night for host Midland while up against the 14th-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team. Playing at her former school, Dani Andersen helped the Bulldogs jump out to a big early lead on the way to an 89-50 victory inside the Wikert Event Center in Fremont, Neb.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad is now 2-0 in the GPAC with both wins coming away from home. Concordia has improved to 5-1 overall.
“I felt like our kids were really focused and came ready to play,” Olson said. “I didn’t expect that kind of game. Midland’s a really tough team. We really caused them problems with our defensive pressure. Our kids shot well and it really extends the lead when you start knocking down threes like that.”
Andersen had already poured in 12 points by the time the first quarter had expired. During that time, she launched a trio of treys. Thanks to seven 3-point field goals and 13 forced turnovers over the first 20 minutes, Concordia built a comfortable 51-34 halftime advantage. Like most opponents thus far, the Warriors didn’t have the arsenal to keep up.
In her first season of action as a Bulldog, Andersen needed only 17 minutes to compile a game high 20 points while canning 5-of-9 attempts from 3-point range. But it wasn’t just Andersen. Up and down the roster, Bulldogs contributed. Quinn Wragge went for 16 points and five rebounds. Off the bench, Brenleigh Daum sniped a quartet of triples. Meanwhile, Mary Janovich put up 11 points and seven rebounds while serving as a defensive pest like usual.
Midland (5-1, 0-1 GPAC) entered the game having won five nonconference contests, many by lopsided margins. It just didn’t have any answers for Concordia’s star power and superior depth.
“It’s been awesome. We have so many people that can play,” Wragge said. “Anyone can go in. We have full confidence in them.”
After a third-quarter offensive lull, the Concordia starting five opened up the fourth period with a 10-1 splurge that included long-distance shots from Andersen and Janovich. The Bulldogs never did let their foot off the gas even while using all 15 players who suited up. Daum got especially hot in the fourth quarter. That’s when she nailed two of her four shots from beyond the arc.
If Andersen had any reservations about returning to the court that she used to call home, she didn’t show it. She has now made at least one 3-point field goal in every game so far this season. It took her only 60 seconds of game time to extend her streak on Wednesday. She’s made a transition that’s not unlike what Olson did himself when he left Hastings to come to Concordia during his collegiate days.
“I was so proud of her,” Olson said. “We tried to prep her for what it would be like because I’ve been through that before, but she handled it phenomenally. She made such big plays defensively that I think a lot of people didn’t see. She really controls the ball well – her and Mary. Then she was able to knock down some shots. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
It was a miserable offensive night for Midland, which shot 26.7 percent (16-for-60) from the floor and turned it over 23 times. Concordia shot 44.7 percent (34-for-76) and made 8-of-9 free throw attempts.
The Bulldogs will end a stretch of two-straight weeks without a home game when they take the floor inside Walz Arena on Saturday. Mount Marty (3-3, 0-1 GPAC), a national semifinalist this past March, will visit Seward for a 2 p.m. tipoff. Due to significant personnel losses this offseason, the Lancers were picked eighth in the preseason poll by GPAC coaches.