Streaking Bulldogs setting sights on outright GPAC title

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 6, 2017 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – The second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team enters the week hoping to sew up an outright GPAC regular-season title. Just one more victory will lock up at least a share of the conference crown for 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad. On the strength of a 24-game win streak, the Bulldogs stand at 24-1 overall and at 15-0 in conference action.

This week’s schedule
Wednesday vs. Doane (13-13, 7-9 GPAC), 6 p.m.
Saturday at Briar Cliff (14-12, 8-8 GPAC), 2 p.m.
Sunday at No. 8 Dakota Wesleyan (21-4, 12-4 GPAC), 2 p.m.

All three of this week’s games will be carried live by 104.9 Max Country. Wednesday’s contest can be watched live on the Concordia Sports Network. For the weekend tilts, Briar Cliff and Dakota Wesleyan will provide webcast coverage.

Concordia’s 24-game win streak is the longest for the program since Olson took leadership of the program prior to the 2006-07 season. The winningest coach in school history, Olson (272-89) has also guided teams to win streaks of 23 (2014-15) and 21 (2011-12). The 2011-12 and 2014-15 squads both made runs to the national semifinals with the ’14-15 team finishing as the NAIA Division II runner up. With one more triumph, Olson will have reached the 25-win mark for the seventh time as head coach.

On a team with excellent balance, the play of freshman Philly Lammers has stood out. Winner of back-to-back GPAC player of the week awards, Lammers produced her third double-double in four games by going for 17 points and 10 rebounds in last week’s victory at Mount Marty. Over the last seven contests, the product of Millard West High School is averaging 17.0 points and 9.4 rebounds, bringing her season averages up to 13.6 and 7.0. She remains the team leader in scoring, rebounding, blocks (1.12) and field goal percentage (.617).

One of the essential ingredients to Concordia’s success is its tenacious press. Opponents have averaged 27.6 turnovers per game. On the GPAC leaderboard, four Bulldogs rank among the top seven in terms of steals per game: Mary Janovich (2.58), Wragge (2.12), Shelby Quinn (2.08) and Lammers (2.04). Dani Andersen is also 18th on that list with an average of 1.44 steals per contest.

On Wednesday, Doane will be walking into one of the most challenging environments for visiting teams. The Bulldogs are 12-0 this season and 82-9 at home since the start of the 2011-12 season. The Tigers have won three-straight games, including last week’s 63-60 upset of No. 22 Northwestern. Doane follows the lead of senior guard Hanah Barnard (19.9 ppg), the GPAC’s second leading scorer. Concordia won in Crete, 77-56, on Nov. 22.

Briar Cliff has won three of its last four conference contests while playing the bottom four teams in the GPAC standings. The Chargers’ most impressive win of the season was a 70-66 upset of No. 10 University of Jamestown (N.D.) on Dec. 30. Head coach Mike Power’s team has a freshman phenom of its own in 5-foot-11 center Kailey Burke, who leads the team in scoring (14.1), rebounding (5.9) and blocks (1.0).

Sunday’s battle will be a rematch of a classic 85-82 Bulldog win inside Walz on Dec. 3. Since then, Dakota Wesleyan has gone 11-3 with two losses to Hastings and another at Morningside. Like Concordia, the Tigers possess a multitude of scoring options. Six players average more than eight points per game, led by the 12.3 from junior forward Ashley Bray. Dakota Wesleyan boasts national rankings of third in 3-point field goal percentage (.394) and seventh in field goal percentage (.456).

Projected lineups

Concordia (24-1, 15-0 GPAC)
G – Shelby Quinn: 6.7 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.1 rpg, 2.1 spg, .388 fg%
G – Dani Andersen: 9.3 ppg, 1.4 spg, 1.1 rpg, .369 fg%, .338 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.8 ppg, 3.4 apg, 3.0 rpg, 2.6 spg, .534 fg%, .461 3-pt fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 11.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.1 spg, .573 fg%
F – Philly Lammers: 13.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.0 spg, 1.1 bpg, .617 fg%

Doane (13-13, 7-9 GPAC)
G – Hanah Barnard: 19.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.8 apg, .444 fg%, .411 3-pt fg%
G – Jenna Nieveen: 5.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, .352 fg%, .345 3-pt fg%
G – McKenna Dodd: 9.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.4 spg, .342 fg%
G – Morgan Hill: 11.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 3.0 spg, .450 fg%
F – Allie Satterly: 7.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, .515 fg%

Briar Cliff (14-12, 8-8 GPAC)
G – Julie Targy: 2.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.0 spg, .383 fg%
G – Rachel Knutson-Kobold: 3.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.2 spg, .463 fg%
G – Taylor Wagner: 6.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.7 spg, .384 fg%
F – Morgan Hansen: 10.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.0 spg, .386 fg%
C – Kailey Burke: 14.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.2 spg, 1.0 bpg, .543 fg%

Dakota Wesleyan (21-4, 12-4 GPAC)
G – Rylie Osthus: 9.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.3 apg, .438 fg%, .739 ft%
G – Chesney Nagel: 3.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, .406 fg%
F – Ashley Bray: 12.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.0 spg, .495 fg%, .419 3-pt fg%
F – Erica Herrold: 11.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, .425 fg%, .372 3-pt fg%
F – Kristin Sabers: 8.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, .443 fg%, .407 3-pt fg%