SEWARD, Neb. – For the 14th-consecutive year, the Concordia University women’s basketball team will play host for its opening game of the GPAC tournament. The Bulldogs begin their postseason run on Wednesday when they welcome seventh-seeded Mount Marty (19-11, 9-11 GPAC) for a GPAC quarterfinal clash. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. from Walz Arena, where Concordia owns a record of 55-7 (.887) over the past four seasons.
The winner will advance to play either third-seeded Hastings (21-7, 15-5 GPAC) or sixth-seeded Doane (13-17, 9-11 GPAC) in the semifinals. A victory over Mount Marty would keep Concordia at home for a 3 p.m. tipoff on Saturday.
Wednesday’s game can be seen live via the Concordia Sports Network.
The Bulldogs have won each of the last eight meetings with the Lancers. In this season’s two matchups, Concordia held off Mount Marty for a 63-59 triumph in Yankton, S.D., in the conference opener on Nov. 12. Roughly a month later, the Bulldogs got 23 points from Bailey Morris and dominated the second half, cruising to a 92-61 victory inside Walz Arena.
Ninth-year head coach Drew Olson owns a GPAC tournament record of 9-7. He guided the program to its third GPAC tournament title in 2012. Concordia also cut the nets down in 2004 and 2005 and are 17-11 all-time in GPAC postseason play.
Meanwhile, Mount Marty’s last GPAC tournament win came on Feb. 23, 2010, when it rolled Dakota Wesleyan, 61-41, in the first round of the conference bracket. Last year’s Lancers missed the GPAC tournament after going 4-16 in conference regular-season action.
Morris and company are looking to get back in the win column after seeing their 23-game win streak snapped in last week’s 77-76 loss at No. 1 Morningside in the NAIA game of the week. An 11-game home win streak remains intact for a Bulldog team that last graced Walz Arena on Feb. 7.
After losing three-straight games to ranked opponents to begin the month of February, head coach Tom Schlimgen’s squad has rebounded by stringing three wins together, including a quality road victory over Dakota Wesleyan on Feb. 18. Junior guard Alex Kneeland tops the Lancers with an average of 16.1 points per game. Mount Marty leads the GPAC in both 3-point field goals per game (9.63) and 3-point field goal percentage (.342).
Fans are encouraged to wear ‘Dawg Strong’ T-shirts for Wednesday’s game. T-shirts can be purchased for $5 prior to and at halftime of the game.
Concordia (28-2, 18-2 GPAC)
OFF: 85.8 ppg
DEF: 61.8 ppg
Scoring leader: Bailey Morris – 18.8 ppg
Rebound leader: Jericca Pearson – 4.6 rpg
Assists leader: Bailey Morris – 5.07 apg
Steals leader: Bailey Morris – 4.28 spg
Blocks leader: Becky Mueller – 0.56
Mount Marty (19-11, 9-11 GPAC)
OFF: 76.2 ppg
DEF: 67.5 ppg
Scoring leader: Alex Kneeland – 16.1 ppg
Rebound leader: Raquel Sutera – 7.1 rpg
Assists leader: Cassidy Gebhart – 3.33 apg
Steals leader: Holly Hegge – 1.73 spg
Blocks leader: Holly Hegge – 0.67 bpg