By Sam Firminhac, Athletic Communications
JAMESTOWN, N.D. – The Concordia University Women’s Basketball team had its seven-game GPAC win streak snapped on Saturday (Jan. 15) in a road contest against a sneaky good Jamestown foe. After a solid start, the 19th-ranked Bulldogs saw their eight-point lead slip away in the second quarter and were forced to play catch up the rest of the way. Concordia was never able to retake the lead and ultimately fell, 65-51.
With the loss, Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad moves to 9-4 in conference play and 12-7 overall. Olson attributed some of the offensive struggles to missing steadying guard Bailey Conrad.
“A lot of things contributed to our struggles offensively,” Olson said. “We really miss having Bailey Conrad. I thought we had a typical road game for a young team that was out of sorts and wasn’t able to gather themselves. We had a couple really good games in a row and maybe we thought it was just going to continue to be like that. It’s something we have to learn from. We have to be more locked in on the road in the GPAC.”
Turnovers played a key role in the outcome as the Bulldogs committed 17 of them compared to only nine by the Jimmies. Taysha Rushton kept fighting throughout and led the Bulldogs in scoring with 16 points while adding three assists and three rebounds to her effort. Sadie Powell was the only other player in double figures for Concordia with 11 points. Powell also snagged five rebounds. Rylee Pauli emerged with a team high 10 rebounds. Both Kayla Luebbe and Kendal Brigham added nine points each off the Bulldog bench.
Concordia managed to shoot only 30.5 percent (18-for-59) from the field compared to the Jimmies' 42.4 percent (25-for-59). Jamestown was automatic from the free-throw line going 9-for-10 (all attempts late in the game), while the Bulldogs were barely over 50 percent (7-13). Concordia did manage to outrebound the Jimmies, 43-34, in the losing effort. The 51 points scored by the Bulldogs were a season low.
Jamestown, who is coached by Concordia alum Thad Sankey, improves to 5-7 in the GPAC and 12-8 overall with the win. This snapped the Jimmies’ four-game losing streak. Hannah DeMars topped all players with 21 points while Kia Tower supplied 15 points. Sankey’s team had experienced a run of close defeats recently, including Wednesday’s 66-65 home nail-biter against Briar Cliff.
Olson credited Sankey’s bunch for wanting it more. Said Olson, “We started off well and then let them back in and gave them life. At that point, they just wanted it more. I expected them to be super hungry.”
The Bulldogs return to Friedrich Arena on Wednesday to face the eighth-ranked Morningside (15-3, 11- GPAC). The two squads last met a little over a month ago in Sioux City, Iowa. Concordia fell in that contest, 89-83, despite 24 points from Lauren Baker. Tipoff on Wednesday is set for 6 p.m. CT.