Perennial GPAC powers make up this week's slate

By Jacob Knabel on Dec. 6, 2016 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – Two programs with a combined nine national championships make up this week’s slate for the seventh-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team. After a run of blowout wins, the Bulldogs proved they’re ready for the GPAC gauntlet when they handed then No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan its first loss of the 2016-17 season last week.

Now 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad moves on with a road trip to No. 9 Morningside (7-3, 2-2 GPAC) on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff. Concordia will then host Northwestern (9-3, 3-3 GPAC) at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday. Both games will be covered by 104.9 Max Country. Wednesday's webcast will be available HERE. Watch Saturday's game on the Concordia Sports Network.

The Bulldogs (11-1, 6-0 GPAC) are riding high having won 11-straight games, including all six GPAC contests. The victory over Dakota Wesleyan marked the second time Concordia has beaten a top-ranked team over the past three seasons. The Bulldogs also took down No. 1 Morningside in the 2015 GPAC tournament championship game. Concordia owns two wins this season over teams that were ranked at the time of the game. It also pummeled No. 25 Haskell Indian Nations University (Kan.), 99-44.

Concordia’s dominance is reflected statistically. Among all NAIA Division II teams, the Bulldogs rank second in steals per game (17.6), second in turnover margin (+10.1), fifth in scoring margin (+25.9), seventh in 3-point field goals per game (9.8), seventh in free throw percentage (.770), 16th in field goal percentage (.444) and 23rd in scoring defense (60.1).

Senior point guard Shelby Quinn is coming off one of the best performances of her career. She totaled a career high 20 points (12-for-14 from the free throw line) while recording the last six points in the win over Dakota Wesleyan. She ranks 10th nationally with an average of 4.83 assists per game. Quinn is a glue player for a team with four players averaging in double figures, including GPAC player of the week Mary Janovich (11.5). Freshman Philly Lammers tops Concordia in both scoring (12.3) and rebounding (5.7).

Concordia has been equally dominant in GPAC games, outscoring conference opponents by an average of 84.8 to 65.0. The Bulldogs have consistently increased their margin for error (shot a season low 36.2 percent) by forcing turnovers. Conference foes have averaged 26.3 turnovers per game against the suffocating Bulldogs, who are getting 3.33 steals per game from Janovich.

Morningside has either won the GPAC title outright or shared the conference regular-season crown in each of the last four years. Their two league losses already this season equals the combined number of GPAC losses the Mustangs suffered over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Head coach Jamie Sale’s squad possesses a big time scorer in Bellevue, Neb., native Madison Braun (19.2 ppg).

Northwestern is one of the teams that has defeated Morningside this season. The Red Raiders also defeated No. 12 University of Jamestown (N.D.) on Nov. 4. Two of the Red Raiders’ three losses have come against top-15 opponents: then No. 14 Concordia and No. 15 Briar Cliff. Sophomore Kassidy De Jong is averaging 22.2 points and has already piled up 798 points in her collegiate career.

With final exams coming up next week, Concordia will wait until Friday, Dec. 16 to take the court again following Saturday’s game versus Northwestern. The Bulldogs will be at Dordt on Dec. 16 for a 5 p.m. CT tipoff.

Projected lineups

Concordia: 11-1, 6-0 GPAC
G – Shelby Quinn: 7.6 ppg, 4.8 apg, 2.0 spg, .844 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 11.2 ppg, 1.5 spg, .430 fg%, .415 ft%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 spg, 3.3 apg, .537 fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 10.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 spg, .543 fg%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.8 bpg, .659 fg%

Morningside: 7-3, 2-2 GPAC
G – Lexi Ackerman: 15.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, .437 fg%
G – Madison Braun: 19.2 ppg, 3.4 spg, 2.1 rpg, .474 fg%
G – Jordyn Moser: 3.2 ppg, 2.3 apg, 1.5 rpg, .367 fg%
F – Lauren Lehmkuhl: 13.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, .509 fg%
F – Sydney Hupp: 4.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, .500 fg%

Northwestern: 9-3, 3-3 GPAC
G – Renee Maneman: 10.0 ppg, 7.7 apg, 4.1 rpg, .553 fg%
G – Paige Danner: 10.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, .304 fg%, .788 ft%
G – Kassidy De Jong: 22.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, .503 fg%, .364 3-pt fg%
F – Haley Birks: 15.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.6 bpg, .515 fg%
F – Darbi Gustafson: 10.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.0 spg, .500 fg%