No. 7 Concordia rides nine-game win streak into week at home

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 29, 2016 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – Few teams have enjoyed as dominant of an opening month than the seventh-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team, which spent its Thanksgiving week beating the stuffing out of a trio of opponents, including rival Doane. Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has won nine-straight games, nearly all in dominant fashion, since the season-opening loss to top-ranked Marian University (Ind.). Currently atop the GPAC, Concordia stands at 9-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play.

The unblemished GPAC record will be put to the test on Wednesday when College of Saint Mary (2-5, 0-3 GPAC) visits Walz Arena for an 8 p.m. CT tipoff. That contest precedes Saturday’s 2 p.m. showdown with No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan (9-0, 3-0 GPAC), which will first play No. 9 Morningside on Wednesday night. Both games can be seen via the Concordia Sports Network and heard on 104.9 Max Country with Tyler Cavalli calling the play-by-play.

During last week’s action, Concordia made its opponents pay for their combined 107 turnovers over three games played at road/neutral sites. The Bulldogs extended their win streak by beating Doane, 77-56, No. 25 Haskell Indian Nations University (Kan.), 99-44, and University of Saint Mary (Kan.), 100-58, in convincing fashion. Freshman Philly Lammers starred last week, averaging 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.7 steals while making 20-of-27 shots from the floor over the three wins.

The blowouts have lent to balanced playing time up and down the roster. Ten Bulldogs are averaging 11.9 minutes or more per game. Three players are averaging just over 20 minutes per contest: Quinn Wragge (21.7), Shelby Quinn (20.7) and Mary Janovich (20.2). Quinn owns a consecutive games played streak of 100 dating back to her freshman year. Meanwhile, Janovich is the key to Concordia’s relentless pressure defense. She’s been pilfering 3.5 steals per game.

College of Saint Mary will be gunning for its first GPAC victory of the season when it invades Walz on Wednesday. The Flames have fallen to conference foes Hastings, 83-67, No. 15 Briar Cliff, 83-81, and Midland, 84-69. Senior guard Pilar Aldrich tops CSM with an average of 13.4 points per game. The Flames can shoot it. They drain nearly eight 3-point field goals per contest.

The Bulldogs must get past the Flames before they look ahead to Dakota Wesleyan. The Tigers are loaded with talent and experience coming off a national quarterfinal advancement this past March. Six Dakota Wesleyan players average nine or more points per game. Ashley Bray is the leader with a scoring average of 12.8. The Tigers rank No. 4 nationally in rebound margin (+14.3). Former star Concordia guard Bailey Morris, the 2014-15 NAIA Division II national player of the year, serves as graduate assistant coach at Dakota Wesleyan.

Up next week is a trip to No. 9 Morningside on Dec. 7 and then a home date with Northwestern on Dec. 10.

Projected lineups

Concordia: 9-1, 4-0 GPAC
G – Shelby Quinn: 6.8 ppg, 4.7 apg, 2.9 rpg, .839 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 11.2 ppg, 1.3 spg, .452 fg%, .433 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 10.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.5 spg, .507 fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 10.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 spg, .570 fg%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.0 spg, .649 fg%

College of Saint Mary: 2-5, 0-3 GPAC
G – Paige Muhammad: 3.9 ppg, 1.1 spg, .524 fg%
G – Peyton Hagen: 9.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, .369 fg%
G – Pilar Aldrich: 13.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, .484 fg%, .381 3-pt fg%
G – Justice Ross: 9.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg, .456 fg%
F – Ashley Nelson: 5.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, .366 fg%

Dakota Wesleyan: 9-0, 3-0 GPAC
G – Rylie Osthus: 7.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.4 apg, .442 fg%
G – Chesney Nagel: 3.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, .429 fg%
F – Amber Bray: 9.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, .437 fg%, .955 ft%
F – Ashley Bray: 12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, .571 fg%, .970 ft%
F – Erica Herrold: 9.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, .425 fg%, .302 3-pt fg%