Warriors outgun Bulldogs with sterling Cattle Classic performance

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 5, 2021 in Women's Basketball

By Sam Firminhac, Athletic Communications

SEWARD, Neb. – After a slow start the Concordia University Women’s Basketball team was unable to come back from an early deficit in Friday night’s (Nov. 5) loss to No. 18 Sterling College (Kan.). In their opening game at the 22nd annual Cattle Classic, the ninth-ranked Bulldogs fought back hard but ultimately fell 84-66. The Warriors two offensive stars were just too much for Concordia’s defense to handle.

Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad falls to 1-1 in the early season. Olson hopes this will serve as a learning experience.

“It’s good for us to learn what it takes to be a great team,” Olson said. “Tonight was not good for us because Sterling did some awesome things. Defensively they were really good and we didn’t respond well. I thought we did compete in the second half and fought back, but when you dig yourself a 25-point hole it’s a mountain to climb. I thought we fought to get it down to eight, but you exert so much energy to get to that point. We couldn’t sustain it to get all the way back into the game.”

Coming off her stellar 32-point performance, Taysha Rushton led the Bulldogs in scoring with 19 points and five rebounds. Rylee Pauli had herself a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Concordia bench was very productive in the loss, scoring 22 of the Bulldogs’ 66 points. Shooting struggles were an issue for Concordia, which shot 28.9 percent from the field compared to the Warriors’ 42.2 percent. Sterling also knocked down 8-of-23 (.348) shots from 3-point range and went 22-for-28 (.786) from the foul line.

Bailey Albright and Taya Wilson caused issues for the Bulldog defense all night. Albright scorched the nets with 24 points and Wilson powered in a game high 25. Albright was also 3-for-9 on 3-pointers on Friday. With that dynamic duo leading the way, the Warriors (1-0) blitzed Concordia from the opening tip. It was 24-9 after one quarter and Sterling led by as many as 26 points (41-15) in the second quarter. The Bulldogs chiseled their deficit down to eight (52-44) in the third quarter before Sterling responded with a soul-crushing spurt of its own.

Concordia will wrap up the weekend tomorrow afternoon (Nov. 6) as they take on 13th-ranked Dakota State University (S.D.). This contest will be the final game on the women’s side of the Cattle Classic. The Bulldogs fell in last year’s meeting with the Trojans. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT from Friedrich Arena. All four women’s teams at the Cattle Classic are ranked in the NAIA top 25.