Powell career night not enough in comeback at Dordt

By Chase Benton on Feb. 17, 2024 in Women's Basketball

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Nothing could seem to go right in the second quarter, putting the No. 7 Bulldogs down nine to the No. 1 Defenders at the break and a 17-point deficit continuing into the third quarter. Concordia would respond with grit and toughness in a hostile DeWitt Gymnasium, cutting the lead down to one possession but came just short, 81-78. Sadie Powell was huge throughout the top-10 battle, scoring a new career high (22), as Kendal Brigham made a pivotal 19 points, five assists and four rebounds.

The Bulldogs remain in the second slot of the conference with a 15-5 record and 21-5 overall. Head Coach Drew Olson commented on the two halves of play and the fortitude his team showed.

“Just like the first time, it was two great teams. I felt like in the first half, we actually played really well. We were down nine at the half and were playing good basketball, they just hit shots, especially in the second quarter. We get down 17 (third quarter), and call a timeout. We battled all the way back on a team like that on their home floor. I think it said a lot about our team and their toughness. You got to be able to hit big shots to win over great teams, but we keep getting better. We are learning and growing. Hopefully, we will get to see them again.”

Down 17, the visitors answered with a 12-2 run to end the third quarter. Brigham (7) and Powell (5) scored all 12 points of the scoring drive, lifting the team to a seven deficit before entering the final frame. The two juggernauts traded baskets in the first five minutes of the final quarter, as Brigham continued to deliver down the stretch. Abby Krieser completed a 3-point play, cutting the lead to one with four seconds remaining. After missing two free throws, Janie Schoonhoven grabbed a rebound and made both her free throws to close the bout.

Powell, out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, would make six of her personal best 22 points in the fourth quarter, as she was a major part of the second half comeback.

Olson said, “She is shooting the ball really confidently. The way they matched up with us, it was the right thing for her to do. It was a great game for her.”

Others in double digits were Taysha Rushton (11) and Mackenzie Toomey (11), as Rushton added seven rebounds, six assists and two steals, piling on in the box score. Concordia made 41.1 percent (30-for-73) and made 12 treys on 34.3 percent shooting. The Bulldogs were unable to get to the free throw line very often, dropping 6-for-9.

The Defenders stay undefeated in the conference shooting almost 50 percent (49.1) from the field, making the same amount from beyond the arc (12-for-29) as their counterparts. Dordt did as they usually do, crashing the boards for 44 total and a +15-rebound advantage. The home team was led by Macy Sievers (19), followed by Bailey Beckman (15) and Faith Van Holland (12).

Concordia (21-5, 15-5) will come back to Seward for their final two games of the regular season, defending Friedrich Arena against Hastings (13-13, 9-11 GPAC) on Wednesday. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT. The Bulldogs bested the Broncos (70-57) in their first meeting at Lynn Farrell Arena.