SEWARD, Neb. – In a mismatch from the opening tip, the third-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team opened the game with a 12-2 run on the way to its 19th win of the season by a margin of 10 points or more. Wednesday’s tilt resulted in a 73-42 Bulldog romp of visiting Nebraska Wesleyan, which remains winless in conference play.
The 19th-consecutive victory ran ninth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad to 24-1 overall and 15-1 in GPAC games. Concordia has won each of the last 16 meetings with the rival Prairie Wolves.
“It’s been really fun,” freshman Jade Gottier said of the team’s run. “I really enjoy this team. Everybody is really unselfish and wants the best for everybody.”
Fresh off the program’s 25th Concordia Invitational Tournament title, the Bulldogs ‘tripled’ Nebraska Wesleyan to death in the early going. Each of Concordia’s first seven scores were either 3-point field goals or three-point plays that allowed for a comfortable margin just a few minutes into the game. The offense came from all directions with only freshman Mary Janovich (11 points) reaching double figures for the victors.
Even more impressive was the way in which the Bulldogs completely manhandled the Prairie Wolf offensive attack. Concordia suffocated Nebraska Wesleyan, holding the visitors without a field goal for more than 11 minutes during the first half. Over the first 20 minutes, the Prairie Wolves managed only 10 points while being swindled into 25 turnovers. They ended up with 36 turnovers for the game.
After extended field goal drought by both teams in the first half, Bailey Morris opened up the lid with consecutive triples and then a dish to Tracy Peitz on the break. The Bulldogs concluded the half on a 27-3 run that put the game out of reach.
The anticlimactic second half gave Concordia’s deep bench more opportunities for extended minutes. Morris and Peitz played just a combined nine minutes after halftime. The reserves totaled 39 points in helping grow an already insurmountable advantage. On the other hand, the Wesleyan bench contributed only five points.
“We prepare ourselves every day at practice,” Gottier said. “We’re always ready on the bench to go in at any moment. We just play the best we can while we’re in. We try to use our time we get.”
All 15 Bulldog players saw at least 11 minutes of action, including Gottier who posted a line of four points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals. Laurel Krohn topped all reserves with eight points. Morris, named CIT MVP over the weekend, posted all nine of her points in the first half.
Everyone played a role on Wednesday night, but the locker room dancing was left to the freshmen – as requested by the upperclassmen. It’s all part of enjoying the journey.
“I came in as the best dancer. Nobody really had a chance,” Gottier joked. “We’re all pretty awkward, so it was fun. We have fun together. It’s a good group.”
The Prairie Wolves (2-18, 0-15 GPAC) got a double-double from Amanda Diaz (10 points, 11 rebounds) and a game high 12 points from Felicia TeKolste.
The Bulldogs will honor their six seniors on Saturday when they play host for the final time during the 2014-15 regular season. Dakota Wesleyan (14-12, 7-9 GPAC) will serve as the opponent with tipoff slated for 2 p.m. from Walz Arena. The Concordia senior class, which has compiled a four-year record of 108-19, will aim for a season sweep of the Tigers, who have lost three-consecutive meetings with the Bulldogs.