Regular season finale goes the other way in another defensive-minded battle

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 18, 2023 in Women's Basketball

MITCHELL, S.D. – In a game with many statistical similarities to the one the Concordia University Women’s Basketball team played three days earlier, Dakota Wesleyan did enough to the Bulldogs from snatching one away at the Corn Palace. The Tigers made 18-of-22 foul shots on a day when field goals were difficult to come by and sent Concordia away, 61-54. The Bulldogs did not get their usual production from beyond the arc (6-for-21).

Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad fell twice this week and saw a potential GPAC quarterfinal home game slip away. Concordia will enter the postseason at 18-10 overall (14-8 GPAC) and in a tie for fifth in the league standings.

“I was frustrated and disappointed with the result,” Olson said. “We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole early on. I felt like we came out a little bit too timid, but we fought back. I think switching to zone helped. At the end of the game we do a great job of getting the lead and then we got a little tentative as opposed to attacking them like we did to get the lead. To go on the road and beat a great team, we have to play a full 40-minute game and do all the little things – be the attacker.”

The hole grew to as large as 14 points (36-22) early in the third quarter before the Bulldogs began to gain some traction. Kendal Brigham led the way off the bench with a 15-point effort on 6-for-9 shooting from the floor. The Bulldogs took their first lead (53-52) of the afternoon at the 4:25 mark of the fourth quarter when Brigham scored on a layup. After the two sides then traded empty possessions, Jada Campbell scored inside to initiate a 9-1 run to close out the game. The only point put up by Concordia over the final four minutes was a free throw by Brigham.

Campbell (22) and Matti Reiner (15) combined for 37 of DWU’s 61 points. Campbell also grabbed 10 rebounds in helping her side take that category by a count of 43-32. The inside game was much needed for the Tigers (21-7, 15-7 GPAC), who made only 3-of-19 attempts from 3-point range. DWU won despite shooting 34.5 percent (20-for-58) from the floor overall.

Brigham was joined in double figures by teammates Abby Krieser (12) and Mackenzie Toomey (11). Taysha Rushton was limited to seven points on 3-for-10 shooting. Off the bench, Kristin Vieselmeyer tallied eight points. Concordia shot 35.1 percent (20-for-57) from the floor and settled for a regular season split with the Tigers.

Said Olson, “Kendal played really well. She was aggressive – both her and AK in that stretch run. We were able to get a lot of transition baskets and push the pace. That was why we got the lead. We have to continue to do that. I thought Mack Koepke did a great job defensively and rebounding. Kristin Vieselmeyer battled inside and hit a big three.”

GPAC tournament play will get started on Wednesday with the quarterfinal round. As the No. 6 seed, the Bulldogs will make the long trip north to play third-seeded Jamestown (21-7, 16-6 GPAC). The Jimmies won both regular season meetings. Game time from Newman Arena in North Dakota is slated for 6 p.m. CT. The complete GPAC tournament pairings can be found HERE.