SEWARD, Neb. – The start of the second semester at Concordia coincides with the beginning of the second half of the GPAC basketball slate. Once again, the Bulldogs are right in the thick of the race for the regular-season conference championship. At 10-1 in league play, head coach Drew Olson’s squad is situated just behind Hastings (10-0) at the top of the GPAC standings. Concordia will be back in the role of a heavy favorite in its two outings this week.
Morningside (9-2 GPAC) and Dordt (8-3 GPAC) also are hovering near the top of the league standings. There may not be much margin for error with Hastings rolling to an 18-0 start. As Rick Flair used to say, “To be the man, you gotta beat the man.” The Broncos did that last week by defeating a Bulldog program that has swept GPAC regular-season and postseason titles in each of the past three seasons. Hastings will make the return trip to Walz Arena on Feb. 12. Head coach Jina Douglas’ team also has road games left at No. 14 Dakota Wesleyan and No. 6 Dordt.
Concordia regrouped after the 66-59 loss at Hastings on Jan. 8 and demolished Jamestown, 105-56, on Jan. 11. After being minus-eight in turnovers at Hastings, the Bulldogs were plus-18 in that category against the Jimmies. From an individual perspective, freshman Taylor Farrell came through with 18 points while making 5-of-6 shots from 3-point range versus Jamestown. In that same contest, senior Philly Lammers moved past Sarah Harrison for second on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,812 points. Also on the all-time lists, Lammers ranks fourth in rebounds (946) and fifth in steals (314). Only two players in program history have ever surpassed 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for a career.
No team has gone unbeaten in GPAC regular-season action since Morningside went 20-0 during the 2014-15 campaign. That Mustang squad wound up falling to Concordia in the GPAC tournament championship game. Over the past few years, the Bulldogs have been about as close to perfection as it gets. Since the beginning of the 2016-17 campaign, Concordia has a combined mark of 67-6 in conference regular-season play. The current seniors that have been around since the 2016-17 season have helped the program to a combined four-year record of 120-10.
The Bulldogs set a program record for most points in a single game on Nov. 20 when they routed College of Saint Mary, 127-51. The second highest total allowed by the Flames this season was 104 at Hastings. College of Saint Mary’s two conference wins have come over Doane and Briar Cliff. Head coach Kirk Walker’s squad has averaged 61.4 points and is shooting 35.6 percent from the floor. The Flames do not have a single player averaging in double figures, but four of them average at least 7.0 points.
Briar Cliff managed to end a seven-game GPAC losing streak by winning at Doane, 71-51, last week. Head coach Mike Power’s squad also owns a league victory over Mount Marty. The Chargers boast one of the league’s most productive freshmen in Konnor Sudmann, who is averaging 17.0 points per game. Briar Cliff has gotten to the free throw line 22.2 times per game and shoots 71.7 percent from the foul line.
Following this week, the Bulldogs will look forward to hosting No. 7 Morningside on Jan. 22 before traveling to Concordia University, Chicago for the 69th annual Concordia Invitational Tournament (Jan. 24-25).
Concordia (15-2, 10-1 GPAC)
G – Grace Barry, Sr., 5-7 (13.1)
G – Riley Sibbel, Sr., 5-9 (8.0)
G – Mackenzie Koepke, So., 6-1 (8.3)
F – Colby Duvel, Sr., 5-9 (7.0)
F – Philly Lammers, Sr., 5-11 (14.0)
College of Saint Mary (5-13, 2-9 GPAC)
G – Lynsey Curran, Sr., 5-5 (8.6)
G – Kenzi Hoit, Fr., 5-5 (6.8)
G/F – Madelyn Turner, Fr., 5-9 (4.6)
G/F – Madison Ybarra, So., 5-8 (3.8)
F – Clare Lewandowski, Fr., 6-1 (8.3)
Briar Cliff (5-13, 2-8 GPAC)
G – Sarah Dreckman, Sr., 5-6 (2.4)
G – Alyssa Carley, Sr., 5-11 (11.6)
G – Konnor Sudmann, Fr., 5-11 (17.0)
F – Sarah Lamprecht, Fr., 5-9 (2.9)
C – Madelyn Deitchler, So., 5-11 (13.0)