Regular season comes to a close with Hastings and senior night versus Midland

By Chase Benton on Feb. 19, 2024 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia enters its final week of the regular season but is done with travel as both Hastings and Midland will be hosted in Seward, Neb. for the final two games. On Saturday (Feb. 24), the seniors of the Concordia University Women’s Basketball team will be honored for their final year as a Bulldog. CUNE split its past two games, going on the road to defeat Doane (74-72) in a nail-biter and finished with another instant classic against Dordt, falling within one possession (81-78) of the No. 1 team in the country. Head Coach Drew Olson and his squad are 21-5 overall and 15-5 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC).

This Week

Wednesday, Feb. 21 vs. Hastings (13-13, 9-11 GPAC), 6 p.m. CT
-- Max Country | Live Webcast Live Stats | Location: Friedrich Arena (Seward, Neb.)

Saturday, Feb. 24 vs. Midland (6-20, 3-17 GPAC), 2 p.m. CT
-- Max Country | Live Webcast Live Stats | Location: Friedrich Arena (Seward, Neb.)

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By the numbers

·       The No. 7 Bulldogs got all they wanted from the Tigers, looking to put the visitors on upset alert. Two free throws by Taysha Rushton were the difference, as Abby Krieser had a team high 18 points and eight rebounds. Brigham notched her first career double-double (10 points, 10 assists) in road runner type fashion and three Bulldogs chipped in with 11 points apiece: Abby Heemstra, Powell and Kristin Vieselmeyer. Heemstra had the mid-range jumper working and nailed one that broke a 70-70 tie in the final minute. The improved second half production allowed Concordia to slightly outshoot Doane, 40.9 to 39.0 percent.

·       Down 17 with 3:12 remaining in the top-10 battle, the Bulldogs would cut the lead to a possession in the final seconds, but the Defenders grabbed a sorely needed rebound off a missed free throw to close out a home win. A major part of the scorching comeback drive was Sadie Powell who had a career high 22 points. Brigham continued to push the pace with 19 pivotal points, five assists and four rebounds. Others in double digits were Taysha Rushton (11) and Mackenzie Toomey (11) as Rushton added seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. Concordia made 41.1 percent (30-for-73) and made 12 treys. A huge improvement from the first meeting, only making four.

·       Concordia will celebrate nine seniors on Saturday in its final game of the regular season schedule. Kendal Brigham, the Wahoo Neb., native has collected 794 points and 215 assists and 106 steals in her career. Sadie Powell, out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, dropped 980 points, 455 rebounds and 35 blocks. Taysha Rushton, from Midland, Texas, put up big numbers with 1,797 points, 323 assists and 270 3-pointers made in her four years. Hannah Spearman, a Gretna, Neb., native appeared in 28 games as a Bulldog. Mackenzie Toomey, hailing from Lincoln, Neb., grabbed 652 points, 453 rebounds and 201 steals. Others who will be recognized on senior night: Lydia Dose, Carolyn Esh, Maggi Hughes and Elayne Poppe. All together this group has scored over 4,000 points, 1,500 rebounds, 800 assists and 600 steals.  

·       Powell is just 20 points away from breaking 1,000 career points and will have two chances before the postseason. The John F. Kennedy product has averaged 11.8 points a contest and 16.3 in the last three games. She would be the 32nd player to score 1,000 as a Bulldog and the 17th player to hit the career mark under Coach Olson. Rushton will look to climb one more rung, to No. 3 all-time, on the leaderboard in the upcoming games. She is a trey away from tying Sarah Harrison (2001-05) at 1,800 total points.

·       With the regular season coming to a close, Dordt (20-0) has clinched the conference title and the No. 1 spot in the GPAC tournament. The Bulldogs (15-5) sit in good position at the No. 2 spot, with Dakota Wesleyan (14-6) staying in third after an upset loss to Morningside. Briar Cliff currently has a one game advantage over a pack of GPAC opponents in a three way tie. Jamestown, Northwestern and the Mustangs all have a 12-8 record and have two games to fight for the fifth spot in the conference. Doane (9-11) and Hastings (9-11) are fighting for the final spot in post-season play.


Concordia Projected Starting Five
G – Mackenzie Toomey, 5-9 (6.2)
G – Taysha Rushton, 5-5 (15.0)
G – Abby Krieser, 5-8 (9.4)
F – Sadie Powell, 6-0 (11.8)
F – Kristin Vieselmeyer, 6-1 (5.7)


The Broncos come into the game 13-13 overall and 9-11 in the conference having lost two of their last three. The visitors are 5-5 on the road and score 67.1 points per game while allowing 67.0 to stay close to the .500 mark once again. Hastings attracts a high number of free throws, enough to be fifth in the league. The team averages 37.7 rebounds, 12.6 assists, 9.7 steals and 3 blocks per contest. Offensively, the Broncos are led by Mariyah Avila and her team leading 12.9 points and Rachel Goodon’s 6.9 rebounds every 40 minutes. Bailey Kissinger has started to get more action with 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists in each game.

Hastings Projected Starting Five
G – Mariyah Avila, 5-5 (12.9)
G – Lexi Kraft, 5-5 (7.0)
G – Bailey Kissinger, 5-8 (10.4)
G – Kiernan Paulk, 5-8 (7.2)
C – Rachel Goodon, 6-3 (7.6)


The Warriors come into the final week with a 6-20 overall record and 3-17 in the conference putting them toward the bottom of the GPAC. Having lost eight of their last nine, MU will look to get back on track and pick up momentum for the 2024-25 season. Averaging 59 points per game, Midland shoots a conference low percentage (64.7) and allows 71.3 from its opponents on 41.6 percent from the field. Gabby Beauperthuy paces the visitors in almost every major category recording 10.9 points (45.1 percent), 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and blocks (0.3) per contest. Jenna Weber scores 9.5 points and Rubie Klausen has entered herself into the starting lineup since the last meeting on Nov. 29.

Midland Projected Starting Five
G – Rubie Klausen, 5-6 (2.9)
G – Jenna Webber, 5-9 (9.5)
G – Emma Shepard, 5-8 (6.7)
F – Gabby Beauperthuy, 6-0 (10.9)
F – Sarah Shepard, 5-11 (7.3)

Concordia has locked one of the four host slots but will have to wait and see which conference opponent they might face in the GPAC quarterfinals next Wednesday (Feb. 28).