Three game week kicks off with No. 1 Dordt

By Chase Benton on Feb. 5, 2024 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – With inclement weather postponing the Dordt matchup until Monday (Feb. 5), Concordia has a massive three-game stretch upcoming in seven days. After the No. 1 Defenders, the Bulldogs will stay in Seward for College of Saint Mary two days later, then travel to Dakota Wesleyan on Super Bowl Sunday. The blue and white push their win outpouring to 12 consecutive games, post Morningside (79-67) and Northwestern (75-55) victories this past week. Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad is 19-2 overall and 13-2 in the tough GPAC.

This Week

Monday, Feb. 5 vs. No. 1 Dordt (20-1, 15-0 GPAC), 6 p.m. CT
-- Max Country | Live Webcast Live Stats | Location: Friedrich Arena (Seward, Neb.)

Wednesday, Feb. 7 vs. College of Saint Mary (1-20, 0-16 GPAC), 7 p.m. CT
-- Max Country | Live Webcast Live Stats | Location: Friedrich Arena (Seward, Neb.)

Sunday, Feb. 11 at Dakota Wesleyan (17-5, 12-4 GPAC), 1 p.m. CT
-- Max Country | Live Webcast Live Stats | Location: The World's Only Corn Palace (Mitchell, S.D.)

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By the numbers

·       The Dawgs shot a season’s best percentage (55.2) against Morningside in their 13-point triumph over the visitors. Sadie Powell, Taysha Rushton and Mackenzie Toomey did damage in the 19-0 scoring drive, running past the Mustangs for an unbeaten January. The four Concordia double-figure scorers were Powell (16), Rushton (14), Toomey (12) and Belt (11). It was another night of stuffing the stat sheet for Toomey, who added eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Powell moved past 900 career points as she treks closer to 1,000. Against Northwestern, the ultra aggressive Rushton scored (17) over her season average (15.2) before the halftime break. Similar to the first matchup, the Red Raiders made a push in the final frame cutting the lead to 7. Powell, Belt and Rushton answered with a 14-2 game deciding run. CUNE turned up the heat on the offensive side of the floor in the fourth quarter, shooting 53 percent (9-17) from the field. The defense did its thing, forcing 23 turnovers and 16 steals in the contest.

·       The 12-game stretch started after the loss to Briar Cliff on Dec. 9 and is the biggest winning landslide since the 2019-20’s 18-game hot streak. In the dozen contests, the Dawgs shot 44.1 percent from the field, 34 percent from 3-point range and 80.3 percent from the charity stripe. The bread and butter defense has caused 274 turnovers (22.8 pg) and 169 steals (13.4 pg). Making almost double digits (9.3 pg) from beyond the arc, the offense averages 16.3 assists per game on 29.3 field goals.

·       Rushton resurges back into the top five in points per game (15.2) with a 29-point performance over NWC. The single contest showing pushed her to 1,728 career points and No. 8 in the Concordia all-time scoring list. She matched her season best from last year but had two higher point-days in her sophomore season. She opened the 2021-22 campaign with her career high (32) on Nov. 1, then scorched Midland with 31 points on Feb. 2 at Wikert Event Center.

·       Belt has a niche like no other, firing a conference leading 46.8 percent from downtown. In the 12-game run, the Papillion, Neb., native has shot dead on 50 percent and 52.6 percent (10-19) in the last five bouts. Her average last season … 35.2 percent. She has 72 career three-point field goals in less than two seasons.

·       With every team through 16 conference games, except Concordia and Dordt, the GPAC standings have the Defenders with an unblemished, 15-0, conference record at the top. The Dawgs are in second with a two loss 13-2 record. With everyone else having only six games left, Dakota Wesleyan (12-4) and Briar Cliff (10-6) currently hold the last two quarterfinal host spots for the conference tournament. In the middle of the conference, the competition is clogged with three teams fighting for the 5th in the conference. Jamestown, Morningside and Northwestern are knotted at 9-7.

Concordia Projected Starting Five
G – Mackenzie Toomey, 5-9 (5.5)
G – Taysha Rushton, 5-5 (15.2)
G – Abby Krieser, 5-8 (9.0)
F – Sadie Powell, 6-0 (11.2)
F – Kristin Vieselmeyer, 6-1 (5.7)


The Defenders come into the bout with a 20-1 (15-0 GPAC) record, with their solo loss coming from Division I South Dakota State University (66-54). This will be the ultimate test for the Bulldogs, as Dordt is tied for 4th in the nation in points scored per contest (85.9). A powerhouse off the glass, the visitors are 4th in rebounds (47 pg) and second in rebound margin (+15) in the NAIA. Janie Schoonhoven (67.8 pct) and Gracie Schoonhoven (67.9 pct) are in the top five in the nation in field goal percentage, showing the Defenders take great shots consistently. Coming off the bench, Gracie leads the team in points, 12.8 pg, and Janie scores 10.9 per game, collecting a team high 8.4 rebounds a contest. Macy Sievers does it all averaging 10.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.9 steals every 40 minutes. Bailey Beckman averages 12.7 points per game and Karly Gustafson takes 7.4 rebounds per game.

Dordt Projected Starting Five
G – Macy Sievers, 5-8 (10.2)
G – Bailey Beckman, 5-3 (12.7)
G – Faith Van Holland, 5-7 (5.3)
F – Karly Gustafson, 6-0 (12.2)
F – Janie Schoonhoven, 5-10 (10.9)


The Flames come into the week winless (16-0) in the conference and have one win overall (1-20). Their lone win came against Waldorf (67-63) in the opening game of the season. CSM scores 53 points per game, while allowing 84.8. Tia Murray (14.9) and Madison Camden (10.4) average double digit performances and lead the team in scoring. Sidney Anderson snags 8.4 rebounds and Madison Guzman paces the team with 2.7 assists.

CSM Projected Starting Five
G – Chainey Thompson, 5-7 (5.0)
G – ShyAnne Mayhue, 5-6 (7.0)
G – Madison Guzman, 5-6 (2.3)
F – Sidney Anderson, 6-4 (9.3)
F – Tia Murray, 6-1 (14.9)

Dakota Wesleyan

The Tigers matchup is toward the end of the week, but currently have a 17-5 overall record and 12-4 conference record. They are 9-0 so far in the World’s Only Corn Palace, where the game is set to tip off. Dakota Wesleyan averages 76.6 points per 40 minutes, giving up the second lowest (61.7) in the conference. They set up shop behind the arc, shooting a GPAC high 34.1 percent and pass 18.1 assists. The offense runs through their only starting forward, Emma Yost, lighting it up with 15.9 points and 6.1 rebounds. Morgan Edelman has the team high 7.5 rebounds a game and off the bench, Isabel Ihnen takes almost 10 (9.9) points a contest for the Tigers.

Dakota Projected Starting Five
G – Taliyah Hayes, 5-7 (7.6)
G – Morgan Edelman, 5-7 (8.4)
G – Mya Wilson, 5-4 (1.9)
G – Shalayne Nagel, 6-0 (9.6)
F – Emma Yost, 5-11 (15.9)

After the long three game week, Concordia will take a short trip to Doane on Wednesday (Feb. 14) and clash with Dordt on Saturday, this time at DeWitt Gymnasium. The Bulldogs will be in the final stretch following those two matchups, coming home for their last two regular season outings in the 2023-24 campaign.