Seventh-ranked Bulldogs stay hot as a flame

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 30, 2016 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – Freshman Philly Lammers continued her tear and the seventh-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team experienced little difficulty on its way to its 10th-straight victory. The Bulldogs shot 56.5 percent and pummeled visiting College of Saint Mary, 95-56, inside Walz Arena on Wednesday night.

Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad is a perfect 4-0 at home and has won each of its last eight contests played inside Walz Arena. Concordia has improved to 10-1 overall and to 5-0 in conference play.

“It was probably a hard game for our kids to really stay focused and get up for knowing what’s to come on Saturday,” Olson said. “I was pleased with how we played. I still think there are some things we can do better, but it was a good effort. I was worried we would look past this and not play as hard.”

A product of Millard West High School, Lammers has been nearly automatic when getting touches inside. She torched the Flames (2-6, 0-4 GPAC) for 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Over her last four games, Lammers has made 26-of-35 of shots from the floor.

With Lammers hammering away inside, Bulldog snipers got loose on the perimeter. Sharpshooter Dani Andersen capped a 12-0 run to begin the third quarter with one of her three treys on the night. At that point Concordia had built an insurmountable 64-29 advantage. Andersen also somehow got a driving fourth-quarter layup to fall despite heavy contact.

One of the nation’s top defensive stoppers, Mary Janovich did it all while celebrating her birthday. She kick started the third quarter explosion with a steal and a breakaway layup. She needed only 21 minutes of action to equal Andersen with a game high 16 points. Janovich also dished out six assists and swiped a pair of steals.

Janovich and the ‘Dogs are rolling.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Janovich said. “We have a lot of depth, so that’s really nice. We know that the next group is going to come in and do what they need to do as well.”

Janovich was one of seven Bulldogs to knock down at least one trey for a squad that went 12-for-25 (.480) from long distance. Brenleigh Daum came off the bench to drain 3-of-6 shots from beyond the arc and Sydney Feller splashed home both of her shots from 3-point range. Daum, Aubri Bro and Devin Edwards each supplied nine points off the bench.

“I was pleased with a lot of our kids that came off the bench,” Olson said. “Aubri Bro was phenomenal. She’s doing some things on both ends that really help us. We just need more of that production, especially going into big games. We want to find players that will be productive on both ends against really good teams.”

College of Saint Mary turned the ball over 24 times and shot just 33.8 percent from the floor and 18.8 percent from beyond the arc. Lacey Knudsen led the Flames with 11 points off the bench.

Just one of Concordia’s 10 victories has come by a margin of fewer than 10 points. The Bulldogs entered the night ranked fifth nationally with a per game scoring margin of plus-26.9. The wealth of blowouts has made for light workloads for Concordia starters. None of which average more than 22 minutes per game. The bench accounted for more than half the playing time on Wednesday evening.

For the second time this season, Concordia will play a team with a No. 1 ranking. Saturday’s opponent, undefeated Dakota Wesleyan (10-0, 4-0 GPAC), rose to the top spot with the release of this week’s poll. The Tigers topped defending GPAC champion and ninth-ranked Morningside, 91-81, in Wednesday’s top-10 matchup.