Toomey terrific in leading rout of DWU

By Jacob Knabel on Jan. 8, 2022 in Women's Basketball

SEWARD, Neb. – This may have been as complete of a performance as the 22nd-ranked Concordia University Women’s Basketball team has put together this season. The Bulldogs shot 50.7 percent from the floor and gave visiting Dakota Wesleyan fits with their zone defense in the 90-58 home win on Saturday (Jan. 8) afternoon inside Friedrich Arena. Mackenzie Toomey posted a career high 19 points and Concordia used a 17-0 second quarter surge to run away with it.

Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad has won six-straight conference games to move to 11-6 overall (8-3 GPAC). The Bulldogs currently reside in second place in the GPAC.

“I saw a lot of fight and toughness,” said Olson of the second quarter run. “Really impressed with how well we played defensively. It allowed us to get out and run in transition and get a lot of easy baskets in that run. That was a lot of fun. I didn’t expect a game like that, but it just showed what we’re capable of.”

By halftime, Concordia had already exerted its will. With just under four minutes left in the second quarter, the Tigers trailed by just four. The Bulldogs proceeded to get microwave oven hot while staking themselves to a 45-24 halftime advantage. During the 17-0 run, Kendal Brigham notched five points in a row before Toomey followed with seven-consecutive tallies. It all happened in a blur that featured smothering defensive play transitioning into open layups and treys.

One of the team’s best defensive players, Toomey (4-for-5 from 3-point range) also showcased her offensive game on Saturday. The Lincoln Southeast product eclipsed a career high point total in the first half alone and added five rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. Then in the second half, Taysha Rushton got on a roll in flurrying for 14 of her 18 points. In the frontcourt, Kayla Luebbe emerged in a big way and totaled 11 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.

“We really just played together really well,” Toomey said. “We worked the ball well and everyone was unselfish today. We had wide open shots and our defense was really good.”

Dakota Wesleyan (14-4, 6-4 GPAC) boasts one of the top frontcourts in the league and entered play leading the GPAC in rebound margin. This just wasn’t their day. The Tigers had only one double figure scorer (Rynn Osthus with 13 points) and got outrebounded, 45-39. Leading scorer Jada Campbell was limited to two points (0-for-4 from the field). DWU never did figure out how to crack the zone on a day when it shot 29.4 percent from the floor.

Before falling twice this week, the Tigers had won 11-straight games. It would have been an exceptional challenge for any visiting foe to beat the Bulldogs on this particular day. Said Olson, “I expected a close game and a dogfight. Thankfully our players came ready to play and really responded … Toomey had an awesome game, especially in that first half. Kendal just continues to play with courage and fire away. It’s really awesome to see.”

Ten Bulldogs broke into the scoring column in the victory. Brigham finished with nine points and three rebounds while Lauren Baker added eight points. Three players collected exactly seven points: Taylor Farrell, Abby Krieser and Sadie Powell. In control of the offense, Bailey Conrad dished out seven assists. Abby Heemstra shared a team high with six rebounds. Luebbe and Rylee Pauli blocked three shots apiece as part of a nine-rejection team performance.

The Bulldogs will remain at home and host College of Saint Mary (10-6, 4-6 GPAC) at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Concordia has won each of the past 18 series meetings with the Flames. In action on Saturday, College of Saint Mary earned an 81-44 home win over Mount Marty. CSM has already far exceeded its win total from 2020-21 when it went 3-21 overall.