2016-17 Women's Basketball Roster
SEWARD, Neb. – Head coach Drew Olson’s Concordia University women’s basketball program has announced an incoming 2016-17 recruiting class of eight student-athletes. Six hail from the state of Nebraska and one apiece call Colorado and Kansas home. The Bulldogs are coming off a 22-10 season in 2015-16 in which they qualified for the national tournament for the fifth-straight season and for the seventh time over the past eight years.
Said Olson, “I am very excited about the incoming 2016-17 class. I think they are very talented with different skillsets. More importantly, they all are great character kids who share our Christian values, work hard, and will be great teammates. All of them have had very successful high school careers with team success and many individual honors. You never know how freshmen will transition to the college game and how quickly they will understand our style of play, but I think a few have the potential to compete for varsity spots their first year. All of them have the potential to develop into quality college basketball players. I always love seeing unique personalities blend into the returners to form our team. I believe it is a great mix that will continue the outstanding culture and dominant tradition of this program.”
Madi Daly | 5-4 | Guard | Mullen HS
Olson’s take: Madi is a hard-nosed kid that out works her opponents. I was blown away by her motor when she came to our camp last summer. She is strong for a guard and can attack the basket. She is a great teammate that will push people every day in practice.
Honors/team success: Named honorable mention all-state by the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald … reeled in second team all-conference and honorable mention all-area honors.
Colby Duvel | 5-9 | Guard/Forward | Platteview HS
Olson’s take: Colby is a very versatile player that can play inside and out. She is a tough kid that will do anything for the team. She is a great rebounder, slasher, finisher with huge upside. Colby was probably overshadowed by her teammate but I believe she was one of the best players in the state. She is a perfect fit for our program and how we want to play.
Honors/team success: First team all-conference all four years … named by the Lincoln Journal Star to Class B all-state team as a senior and honorable mention all-state freshman through junior years … four-time Omaha World-Herald all-state honorable mention honoree … chosen to Nebraska Coaches Association All-Star Game … garnered Nebraska Coaches All-Star Award … NCPA academic all-state …first team all-metro as junior and senior … led Platteview to two district championships and two conference titles and two state championships appearances.
Maggie Goltz | 6-1 | Guard/Forward | Falls City Sacred Heart HS
Olson’s take: Maggie is one of the most dynamic players we are bringing in. She is 6’1 but plays like a point guard with her ball handling and passing skills. She is a great defender for multiple positions because of her length and understanding of the game. I don’t know where she is going to play, but I am excited to see where she fits in.
Honors/team success: Earned Class D2 first team all-state recognition three times and honorable mention all-state once … named honorary captain of the 2015-16 Lincoln Journal Star state all-tournament team … selected to the state all-tournament team in each of final three seasons … collected first team all-conference honors three times and second team all-conference accolades once … named academic all-state three times … led Falls City Sacred Heart to a state title as a junior and three third-place state finishes … tabbed Up and Coming Female Athlete of the Year in basketball and volleyball in 2014 … ended prep career with the Sacred Heart record for most career made free throws … ranks second in school history for career rebounds (716) and third in career points (1,233).
MacKenzie Helman | 5-7 | Guard | Lincoln Pius X HS
Olson’s take: MacKenzie is a crafty point guard with great vision. She is a really good shooter too. I am really excited we were able to add Mac to the class just recently. I am looking forward to seeing her develop in our system.
Honors/team success: Named honorable mention all-state by both the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha-World Herald in both 2015 and 2016 … started at point guard for the 2015 Lincoln Pius X state champion team and for the 2014 state runner-up squad.
Philly Lammers | 5-11 | Post | Millard West HS
Olson’s take: Philly is strong with an incredible work ethic. Her motor is as good as I have ever seen at the high school level. She will be a force once she adds post moves and an outside shooting to her physical game. I can’t wait to see her battle every day and make all of our posts play with that kind of motor.
Honors/team success: Named a USA Today second team all-state choice … earned Class A second team all-state and ‘all class’ third team all-state recognition … garnered first team all-metro accolades … selected to play in the 15th annual Buffalo Wild Wings High School All-Star Game and the Nebraska Coaches Association All-Star Game … placed on the state Class A and all class all-tournament teams … received Omaha Greater Sports Top Scholar-Athlete award … broke Millard West record for field goal percentage (.537) … tabbed academic all-state … averaged 11.9 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior.
Sara Sauceda | 5-6 | Guard | Lutheran HS (Colo.)
Olson’s take: Sauce is one of the best teammates you can find. She works hard and will do anything for the team. She will definitely add to the team’s personality.
Honors/team success: Helped Lutheran High School to a 2016 state title while playing for head coach Mark Duitsman, a Concordia alum.
Taryn Schuette | 5-11 | Guard | Sabetha HS (Kan.)
Olson’s take: Taryn was another hidden gem that we found from our individual camp last summer. She is a perfect fit for what we are looking for. She is a long guard that can defend with a strong character. I believe Taryn will really thrive and develop the more she gets to play with our team.
Honors/team success: Tabbed honorable mention Class 3A all-state by the Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital Journal twice … chosen to play in NEK all-star game … named Big 7 all-league three times … started at the varsity level for three years.
Riley Sibbel | 5-8 | Guard | O’Neill St. Mary’s HS
Olson’s take: Riley is a tough kid that finds ways to win. She is a great athlete that can defend and get to the basket. She had a very successful high school career in volleyball and basketball. I know she will come in and develop greatly in our system and become a very good player because of her work ethic and character.
Honors/team success: Named second team Class D all-state as both a junior and senior ... selected to the Class D2 state all-tournament first team in 2016 … garnered honorable mention all-state laurels as a freshman … collected first team all-conference recognition twice … tabbed first team all-area as a senior and second team all-area as a junior by the Holt County Independent … led O’Neill St. Mary’s to Class D1 state championship in 2015 and to state runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2016.
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia women’s basketball team is coming off another national appearance season. The squad, ranked 19th in the final national poll, has announced its 2016-17 season in hopes of returning to the tournament again. The season will begin on Oct. 28-29 with a trip west to Denver, Colo. Concordia will face No. 24 Dickinson State University and Johnson & Wales University.
Head coach Drew Olson said, “I am looking forward to the 2016-17 season. We have a good mix of veterans and young talent that should be prepared for the tough schedule. Any GPAC schedule is a tough schedule, but we also have some good non-conference opponents. We have some good trips planned that take us near home towns of Shelby Quinn in Bellevue and Erin Vieselmeyer in Colorado. The Hawaii trip and hosting CIT will be something the kids will never forget.”
The slate will feature 14 home games over the year. The home schedule kicks off with the Cattle Classic on Nov. 4-5.
Concordia will be hosting two tournaments over the season. The first is the Cattle Classic. The ‘Dogs will face Friends University and Oklahoma Wesleyan. Later in the season on Jan. 27-28, Concordia will host the Concordia Invitational Tournament (CIT). Three other Concordia institutions will travel to Seward to battle for the CIT title. The Bulldogs won the tournament last season and will look keep the travel trophy in Seward.
A Christmas break trip to Honolulu, Hawaii will take place Dec. 19-20. While a warm destination in the middle of a Nebraska winter may seem relaxing, the Bulldogs will still have to stay on top of their game to face eighth-ranked College of the Ozarks and Grace College (Ind.).
The Bulldogs will face six teams that ended the 2015-16 year ranked in the nation’s top-25 and two more receiving votes in the poll, all making an appearance in the NAIA Tournament.
The GPAC schedule will get underway On Nov. 9 as Concordia travels to Northwestern College. Four conference foes join the 19th-ranked Bulldogs in the national poll while one more was receiving votes. The first ranked GPAC opponent of the season is No. 5 Mount Marty College. The tilt will take place in Seward on Nov. 19.
Concordia will be returning six Bulldogs who started more than 10 games apiece, including Quinn Wragge who was named to the All-GPAC First Team and the Omaha World Herald All-Nebraska First Team. Mary Janovich will be returning after suffering a season-ending injury. Janovich received All-GPAC and Omaha World Herald All-Nebraska Second-Team honors. Another All-GPAC selection, Shelby Quinn, will return next season.
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University women’s basketball program has announced the promotion of Tae’lor Purdy-Korell, who will assume the role of full-time assistant coach for Drew Olson’s program. Purdy-Korell served the national tournament qualifying Bulldog women’s basketball team in 2015-16 on a part-time coaching basis. She has been tabbed to fill the position held by Marty Kohlwey, who is set to transition into the Director of Campus Ministry and Senior Theology Teacher at Lutheran High School in Parker, Colo. His final day at Concordia will be June 30.
Purdy-Korell, a Regis University alum, put together an impressive playing career before arriving in Seward. She was named to the all-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference first team three times and received honorable mention All-America honors. In her senior season, Tae’lor averaged 21.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Regis University is a NCAA Division II program in Denver, Colo. Following her collegiate career, she played professionally for CBV Binnenland of Barendrecht, Netherlands. There, she averaged 12 points and six rebounds a game.
Purdy-Korell will be splitting duties between coaching and being a first-year academic advisor. The advising duties will include working with freshmen and first-year students to help transition into college life as well as assisting in class registration and determination of field of study. Her official start date at Concordia is slated for July 6.
Tae’lor’s husband is Lance Korell, the Concordia men’s basketball assistant coach.
Statement from Tae’lor Purdy-Korell, assistant women’s basketball coach
I am extremely blessed for the opportunity to serve as a full-time assistant coach under Coach Olson and the women’s basketball program. Coach Olson has built a successful program over the past years with his knowledge and passion for the game, and has created a championship culture that I am eager to be a part of, learn from and contribute to. I look forward to working for a university that focuses on growing relationships with students while encouraging them to be Christian leaders in their school, communities and future careers. Go Bulldogs!
Statement from Drew Olson, head women’s basketball coach
I am really excited about making Tae’lor our full-time assistant coach. She is an incredibly hard worker, understands the game, and will be a great Christian role model for our players. I think Tae’lor will do a great job connecting with our team and recruits because of her recent playing experiences. Tae’lor was extremely helpful in a limited role this past year and I know she can bring so much more to the team as a full time assistant. She has a great drive and passion for basketball. I love that she is in it for the right reasons – to be a positive impact of Christ on others.
Named 2014-15 GPAC freshman of the year, Mary Janovich figures to be a leader for a Concordia women’s basketball team with typical lofty expectations heading into a new season. Janovich continues to make her way back from an ACL tear suffered in practice that ended her sophomore season on Jan. 18. She recently resumed basketball activities and is hoping to be full go for the Bulldogs’ season opener versus Dickinson State University (N.D.) on Oct. 28.
Back on campus on Monday for the start of annual girl’s basketball camps inside Walz Arena, Janovich sat down to discuss her return to the court, expectations for next season and her brother Andy, who was selected by the Denver Broncos in the sixth round of the NFL Draft back in late April.
Q: Give us an update on your rehab from the ACL tear. Have you been able to do many basketball activities yet?
Mary Janovich: I had surgery February 17 and then I got cleared two days before my four-months post-op, so Coach wouldn’t let me play. Neither would (athletic trainer) Randy (Baack). I got to play Sunday (June 26) and I played like five games. It was good. I’m really timid right now, but I’ll get more confident as the days go on.
Q: How much of a process is it building strength back in the knee?
MJ: It is a process, but it was actually pretty easy for me to do that. My flexion and extension were the hardest to do.
Q: It’s more about gaining confidence back then?
MJ: Yeah, I got a steal in open gym and had a fastbreak layup, but I was not going for it because that’s how I tore it. I had flashbacks. I was like, ‘you can have this ball’ – whoever I threw it to.
Q: How exactly did you tear the ACL in practice? Just on a breakaway layup?
MJ: We were doing a three-on-two continuous drill. I got a steal and the person from the other team comes and she’s running me down. We were like laughing at each other because we knew it was a battle to get to the finish. It was no contact or anything. I just planted and went down.
Q: Is that the first time you’ve had a major sports injury?
MJ: No. Going into my junior year of high school I tore all the ligaments in my left ankle. I was supposed to get surgery but I didn’t, and now I’m paying for it.
Q: Even though you’re just getting back into it, what have you observed this offseason during the open gyms?
MJ: We’re going to be a good team. I’m really excited to see what’s in store for us.
Q: What are your thoughts on some of the incoming freshmen?
MJ: I think they’re all really good players. They’re all going to contribute but a few of them stand out. They’re all good girls. It’ll be fun.
Q: How proud of your teammates were you in the way they played after you were injured? They went on a pretty good run at the end of the season.
MJ: I was proud. It was really hard to watch every day at practice and then go to the games. They came together. We started to really mesh and then I went down and it took some more figuring out. They were able to do that and did well.
Q: What did your family do for the NFL draft?
MJ: Well he got drafted that Saturday. We knew he wasn’t going to go in any of the early rounds. He thought he was going to go free agency. We didn’t know. He got drafted that Saturday and that Sunday we all got together. That was pretty cool.
Q: How much do you hear from friends asking about him?
MJ: A lot. We were at a lake the other day and took a couple of the girls from the team. They were just in awe that he plays for the Broncos. It’s still kind of weird to me. Someone will be like, ‘I just saw your brother.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t care’ (laughs).
Q: So everyone’s like, ‘what are you going to accomplish?’
MJ: Pretty much. I’m living in his shadow (laughs).
Q: What is your relationship like with Andy? I know he was able to make some Concordia games.
MJ: We’re super close so that’s cool. I was at a wedding and he was changing a flat tire at the time he got the call (about being picked in the NFL Draft). He called me afterwards to tell me. We’re really close. It was pretty cool to have him call me about it.
Q: How much have you two been able to get to each other’s games with both being busy as student-athletes?
MJ: We actually do pretty well. When he was at Nebraska he got four tickets a game and you could transfer from other players. Since he was a senior he got a lot more tickets. I went to almost every game. I’m going to try to make it to some games out there (in Denver). He told me he’d pay for them because he can do that now. I’m going to take advantage of that. But yeah, he comes to some of our games. I don’t think he’ll be able to make too many this year.
Q: What options did Andy have coming out of high school?
MJ: He had a scholarship to play for Kearney (UNK). Right before he was going to commit there, Bo (Pelini) called him and offered him to walk on. It was like his dream since he was a little kid to go. He said, ‘OK, I’ll do it.’ He worked himself up to a scholarship. He didn’t really get too much playing time sophomore or junior year, but the new coaching staff really gave him an opportunity his senior year.
Q: You have a big family …
MJ: I have 11 siblings.
Q: Is the whole family into athletics?
MJ: Yeah, we’re pretty competitive. We have our own Janovich Olympics that we do. It was some lifting stuff, some running stuff, some throwing and some other dumb stuff. Some were really mad in the end results. Andy didn’t win. He got second. My other brother won.
Q: So you have a balance of older and younger siblings?
MJ: It’s like a 20-year span. The oldest is 40 and I’m the baby.
One of the greatest Bulldogs ever to star on the hardwood didn’t necessarily want the spotlight, but she thrived underneath it anyway. After scoring 23 points over the opening 20 minutes of a win over Sioux Falls in February 2007, Whitney Daberkow (maiden name Stichka) hid in the corner of the locker room at halftime, embarrassed by her own success. Joked Whitney, “My husband (Dayton) says I go into turtle mode sometimes. If I get attention I blush really easily.”
Then only a sophomore, Daberkow equaled a then single-game school record with 35 points on that particular day. But her signature playing moment came just over two years later when Concordia trailed, 73-72, with 8.1 seconds remaining in a second-round game at the 2009 national tournament. A fifth-year senior version of Daberkow proceeded to go the length of the floor before sinking a highly contested driving layup to lift the Bulldogs to a dramatic win over Cornerstone (Mich.). The play-by-play announcer beamed, “You knew she was going to take it, and Cornerstone couldn’t stop it.”
“I remember that I didn’t want it to be my last game,” Daberkow recalled. “I just didn’t want to be done. I loved to play basketball. I had that motivation. We were down by one and I knew I needed to score in the few seconds we had.”
Now Daberkow is back under the spotlight thanks to her selection as a member of the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2016. Upon her official induction in October, Whitney will be expected to stand before the assembled crowd and deliver a speech. Her college head coach for three seasons, Drew Olson, suspects she’ll be nervous when she first begins to speak but also that she’ll pull through, just as she always did for Concordia.
But don’t mistake her, Daberkow has always had a playful and personable nature. She once imitated Olson for an end-of-season highlight video. Says Olson, “She was goofy. She made fun of me all the time – and made fun of her teammates.” Admitted Whitney, “We liked to make fun of Coach Olson,” while adding, “(Assistant Coach) Brett’s (Muller) an easy one to pick on.”
But no joke was the way Daberkow could score. Previous head coach Todd Voss saw her as a two-guard, but Olson took over in 2006 and gave Daberkow control as the team’s point guard. He simply wanted her to have the ball in her hands as much as possible.
It worked. Whitney became the first Bulldog ever to put up 34 points or more in a game twice on her way to 1,765 career points and two national tournament appearances before her graduation in 2009. While trekking across campus, Daberkow frequently donned glasses and “kind of looked like a nerd,” as Olson said with a smile. But once she hit the court she traded in the spectacles for a cape. Thus the reason Olson jokingly referred to her as Clark Kent.
“She was a phenomenal player, but when she stepped on the floor you wouldn’t have guessed that she was the best player,” Olson said. “She had that killer instinct inside of her. She always wanted to step up and make big plays. She was incredibly humble. She didn’t really want the spotlight. She had that killer instinct but it wasn’t like she really wanted to stand out and be the star. She wanted to kill you quietly.”
A native of Ruskin, Neb., the quiet assassin came out of Deshler High School and the same hometown as Amy Voss, the wife of Todd Voss, then the head women’s basketball coach at Concordia. After considering attending the University of Nebraska as a student only, Whitney settled on Concordia and Hastings as her top choices. She visited both and came away with a clear leader. Recalled Whitney, “I remember being on campus (at Concordia) just knowing, like – ‘yes’ – this is where I’m supposed to be.”
All her time at Concordia did was validate that sentiment. While in Seward she developed close friendships and met her future husband Dayton (brother of current Concordia football assistant coach Patrick Daberkow. Whitney and Dayton now have three kids under three years of age: twins Elliot and Ruby – both two – and four-month-old Thatcher). She’s extremely blessed to have followed her father’s advice. Her dad encouraged her to give college basketball a shot.
“Now that I’m done with playing basketball competitively I’m so happy I did it,” Whitney said. “Coach Olson is a really good coach. His style meshes well with my style of play. Half my wedding party was basketball players. (At Concordia) You get to spend every day with your best friends. You can’t ask for anything better than that.”
Some of Concordia’s more memorable wins during the Olson era came with Whitney at the controls. Of course the Cornerstone game comes to mind for her, but so does the November 2008 upset of NCAA Division II University of Nebraska-Kearney. Whitney led all scorers with 33 points in the stunner in Kearney. Said Whitney, “We were in the training room with a lot of UNK players and they just kind of put their noses up to us. They thought we were less of a basketball team than they were, I guess. When we beat them that was pretty sweet.”
Whitney (Stichka) Daberkow made a habit of showing up big in big games. No wonder the honors followed. Three times she was named both first team all-GPAC and an All-American (first team in 2009). The latest athletic honor is selection as a Concordia Athletic Hall of Famer. It’s back to center stage for Whitney, who has done her best to razz her brother-in-law Patrick (former Bulldog football player) – not a member of the Hall of Fame.
“I was pretty surprised,” Whitney said of hearing about her Hall of Fame selection. “Angela Muller had texted me. She was actually the assistant coach when I was being recruited. That was neat to hear from her about it. I was really surprised and really honored.”
SEWARD, Neb. – Three standout student-athletes from head coach Drew Olson’s eight-member 2016-17 recruiting class were chosen to play in the 2016 Nebraska Coaches Association All-Star Girls’ Basketball Game. Future Bulldogs Colby Duvel (Platteview) and Maggie Goltz (Falls City Sacred Heart) will appear on the Blue Team while Philly Lammers (Millard West) will be a member of the opposing Red Team.
The game is scheduled to be played Monday, July 25 at 6 p.m. at Lincoln North Star High School. For more information on the game as well as the all-star selection process, click HERE.
Duvel is a 5-foot-9 guard/forward who Olson says can play inside and out. An all-state selection this past season, Duvel is a “perfect fit for our program and how we want to play,” says Olson. Duvel helped Platteview to two district championships and two state tournament appearances during her prep career.
Goltz, the MVP of the Southeast Nebraska All-Star Game, stands 6-foot-1 and also possesses the ability to play multiple positions. She led Falls City Sacred Heart to a state title as a junior and is a three-time Class D2 first team all-state selection. She amassed 1,233 points and 716 rebounds while also breaking the Sacred Heart record for most made free throws during her prep career. Said Olson, ““Maggie is one of the most dynamic players we are bringing in.”
A 5-foot-11 post player, Lammers averaged 11.9 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Millard West while breaking the school record for field goal percentage (.537). She was named a second team all-state choice and was also selected to play in the Buffalo Wild Wings High School All-Star Game. Said her high school coach Marc Kruger, “She gives us a toughness that makes our whole team better. And she’s become a better player this year by extending the range on her jump shot, which makes her harder to defend.”
Olson’s complete 2016-17 recruiting class can be viewed HERE.
SEWARD, Neb. – With a team grade point average of 3.73 for the 2015-16 year, the Concordia women’s basketball team finished as a national runner up on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 list of top GPA’s for NAIA women’s basketball programs. Just two women’s basketball teams in the nation, at any level, posted a higher GPA than head coach Drew Olson’s group this past athletic year.
This marks the 13th time in the last 17 years that Concordia has placed among the top 10 in the NAIA on the WBCA’s official rankings. The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA and junior/community college women’s basketball teams across the nation that carry the highest combined grade point average inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. The 2015-16 season is the 21st in which the WBCA has compiled the honor rolls.
From 2000 to 2008, Concordia women’s basketball ranked No. 1 in the NAIA in eight out of nine seasons. The top team GPA during that stretch was 3.786, achieved by the 2004-05 Concordia squad.
The 2015-16 Bulldogs were recognized with five NAIA Scholar-Athletes: Carissa Gutz, Laurel Krohn, Becky Mueller, Shelby Quinn and Erin Vieselmeyer.
SEWARD, Neb. – Perennially a top-of-the-GPAC contender and national tournament qualifier, 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s program has been pegged third by league coaches in the 2016-17 preseason poll released on Wednesday by the GPAC. The Bulldogs collected 76 points, putting them behind only Dakota Wesleyan (95) and Morningside (95), who tied for the top spot.
A year ago Concordia finished 22-10 overall and 14-8 in conference play, tying for fourth in the GPAC. Led by star freshman Quinn Wragge, the Bulldogs advanced to the national tournament for the fifth-straight year and for the eighth time in nine seasons. The 2016-17 edition returns 11 varsity players from last season’s roster.
A third-place GPAC ranking virtually guarantees that Concordia will extend its active streak of consecutive national poll appearances, which sits at 66.
“I don’t think the outside pressure is overwhelming,” said senior guard Laurel Krohn. “We probably put the most pressure on ourselves. We have great expectations for this season. We have a standard that we hold ourselves to. We do what we do every day and let those other things take care of themselves.”
The Bulldogs welcome back four players who started 18 or more games last season: junior guards Brenleigh Daum and Mary Janovich, senior guard Shelby Quinn and Wragge. Concordia will open the 2016-17 season in Denver, Colo., on Oct. 28 when it takes on defending NAIA Division II national champion Marian University (Ind.).
2016-17 GPAC Preseason Poll
(First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Dakota Wesleyan – 95 (6)
1. Morningside – 95 (5)
3. Concordia – 76
4. Briar Cliff – 72
5. Northwestern – 67
6. Hastings – 60
7. Doane – 39
8. Mount Marty – 31
9. College of Saint Mary – 27
10. Dordt – 22
11. Midland – 21
At a glance
2015-16 Record: 22-10 overall, 14-8 GPAC (T-4th); national qualifier
Head Coach: Drew Olson (248-88, 10 years; 8 national tournament appearances; 4 GPAC regular-season/tournament titles)
Returning Starters: Brenleigh Daum (Jr.); Mary Janovich (Jr.); Shelby Quinn (Sr.); Quinn Wragge (So.)
Other Key Returners: Aubri Bro (Sr.); Devin Edwards (Sr.); Sydney Feller (Jr.); Laurel Krohn (Sr.); Erin Vieselmeyer (Sr.)
Key Newcomers: Dani Andersen (transfer from Midland); Colby Duvel; Maggie Goltz; Philomena Lammers
Key Loss: Becky Mueller
2015-16 GPAC All-Conference: Quinn Wragge (first team); Mary Janovich (second team); Becky Mueller (honorable mention); Shelby Quinn (honorable mention)
Nearly all key contributors, including four starters, return from last season’s national tournament qualifier. This program remains one of the best in the nation at the NAIA level and is in rock solid shape entering the 11th season of head coach Drew Olson’s tenure at his alma mater. Even in somewhat of a rebuilding campaign, the 2015-16 Bulldogs won 22 games.
More will be expected this time around as the program leans upon budding stars Mary Janovich and Quinn Wragge. While Janovich is still regaining confidence in the ACL she tore last season, Concordia is better positioned than it was this time a year ago.
“It’s night and day,” Olson said. “We’re way further along than we were last year. We were trying to find our identity after losing so many key players. This year we have 11 returning varsity kids. There’s no transition. We’re ready to go this season. Adding the freshmen to the mix helps us even more.”
Wragge, a native of Crofton, Neb., adapted seamlessly to the college game. She really took off in the second half of last season while earning MVP honors at the Concordia Invitational Tournament before going for a game high 24 points in the national tournament loss to Goshen College (Ind.), an eventual national semifinalist.
Wragge averaged 14.8 points and 6.6 rebounds and was the team’s only player to start all 32 games in 2015-16. The scary thing? She’s expected to be improved as a sophomore.
“She’s even better,” Olson said. “The thing with Quinn is she still doesn’t know how good she can actually be. We expect a lot out of her this season. She’s getting better every single day. I think it has more to do with confidence. She’s realizing what she’s capable of. The more aggressive she gets the better she’s going to be. We’re expecting a lot of things out of her.”
A 5-foot-7 guard from Gretna, Janovich garnered second team all-conference recognition as a sophomore despite sitting out the final 14 games of the season. The Bulldogs missed her for so many reasons beyond the obvious. Sure Janovich can score, but she’s also the biggest pest in regards to the team’s pressure defense and is one of the team’s best passers. She showed some tentativeness in her first action back from the torn ACL, but has rounded into form in plenty of time for the season.
Quinn and Janovich are the household names for a program that has made a home in the national polls. It’s been more than five years since Concordia found itself outside of the top 25. Senior guard Laurel Krohn, one of many role players, says the team is comfortable with lofty expectations.
“I don’t think the outside pressure is overwhelming,” Krohn said. “We probably put the most pressure on ourselves. We have great expectations for this season. We have a standard that we hold ourselves to. We do what we do every day and let those other things take care of themselves.”
Krohn is one of six seniors on the roster. All of them figure to see action within a frenetic system that promotes liberal substituting in order to maximize the team’s up-tempo style. Of those seniors, guard Shelby Quinn held down the largest role last season. She started 25 games and averaged 7.5 points and 3.1 assists. Olson knows what he’s going to get from the Bellevue native: reliability.
Fellow senior Erin Vieselmeyer, a Holyoke, Colo., native flashes big potential in the post. Standing 6-foot-1, Vieselmeyer worked her way up the ladder after two years playing junior varsity. She tallied 13 points in last season’s national tournament game. The rest of the senior class is made up of max effort players like guard Devin Edwards, forward Carissa Gutz and sniper wing Aubri Bro.
Says Olson of the seniors, “I love those six. They’re kids that just keep grinding and keep finding ways to get into the lineup. They are tough kids. They find ways to win and they battle every single day.”
Janovich headlines a junior group that includes volume shooter Brenleigh Daum and rock steady Sydney Feller. Daum started all but three games last season and averaged 8.4 points per game. Feller provides another outside shooting option and was one of the squad’s best players in terms of taking care of the ball.
“I think this group is really deep, talented and relies on each other,” Krohn said. “That’s going to be important again this year. We have essentially the same girls back with just a few losses. I just think the group last year had to grow up really fast and has matured even more this year.”
We haven’t yet mentioned the group of newcomers, which includes transfer Dani Andersen, who can play point guard or off the ball. Andersen sat out last season after making the move from Midland to Concordia. She averaged 9.0 points in 2014-15 as a starter for the Warriors. A junior eligibility wise, she simply adds to the program’s embarrassment of riches.
“She’s a phenomenal shooter,” Olson said. “She can go off for big numbers in some games. When you have to sit out a full season you have a different outlook. I think Dani has that. It’s a confidence. It’s refreshing. I think she knows why she’s playing. I think other people feed off of that. I think she’s going to be a phenomenal point guard for us this year and give us a little bit more scoring than we’ve had in the past.”
Then there’s the highly-touted freshman class. Three rookies in particular are making waves this preseason: 5-foot-9 forward Colby Duvel (Max, Neb.), 6-foot-1 forward Maggie Goltz (Falls City, Neb.) and 5-foot-11 forward Philomena Lammers (Omaha, Neb.). In recent seasons, some of Olson’s teams lacked a dominant presence inside. The first-year group brings plenty of size – and the trio of Duvel, Goltz and Lammers likes to go to work.
Olson has called Lammers a “beast inside.” Adds Krohn of the freshmen, “I think Philly will contribute a lot. Maggie and Colby are also playing really well while trying to figure out what their roles are on this team. All of them play hard and really fit in with what the program wants to do.”
Now the most difficult job for Olson may simply be figuring out the right rotations and lineup configurations. There will be no shortage of options. Concordia possesses a nice mix of ball handlers, shooters, experience and better size. The expectations are understandably high.
SEASON OPENER: Concordia tips off the 2016-17 season with a trip to Denver, Colo., for a game each day, Oct. 28-29. On day one, the Bulldogs will test themselves against defending NAIA Division II national champion Marian University (Ind.). Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. CT.
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University women’s basketball program lives inside the top 25. On Tuesday (Oct. 25), head coach Drew Olson’s Bulldogs landed at No. 14 in the 2016-17 NAIA Division II women’s basketball preseason coaches’ poll. Concordia moved up five spots from where it sat in the 2015-16 postseason poll and has now appeared in each of the last 67 national coaches’ polls, a streak that dates back to the 2011-12 preseason rating.
This also marks the ninth-consecutive year that Olson’s program has garnered a preseason national ranking. The Bulldogs garnered top-25 rankings in all 13 polls during the 2015-16 campaign. They peaked at the No. 4 position. During Olson’s first 10 years as head coach, Concordia has ended a season in the rankings seven times. In five of those instances the Bulldogs were placed inside the top 10. Their highest finishes were second and third, respectively.
Concordia defeated four teams ranked in front of it (all at home) in the 2015-16 postseason poll: No. 5 Mount Marty, No. 8 Dakota Wesleyan, No. 14 Briar Cliff and No. 16 University of Jamestown (N.D.). Last year’s Bulldogs advanced to the national tournament for the 15th time in program history. The season culminated with a first-round loss to Goshen College (Ind.), which reached the national semifinals.
The women’s basketball program has held the No. 1 ranking a total of 11 times, including the final seven polls of the 2002-03 season and the first four ratings of the 2012-13 campaign. The 2014-15 Bulldogs became the first in program history to reach the national title game and was the fourth Concordia women’s basketball team to advance to the national semifinals.
This year’s team was picked third in the GPAC by league coaches. Four GPAC teams were ranked inside the top 25 of the 2016-17 preseason poll: No. 3 Dakota Wesleyan, No. 4 Morningside, No. 14 Concordia and No. 15 Briar Cliff.
The season opens up in Denver, Colo., on Friday with a showdown against top-ranked and defending national champion Marian University (Ind.). Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. CT from Johnson & Wales University.
Preseason top 25 rankings under Olson
Final end of season top 25 rankings under Olson
Head coach Drew Olson believes his 2016-17 squad’s nonconference schedule is as challenging as any he’s gone up against in his previous 10 years leading the women’s basketball program. Concordia couldn’t have picked a much more appetizing season-opening matchup. On Friday the 2016-17 Bulldogs debut versus No. 1 Marian University (Ind.), the defending NAIA Division II national champion.
Both teams bring back a wealth of players from 2016 national tournament qualifiers. The Bulldogs possess 11 varsity returners while the Knights welcome back eight players from the squad that cut down the nets in March. Foremost among the Marian holdovers is senior guard Jessica Almeida, who garnered NAIA honorable mention All-America honors last season.
Almeida was placed on the Crossroads League’s preseason all-conference first team. Two others represented Marian with Crossroads preseason recognition: junior guard Joana Soeiro (second team) and senior guard Jenna Sullivan. The big name missing from this year’s roster is Lakan Hasser-Smith, a first team All-American as a senior in 2015-16. Even without Hasser-Smith, fourth-year head coach Katie Gearlds’ squad has an incredibly talented backcourt.
“This team is hungry,” Gearlds said in a season preview on muknights.com. “Last year was fun, but it was last year. It’s as simple as that. Now we’re on a new mission and we’ve got new goals.”
Olson will counter with a well-rounded team headlined by returners in sophomore Quinn Wragge (14.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and junior Mary Janovich (10.4 ppg, 2.0 spg). In addition, 5-foot-6 transfer Dani Andersen and 5-foot-11 freshman Philomena Lammers will make their highly-anticipated debuts. The Bulldogs expect more of themselves this season thanks to more experience, more depth and more size.
The last time Concordia defeated a team ranked No. 1 occurred on March 3, 2014, when it went to Morningside and knocked off the Mustangs, 80-72, in the GPAC tournament championship game. The Bulldogs defeated 13 ranked opponents during their 2014-15 national runner up season. They also beat five top 25 foes last season.
Olson’s bunch garnered a No. 14 national ranking in the preseason coaches’ poll released on Tuesday. Concordia has been ranked in 67-straight national polls dating back to the 2011-12 preseason rating.
Friday’s game versus Marian will take place on the Johnson & Wales University (Colo.) campus. It will tip off at 1 p.m. CT. Concordia will also take on the host at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday.
DENVER, Colo. – Though its biggest star from last season’s national title team has graduated, No. 1 Marian University (Ind.) still proved formidable. In a season-opening showdown, the 14th-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team got outgunned, 72-64, by the Knights in a contest that took place on the Johnson & Wales University (Colo.) campus on Friday afternoon.
The outing marked the first season-opening loss for 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s program since 2010. The Bulldogs made a late push on Friday, but failed to overcome their 40.4 percent (19-for-47) shooting and 25 turnovers.
“We did not play well enough to beat a great team, and they’re a great team,” Olson said. “It’s those little things that really cost you. We didn’t win the hustle plays. There were a couple loose balls late that they got. The real thing was the turnovers. We had 21 turnovers in the first three quarters. You’re just not going to beat teams if you do that. We just didn’t do the little things to win.”
A methodical 12-2 run that began in the third quarter and stretched into the fourth allowed the Bulldogs to cut what had been a 20-point deficit in half. But Jessica Almeida delivered with two clutch buckets as the biggest thorn in Concordia’s side. She drilled a right-wing trey with just under four minutes left and then banked in a dagger of a runner in the lane with under a minute remaining. The ladder bumped the Marian lead to nine points and essentially sewed up the game.
The Bulldogs clawed back into the contest by tightening the screws after a leaky first quarter defensive effort. Over the final two periods, the Knights made only 10-of-31 (.323) shots from the floor and went through a scoring drought that lasted more than seven-and-a-half minutes. A whirling layup by sophomore Quinn Wragge with 1:14 left gave Concordia life (67-60 deficit) before Almeida dashed its hopes.
Wragge and fellow 2015-16 all-GPAC honoree Mary Janovich provided the most production. The team’s leading scorer as a freshman last season, Wragge piled up 17 points, five rebounds and two steals in 29 minutes of action. Meanwhile, Janovich went for 14 points, six rebounds and two thefts.
Olson made use of all 14 players that traveled to Denver. Four of them made their debuts as Bulldogs. That list included Philomena Lammers, who notched 12 points, six boards and three blocks in her first career collegiate game. Midland transfer Dani Andersen also donned the Concordia uniform for the first time. Her only points came on her first shot attempt – a trey that gave the Bulldogs an early lead.
“Credit them. They didn’t play a lot of bodies,” Olson said. “They had a couple kids play big minutes. I thought to myself that we could wear them down, but I could tell after that first quarter it wasn’t going to be them that was going to wear down. They were well conditioned and they were ready to go.”
Marian, which knocked off Southern Oregon University in last season’s NAIA Division II national title game, distanced itself from Concordia with an 8-0 third quarter run that bulged the lead to 20. The spurt was capped by two Sarah Corbin layups. Almeida’s 15 points led the way for a Knight team that placed five players into double figures in scoring.
The Bulldogs will again shoot for their first win of the season when they return to the court in Denver on Saturday. Tipoff versus host Johnston & Wales University is set for 5 p.m. MT / 6 p.m. CT. The Wildcats went 13-18 last season under head coach Jeff Neal.Turnover feast boosts Bulldogs to season's first win
DENVER, Colo. – A day after falling at the hands of the defending national champion, the Concordia University women’s basketball team rebounded with an 89-40 thrashing of host Johnson & Wales University (Colo.) in Denver on Saturday evening. The Bulldogs flustered the Wildcats into committing 38 turnovers.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad is now 1-1 after its season-opening trip. Both of this weekend’s games were played on the Johnson & Wales campus.
“We did a better job taking care of the ball. I thought we did a lot of the little things that we didn’t do yesterday,” Olson said. “They weren’t a team that pressured us as much, but we took care of the ball and made hustle plays. We just made smarter decisions. That was the big takeaway from today.”
Twelve of the 13 Bulldogs to see action registered in the scoring column, including four that reached double figures. In her second game as a Bulldog, junior Dani Anderson rained in 4-of-7 shots from 3-point range and equaled Aubri Bro with a team high 15 points. Freshman Philomena Lammers just missed her first career double-double while totaling 13 points and nine rebounds. Carissa Gutz chipped in 10 points and three steals coming off a deep bench.
Saturday’s contest was not in doubt for long. Concordia opened up the action with a 10-2 run and led by 15 by the end of the first quarter. Though the Bulldogs shot only 37.3 percent (31-for-83) from the floor, they took 41 more shots than the Wildcats, who lost to Dakota Wesleyan (100-49) on Thursday and Doane (66-47) on Friday.
Concordia outrebounded Johnson & Wales, 46-34, (24 offensive rebounds) and also went a perfect 14-for-14 from the foul line. Lammers made all five of her free throw attempts. Fellow freshman Colby Duvel went 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
The Wildcats got a team high 12 points from McCorra Ford, though she turned it over seven times.
The Bulldogs will make their home debut next week at the 17th annual Cattle Classic (Nov. 4-5). On day one of the event, Concordia will take on Friends University (Kan.) (0-0) at 6 p.m. CT. The Falcons were listed among others receiving votes in the preseason national coaches’ poll. Canned goods will be collected at the entrance for admission. For more information, click HERE.
SEWARD, Neb. – The 17th annual Cattle Classic is set to tip off on Friday afternoon inside Walz Arena. The basketball classic features a total of four men’s games and four women’s games over the course of the two-day extravaganza. The event, co-sponsored by Concordia and The Cattle National Bank & Trust Co., raises money and food for the Blue Valley Community Action's Food Pantry. Pac N Save of Seward will match all canned food donations.
Fans are encouraged to bring canned goods in exchange for admission. Ten canned items will get an adult a weekend pass. Complete admission information for the Cattle Classic can be found HERE.
Friday, Nov. 4
Saturday, Nov. 5
Head coach: Drew Olson, 11th season
2016-17 Record: 1-1 (ranked No. 14 in NAIA Division II preseason poll)
2015-16 Record: 22-10
Conference: Great Plains Athletic Conference
Location: Seward, Neb.
Top Player: It didn’t take long for sophomore Quinn Wragge to become a star. She earned first team all-conference accolades last season as a freshman when she averaged 14.8 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 58.5 percent from the floor. Head coach Drew Olson believes she can be even better in her second collegiate season. Over the two games at the season-opening stay in Denver, Wragge totaled 24 points and five steals. She booked 17 points in the loss to No. 1 Marian University (Ind.).
Overview: Concordia returns a wealth of experience while welcoming Midland transfer Dani Andersen and freshman Philomena Lammers. Both have found their way into the starting lineup to begin 2016-17. The two other starters last week were junior guard Mary Janovich and senior guard Laurel Krohn. Although a bit different type of player than Wragge, Lammers may be this year’s freshman sensation. She averaged 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds last weekend in Denver. On the other hand, Andersen has the opportunity to run the show after playing at Midland for two seasons. Olson won’t be afraid to go deep into the bench. Twelve Bulldogs averaged 10 or more minutes last week. Expectations are high like usual. Concordia was picked to finish third in the rugged GPAC.
Head coach: Tracee Fairbanks, 18th season
2016-17 Record: 1-1
2015-16 Record: 15-15
Conference: Great Plains Athletic Conference
Location: Crete, Neb.
Top Player: Gone is star Heather Broman, but the Tigers can still lean upon senior guard Hanah Barnard, who averaged 14.9 points while connecting for 58 made 3-point field goals last season. Barnard scored 26 points in last week’s season-opening victory over Johnson & Wales (Colo.). She has tallied 1,119 points in her career at Doane.
Overview: The Tigers have not advanced to the national tournament since 2006. If they get back there, it will because they followed the lead of a large senior class. Head coach Tracee Fairbanks starts four seniors and a junior. Barnard is joined in the backcourt by two other seniors in Morgan Hill and Jenna Nieveen. Like Concordia, Doane opened up its season in Denver with the same two opponents. The Tigers toppled Johnson & Wales, 66-47, before falling to No. 1 Marian, 72-51. Doane landed at No. 7 in the GPAC preseason coaches’ poll.
Head coach: RaeAnne Booth, 7th season
2016-17 Record: 0-0
2015-16 Record: 22-11 (received votes in NAIA Division II preseason poll)
Conference: Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
Location: Wichita, Kan.
Top Player: Dallas, Texas, native Shann Sellers is the engine that drives the Falcons. The 2015-16 KCAC player of the year and defensive player of the year led Friends in scoring (18.7), rebounds (9.4), assists (2.94) and steals (3.16) while leading head coach RaeAnne Booth’s squad to the national tournament. Her big season led to NAIA first team All-America honors.
Overview: Booth has led a program that has reached the national tournament in four of the last five seasons. Friends has been picked to finish second in the KCAC by both conference coaches and media. An aggressive team on the defensive end, the Falcons posted the second best turnover margin in the nation last season (plus-7.3) and plucked more than 12 steals per game. While Friends came in just outside of the NAIA Division II preseason top 25, it is again a threat to reach the national tournament with one of the nation’s top players leading the way.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Head coach: Jason Jeschke 3rd year
2016-17 Record: 2-1
2015-16 Record: 17-14 (received votes in NAIA Division II preseason poll)
Conference: Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
Location: Bartlesville, Okla.
Top Player: Standout post player Susan Ageson is no longer around, but head coach Jason Jeschke has the services of senior guard Kayla Morgan, who earned second team all-conference accolades in 2015-16. Morgan was the lone Eagle representative on the KCAC’s preseason all-conference team. Morgan averaged at least 11.5 points each of her first three seasons at Oklahoma Wesleyan and has produced 1,170 career points.
Overview: The Eagles are only a couple years removed from a 27-win season (school record) in 2014-15 when they reached the national tournament for the first time in program history. Picked third in the KCAC preseason coaches’ and media polls, Oklahoma Wesleyan collected votes in the national preseason poll. The Eagles return 10 letterwinners from the 2015-16 squad that included five seniors. Morgan and senior guard Shelbie Kirby are the team’s two returning starters, giving Jeschke and experienced backcourt.
SEWARD, Neb. – A 23-5 run to close the first half allowed the 14th-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team to open the game wide open as the Bulldogs made their home debut in an impressive fashion on Friday night. Torrid outside shooting highlighted the 95-59 victory over visiting Friends University (Kan.), a perennial top of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference contender.
The win moved 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad to 2-1 overall on the young season. Concordia is 71-9 in home games since the start of the 2011-12 season.
“It was a great team win. We obviously shot well,” Olson said. “I felt like we had a good game plan going into it. We executed a lot of skip passes to go against their zone. Thankfully we were on tonight. I’m really proud of our overall effort. Defensively we did a really good job, especially with adjusting after the first quarter.”
Though sophomore Quinn Wragge is the headliner among returning players, the Bulldogs have made it quite clear they will go deep into the bench this season. Friends struggled to handle Concordia’s multitude of weapons. Aubri Bro torched the nets by making all four of her first-half shot attempts, including three from long distance. Bro finished with 14 points and was one of 13 Bulldogs to register in the scoring column.
Concordia masterfully moved the ball around while draining 15-of-32 attempts from beyond the arc. Playing in her first home game since transferring from Midland, Dani Andersen canned three treys. The perimeter game, often facilitated by the passing of senior guard Shelby Quinn, also got a boost from Mary Janovich, who poured in 10 points. The selfless Quinn didn’t even attempt a single shot from the field, but dropped eight dimes.
It was Brenleigh Daum’s (12 points) turn to get white hot in the second half. The sniper wing drilled 4-of-5 shots from long range as part of the fireworks display. One of three standout freshmen, Colby Duvel produced six points and a team high eight rebounds off the bench. There were many other contributions on a night when 13 players saw 13 or more minutes of action.
“There are going to be some games where maybe we have to go with Quinn and Mary a little bit more,” Olson said. “This is an awesome team with incredible depth. You just never know who’s going to be on that night. That’s what makes us a big threat.”
After a fairly competitive first quarter, Concordia took off in the second and left Friends in the dust. Over the final 19 minutes of game time, the Falcons failed to cut their deficit down to any fewer than 22 points. The largest lead was 37 points.
Friends is now 0-2 with both losses coming at the hands of GPAC opponents. The Falcons opened their season with a 61-55 home loss to Hastings on Wednesday. Head coach RaeAnne Booth’s program has reached the national tournament in four of the last five seasons. Friends, which received votes in the preseason coaches’ poll, got a game high 25 points from All-American Shann Sellers.
The 17th annual Cattle Classic continues on Saturday when the Bulldogs take on Oklahoma Wesleyan (2-1) at 3 p.m. CT. The Eagles rallied to defeat Doane, 80-72, in the opening game of the Cattle Classic on Friday. All four of Saturday’s Cattle Classic contests can be seen on the Concordia Sports Network. For additional information on the Cattle Classic, click HERE.
SEWARD, Neb. – Zone defense or whatever. These Bulldogs just don’t let you breathe. On Saturday the 14th-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team completed a perfect weekend at the Cattle Classic by pestering visiting Oklahoma Wesleyan University to the tune of 31 turnovers in a 76-58 Bulldog victory.
Turnovers are no recipe to win inside Walz Arena, where 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad is 72-9 since the start of the 2011-12 season. Concordia, which blew away Friends University (Kan.), 95-59, on Friday, is now 3-1 overall.
Predominantly a man-to-man pressure defensive team throughout Olson’s tenure, Concordia has switched things up this year to better fit its personnel. The results were especially impressive on Saturday as the Bulldogs limited the Eagles to 34.1 percent shooting and to just 15 made field goals for the entire afternoon.
“We’re just now starting to get more confident in our zone,” Olson said. “We’re still learning what we need to do in the zone. We’re still learning how opponents are playing against us and what we need to do differently. We’re going to keep getting better at it. But yeah, it was a great defensive performance. We needed it.”
To its credit, Oklahoma Wesleyan didn’t pack it in after finding itself in a 24-9 hole in the first quarter. A Kayla Morgan three to open up the third period put the Eagles within two (35-33) before Concordia restored order with a 12-0 run kick started by a wide open Quinn Wragge triple. Freshman Philly Lammers capped it off with a bucket in the paint. The Bulldogs ballooned their lead to as large as 20 points after freshman Colby Duvel banked in a trey in the fourth quarter.
Lincoln Christian High School product Dani Andersen got white hot early. She nailed three shots from long range while the game was barely three minutes old. She’s yet another weapon at Olson’s disposal. She knocked down seven 3-pointers on the weekend on her way to earning All-Cattle Classic honors alongside teammate Quinn Wragge.
Andersen has been a great compliment to a team loaded with depth.
“It’s awesome how close we are and how we have each other’s backs,” Andersen said. “We get super excited for each other. If you see our bench at all, we get super pumped when some makes a three. It’s awesome to be part of that.”
Andersen and Lammers both put up 15 points and Wragge added 13. Lammers also grabbed seven rebounds and six steals. Making her second-straight start at point guard, Shelby Quinn contributed nine points and six assists. There were plenty of other contributors, and on any given day, it’s difficult to predict which Bulldog will shine the most amid the array of weaponry. Said Olson, “Anybody can have a big night.”
Shelby Kirby topped the Eagles (2-2) with 13 points. Kayla Morgan chipped in 12, though she went just 3-for-10 from the floor.
Ready or not, conference season will arrive next week. The Bulldogs will head to Orange City, Iowa, on Wednesday to take on a dangerous Northwestern team that is off to a 4-0 start that has included a win over No. 12 University of Jamestown (N.D.), a future member of the GPAC.
All-Cattle Classic Team
Dani Andersen, Concordia
Patience Gitua, Oklahoma Wesleyan
Morgan Hill, Doane
Shann Sellers, Friends
Quinn Wragge, Concordia
ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Any win in Orange City, Iowa, is a good one for the Concordia University women’s basketball program. On Wednesday night the Bulldogs went into what’s typically been a house of horrors and emerged with an 88-81 victory over host Northwestern, which had entered the week undefeated.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s Bulldogs have now won two of their last three trips to Orange City. It’s a place where the program is just 3-12 since the GPAC formed in 2000. Concordia is now 4-1 overall after its conference-opening victory.
“They are a very good team and great at home,” Olson said. “It’s really tough to win here. It’s been very few times that we’ve won here. I’m so proud of our group with how hard we played. They kept battling and our kids kept stepping up and making plays on both ends to find a way to win.”
Using their patented pressure defense, the Bulldogs gave the Red Raiders (4-1, 0-1 GPAC) fits, turning them over 16 times in the first half that ended with Concordia leading, 48-37. But Northwestern rallied behind star sophomore Kassidy De Jong and Paige Danner. The duo combined for 47 points as part of a two-person wrecking crew.
De Jong’s third 3-point field goal with :25.1 remaining got Northwestern within three (84-81). Concordia all beat sealed it up when Shelby Quinn followed by making a pair of free throws and Haley Birks’ 3-point attempt on the other end misfired and caromed out of bounds.
Concordia countered De Jong and Danner with not just one or two contributors, but with many. All five starters scored in double figures, including GPAC-ready freshman Philly Lammers, who posted a line of 16 points, seven rebounds and six steals. When Northwestern charged back within three (68-65) early in the fourth quarter, Concordia promptly bumped the lead back up to nine with buckets by Quinn Wragge, Mary Janovich and Lammers in continuing an early-season theme of balanced scoring.
Olson’s squad passed a big early-season test in which it rolled with the punches thrown at it by Northwestern, a program that appears poised to return to the national tournament.
“Our kids have really bought into what we’re doing with our zone and our press,” Olson said. “We’ve got kids that really do a great job controlling the ball and forcing the opponent into bad situations. Then we have others that do a great job of reading and rotating. It’s a group that has really figured things out with this kind of defense.”
Janovich and Quinn paced the team with 17 points apiece while matching Lammers’ 16. Dani Andersen added 14 points (4-for-6 3-point shooting) and Wragge chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds. Off the bench, Devin Edwards made 5-of-6 free throw attempts and totaled seven points.
It was an offensive clinic in the first quarter as Concordia put up 28 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the field. Janovich was especially hot early. She had 11 points and drilled a trio of triples over the game’s first 10 minutes. Northwestern was sloppy during that stretch and committed 16 of its 23 turnovers in the first half.
Northwestern, picked fifth in the GPAC preseason poll, has been a perennial league power that has missed out on the national tournament two years in a row. That could change this season. The Red Raiders already own a win over No. 12 University of Jamestown (N.D.).
The Bulldogs will be idle now until next Wednesday (Nov. 16) when they hit the road for conference action at Midland (4-0). Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT. Concordia has been dominant in the series, winning 16-straight meetings with the Warriors.
FREMONT, Neb. – Any hopes of staying unbeaten were ended early on Wednesday night for host Midland while up against the 14th-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team. Playing at her former school, Dani Andersen helped the Bulldogs jump out to a big early lead on the way to an 89-50 victory inside the Wikert Event Center in Fremont, Neb.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad is now 2-0 in the GPAC with both wins coming away from home. Concordia has improved to 5-1 overall.
“I felt like our kids were really focused and came ready to play,” Olson said. “I didn’t expect that kind of game. Midland’s a really tough team. We really caused them problems with our defensive pressure. Our kids shot well and it really extends the lead when you start knocking down threes like that.”
Andersen had already poured in 12 points by the time the first quarter had expired. During that time, she launched a trio of treys. Thanks to seven 3-point field goals and 13 forced turnovers over the first 20 minutes, Concordia built a comfortable 51-34 halftime advantage. Like most opponents thus far, the Warriors didn’t have the arsenal to keep up.
In her first season of action as a Bulldog, Andersen needed only 17 minutes to compile a game high 20 points while canning 5-of-9 attempts from 3-point range. But it wasn’t just Andersen. Up and down the roster, Bulldogs contributed. Quinn Wragge went for 16 points and five rebounds. Off the bench, Brenleigh Daum sniped a quartet of triples. Meanwhile, Mary Janovich put up 11 points and seven rebounds while serving as a defensive pest like usual.
Midland (5-1, 0-1 GPAC) entered the game having won five nonconference contests, many by lopsided margins. It just didn’t have any answers for Concordia’s star power and superior depth.
“It’s been awesome. We have so many people that can play,” Wragge said. “Anyone can go in. We have full confidence in them.”
After a third-quarter offensive lull, the Concordia starting five opened up the fourth period with a 10-1 splurge that included long-distance shots from Andersen and Janovich. The Bulldogs never did let their foot off the gas even while using all 15 players who suited up. Daum got especially hot in the fourth quarter. That’s when she nailed two of her four shots from beyond the arc.
If Andersen had any reservations about returning to the court that she used to call home, she didn’t show it. She has now made at least one 3-point field goal in every game so far this season. It took her only 60 seconds of game time to extend her streak on Wednesday. She’s made a transition that’s not unlike what Olson did himself when he left Hastings to come to Concordia during his collegiate days.
“I was so proud of her,” Olson said. “We tried to prep her for what it would be like because I’ve been through that before, but she handled it phenomenally. She made such big plays defensively that I think a lot of people didn’t see. She really controls the ball well – her and Mary. Then she was able to knock down some shots. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
It was a miserable offensive night for Midland, which shot 26.7 percent (16-for-60) from the floor and turned it over 23 times. Concordia shot 44.7 percent (34-for-76) and made 8-of-9 free throw attempts.
The Bulldogs will end a stretch of two-straight weeks without a home game when they take the floor inside Walz Arena on Saturday. Mount Marty (3-3, 0-1 GPAC), a national semifinalist this past March, will visit Seward for a 2 p.m. tipoff. Due to significant personnel losses this offseason, the Lancers were picked eighth in the preseason poll by GPAC coaches.
SEWARD, Neb. – Saturday’s matchup features one team coming off a national semifinal appearance in Mount Marty and another in the 14th-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team that hopes to get back to that level. Tipoff inside Walz Arena is set for 2 p.m.
Saturday’s game will be available via the Concordia Sports Network. It will also be carried by 104.9 Max Country with Tyler Cavalli calling the action.
Walz Arena has not been kind to opponents. Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s program is 72-9 at home since the start of the 2011-12 season. So far this season, the Bulldogs have made home victims of Friends University (Kan.) and Oklahoma Wesleyan University, defeating those two foes by an average of 27 points. The home win streak now stands at six dating back to last season.
Olson’s squad has been dominant since the season-opening loss to No. 1 Marian University (Ind.). In Wednesday’s outing, junior Dani Andersen scorched her former team with a game high 20 points (5-for-9 from beyond the arc) in leading a comfortable 89-50 win at previously unbeaten Midland. Andersen tops a balanced Concordia team in scoring (12.8 ppg). Eleven Bulldogs are averaging more than 10 minutes per game through six contests. Stars Mary Janovich (10.5 ppg) and Quinn Wragge (12.3 ppg) have been stellar in the early going. Janovich is one of the primary reasons why Concordia opponents are averaging 25.5 turnovers per game.
On the other side, ninth-year head coach Tom Schlimgen is rebuilding after bidding farewell to standouts Alex Kneeland and Raquel Sutera, who as seniors last season, led the Lancers to the national semifinals. Mount Marty hasn’t had the same firepower this season. Senior guard Logan Wagner is the team’s leading scorer with an average of 9.7 points per game. The Lancers have shot only 37.6 percent from the field, but they’ve limited their opponents to an even uglier percentage (.328). After placing second in the GPAC last season, Mount Marty was picked to finish eighth in the conference in 2016-17.
Concordia (5-1, 2-0 GPAC)
G – Shelby Quinn (5.7 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3.0 rpg, .889 ft%)
G – Dani Andersen (12.8 ppg, .490 fg%, .500 3-pt fg%)
G – Mary Janovich (10.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.0 spg, 2.5 apg, .444 fg%)
F – Quinn Wragge (12.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 spg, .550 fg%)
F – Philly Lammers (10.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.0 spg, .615 fg%)
Mount Marty (3-3, 0-1 GPAC)
G – Mikayla Prouty (5.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, .289 fg%)
G – Denae Veldkamp (6.8 ppg, 3.0 apg, .286 fg%)
G – Logan Wagner (9.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.1 spg, .260 fg%)
F – Sammy Kasowski (8.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, .636 fg%)
F – Kellie Winckler (7.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, .594 fg%)
SEWARD, Neb. – On an afternoon where the shots weren’t falling, the 14th-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team relied on its pressure defense to turn up the heat on Mount Marty. The Bulldogs forced 25 more turnovers and built a 20-point fourth-quarter lead before polishing off a 75-65 victory over the visiting Lancers inside Walz Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has won six-straight games and now stands at 6-1 overall and 3-0 in GPAC play. Concordia is 73-9 at home since the start of the 2011-12 season.
“I thought defensively, at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth quarter, we played really well,” Olson said. “That was the difference. I think after the Midland game we thought everything was going to be easy. Mount Marty is a really well-coached team and disciplined. They made us grind one out. Thankfully we were able to do that.”
A national semifinalist last season, the Lancers hung right with the Bulldogs for the better part of three quarters. But the game turned on a 24-7 run that got going in the third period and continued on into the fourth. Junior guard Mary Janovich helped spark the splurge with a back-breaking play at the close of the third stanza. That’s when she stole a Mount Marty inbounds and dribbled in for a layup just before the buzzer sounded. Concordia led, 50-42.
Many Bulldogs contributed during the game-defining spurt. A Quinn Wragge basket in the lane with just under five minutes remaining pushed the commanding Bulldog lead to 67-47. The final spread of 10 points was as close as the Lancers got over the last nine minutes of the contest.
Mount Marty’s 25 turnovers were compounded by shooting struggles (40.4 percent from the floor). Not only that, the passing lanes were ruled by the likes of Janovich and freshman Philomena Lammers, both of whom plucked five steals on the day.
On the offensive end, Erin Vieselmeyer came off the bench and gave the Lancers’ interior defense fits. Vieselmeyer’s 13 points were one off of Janovich’s team high 14. Vieselmeyer is yet another weapon for Olson, who played 10 Bulldogs 10 or more minutes on Saturday.
“There are so many of us that can play. We’re all really good players,” Vieselmeyer said. “It’s just important that I kept the mindset to keep grinding. Today the guards really passed the ball into me well and I finished really confidently. That’s the game I needed to keep that good mindset.”
Vieselmeyer’s scoring inside was a big plus on an afternoon that saw Concordia shoot 41.4 percent (29-for-70) from the floor. Lammers added 10 points and six rebounds. Senior point guard Shelby Quinn distributed seven assists while chipping in seven points. Sydney Feller also put up eight points off the bench.
Mount Marty (3-4, 0-2 GPAC) is rebuilding after losing senior standouts Alex Kneeland and Raquel Sutera from the 2015-16 team that won 25 games. The Lancers were led on Saturday by the game high 20 points from Sammy Kasowski, who also grabbed 10 rebounds.
The pre-Thanksgiving schedule will wrap up on Tuesday with a short trek to Doane (4-3, 1-0 GPAC) for a 6 p.m. tipoff. In the most recent meeting, the Bulldogs were stunned at home by the Tigers, 91-55. Prior to that game, it had been more than five years since Doane had last beaten Concordia. Head coach Tracee Fairbanks’ squad won at Northwestern, 83-78, on Saturday.
SEWARD, Neb. – Members of the 14th-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team won’t want to slow themselves down with too many helpings of turkey and mashed potatoes with games on the docket for both Friday and Saturday during Thanksgiving weekend. But up first is another GPAC road game. The Bulldogs will take their act to Doane (4-3, 1-0 GPAC) for a 6 p.m. tipoff on Tuesday (Nov. 22).
Tuesday’s contest will be carried by 104.9 Max Country with Tyler Cavalli calling the action. Doane will have a live webcast HERE. As part of the Bruin Thanksgiving Classic, Concordia will take on No. 25 Haskell Indian University (Kan.) at 3 p.m. CT on Friday and then University of Saint Mary (Kan.) at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday. Both weekend games will be played at the Lozier Athletic Center on the Bellevue University campus.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad rides a six-game win streak into this week’s action. The Bulldogs have already won two GPAC road games, triumphing at Northwestern and at Midland. This year’s Concordia team has gotten back to feasting on turnovers, taking the ball away from its opponents an average of 25.2 times per game. Junior Mary Janovich and freshman Philly Lammers are both averaging more than three steals per game.
The Bulldogs feature four players averaging double figures in scoring: Dani Andersen (12.0), Quinn Wragge (11.4), Janovich (11.0) and Lammers (10.3). Twelve different players average nine minutes or more for a balanced squad. Led by Andersen’s sharpshooting, Concordia ranks eighth nationally in 3-point field goals per game (9.9).
In the most recent meeting with Doane, the Bulldogs were shocked at home by the Tigers, 91-55, on Jan. 27, 2016. Head coach Tracee Fairbanks’ squad lost star Heather Broman from last year’s squad. Senior guard Hanah Barnard is the headliner for Doane. She broke a program record for points in a single game with 38 in the Tigers’ 83-78 win at Northwestern on Nov. 19. Barnard is averaging 23.1 points. Teammate Morgan Hill is averaging 14.1 points and 6.9 rebounds.
Haskell reached the 2016 national tournament and is off to a 6-3 start so far this season. Senior guard Cerissa Honena-Reyes paces the Indians with an average of 12.9 points per game. Saint Mary sports a record of 1-4. A member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Spires went 12-16 overall in 2015-16.
Concordia (6-1, 3-0)
G – Shelby Quinn: 5.9 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.0 apg, .818 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 12.0 ppg, 1.0 spg, .489 3-pt%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.3 spg, .491 fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 11.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.9 spg, .554 fg%
F – Philly Lammers: 10.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.3 spg, .596 fg%
Doane (4-3, 1-0)
G – Hanah Barnard: 23.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, .491 fg%
G – McKenna Dodd: 9.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, .315 fg%
G – Morgan Hill: 14.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 4.4 apg, 3.1 spg, .516 fg%
G – Jenna Nieveen: 4.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, .406 fg%
F – Allie Satterly: 4.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, .516 fg%
CRETE, Neb. – Though there were turnovers aplenty, Tuesday night’s game was a thing of beauty in the eyes of the 14th-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team. The Bulldogs remained unbeaten in conference play with a 77-56 rout of host Doane University in a contest played inside the Haddix Center.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad will roll into the Thanksgiving weekend with a seven-game win streak. Concordia has improved to 7-1 overall and to 4-0 in GPAC action.
“It was a really sloppy game,” Olson said. “I felt like we did a great job defensively to create some of those turnovers. I think some of our turnovers were a little bit forced and rushed. Hopefully we can cut down on those. If we can, we’re going to become a great basketball team.”
The Bulldogs exerted control early and overwhelmed Doane (4-4, 1-1 GPAC) by drilling seven of their first 11 3-point attempts. At one point in the first half, Shelby Quinn connected on bombs on back-to-back possessions. Then in the third quarter, Dani Andersen continued her season-long splurge by answering a Tiger run with her outside sniping.
This Concordia team is like a broken record, in a good way. Scoring balance has been a theme every time out. On Tuesday, freshman Philly Lammers led all Bulldogs with 15 points. Four teammates registered at least nine points: Quinn (14), Andersen (12), Mary Janovich (12) and Quinn Wragge (9).
“There’s nothing they don’t trust me to do,” Lammmers said. “Every time I go in there I have confidence that they have confidence in me.”
By the halftime break, Concordia had built a 49-28 advantage. The Tigers got as close as 13 points (53-40) in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs closed the period on a 13-2 run that was made possible by Andersen’s long-range shooting and then capped by Quinn’s three-point play.
But more than anything, this was a game about turnovers. There were a mind-numbing 70 combined by the two teams - 39 of which were committed by Doane, which was giving more than just ‘thanks’ this holiday week. Nine different Bulldogs swiped at least one steal, led by the five thefts from the defensively smothering Janovich.
Three days after breaking a program record with 38 points in a win at Northwestern, star Tiger guard Hanah Barnard took only eight shots from the floor. She was held to 13 points, 10 below her average.
"I was really pleased. We did a great job on (Barnard) for three quarters," Olson said. "I thought we did a great job on all their shooters. It was a great defensive effort."
A busy Thanksgiving week continues for the Bulldogs with this weekend’s Bruin Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Bellevue University. As part of the event, Concordia will play No. 25 Haskell Indian Nations University (Kan.) (6-3) at 3 p.m. CT on Friday and the University of Saint Mary (Kan.) (2-4) at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday. It will be a homecoming for Shelby Quinn, who played her prep ball at Bellevue East.
BELLEVUE, Neb. – The 14th-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team enjoyed its Thanksgiving weekend stay in Bellevue, Neb. During their run at the two-day Bruin Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Bellevue University, the Bulldogs tore apart No. 25 Haskell Indian Nations University (Kan.), 99-44, on Friday before dismantling the University of Saint Mary (Kan.), 100-58, on Saturday inside the Lozier Athletic Center.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has been dominant since its season-opening loss. The Bulldogs (9-1) are winners of nine in a row.
“I thought we had good focus and good energy in both games,” Olson said. “I’m really proud of how hard they played – and that’s everybody that played. It didn’t matter who went in there. They all knew what they were supposed to do and executed really well. I think we’re starting to establish ourselves as a dominant team, especially on the defensive end.”
Concordia forced 34 turnovers in both victories at the Thanksgiving Classic. In Friday’s breezy win over nationally-ranked Haskell (6-4), the Bulldogs used a dizzying number of lineup combinations with 14 players seeing more than 10 minutes of action. Freshman Philly Lammers made good use of her 13 minutes while piling up a game high 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the floor. Lammers and company blew the game open with a 10-0 run to end the first half, providing a 47-19 lead at the break.
Lammers then shined again on Saturday afternoon when she poured in a career high 21 points. Her stat line also included seven rebounds, four assists and three steals – in just 17 minutes of action. It was yet another outing that wasn’t competitive for long. Less than three-and-a-half minutes into play, Concordia already built up a double-digit lead over Saint Mary. Olson again made regular substitutions, but Dani Andersen (14) and Mary Janovich (10) managed to join Lammers in double figures in scoring.
Like Quinn Wragge last season, Lammers has made a seamless transition to the college game. Lammers notched 10 of Concordia’s first 14 points in the win over the Spires. Said Olson, “She was just everywhere. She was awesome.”
In Friday’s win over Haskell, senior Aubri Bro came off the bench to supply 15 points (3-for-4 from 3-point range). In that same game, Wragge added 10 points and three steals, Sydney Feller recorded 12 points and Carissa Gutz chipped in nine points and five rebounds. Then on Saturday, Bro (nine points) and Feller (eight points) were again big contributors in relief of the starters.
A relentlessly smothering defensive team, Concordia swiped 43 steals on the weekend. It also held Haskell to 30.8 percent shooting and Saint Mary (2-6) to 42.0 percent shooting. Janovich and Shelby Quinn both came up with seven total thefts over the two victories. Quinn, a Bellevue East High School product, also dished out 11 assists at the weekend classic while playing in her hometown.
Blowout wins have become the norm for Concordia. Eight of its nine victories have been decided by double-digit margins. Such drama-free contests have given Olson ample opportunity to unleash his full complement of weaponry on opponents.
“I thought this weekend was good in terms of figuring out more about our bench and how to keep our production up when some of the starters are out,” Olson said. “I think we found a couple kids that are going to be consistent and help us on both ends.”
The Bulldogs will return to Walz Arena for both of next week’s contests. Up next is a date with College of Saint Mary (2-5, 0-3 GPAC), which will visit Seward for an 8 p.m. tipoff on Wednesday (a junior varsity game will precede the varsity game). Concordia is 73-9 at home since the start of the 2011-12 season.
SEWARD, Neb. – Few teams have enjoyed as dominant of an opening month than the seventh-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team, which spent its Thanksgiving week beating the stuffing out of a trio of opponents, including rival Doane. Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has won nine-straight games, nearly all in dominant fashion, since the season-opening loss to top-ranked Marian University (Ind.). Currently atop the GPAC, Concordia stands at 9-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play.
The unblemished GPAC record will be put to the test on Wednesday when College of Saint Mary (2-5, 0-3 GPAC) visits Walz Arena for an 8 p.m. CT tipoff. That contest precedes Saturday’s 2 p.m. showdown with No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan (9-0, 3-0 GPAC), which will first play No. 9 Morningside on Wednesday night. Both games can be seen via the Concordia Sports Network and heard on 104.9 Max Country with Tyler Cavalli calling the play-by-play.
During last week’s action, Concordia made its opponents pay for their combined 107 turnovers over three games played at road/neutral sites. The Bulldogs extended their win streak by beating Doane, 77-56, No. 25 Haskell Indian Nations University (Kan.), 99-44, and University of Saint Mary (Kan.), 100-58, in convincing fashion. Freshman Philly Lammers starred last week, averaging 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.7 steals while making 20-of-27 shots from the floor over the three wins.
The blowouts have lent to balanced playing time up and down the roster. Ten Bulldogs are averaging 11.9 minutes or more per game. Three players are averaging just over 20 minutes per contest: Quinn Wragge (21.7), Shelby Quinn (20.7) and Mary Janovich (20.2). Quinn owns a consecutive games played streak of 100 dating back to her freshman year. Meanwhile, Janovich is the key to Concordia’s relentless pressure defense. She’s been pilfering 3.5 steals per game.
College of Saint Mary will be gunning for its first GPAC victory of the season when it invades Walz on Wednesday. The Flames have fallen to conference foes Hastings, 83-67, No. 15 Briar Cliff, 83-81, and Midland, 84-69. Senior guard Pilar Aldrich tops CSM with an average of 13.4 points per game. The Flames can shoot it. They drain nearly eight 3-point field goals per contest.
The Bulldogs must get past the Flames before they look ahead to Dakota Wesleyan. The Tigers are loaded with talent and experience coming off a national quarterfinal advancement this past March. Six Dakota Wesleyan players average nine or more points per game. Ashley Bray is the leader with a scoring average of 12.8. The Tigers rank No. 4 nationally in rebound margin (+14.3). Former star Concordia guard Bailey Morris, the 2014-15 NAIA Division II national player of the year, serves as graduate assistant coach at Dakota Wesleyan.
Up next week is a trip to No. 9 Morningside on Dec. 7 and then a home date with Northwestern on Dec. 10.
Concordia: 9-1, 4-0 GPAC
G – Shelby Quinn: 6.8 ppg, 4.7 apg, 2.9 rpg, .839 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 11.2 ppg, 1.3 spg, .452 fg%, .433 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 10.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.5 spg, .507 fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 10.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.9 spg, .570 fg%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.0 spg, .649 fg%
College of Saint Mary: 2-5, 0-3 GPAC
G – Paige Muhammad: 3.9 ppg, 1.1 spg, .524 fg%
G – Peyton Hagen: 9.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, .369 fg%
G – Pilar Aldrich: 13.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, .484 fg%, .381 3-pt fg%
G – Justice Ross: 9.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg, .456 fg%
F – Ashley Nelson: 5.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, .366 fg%
Dakota Wesleyan: 9-0, 3-0 GPAC
G – Rylie Osthus: 7.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.4 apg, .442 fg%
G – Chesney Nagel: 3.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, .429 fg%
F – Amber Bray: 9.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, .437 fg%, .955 ft%
F – Ashley Bray: 12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, .571 fg%, .970 ft%
F – Erica Herrold: 9.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, .425 fg%, .302 3-pt fg%
SEWARD, Neb. – Freshman Philly Lammers continued her tear and the seventh-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team experienced little difficulty on its way to its 10th-straight victory. The Bulldogs shot 56.5 percent and pummeled visiting College of Saint Mary, 95-56, inside Walz Arena on Wednesday night.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad is a perfect 4-0 at home and has won each of its last eight contests played inside Walz Arena. Concordia has improved to 10-1 overall and to 5-0 in conference play.
“It was probably a hard game for our kids to really stay focused and get up for knowing what’s to come on Saturday,” Olson said. “I was pleased with how we played. I still think there are some things we can do better, but it was a good effort. I was worried we would look past this and not play as hard.”
A product of Millard West High School, Lammers has been nearly automatic when getting touches inside. She torched the Flames (2-6, 0-4 GPAC) for 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Over her last four games, Lammers has made 26-of-35 of shots from the floor.
With Lammers hammering away inside, Bulldog snipers got loose on the perimeter. Sharpshooter Dani Andersen capped a 12-0 run to begin the third quarter with one of her three treys on the night. At that point Concordia had built an insurmountable 64-29 advantage. Andersen also somehow got a driving fourth-quarter layup to fall despite heavy contact.
One of the nation’s top defensive stoppers, Mary Janovich did it all while celebrating her birthday. She kick started the third quarter explosion with a steal and a breakaway layup. She needed only 21 minutes of action to equal Andersen with a game high 16 points. Janovich also dished out six assists and swiped a pair of steals.
Janovich and the ‘Dogs are rolling.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Janovich said. “We have a lot of depth, so that’s really nice. We know that the next group is going to come in and do what they need to do as well.”
Janovich was one of seven Bulldogs to knock down at least one trey for a squad that went 12-for-25 (.480) from long distance. Brenleigh Daum came off the bench to drain 3-of-6 shots from beyond the arc and Sydney Feller splashed home both of her shots from 3-point range. Daum, Aubri Bro and Devin Edwards each supplied nine points off the bench.
“I was pleased with a lot of our kids that came off the bench,” Olson said. “Aubri Bro was phenomenal. She’s doing some things on both ends that really help us. We just need more of that production, especially going into big games. We want to find players that will be productive on both ends against really good teams.”
College of Saint Mary turned the ball over 24 times and shot just 33.8 percent from the floor and 18.8 percent from beyond the arc. Lacey Knudsen led the Flames with 11 points off the bench.
Just one of Concordia’s 10 victories has come by a margin of fewer than 10 points. The Bulldogs entered the night ranked fifth nationally with a per game scoring margin of plus-26.9. The wealth of blowouts has made for light workloads for Concordia starters. None of which average more than 22 minutes per game. The bench accounted for more than half the playing time on Wednesday evening.
For the second time this season, Concordia will play a team with a No. 1 ranking. Saturday’s opponent, undefeated Dakota Wesleyan (10-0, 4-0 GPAC), rose to the top spot with the release of this week’s poll. The Tigers topped defending GPAC champion and ninth-ranked Morningside, 91-81, in Wednesday’s top-10 matchup.
SEWARD, Neb. – The matchup between the seventh-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team and No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan lived up to the hype – and then some. In a rollercoaster ride, gritty senior guard Shelby Quinn led the Bulldogs to an 85-82 victory over the Tigers, who entered Saturday’s showdown inside Walz Arena with an unblemished record.
The contest marked the second time in three seasons that 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s program has knocked off a No. 1-ranked team. Concordia also accomplished that feat when it won at top-ranked Morningside in the 2015 GPAC tournament title game. The Bulldogs are now 11-1 overall and 6-0 in conference play. They are the only team still unbeaten in GPAC games.
“It was the character of our team being calm and composed in those tough situations,” said Olson while explaining how his team beat the No. 1 team despite 36.2 percent shooting. “Shelby Quinn is the demeanor of our team during those moments. She just did such a great job of taking care of the basketball and being aggressive when she needed to. Then obviously you have to get stops. I thought that the last three or four possessions, defensively we were really good.”
It can be easy to overlook Quinn on a team that possesses proven stars such as Mary Janovich and Quinn Wragge as well as impact newcomers Dani Andersen and freshman Philly Lammers. But Quinn took a backseat to no one in the most significant contest of the season thus far. With Concordia down 82-79 after a Kristin Sabers trey put Dakota Wesleyan back in front, Quinn went to work.
The Bellevue East High School product dropped in the final six points of the game, all of which came from the foul line. Just under 10 seconds remained when Quinn’s 19th and 20th points put the Bulldogs ahead by three. On the Tigers’ final chance, Kristin Sabers air-balled a heavily contested corner three that wound up in the hands of Erica Herrold, whose follow-up shot was denied by Sydney Feller. Game over. Celebration on.
“It was awesome,” Quinn said. “They’re a really good team. When you’re a basketball player, those are the kinds of games you want. You want to play in those games and you want to come out on top. Luckily we did today. It was a great atmosphere. We’re thankful for the students who showed up. It was fun.”
Though it struggled from the field, Concordia went 26-for-31 (.839) from the foul line and got stellar efforts from Janovich and Wragge. Janovich recorded 19 points, five assists and three steals before fouling out with just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Wragge was ultra-aggressive early on, putting up 10 of her 16 points in the first quarter. She also added eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
The Bulldogs seemingly had control in the infancy of the second quarter when it led 28-17. But Dakota Wesleyan (10-1, 4-1 GPAC) never went away and whittled its deficit down to five (43-38) at the half. The Tigers finally took the lead midway through the third quarter when Kynedi Cheeseman splashed in a three. Their biggest lead was five points.
The Tigers failed to score over the final two minutes. Erin Vieselmeyer blocked Dakota Wesleyan shots on back-to-back possessions in the last minute-and-a-half to help lead the Bulldogs back for a heart-thumping victory. Vieselmeyer chipped in four rebounds and three blocks. Lammers registered nine points and five boards.
Olson has a feeling his team may see Dakota Wesleyan sometime down the road in the postseason.
“I love it,” Olson said of such big-time matchups. “Those are fun games to be a part of. It’s great for the kids to experience. Hopefully it gets us ready for the national tournament.”
The Tigers got a team high 20 points from Sabers. Three other Dakota Wesleyan players reached double figures in scoring for a squad that shot 42.4 percent (25-for-59) from the floor. The Tiger turned it over 24 times.
The Bulldogs face another big test on Wednesday when they are scheduled to play at defending GPAC champion and ninth-ranked Morningside (7-3, 2-2 GPAC). Tipoff from the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center is set for 6 p.m. CT. On Saturday, the Mustangs defeated sixth-ranked College of the Ozarks, 83-63.
SEWARD, Neb. – Named GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Basketball Player of the Week earlier in the day, junior guard Mary Janovich was upgraded to NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Player of the Week on Tuesday (Dec. 6) afternoon. A second team all-conference selection as a sophomore, Janovich helped lead seventh-ranked Concordia to a victory over No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan last week. She has now earned the conference weekly award twice in her career. This marks her first-ever national honor.
During last week’s action, the Gretna, Neb., native filled the stat sheet with averages of 17.5 points, 5.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals. She made 14-of-22 (.636) shots from the field, 4-of-10 (.400) attempts from 3-point range and all three shots from the free throw line. Defensively, Janovich has been a force for a team that generates an average of 27.8 turnovers per game from its opponents. Janovich ranks 11th nationally with 3.33 steals per game.
The Gretna High School product has appeared in 65 games during her career as a Bulldog. She has tallied 669 points, 217 rebounds, 149 steals and 133 assists. She’s played in six national tournament games and was a member of the 2014-15 national runner-up squad.
In recent seasons, head coach Drew Olson’s program has also had two other players collect national player of the week awards. Late in the 2011-12 season, Amber Kistler broke the school single-game scoring record with 37 points and was rewarded with the national weekly award. Two years later, star guard Baily Morris earned the same recognition after shattering Kistler’s record by putting up 45 points in a win over Northwestern.
Janovich and the Bulldogs (11-1, 6-0 GPAC) will return to action on Wednesday for a trip to Sioux City, Iowa, where it will play No. 9 Morningside (7-3, 2-2 GPAC) at 6 p.m. CT. Concordia has won 11-straight games.
Other national player of the week nominees: Mackenzie Campbell, Indiana East; Candace Rhodes, Point (Ga.); Shann Sellers, Friends (Kan.); Clarissa Perez, Antelope Valley (Calif.); Sarah Miller, Ave Maria (Fla.); Keanna Gary, Indiana Tech; Haley Woodruff, Indiana Wesleyan; Kyra Dewald, Jamestown (N.D.); Autumn Durand, Southern Oregon; Jordan Giddings, St. Francis (Ill.).
SEWARD, Neb. – Two programs with a combined nine national championships make up this week’s slate for the seventh-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team. After a run of blowout wins, the Bulldogs proved they’re ready for the GPAC gauntlet when they handed then No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan its first loss of the 2016-17 season last week.
Now 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad moves on with a road trip to No. 9 Morningside (7-3, 2-2 GPAC) on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff. Concordia will then host Northwestern (9-3, 3-3 GPAC) at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday. Both games will be covered by 104.9 Max Country. Wednesday's webcast will be available HERE. Watch Saturday's game on the Concordia Sports Network.
The Bulldogs (11-1, 6-0 GPAC) are riding high having won 11-straight games, including all six GPAC contests. The victory over Dakota Wesleyan marked the second time Concordia has beaten a top-ranked team over the past three seasons. The Bulldogs also took down No. 1 Morningside in the 2015 GPAC tournament championship game. Concordia owns two wins this season over teams that were ranked at the time of the game. It also pummeled No. 25 Haskell Indian Nations University (Kan.), 99-44.
Concordia’s dominance is reflected statistically. Among all NAIA Division II teams, the Bulldogs rank second in steals per game (17.6), second in turnover margin (+10.1), fifth in scoring margin (+25.9), seventh in 3-point field goals per game (9.8), seventh in free throw percentage (.770), 16th in field goal percentage (.444) and 23rd in scoring defense (60.1).
Senior point guard Shelby Quinn is coming off one of the best performances of her career. She totaled a career high 20 points (12-for-14 from the free throw line) while recording the last six points in the win over Dakota Wesleyan. She ranks 10th nationally with an average of 4.83 assists per game. Quinn is a glue player for a team with four players averaging in double figures, including GPAC player of the week Mary Janovich (11.5). Freshman Philly Lammers tops Concordia in both scoring (12.3) and rebounding (5.7).
Concordia has been equally dominant in GPAC games, outscoring conference opponents by an average of 84.8 to 65.0. The Bulldogs have consistently increased their margin for error (shot a season low 36.2 percent) by forcing turnovers. Conference foes have averaged 26.3 turnovers per game against the suffocating Bulldogs, who are getting 3.33 steals per game from Janovich.
Morningside has either won the GPAC title outright or shared the conference regular-season crown in each of the last four years. Their two league losses already this season equals the combined number of GPAC losses the Mustangs suffered over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Head coach Jamie Sale’s squad possesses a big time scorer in Bellevue, Neb., native Madison Braun (19.2 ppg).
Northwestern is one of the teams that has defeated Morningside this season. The Red Raiders also defeated No. 12 University of Jamestown (N.D.) on Nov. 4. Two of the Red Raiders’ three losses have come against top-15 opponents: then No. 14 Concordia and No. 15 Briar Cliff. Sophomore Kassidy De Jong is averaging 22.2 points and has already piled up 798 points in her collegiate career.
With final exams coming up next week, Concordia will wait until Friday, Dec. 16 to take the court again following Saturday’s game versus Northwestern. The Bulldogs will be at Dordt on Dec. 16 for a 5 p.m. CT tipoff.
Concordia: 11-1, 6-0 GPAC
G – Shelby Quinn: 7.6 ppg, 4.8 apg, 2.0 spg, .844 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 11.2 ppg, 1.5 spg, .430 fg%, .415 ft%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 spg, 3.3 apg, .537 fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 10.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 spg, .543 fg%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.8 bpg, .659 fg%
Morningside: 7-3, 2-2 GPAC
G – Lexi Ackerman: 15.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, .437 fg%
G – Madison Braun: 19.2 ppg, 3.4 spg, 2.1 rpg, .474 fg%
G – Jordyn Moser: 3.2 ppg, 2.3 apg, 1.5 rpg, .367 fg%
F – Lauren Lehmkuhl: 13.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, .509 fg%
F – Sydney Hupp: 4.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, .500 fg%
Northwestern: 9-3, 3-3 GPAC
G – Renee Maneman: 10.0 ppg, 7.7 apg, 4.1 rpg, .553 fg%
G – Paige Danner: 10.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, .304 fg%, .788 ft%
G – Kassidy De Jong: 22.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, .503 fg%, .364 3-pt fg%
F – Haley Birks: 15.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.6 bpg, .515 fg%
F – Darbi Gustafson: 10.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.0 spg, .500 fg%
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Bulldogs managed only six points in the second quarter, but lived to tell about it following Wednesday’s clash between rival powerhouse programs. The seventh-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team did not show any hangover effects from last week’s triumph over No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan while claiming an 80-52 win at No. 9 Morningside in Sioux City, Iowa.
Off shooting night or not, it hasn’t mattered for 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad, which keeps finding ways to win. The Bulldogs have won 12-straight games and are now 12-1 overall and a perfect 7-0 in conference play.
“We talked about attacking more in the second half. Thankfully our great defense continued,” Olson said. “We just didn’t give them any open looks and I thought our press did a great job adjusting. They made an adjustment to their press break at halftime and we adjusted to that. Our defensive pressure just turned it up. That was really the difference in the game.”
Concordia possesses plenty of scoring options, but its pressure defense is what has made it an elite team. As part of the 9-0 third-quarter blitzkrieg, the Bulldogs put up seven points in the blink of an eye. The sequence began with a Philly Lammers layup and continued with two additional buckets (Dani Andersen trey and Mary Janovich layup) that came directly after steals in the backcourt. Concordia then led 45-37.
Suddenly the dam had burst wide open. The Mustangs collapsed underneath the weight of the Bulldogs’ lockdown defense that forced 32 turnovers. Concordia returned to its dominant ways in the second half, outscoring Morningside 30-19 in the third period and 27-11 in the fourth.
Once again, Janovich, named NAIA Division II national player of the week, was one of the catalysts. She scored all 16 of her points in the second half, including nine during the game-defining third quarter surge. On this team, she never has to do it alone. Sophomore Quinn Wragge terrorized the Mustangs with an impressive line of 13 points, eight rebounds and eight steals. Wragge was able to jump passing lanes while feeding off the menacing on-ball pressure of the likes of Andersen and Janovich.
“They’re just perfect fits for this style. Dani and Mary up front are just causing havoc for point guards on the opposing team,” Olson said. “Quinn was awesome in that second line tonight. She was just picking off passes and reading them. I think the rest of the group is understanding exactly what we’re doing. We’re growing and doing a really good job of adjusting.”
All five Concordia starters cracked double figures in scoring. Though limited by foul trouble, Philly Lammers still put up 15 points and eight rebounds. Senior point guard Shelby Quinn added 12 points and five assists and Dani Andersen chipped in 11 points.
Morningside (7-4, 2-3 GPAC) has already lost more conference games than it did in the previous two seasons combined. A national champion in 2015, the Mustangs aren’t used to getting kicked around. Wednesday’s 28-point margin was the program’s largest spread in defeat since a 76-46 loss at Northwestern on Feb. 9, 2011.
The Mustangs got a game high 18 points and 13 rebounds from Lexi Ackerman. However, it took her 17 shots to rack up those points. As a team, Morningside shot only 31.7 percent (19-for-60). That percentage had actually gone up following a dreadful offensive first half for both teams. Concordia shot only 23.3 percent in the first half, but heated up to 55.9 percent in the second half.
The Bulldogs will get another test from a perennial GPAC giant on Saturday when Northwestern (9-4, 3-4 GPAC) invades Walz Arena for a 2 p.m. CT tipoff. The two sides met in the conference opener in Orange City on Nov. 9. Concordia got the upper hand, 88-81. The Bulldogs own a home record of 75-9 since the start of the 2011-12 season.
SEWARD, Neb. – The seventh-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team has polished off a week in which it demolished two programs with a combined nine national championships. In Saturday’s clash, the Bulldogs scorched Northwestern with a 30-5 first-half run that defined a game that saw Mary Janovich drop 11 dimes in the 91-44 blowout win.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has won 13-straight games and now stands at 13-1 overall and a perfect 8-0 in conference play. Concordia owns a record of 76-9 at home since the start of the 2011-12 season.
The Bulldogs are simply playing on another level right now.
“I’m proud of our kids. We just played really, really well at Morningside,” Olson said. “Obviously we played well today, too. Northwestern was a little depleted without their best player, but you still have to credit our kids for coming out focused and getting the job done.”
The Bulldogs took full advantage of a wounded animal. The Red Raiders traveled only eight healthy players, and they struggled mightily in their efforts to halt the Concordia locomotive that keeps chugging. This contest was all but over at the break, at which point the Bulldogs were shooting 61.5 percent and led, 52-25. Not only did Concordia shoot much better, it handled the ball much more smoothly (plus-14 turnover margin) than the visitors from Orange City.
Northwestern (9-5, 3-5 GPAC) was the latest team with no answer inside for freshman Philly Lammers. She made her first seven shots from the field and finished with a game high 18 points. With Janovich sprinkling passes around for easy buckets, the Bulldogs operated at near peak efficiency over the game’s first 20 minutes. They cooled off in the second half, but it was already too late for the Red Raiders.
About the only negative was an extended third quarter drought. The Bulldogs actually endured a stretch of more than six-and-a-half scoreless minutes – and still won by 47 points. Concordia had more in the tank. It deployed all 15 players to help wear down Northwestern, which played without star sophomore Kassidy De Jong.
Sophomore Quinn Wragge joined Lammers in double figures in scoring with 12. Sydney Feller and Dani Andersen both chipped in nine points. Steady senior point guard Shelby Quinn delivered six assists.
Fresh off an 80-52 road trouncing of No. 9 Morningside on Wednesday, the Bulldogs never let their guard down. At least so far, Concordia has shown an immunity to letdowns.
“Coach Olson does a really good job of keeping us focused on the next team,” Feller said. “That’s something we take pride in.
“The best thing about this team is we’re so deep with our bench.”
Leading the way for Northwestern was Darbi Gustafson, who netted 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Renee Maneman contributed 10 points and five assists, but also was responsible for seven of her team’s 25 turnovers.
Concordia shot 47.5 percent (38-for-80) for the game while holding the Red Raiders to a paltry shooting percentage of 28.1 (18-for-64). The Bulldogs also owned a sizeable 50-39 advantage on the boards. Freshman Colby Duvel came off the bench to grab a team best seven rebounds.
The Bulldogs have final exams coming up next week before focusing their attention on Friday’s (Dec. 16) matchup at Dordt (5-7, 0-6 GPAC). Tipoff from Sioux Center, Iowa, is slated for 5 p.m. CT. Concordia has triumphed in eight-consecutive meetings with the Defenders.
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University women’s basketball team is soaring up the NAIA Division II national rankings. That should be no surprise for anyone who’s watched the Bulldogs play during their run of 13-straight victories. Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad went from No. 14 in the preseason top 25 to seventh two weeks ago to No. 2 in the national poll released on Tuesday (Dec. 13).
The No. 2 national ranking is the highest for the program since the 2014-15 squad finished its season as the national runner up and appeared second in the postseason coaches’ poll. Concordia will carry its sparkling new ranking into Friday’s GPAC game at Dordt (5-7, 0-6 GPAC). Tipoff from Sioux Center, Iowa, is slated for 5 p.m. CT.
Tyler Cavalli will also call the play-by-play for 104.9 Max Country radio.
Since its season-opening loss, Concordia has rarely been seriously challenged. It is coming off a dominant week in which it blew away two perennially dominant programs – Morningside and Northwestern. The Bulldogs are one of the nastiest defensive teams in the nation. Opponents are shooting only 36.2 percent from the field and are averaging 27.9 turnovers per game. The Mustangs, ranked ninth at the time of last week’s game, turned it over 32 times during a contest in which Quinn Wragge swiped a career high eight steals.
The Bulldogs have been so dominant that only two of their 13 victories have come by single-digit margins. The large spreads have made for frequent substitutions. Twelve different players average more than 10 minutes per game. While playing only 17.9 minutes per game, freshman Philly Lammers is averaging 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds and is shooting a national best 66.0 percent from the floor. In GPAC games only, junior Mary Janovich has paced the Bulldogs with 14.4 points per game.
Meanwhile, the Defenders have been struggling on the offensive end. They average 61.6 points and are shooting 37.2 percent from the field. Dordt won five of its six nonconference games that immediately preceded conference play. Though the Defenders have lost six in a row, they nearly upset then No. 15 Briar Cliff on Nov. 22 in what turned out to be a 60-59 loss. Concordia has triumphed in eight-straight meetings with Dordt.
Two ranked foes make up next week’s schedule. On Monday (Dec. 19), the Bulldogs will play No. 17 Indiana Tech at 12:30 p.m. local time in Honolulu (4:30 p.m. CT) at St. Francis High School. Concordia will be back at the same location the next day to take on No. 8 College of the Ozarks at 4:30 p.m. CT. In preparation for these games, the Bulldogs will fly out of Nebraska on Saturday morning.
Concordia: 13-1, 8-0 GPAC
G – Shelby Quinn: 7.6 ppg, 4.9 apg, 2.9 rpg, .837 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 10.8 ppg, 1.7 spg, .406 fg%, .375 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.0 spg, .530 fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 10.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.3 spg, .566 fg%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.6 spg, .660 fg%
Dordt: 5-7, 0-6 GPAC
G – Kim Kroeze: 9.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, .390 fg%
G – Kenzie Bousema: 6.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.3 spg, .417 fg%
G – Alissa Floen: 4.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.5 spg, .311 fg%
F – Paige Engbers: 9.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, .365 fg%, .364 3-pt fg%
F – Shae Pollema: 8.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, .438 fg%
SEWARD, Neb. – The red hot second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team will escape the icy cool Nebraska temperatures and journey to island paradise. For the second time in five years, 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s program will take part in the Hoop N Surf Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Bulldogs will fly out of Omaha early Saturday morning en route to the Aloha State. Concordia will play two teams ranked in the top 20 of the national poll (see schedule below).
Hoop N Surf Classic schedule
Monday, Dec. 19 – vs. (17) Indiana Tech, 12:30 p.m. HST / 4:30 p.m. CST
Tuesday, Dec. 20 – vs. (8) College of the Ozarks, 12:30 p.m. HST / 4:30 p.m. CST
*Both games will be staged at St. Francis High School in Honolulu
Owner of a 13-game win streak, the Bulldogs (13-1, 8-0 GPAC) will attempt to claim their fourth and fifth wins over ranked opponents. Concordia has already defeated No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan, No. 9 Morningside and No. 25 Haskell Indian Nations University (Kan.). The team’s lone loss came in the season opener against then top-ranked Marian University (Ind.). The Bulldogs also own four wins over squads that were receiving votes at the time the games were contested.
Concordia also played at the Hoop N Surf Classic in December of 2012. At the event, the Bulldogs moved to 14-0 by toppling NAIA Division I No. 16 University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), 59-53, and then GPAC rival Doane, 66-53. Prior to 2012, the program’s most recent trip to Hawaii occurred in 2005 as part of Todd Voss’ final season as head coach. The 2005-06 squad went 1-1 at the Hoop N Surf Classic.
The Bulldogs have been so dominant this season that only two of their 13 victories have come by single-digit margins. The large spreads have made for frequent substitutions. Twelve different players average more than 10 minutes per game. While playing only 17.9 minutes per game, freshman Philly Lammers is averaging 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds and is shooting a national best 66.0 percent from the floor. In GPAC games only, junior Mary Janovich has paced the Bulldogs with 14.4 points per game.
Indiana Tech (11-1), member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference and located in Fort Wayne, Ind., has also suffered just one loss so far this season. The Warriors possess one of the nation’s most potent offenses. Among all NAIA Division II teams, they rank first in field goal percentage (.507), third in 3-point field goal percentage (.415) and fourth in scoring offense (88.6). Star guard Haley Cook (19.2 ppg) and company will go up against a Bulldog team that forces 27.9 turnovers per game.
Head coach Becky Vest’s College of the Ozarks program has a long established tradition. The Bobcats (11-2) were recently defeated by Morningside, 83-63, on Dec. 3. Like Concordia, College of the Ozarks has scoring balance. Five Bobcats average 8.4 points per game or more, led by the 15.3 of guard Cass Johnson. Ozarks played in the national championship game as recently as 2014 when it fell to Saint Francis (Ind.), 75-68.
Concordia will have a break in its schedule after Tuesday’s game versus College of the Ozarks. Following the Hoop N Surf Classic, the Bulldogs will welcome Briar Cliff to Walz Arena for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff on Wednesday, Jan. 4. Concordia was originally scheduled to play at Dordt on Friday (Dec. 16), but the game was postponed until Jan. 6 due to impending inclement weather.
Concordia: 13-1, 8-0 GPAC
G – Shelby Quinn: 7.6 ppg, 4.9 apg, 2.9 rpg, .837 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 10.8 ppg, 1.7 spg, .406 fg%, .375 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.0 spg, .530 fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 10.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.3 spg, .566 fg%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.6 spg, .660 fg%
Indiana Tech: 11-1
G – Bella Lozano-Dobbs: 3.9 ppg, 4.6 apg, 2.5 rpg, .514 fg%
G – Haley Cook: 19.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.4 spg, .478 fg%
G – Taylor Seiss: 13.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, .449 fg%, .400 3-pt fg%
F – Kendall Knapke: 13.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg, .569 fg%
C – Keanna Gary: 15.5 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.6 spg, .648 fg%
College of the Ozarks: 11-2
G – Hannah Wisdom: 10.4 ppg, 3.2 apg, .431 fg%, .792 ft%
G – Cass Johnson: 15.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, .404 fg%, .385 3-pt fg%
G – Kelsie Cleeton: 12.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.5 spg, .371 fg%
F – Maggie McMenamy: 5.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, .437 fg%
C – Lakin Simmerman: 11.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, .588 fg%, .623 ft%
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Monday’s opening game at the Hoop N Surf Classic for the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team was further evidence of a special team. Fractured into travel groups, the Bulldogs slipped off separate planes and grinded out a 68-57 win over 17th-ranked Indiana Tech in a contest played at St. Francis High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
It may not have been its most crisp performance of the 2016-17 season, but 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad ran its win streak to 14 and triumphed by a double-digit margin for the 12th time this season. Concordia is now 14-1 overall.
“They’re a good team,” Olson said of Indiana Tech. “I thought our win today was awesome considering the opponent and because we were so out of rhythm. We didn’t have the legs to defend like we normally do. Offensively, we couldn’t run any of our sets.
“I really thought that was a great win considering everything.”
After falling behind 6-1 early on, Concordia rallied back and led nearly the entire afternoon in The Aloha State. The Bulldogs built an advantage as large as 14 points late in the fourth quarter. Though Concordia had an uncharacteristic turnover margin in the red (minus-three), it overcame that with the work inside of freshman Philly Lammers (14 points, 12 rebounds) and sophomore Quinn Wragge (12 points, 10 rebounds). Both players recorded double-doubles.
Those efforts were crucial in an outing when Indiana Tech (11-3) did not appear as mystified by the Concordia press as most foes this season.
“We had some really good performances from some individuals,” Olson said. “Brenleigh (Daum) saved us a little bit offensively in the second quarter. Aubri (Bro) played really well. Colby (Duvel) had some good minutes. Philly and Quinn were amazing. Mary (Janovich) played well down the stretch. Seriously, Philly and Quinn dominated.”
Janovich turned in an all-around impressive line, going for a team high 16 points to compliment her five rebounds, four steals and four assists. Shelby Quinn added nine points. Daum led all Bulldogs off the bench with seven points. As a team, Concordia shot 41.3 percent (26-for-63) from the floor.
The Warriors, a member of the NAIA’s Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, have actually dropped two in a row against Concordias. Indiana Tech fell, 61-54, at Concordia-Ann Arbor, coached by Bulldog alum Thad Sankey, three days earlier. Keanna Gary spearheaded the Indiana Tech efforts with 19 points and 11 rebounds. But Gary and company got eaten up on the boards by Lammers, Wragge and the rest of the Bulldogs, who outrebounded the Warriors, 51-30. Indiana Tech also shot just 35.6 percent (21-for-59) from the field.
Concordia is making its second appearance in Hawaii in five years. Playing at the same event in December 2012, the Bulldogs defeated No. 16 University of the Cumberlands (NAIA Division I) and Doane
Action from the Hoop N Surf Classic resumes on Tuesday with another matchup with sizzle. The Bulldogs and eighth-ranked College of the Ozarks (Mo.) (11-3), a perennial titan, will tip off at 12:30 p.m. HST / 4:30 p.m. CST from Honolulu. The Lady Bobcats were upset by Menlo College (Calif.), 73-71, on Monday morning at the Hoop N Surf Classic.
HONOLULU, Hawaii – In Tuesday’s action at the Hoop N Surf Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Concordia University women’s basketball program met College of the Ozarks (Mo.) for the first time since the 2012 national semifinals. If you’re a Bulldog fan, you’d rather not remember that matchup. This time around, the second-ranked Bulldogs fended off the eighth-rated Bobcats, 78-68.
Concordia has won all four games its played in Hawaii during eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s tenure. The Bulldogs are now 15-1 overall and will bring a 15-game win streak back home.
Though Concordia won by double digits for the 13th time this season, it needed more than 35 minutes to put the game away. College of the Ozarks (11-4) had a cut 10-point (56-46) late third-quarter deficit to just three (63-60) with under six minutes remaining. During the ensuing 13-2 Concordia run, the junior guard from Gretna rattled off nine points of her own and snagged a steal and an offensive board. By the time the Janovich onslaught ended, the Bulldogs led 76-62 with under two minutes left. Game over.
“Mary played really well late, and there were a whole bunch of little plays,” Olson said. “Erin (Vieselmeyer) hit a baseline jumper when Philly (Lammers) was in foul trouble. Quinn (Wragge) had this phenomenal offensive rebound where she gathered herself and scored. Devin (Edwards) had a really nice drive. There were a lot of little plays that helped, but Mary was definitely the key. She was tired, but she played awesome in that fourth quarter.”
Concordia shot the ball better on day two of its excursion in The Aloha State. Wragge downed 6-of-8 shots while totaling 14 points and six rebounds. Dani Andersen (10 points) got going with a pair of treys and Brenleigh Daum (nine points) again provided a lift with three triples off the bench. As a team, the Bulldogs shot 44.1 percent (30-for-68) overall and 33.3 percent (10-for-30) from beyond the arc.
It appeared early on that Concordia might just coast to a breezy island victory. It led 18-3 less than five minutes into the game after Aubri Bro sank a jumper from long distance. The Bobcats stormed back and trailed only 21-16 at the end of the first quarter. However, they never did hold a lead all afternoon, getting as close as two (42-40) early in the third period.
The Bulldogs held off the College of the Ozarks rally attempt despite a strong effort from Bobcat star Cassidy Johnson, who drilled 5-of-9 shots from 3-point range and finished with a game high 18 points. Johnson and company hung in there and did a commendable job going up against Concordia’s vaunted press. College of the Ozarks committed 23 turnovers compared to 20 by the Bulldogs.
Olson came away pleased with his team’s two outings in Hawaii that came after Concordia arrived later than originally planned.
“They continue to impress me and continue to do the little things to win games in different ways,” Olson said. “Today our press really wasn’t that good. We won the turnover margin by three. Offensively, we were a mess at times but when we needed baskets, people stepped up and scored. When we needed stops, we dug in and took people away. We’re finding ways to win even when we’re not at our best. That’s a really good sign.”
The Bulldogs will enjoy island life for a bit longer before making a return to Nebraska in time for Christmas. The team planned to take in a luau yet today and then visit Pearl Harbor on Wednesday morning, among other activities. Up next on the schedule is a home date with Briar Cliff (7-7, 4-3 GPAC) at 6 p.m. CT on Jan. 4. It will be Fan Appreciation Day inside Walz Arena. Fans will be admitted free of charge.
The island lifestyle has come to an end for the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team. The stay in Honolulu provided the perfect opportunity to play two high-level opponents and then recharge the batteries at what is essentially the halfway point of the regular season.
More than the victories over No. 17 Indiana Tech and No. 8 College of the Ozarks (Mo.), members of the team will likely hold onto the many other memories that were made. Among other activities, student-athletes spent time on the beach, swam in the ocean, surfed, took in a luau and visited Pearl Harbor.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson discussed aspects of the journey on Wednesday in an interview for the weekly Bulldog Coaches Show that airs Thursdays on 104.9 Max Country. Said Olson, “I’m really excited for our kids. For a lot of them it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s great to be here. It’s great to be out of the cold weather at home. Last night was awesome to be done with our games and just kick back and relax. We went to a luau, which was an incredible experience for our kids. Today we went to Pearl Harbor and learned a lot about the history of our country and World War II.
“I know a lot of them are going to lay on the beach today and some of them are going to try to surf. Tomorrow we’ll probably go to the North Shore. I’m really excited for them to be here and be able to experience this stuff.”
Olson and his coaching staff, Tae’lor Purdy-Korell and Alexis Akin-Otiko, as well as athletic trainer Randy Baack, flew to Hawaii along with 16 student-athletes. Due to flight postponements, the team was splintered into three travel groups and did not arrive in Hawaii until the day before Concordia’s 68-57 victory over Indiana Tech.
From a playing perspective, one of Olson’s most positive takeaways was the way in which his team responded despite a lack of prep time. The Bulldogs had originally planned to sneak in a practice session in Hawaii before their first day of the Hoop N Surf Classic. Those plans were nixed.
“I was really proud of our kids for finding a way to win that (Indiana Tech) game with some of the things that went against us,” Olson said. “Our travel to get to Hawaii was kind of a disaster. We spent too many hours in planes and at the airport. We hadn’t touched a basketball in 72 hours. We had a very sluggish start, but credit to our kids. They just find ways to win.”
In the Indiana Tech win, both Philly Lammers (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Quinn Wragge (12 points, 10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles and Mary Janovich totaled 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. The next day (Dec. 20), Janovich (16 more points) took over in the fourth quarter and helped her team pull away for a 78-68 victory over College of the Ozarks.
With 14 games remaining in the regular season, the Bulldogs are a confident bunch now riding a 15-game winning streak. (This marks the fourth time during Olson’s tenure that the program has won 15 or more games in a row). Concordia is 8-0 and sits alone atop the always loaded GPAC.
But for a few days in Hawaii, thoughts of the conference race were miles and miles away. Many Concordia players spent time on the island with family members who also made the trek. Senior guard Devin Edwards even celebrated her birthday in Hawaii.
“They’re having a blast,” Olson said. “We have a really good following with our families and parents. A lot of them are here so they’re doing some things with them. We get together and do stuff as a team as well. It’s a time for them to explore and to relax. It kind of starts their Christmas break. Then we’ll come back on the 30th and get back after it. It’s definitely a relaxing time for them.”
Conference action heats back up on Wednesday, Jan. 4 when the Bulldogs welcome Briar Cliff (7-7, 4-3 GPAC) for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff inside Walz Arena. As part of Fan Appreciation Night, attendees will be admitted free of charge.
SEWARD, Neb. – For the second time in four weeks, junior guard Mary Janovich has been named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, as announced by the conference on Tuesday (Dec. 27). This marks the third career GPAC weekly award for Janovich, who was also chosen as the NAIA Division II national player of the week on Dec. 6.
The latest award for the native of Gretna, Neb., comes courtesy of her performances at last week’s Hoop N Surf Classic (Dec. 19-20). Janovich helped second-ranked Concordia push its win streak to 15 thanks to victories over No. 17 Indiana Tech and No. 8 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) during the team’s stay in Honolulu, Hawaii. Over those two wins, Janovich averaged 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals while shooting 66.7 percent (12-for-18) from the floor.
A second team all-conference choice last season as a sophomore, Janovich is averaging 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game. She ranks ninth among all NAIA Division II players in steals per contest. She has moved up to 20th on the program’s all-time list with 157 career thefts. Janovich has totaled 727 points over 69 games in a Bulldog uniform.
Janovich and company will ring in the new year next Wednesday (Jan. 4) when Briar Cliff (7-7, 4-3 GPAC) makes a visit to Walz Arena for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff.
SEWARD, Neb. – For the second time in four weeks, junior guard Mary Janovich has been named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, as announced by the conference on Tuesday (Dec. 27). This marks the third career GPAC weekly award for Janovich, who was also chosen as the NAIA Division II national player of the week on Dec. 6.
The latest award for the native of Gretna, Neb., comes courtesy of her performances at last week’s Hoop N Surf Classic (Dec. 19-20). Janovich helped second-ranked Concordia push its win streak to 15 thanks to victories over No. 17 Indiana Tech and No. 8 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) during the team’s stay in Honolulu, Hawaii. Over those two wins, Janovich averaged 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals while shooting 66.7 percent (12-for-18) from the floor.
A second team all-conference choice last season as a sophomore, Janovich is averaging 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game. She ranks ninth among all NAIA Division II players in steals per contest. She has moved up to 20th on the program’s all-time list with 157 career thefts. Janovich has totaled 727 points over 69 games in a Bulldog uniform.
Janovich and company will ring in the new year next Wednesday (Jan. 4) when Briar Cliff (7-7, 4-3 GPAC) makes a visit to Walz Arena for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff.
SEWARD, Neb. – Ranked second nationally, the Concordia University women’s basketball team closed out 2016 with 15-straight victories. The Bulldogs will take the floor for the first time in 2017 when Briar Cliff visits for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff on Wednesday. It will be Fan Appreciation Day inside Walz Arena, where spectators will be admitted to the women’s and men’s games free of charge.
Concordia will also be at Dordt for a 5 p.m. CT start time on Friday in a rescheduled affair that had originally been slated for Dec. 16. Both of this week’s games will be carried live by 104.9 Max Country. Wednesday’s contest can be seen live via the Concordia Sports Network.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad last played Dec. 19-20 at the Hoop N Surf Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. During the team’s stay on the island, it defeated No. 17 Indiana Tech, 68-57, and No. 8 College of the Ozarks (Mo.), 78-68. Of Concordia’s 15 wins, 13 have come by double-digit margins and five have come against nationally-ranked opponents. The current run marks the fourth time that the Bulldogs have won 15 or more games in a row during Olson’s tenure.
Following the two wins in Hawaii, junior guard Mary Janovich picked up her second GPAC player of the week award already this season. She was also named the NAIA Division II national player of the week on Dec. 6. Over the past six games she has averaged 15.5 points while going 36-for-60 (.600) from the floor. A dominant defensive force, Janovich is averaging 3.0 steals on the season and now ranks 20th in program history for career thefts (157).
Janovich (12.3 ppg) ranks second to freshman Philly Lammers (12.6 ppg) for the honor of team scoring leader. Lammers is attempting to do the same that thing now sophomore Quinn Wragge did last season – pace the Bulldogs in both scoring and rebounding as just a rookie. A product of Millard West High School, Lammers recorded the first double-double of her career in Hawaii. She’s started all 16 games and is shooting 63.7 percent from the floor.
A perfect 6-0 at home this season, Concordia has made Walz a house of horrors for opponents. The Bulldogs are 76-9 at home since the start of the 2011-12 campaign. They enter this week with a 10-game home winning streak.
Concordia maintains lofty national rankings in many key statistical categories, including second in steals per game (17.0), second in turnover margin (plus-9.4), third in scoring margin (plus-24.4), fifth in scoring offense (84.3), sixth in 3-point field goals per game (9.4), eighth in free throw percentage (.768), 11th in field goal percentage (.442), 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.11), 21st in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.278), 25th in scoring defense (58.9) and 28th in field goal percentage defense (.366).
Briar Cliff (9-7, 4-3 GPAC) possesses a standout freshman post player of its own in Kailey Burke (13.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg), the lone GPAC rookie with a higher scoring average than Lammers. In terms of rankings, the Chargers are coming off their most impressive win of the season – a 70-66 triumph over No. 10 University of Jamestown (N.D.) on Dec. 30. Briar Cliff was ranked 15th in the national preseason poll, but has since dropped from the top 25.
Meanwhile, Dordt (8-8, 0-6 GPAC) remains in search of its first conference victory of the season. The Defenders have fallen in each of their last eight GPAC games. Recently, they won three-straight times outside the conference before a 72-52 loss to Friends University (Kan.) on New Year’s Eve. No Dordt player averages in double figures for a team that has struggled offensively (62.4 ppg, 37.2 percent field goal shooting).
Concordia: 15-1, 8-0 GPAC
G – Shelby Quinn: 7.3 ppg, 4.7 apg, 2.9 rpg, 2.2 spg, .375 fg%
G – Dani Andersen: 10.1 ppg, 1.7 spg, .389 fg%, .365 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 12.3 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.7 rpg, 3.0 spg, .549 fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 11.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.1 spg, .577 fg%, .733 ft%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.4 spg, 1.1 bpg, .637 fg%
Briar Cliff: 9-7, 4-3 GPAC
G – Alyssa Carley: 6.5 ppg, 1.7 apg, 1.4 spg, .442 fg%, .432 3-pt fg%
G – Julie Targy: 2.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 spg, .387 fg%
F – Morgan Hansen: 9.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.3 spg, .391 fg%
F – Kailey Burke: 13.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 spg, .521 fg%, .605 ft%
C – Kaylee Blake: 8.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg, .473 fg%
Dordt: 8-8, 0-6 GPAC
G – Kim Kroeze: 8.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, .360 fg%
G – Kenzie Bousema: 7.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.1 spg, .471 fg%
G – Annie Rhinesmith: 5.9 ppg, 2.8 apg, 2.3 rpg, .302 fg%
F – Paige Engbers: 8.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.0 spg, .359 fg%, .358 3-pt fg%
F – Shae Pollema: 8.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.2 spg, .360 fg%
SEWARD, Neb. – The second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team rediscovered its suffocating pressure defense while keeping the good times rolling into the new year. The Bulldogs led 50-23 at halftime and cruised to an 86-63 victory over visiting Briar Cliff on Wednesday night in their first outing since playing at the Hoop N Surf Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad won for the 16th-straight time and improved to 16-1 overall and to a perfect 9-0 in conference play. First-place Concordia has won 77 of its last 86 home games.
There was little sign of a post-Hawaii letdown for a program with laser-like game-to-game focus.
“I was impressed with our group,” Olson said. “I was kind of worried about (having a letdown) a little bit. I thought maybe it might take a quarter for us to get into our rhythm, but we came out and played really hard and very aggressive on both ends of the floor. We didn’t play our sharpest basketball, but we just played more physical than them.”
The numbers bare that point out. The Bulldogs pulled down 23 offensive boards that led to 24 second-chance points. Off the bench, Erin Vieselmeyer put the squeeze on four offensive boards. Those second opportunities were especially fatal for a Charger team that struggled to maintain possession.
Concordia’s press didn’t produce takeaways in Hawaii like normal. Order – or chaos – was restored on Wednesday. Briar Cliff committed 32 turnovers, including numerous 10-second violations in the backcourt. Standout Morgan Hansen was responsible for seven of those miscues.
It was a miserable first 20 minutes for the visitors, who shot 28 percent (7-for-25) and found themselves in a 27-point hole. Said junior guard Dani Andersen, “Every game we’ve done a good job of stepping on the court, going hard and having a good start.”
It hardly even mattered that the Bulldogs cooled off in the second half and shot only 39.5 percent (30-for-76) for the game. Concordia’s pesky press allowed it take 20 more shots than Briar Cliff (19-for-56).
“We watched a lot of film on our two games in Hawaii and what teams did against us and what we were doing wrong,” Olson said. “A lot of it was just playing hard. I thought our kids came out with great focus and energy. They played like they normally do in the full-court press.”
On an evening when Mary Janovich went 1-for-7 from the field, Concordia still won comfortably. Andersen poured in a game high 17 points while knocking down 6-of-8 shots from the field (3-for-5 from 3-point range). Quinn Wragge added 12 points and seven rebounds and Shelby Quinn recorded 11 points and five assists. Vieselmeyer played huge in relief. She put up a stat line of seven points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
In its most recent outing, Briar Cliff knocked off No. 10 University of Jamestown (N.D.), 70-66. The Chargers (9-8, 4-4 GPAC) got a team high 12 points and eight rebounds from Kaylee Blake. Briar Cliff got as close as 14 points (73-59) after halftime before the Bulldogs salted the contest away.
The Bulldogs will complete this week’s slate on Friday with a trip to Dordt (8-9, 0-7 GPAC) for a 5 p.m. CT tipoff. Concordia has won eight-straight meetings over the Defenders and has yet to drop a true road game this season. In the most recent matchup, the Bulldogs escaped Sioux Center, Iowa, with a 68-64 victory in December 2015.
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – The second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team continues to hurdle every obstacle placed in front of it. Even without all-conference guard Mary Janovich, the Bulldogs pummeled host Dordt, 81-43, inside De Witt Gymnasium in Sioux Center, Iowa, on Friday evening in a rescheduled contest.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad still has yet to drop a true road contest and has now won 17-straight games. The GPAC front running Bulldogs are 17-1 overall and remain unbeaten in the conference at 10-0.
“I was really impressed. Defensively we were really, really good,” Olson said. “We had a couple bad spurts, but overall just a great effort, great energy. To do it without Shelby (Quinn) and Mary, I loved how our kids were able to adjust. People just stepped up. We had kids assume some different roles. Laurel (Krohn) played point guard and we shifted some people around. They handled it and they were ready to do it on the fly.”
During a game featuring a dizzying number of Concordia substitutions, the constant was the Bulldogs’ relentlessly nasty defensive pressure. The offensively challenged Defenders shot only 28.3 percent from the floor and committed 38 turnovers. It became a chore for Dordt (8-10, 0-7 GPAC) to possess the ball long enough to simply get a shot up.
After leading 37-20 at the half, Concordia opened the third quarter with a 14-0 run that gave the rest of the game a scrimmage-like feel. The lopsided score meant playing time was divvied out among many. Twelve different Bulldogs found their way into the scoring column. Freshman Philly Lammers paced the victors with 13 points and four rebounds. Off the bench, fellow rookie Colby Duvel added a career high nine points to go with four boards.
“We have so many great upperclassmen who took a lot of us under their wing and showed us the way,” Duvel said. “They’ve made it easy to go along with it.”
For a team with the depth the Bulldogs possess, practices are a battle. Survival of the everyday grind has made Concordia even more equipped to handle the rigors of the GPAC.
Aubri Bro joined Lammers in double figures with 10 points. Duvel was one of three Bulldogs with exactly nine points. The others were Dani Andersen and Carissa Gutz. Andersen knocked in 3-of-4 shot attempts from beyond the arc. In addition, Riley Sibbel chipped in four late points and Shelby Pollman saw the first varsity action of her career.
Concordia shot 40.5 percent (30-for-74) from the floor and just 20 percent (5-for-25) from beyond the 3-point line. The Bulldogs outrebounded Dordt, 44-38. Quinn Wragge topped all players with eight rebounds.
Concordia has come accustomed to blowout wins. Only two of its 17 victories have come by margins of less than 10 points. The Bulldogs entered the day ranked fourth nationally in scoring margin (plus-25.3).
“I keep saying this each time, but our kids are really mature,” Olson said. “They come into every game with good focus. They do what they’re supposed to do and are methodical in their approach. It’s a very unique group.”
Not only did Janovich watch the game from the sideline, Quinn had to leave the contest early after a cut above the eye bloodied her face. She received stitches while the game carried on without her.
The Bulldogs will return home on Wednesday to host Midland (11-5, 4-4 GPAC). Tipoff from Walz Arena is set for 6 p.m. CT. In this season’s first meeting, Concordia defeated the Warriors, 89-50, in Fremont on Nov. 16. The Bulldogs are 77-9 at home since the start of the 2011-12 season.
SEWARD, Neb. – Now 10-0 in conference play for the first time since the 2002-03 season, the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team will simply attempt to maintain its impressive game-to-game focus. The second half of the GPAC schedule starts on Wednesday when Midland (11-6, 4-5 GPAC) pays a visit to Walz Arena for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff. In a rare Sunday tilt, the Bulldogs will trek to No. 8 Dakota Wesleyan (15-2, 6-2 GPAC) for a 2 p.m. CT start.
Last week brought two more anticlimactic wins. Back in action for the first time since the Hoop N Surf Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Bulldogs pummeled Briar Cliff, 86-63, at home and Dordt, 81-43, on the road. Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has won 17-straight games. Included in that stretch were victories over both of this week’s opponents. Back on Dec. 3, Concordia held off then No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan, 85-82, in a classic affair that came down to the final possession.
Any team hoping to have success against the Bulldogs will have to find ways to navigate their press. The Chargers and Defenders failed miserably in that regard last week, turning it over a combined 70 times. Concordia opponents have committed an average of 27.8 turnovers per game. Junior guard Mary Janovich has been the biggest pest for the opposition. She is averaging 2.9 steals per outing.
An element that makes the Bulldog press so terrifying is the richness of depth off the bench. No single player is averaging more than 22.3 minutes per game. A dozen players play more than 10 minutes per contest. Four players average in double figures in scoring: Philly Lammers (12.3), Janovich (11.7), Quinn Wragge (10.7) and Dani Andersen (10.4).
Concordia maintains lofty national rankings in many key statistical categories: second in steals per game (17.2), second in turnover margin (plus-10.1), fourth in scoring margin (plus-26.0), fifth in scoring offense (84.2), sixth in free throw percentage (.770), seventh in 3-point field goals per game (9.2), 13th in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.271), 14th in assist-to-turnover ratio (plus-1.07), 17th in scoring defense (58.2), 18th in field goal percentage (.437), 21st in field goal percentage defense (.361) and 26th in blocks per game (3.6).
Midland is fresh off of back-to-back overtime losses that came last week against Northwestern (84-81 in double overtime) and No. 6 Hastings (81-76 in overtime). Prior to those heartbreakers, the Warriors had won five of six games. During that run, they upset No. 12 Morningside in Sioux City. Midland’s brightest star is junior guard Joelle Overkamp, who leads the team in scoring, rebounding and steals. In the first meeting, the Bulldogs handled the Warriors, 89-50, in Fremont.
Dakota Wesleyan enters the week with a four-game win streak since a 65-62 loss at Hastings on Dec. 10. In their most recent outing, the Tigers escaped Orange City, Iowa, with a 78-75 victory over Northwestern. Leading scorer Ashley Bray performed in a big way, averaging 23.0 points and 6.5 rebounds over last week’s pair of wins. Like Concordia, Dakota Wesleyan has no shortage of scoring options. The team’s top six scorers all average more than 8.0 points per game. The Tigers began this season with 10-consecutive wins before falling at Walz Arena.
Next week’s slate will include a trip to College of Saint Mary on Jan. 18 and a visit from No. 12 Morningside on Jan. 21.
Concordia: 17-1, 10-0 GPAC
G – Shelby Quinn: 7.3 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.9 rpg, 2.1 spg, .393 fg%
G – Dani Andersen: 10.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 1.6 spg, .414 fg%, .389 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.9 spg, .529 fg%, .429 3-pt fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 10.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.9 spg, .569 fg%, .745 ft%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.3 spg, .612 fg%, .839 ft%
Midland: 11-6, 4-5 GPAC
G – Megan Kucks: 16.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.6 spg, .420 fg%
G – Amanda Hansen: 8.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 spg, .359 fg%
G – Madison Severson: 6.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 spg, .446 fg%, .488 3-pt fg%
G – Joelle Overkamp: 16.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.2 spg, 1.9 apg, .468 fg%
F – Miranda Paul: 7.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, .371 fg%, .344 3-pt fg%
Dakota Wesleyan: 15-2, 6-2 GPAC
G – Rylie Osthus: 8.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.4 spg, .422 fg%
G – Chesney Nagel: 4.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.1 apg, .455 fg%
F – Erica Herrold: 11.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, .428 fg%, .372 3-pt fg%
F – Amber Bray: 10.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, .508 fg%, .917 ft%
F – Ashley Bray: 13.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.2 spg, .503 fg%, .953 ft%
SEWARD, Neb. – It took a little bit to get going, but the Concordia University women’s basketball team again proved worthy of its lofty No. 2 national ranking. The Bulldogs were utterly dominant in the third and fourth quarters and overwhelmed visiting Midland with their suffocating defensive efforts in a 95-38 runaway victory inside Walz Arena on Wednesday evening.
It’s been a while since 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has endured a real scare. Concordia has won 18-straight games and now sits at 18-1 overall and a perfect 11-0 in conference play.
“I feel like we played more aggressively. We played with more pace,” Olson said of his team’s improved second-half effort. “Obviously we hit shots. In the first half we were a little hesitant and we just didn’t shoot well. Second half, we hit a couple shots, the ball started going in and it was a big snowball effect. It was a great second half.”
A Midland outfit featuring a guard-oriented lineup was helpless in its defense of Concordia freshman post Philly Lammers. The budding rookie from Millard West High School found no equal on the inside while going off for a career high-tying 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds. That performance marked her second career double-double. Lammers and company demolished the Warriors on the boards, 65-36.
“It’s always nice to see the ball go in the basket for yourself,” Lammers said. “It’s definitely a confidence booster. There are so many people behind me that the confidence is always there pushing me forward. It’s always coming from my team.”
Like many opponents this season, Midland (11-7, 4-6 GPAC) crumbled under the pressure placed upon it by the gnat-like Bulldog defenders. The Warriors committed 27 turnovers and knocked down only 12 field goals (21.4 percent) the entire night. Concordia won by a 57-point margin despite holding a lead of just one (13-12) after the opening quarter.
The second half was an entirely different story. The Bulldogs shot 60 percent from the floor and went 8-for-14 (.571) from beyond the arc. Every player Olson sent into the game did no wrong. Even sophomore Shelby Pollman, a late add to the night’s roster, dropped in a triple and grabbed four rebounds. Eleven different Bulldogs totaled five or more points. Freshmen Colby Duvel (nine points, five rebounds) and Maggie Goltz (seven points, eight rebounds, three steals) also turned in strong performances off the bench.
“It’s good to see those kids get opportunites,” Olson said. “Mac (MacKenzie Helman) hit a couple threes and Laurel (Krohn) played awesome. She was the composure of that group. It was good to see Shelby Pollman hit her first shot in a varsity game. Then Maggie Goltz, I think she’s really coming along. She’s being a lot more aggressive.”
Though junior forward Paige Erickson was unavailable on Wednesday, Midland is far from a pushover. The Warriors own a win over No. 11 Morningside and recently dropped overtime heartbreakers to two other teams currently ranked in the national poll – No. 7 Hastings and No. 25 Northwestern. However, Midland was befuddled on this occasion. Even top player Joelle Overkamp struggled, going 1-for-10 from the floor.
After resting in last week’s win at Dordt, Mary Janovich returned to the Concordia starting lineup and recorded seven points. Quinn Wragge chipped in eight points and five boards. Krohn added eight points off the bench.
The Bulldogs now look forward to Sunday’s trip to Mitchell, S.D., for this season’s second matchup with ninth-ranked Dakota Wesleyan (16-2, 7-2 GPAC). Tipoff from the Corn Palace is set for 2 p.m. CT. Concordia defeated the then top-ranked Tigers, 85-82, inside Walz Arena on Dec. 3.
On March 17, 2015, a crowd of 6,684, one of the largest ever to witness a Concordia women’s basketball game, gathered inside the jam-packed Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, for a historic event. The Bulldogs had reached the national championship game for the first time in program history. In a classic tussle between two conference rivals, top-ranked Morningside held off then third-ranked Concordia, 59-57, in the title clash.
It was an agonizingly close call for head coach Drew Olson’s squad, arguably the best in school annals. It was another step for a program that had already established itself as a national player while competing within the toughest, most competitive conference in NAIA Division II women’s basketball. For the fourth time in 13 seasons, Concordia had eclipsed the lofty 30-win plateau.
Followers of NAIA women’s basketball have grown accustomed to seeing the Bulldogs appear near the top of the national poll. Their presence among the nation’s elite was a long time coming. Consider that the advent of women’s basketball at the school occurred 59 years after Concordia Teachers College opened its doors (or door) to students in 1894. It took another 39 years – or nearly 100 years after the school’s founding – before the program made its first appearance at a national tournament.
In the early years of women’s basketball, things looked nothing like they do now.
The early years
Like institutions all over the country, women’s sports at Concordia were slower to take hold. The attitude in regard to women’s collegiate athletics has changed dramatically since the 1950s when Concordia began offering women the opportunity to play basketball. While Concordia’s school yearbook, “The Tower,” predicted that “girls’ basketball is here to stay,” its details on the initiation of women’s basketball in 1953 used terms that would be deemed inappropriate by any reasonable standard. Wrote The Tower, “CTC’s lassies exerted considerable determination and energy to acquire their own basketball team. Initiating the whole movement, the girls met early in the year, selected their coach, and a dream became a reality.”
In the early years, there was very little stability or organization within the program and the schedules consisted of fewer than 10 games per season. Between 1953 and 1960, nine different head coaches guided the Concordia women’s basketball program, which operated more like a club or intramural affair. Finally, JoAnn Degner, who became head coach immediately after graduation, held down the position for more than just a single year (1960-63).
By 1955, The Tower wrote that women’s basketball was “still in its infancy and fighting for recognition.” A year later, the yearbook provided more insight: “After three years of activity, girls’ basketball is fast gaining recognition.” Though the grind of a schedule of more than 30 games now days is much more challenging, the program found some footing in the late 1950s. The 1957-58 team won the “Class A” league championship during Eleanor Glass’ one year as head coach.
The revolving door of head coaches stopped spinning when Eunice Goldgrabe took the reins in 1967. According to records in the Concordia archives, 1967-68 marked the first official season of intercollegiate competition for the women’s basketball program. Goldgrabe held down the fort until passing the baton to Carl Everts in 1981. It was during the Everts era (1981-92) that the sport really took off in the NAIA. Suddenly the Bulldogs were consistently playing 30 or more games each season. In 1992, Everts’ squad qualified for a national tournament, marking the first trip to nationals in school history. But the golden age of the program was yet to come. The Great Plains Athletic Conference hadn’t even been formed, nor been dreamed up.
Head coach Todd Voss couldn’t believe it. No joke, tailgaters were out in force when Voss brought his No. 1-ranked Bulldogs to Hastings for a big-time conference clash with the second-ranked Broncos on Feb. 12, 2003. “That just doesn’t happen in women’s college basketball,” Voss said of the pre-game festivities complete with tailgating. Hastings officials estimated that 2,500 fans made their way to Osborne Family Sports Arena to watch the defending national champion Broncos. Concordia had already defeated Hastings in Seward earlier that season. The Broncos wanted revenge. It was No. 1 versus No. 2. It had all the appeal anyone could want.
It didn’t disappoint. Recalled Voss, “We got there and we got booed even before we got to the arena because there were people lined up. I had the good fortune to coach in a number of great arenas and in big venues in big games at various levels. As far as game atmospheres, that game at Hastings that 2002-03 season was as good or better than any atmosphere I was ever part of in my coaching career.”
The Game lived up to the hype. Though the Broncos built an 11-point lead in the first half, a Concordia squad led by the likes of Sarah Harrison and Elizabeth Rhoden never flinched. The Bulldogs went on a 12-0 second-half spurt and grabbed a late lead in a pulse pounder that earned its place in program folklore. With her team down one, Harrison nailed a 10-foot turnaround jumper with 3.2 seconds left.
The Bulldog faction of the audience exploded. A photographer at the game captured the moment in an image that somehow ended up as a massive poster inside the arena at Hastings. Recalled Voss, “From the spot where the picture was taken you can see all of these hands up in the air. Well those are actually Bulldog fans, not Bronco fans behind our bench.”
Harrison ended up with 17 points and seven rebounds in a battle etched in her memory for life. Said Harrison, “I can remember when we were running out for warmups their crowd was booing us. Naomi Laune looked at me and said, ‘That’s when you know you’re good – when the other fans care enough to boo.’ I think that’s the memory that sticks out the most. I don’t know if we actually knew how good we were until a moment like that.”
All over the nation, people knew. This wasn’t the 1950s anymore.
Rise to national prominence
The Game occurred during a storybook 2002-03 season. It was Todd Voss’ first season as a collegiate head coach after he had spent three years assisting Micah Parker. It was the duo of Parker and Voss that began building a monster. Parker served as an assistant for eight years under Concordia head men’s basketball coach Grant Schmidt. At first, Parker was reluctant to make the switch to the women’s side. When Dr. Parker agreed to become head coach prior to the 1998-99 season, he inherited a program that had won back-to-back Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference titles while reaching the national tournament in consecutive years under Mark Lemke’s direction.
In the late 1990s, Lemke elevated women’s basketball to heights it had not previously reached. The 1996-97 group made a splash at the national tournament by defeating Taylor (Ind.) in the first round before stunning top-ranked Shawnee State (Ohio) in the round of 16. The Bulldogs vaulted as high as No. 14 in the national poll. It was the start of bigger things to come.
Just one starter returned for that 98-99 campaign as Parker began molding Concordia women’s basketball. Parker hit the recruiting trail hard. The fruits of his labor really began to show prior to the 2001-02 season. In came a class of freshmen that would forever alter the fortunes of a program that had never been considered a national championship contender. The headliners of the group of rookies included eventual Concordia Athletic Hall of Famers Sarah Harrison and Kari Saving, along with the likes of Keyna Kobza, Naomi Laune and Kayla Luehmann.
Says Parker, “Todd and I worked very hard on that class. I didn’t know they’d be that good that quick. To win 28 games with mostly a freshman team is kind of ridiculous. Kari Saving was a big recruit for us. We decided we had to go get athletes that were turning down Division II schools. We felt like if we were getting athletes that were turning down NCAA Division II schools then we’d be really good. That’s really what happened. The more we got into the recruiting process with those young ladies the more we started really liking their character and work ethic. It all fell into place. It was a God thing.”
Parker laughs when thinking about Harrison’s commitment. He recalls her turning him down five times during the recruiting process. Once on board, the native of Stratton, Neb., was all in. The fab five freshman class teamed up with sophomore Elizabeth Rhoden and juniors like Dani Adams, Jonie Ficken, Rachel Kirchner and Amy Streuter as the nucleus of the 2001-02 squad. Continued Parker in regards to that group of freshman, “I don’t know if anyone can say they had as good of a recruiting class as that.”
There were certainly hints before the arrival of Harrison and Saving that Parker was about to make waves. His 1999-2000 bunch ended up 19-10 overall with its most thrilling moment being a 66-65 upset at No. 1 Northwestern in late January. The fans in Orange City howled when a Concordia player basically tackled a Red Raider on an out-of-bounds play in the final seconds. The horn sounded and Parker hustled his team to the locker room. He didn’t want the officials to have any chance to reconsider the no-call. Parker’s squads made it a habit of beating top-ranked opponents. The 2000-01 Bulldogs also toppled a No. 1-ranked Northwestern team and then did the same to No. 1 Hastings the following season.
The road upset of Northwestern in the final year of the NIAC will be stuck in Parker’s memory forever. He knew exactly what play famed head coach Earl Woudstra was going to run in the game’s waning moments. Parker called timeout with his team up one point. The Red Raiders had the ball underneath their own basketball with six seconds left. “I’ll walk home if they don’t run this play,” Parker told his team in the huddle. He also informed one of his players to “tackle” someone. Though he did not mean it literally, his player didn’t realize it. “This was at Northwestern. By some act of God, they did not call the foul,” Parker said. “Their coach and fans went absolutely nuts … We had a big celebration in the locker room. That was a really fun trip” despite a six-hour, white-knuckle drive home through a snowstorm.
After the 28-6 season in 2001-02, Parker had Concordia positioned to make not just waves, but tsunamis across the national landscape. The vaunted recruiting class still had three years remaining, but Parker got the opportunity to serve as director of operations at the University of Nebraska and took it. Looking back, Parker, currently the Director of Athletics at California Baptist, offers, “I can’t say that I’ve had any better time than those four years coaching the women at Concordia.”
What comforted Parker was the fact that the keys to this Lamborghini were being tossed to his right-hand man, Voss. A Concordia alum just like Parker, Voss had been a successful coach at Davenport High School in Davenport, Neb., where he won a girls’ Class D state championship in 1999. He was the perfect leader to cultivate the talent already on hand. To date, the best season in school history was just over the horizon.
The 2002-03 year was a thrill ride. The Game was part of a 33-game unbeaten roll to open up the season. Voss had trouble finding playing time to go around. To understate it, this team had depth. Harrison and Rhoden both averaged 13.7 points while Saving came in next at 10.1 per contest. From the beginning of January all the way to the opening of the national tournament in March, Concordia held down the No. 1 ranking as the most dominant team in all of NAIA Division II.
It hardly seemed to matter if the starters or second wave took the court, the Bulldogs kept on winning. In the season’s first meeting with defending national champion Hastings, Concordia blew past the Broncos, 81-64, in Seward. There was no doubt which team was most impressive throughout the balance of the regular season. Heartbreakingly, Hastings got its revenge in the season’s most consequential meeting. The Broncos tripped up the Bulldogs, 66-60, in the national semifinals on March 17, 2003. During a 36-2 season, the only discontent was over the fact that Voss’ group could not close out what would have been the first national championship, for any sport, in school history.
That one loss doesn’t define the 2002-03 team. It was an unforgettable journey. The Lincoln Journal Star even came out at one point during the season for a photoshoot that captured the entire team, smiling faces and all. The outlet splashed the photo in the sports page with a headline that read, “All grins no losses.” Said Voss, “That team was obviously a national championship caliber team. The thing that was so amazing about that team was I doubt there’s ever been a team at Concordia that’s been as deep. I know there have been a lot of good teams. We could go 11 or 12 deep and not miss a beat. That’s rare. We were a team that could just wear the opponent down.”
The next two years were similarly successful with Harrison and Saving leading the way. Their final two years also saw the arrival of a new top assistant coach in Angela Folkerts (now Angela Muller). The Bulldogs went 28-8 in 2003-04 and then 31-5 in 2004-05. The seniors that made up the 04-05 squad finished with a four-year record of 123-21 with one GPAC regular-season title, one GPAC tournament championship, two national semifinal advancements and four national tournament appearances. In terms of winning percentage and overall number of wins, there’s never been a better four-year stretch in program history.
“That was an amazing run and it really spoils you as a coach, especially when you’re just getting started at the collegiate level,” Voss said. “It’s usually not that easy. We just had some great kids, great chemistry and great work ethic. When you put those three things together, that’s how we got the results that we did. There was so much unselfishness. The team was placed above all else. John Wooden said it, ‘It’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit.’”
Following a 13-17 mark in 2005-06, Voss left the program to become an assistant coach for the Drake University women’s basketball program. When Parker left, there was an obvious replacement waiting in the wings. This situation would be different. The program had come so far in such a short time. Now what?
Drew Olson played his final three seasons of collegiate ball for Grant Schmidt after transferring from Hastings. A 2003 graduate, Olson assisted the men’s basketball team at Bellevue University for three seasons, but his time there came to an end upon the completion of his master’s degree. Olson really just wanted a full-time job in coaching. The son of Rich Olson, who has enjoyed rousing success as a high school girls’ coach, Drew possessed the right pedigree. “I applied to 100 different places and no one would interview me,” said the former three-year Bulldog starter.
Finally, College of Saint Mary granted Olson an interview. Afterwards he called Schmidt, then the AD and men’s basketball coach at Concordia, and asked if his former coach could put in a good word. Olson doesn’t believe Schmidt ever provided a recommendation. That’s because Schmidt thought enough of the wet-behind-the-ears Olson to make him an offer. How would you like to take over the women’s program at Concordia? Olson had never before coached women. “It was really right place, right time,” Drew says. “I jumped at the chance to come back here and have a full-time job. I’m very thankful to Coach Schmidt for that.”
Olson’s first team at Concordia was not bad. It went 19-13 overall, but he felt like he needed to be better as a coach. The following two years, the Bulldogs went a combined 54-16 with back-to-back appearances in the national quarterfinals. Both the 2007-08 and 2008-09 squads featured superstar guard Whitney Stichka (more on her later). Things were going well, but Olson dealt with his first and only losing season in 2010-11. Concordia dipped to 15-17 overall and their GPAC mark was an unsightly 6-12. These struggles came soon after the university christened a brand new arena inside the state-of-the-art Walz Human Performance Complex. How would Coach Olson respond? Was this the end of the program’s run as a national player?
Not a chance. Holdovers in junior Katie Rich and sophomore Kristen Conahan were on the verge of breaking out. Then were was the addition of impact transfer Amber Kistler and the incoming of a group of freshman that would eventually give the holy grail 2004-05 class a run for its money. It all came together to wipe away the memory of Olson’s most trying season as a coach. “That was an awesome year, awesome team,” Olson said. “We had some things go our way. Kristen Conahan wasn’t heavily recruited so we snuck in late and got her and she turned into an All-American. Amber Kistler was a junior college kid where a lot of her teammates were going Division I. In a sense, she settled for us. I drove all the way out (to western Nebraska) to have lunch with her and all the way back. It was a bout a 10-hour trip for 30 minutes of talking. It paid off. We had some growing pains from the previous year about buying into the system and being good teammates.”
Conahan (14.7) and Kistler (14.2) were the primary scorers for a team that sat at 13-2 overall after a loss at Northwestern on Jan. 4. The Bulldogs then proceeded on a run that made them appear unstoppable. They won 21-consecutive games, captured GPAC regular-season and tournament titles and vaulted to No. 2 in the national poll. Off the bench, Olson unleashed freshman Bailey Morris. She averaged 8.5 points as a rookie and looked like she might become a star one day. The likes of Conahan, Kistler, Morris and Rich drove Concordia back to the national semifinals where it fell, 74-70, to College of the Ozarks.
Role player no more, Morris was the ringleader behind back-to-back 25 win seasons in 2012-13 and 2013-14 (the latter saw Concordia share the GPAC regular-season championship with three other teams). Morris found her way to Seward along with Kelsey Hizer, Jericca Pearson and Tracy Peitz. They entered their senior campaigns with a sparkling combined three-year record of 84-18. But their national tournament shortcomings fueled them. They suffered first-round exits in both 2013 and 2014.
The 2014-15 Bulldogs were something else. Not just talented, they were experienced and seasoned and led by the nation’s best player in Morris. Olson might even go as far to dispute Parker’s claim that the 2004-05 seniors were the best class of recruits in school history. Ten years later, Concordia was ready to make noise like never before. “He had a very good class,” Olson said of Parker. “But I’ll take mine with Bailey Morris, Tracy, Kelsey and Jericca. We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.”
The 2014-15 season produced memorable Concordia-Morningside battles. The Mustangs were ranked No. 1 all season. They topped the Bulldogs in both meetings during the regular season, but a confident Concordia team went to Sioux City on March 3 and took down its nemesis in the GPAC tournament championship game. All year long, the two teams seemed destined for a collision course in the national title tilt. That’s exactly what happened when the Bulldogs won each of their first four national tournament games, all by double digits, to set up another date with Jamie Sale’s Mustangs. “We had a good crowd, but it was basically playing in front of a Morningside crowd,” Olson recalls. “You’re on the road for a national championship game. That atmosphere was really cool.”
Concordia owned a lead into the final minute of the national championship, but another opportunity to claim the ultimate team prize slipped through its fingers. Once again, a Bulldog team capable of hanging the banner had come up excruciatingly short of the only thing missing from Olson’s résumé. But with 10 years as head coach under his belt entering 2016-17, Olson has proven himself. A decade ago, Olson felt bad for the mistakes he felt he made in his first season. “I couldn’t really sell myself because I had no credentials,” he said of his early years. “I was selling the success of the previous coaches. They had done so well. It was just about selling kids on, ‘That’s where we’re going again.’ Thankfully, players like Katie Rich bought into the program.”
Olson began 2016-17 with a career record of 248-88. He’s the school’s all-time wins leader. Beyond that, he’s been a pillar for what Concordia stands for and has displayed intense loyalty towards his alma mater.
If you didn’t know her already, you knew her after the 2013-14 season. On Feb. 15, 2014, almost exactly 11 years after The Game, The Bailey Morris Game happened. A junior at the time, the 5-foot-4 Morris never scored more than 19 points in any prep contest while starring at Silver Lake and Sandy Creek high schools. Under Olson’s tutelage, the shackles came loose and Morris set about tearing opponents apart.
That’s precisely what she did that mid-February day when No. 7 Concordia hosted third-ranked Northwestern in a matchup billed as the NAIA Division II game of the week. By halftime, Morris had piled up 28 points. With 20 minutes to play, Morris was only nine points away from the program’s single-game scoring record held by Amber Kistler. The dynamic Bulldog guard went 12-for-26 from the floor and 17-for-18 from the free throw line while shattering the record in a legendary performance. Her final tally: FORTY-FIVE points. Concordia won, 89-78. Said Morris after the game, “I was pretty happy with my performance. My shots were falling. Their type of defense is one that we can attack a lot. We had a lot of people step up.”
A native of Clay Center, Neb., Morris grew up rooting for rival Hastings. She didn’t much care for the outcome of The Game as a child who admired many of the Broncos’ star players. Joked Morris, “Looking back, I’m like, ‘Wow, I hated Concordia. I can’t believe I ended up here.’” By career’s end, Morris’ tone had been forever changed. She wrote, “I'll graduate and move on with my life, but the pride of being a Concordia Bulldog will be with me wherever I go.”
For a program that has had many mega stars during the GPAC era, Morris has been the brightest, most high profile, most compelling and most entertaining. At times it appeared that Morris had the basketball on a string. She remains the only player in program history to earn national player of the year honors and she concluded her career as the school’s all-time scoring leader (2,054) while ranking second in steals (394) and fourth in assists (502).
The rise of Concordia women’s basketball has been spurred by standouts such as Morris. In recent years, Kari Saving (2013), the 2002-03 team (2014), Sarah Harrison (2015) and Whitney Stichka (2016) have all gotten the call to enter the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame. Harrison, Morris, Saving and Stichka happen to be the top-four scorers in the history of the program. All four were All-Americans and each of them steered their respective teams to national tournament glory.
Morris had the 45-point game. Harrison had the game winner in The Game. Stichka also had her own signature moment on the hardwood. Sometimes embarrassed by her own success, Stichka never backed away in crunch time. At the 2009 national tournament, Concordia trailed, 73-72, with :8.1 seconds remaining in a second-round game. Then a fifth-year senior, Stichka proceeded to go the length of the floor before sinking a highly contested driving layup to lift the Bulldogs to a dramatic win over Cornerstone (Mich.). The play-by-play announcer beamed, “You knew she was going to take it, and Cornerstone couldn’t stop it.” Said Stichka, “I remember that I didn’t want it to be my last game. I just didn’t want to be done. I loved to play basketball. I had that motivation. We were down by one and I knew I needed to score in the few seconds we had.”
The 2002-03 team was blessed to have three stars in particular in Harrison, Savings and Rhoden. Harrison and Saving were Nos. 1 and 2 on the program’s all-time scoring list until Morris came along. Meanwhile, Rhoden checks in at No. 11 on the scoring list. Five players on that 02-03 squad wound up with more than 1,000 career points.
Prior to the GPAC era, Stephanie Schilke shined for Lemke’s national tournament teams in 1997 and 1998. She amassed 1,736 points and 1,204 rebounds in her career. A few years earlier, Lynda Beck (one of two players in school history with more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds) broke new ground by leading Concordia to its first national tournament appearance. During the Olson era, Morris has been one of many stars. If not for an ACL tear during her senior year, Kristen Conahan would likely rest at No. 2 on the school’s scoring list. Tracy Peitz also appears on lists for scoring, rebounding, steals and assists.
The names of Bulldog greats rattle on. If you ask the coaches, it’s difficult to get them to single out just a select few players. Says Olson, “I’ll think of a lot of them (when I look back years from now). It’s not just the star players. Obviously Bailey will come to mind and Connie (Conahan) and Tracy, but there are so many others. I think of Katie Rich as a catalyst for getting the program back to an elite level, as far as the kids I brought in. Whitney was here and Tink (Melissa Tinkham) was here. They gave me credibility in their success. Getting Katie Rich sustained us at that level and then we were able to bring in a whole bunch of others.
“There have just been so many that are so fun to coach and have great personalities.”
Special season in the making
It takes a special team to race out to an 11-0 GPAC record in the most unforgiving conference in NAIA Division II. The 2016-17 team has done just that. To this point, Olson’s 11th Concordia team is 18-1 overall and is running roughshod through the league. It’s not supposed to look this easy.
Says Olson, “It’s a really special group. You can’t get ahead of yourself because they haven’t accomplished the things that the great teams have. I’m confident in saying this is one of the best defensive teams I’ve ever seen. The 2011-12 team was really good defensively and probably had better athletes. But this new style that we’re playing feeds into this group’s talent and athleticism. This is a very good group.”
Years from now, Bulldog fans will invoke the memories of current players like juniors Dani Andersen and Mary Janovich, sophomore Quinn Wragge and freshman Philly Lammers. The ingredients are there.
In some ways, the 2016-17 edition is a product of what’s come before. Twenty years ago, the program had just one national tournament appearance to its credit. Through the hard work of many, Concordia women’s basketball is feared by many. A monster lurks at 800 North Columbia Avenue.
SEWARD, Neb. – The second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball took this past weekend off due to the postponement of Sunday’s scheduled game at No. 9 Dakota Wesleyan. That means the Bulldogs’ win streak stands at 18 entering this week’s action. Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad will be at College of Saint Mary (5-14, 1-11 GPAC) for a 7 p.m. CT tipoff on Wednesday. Concordia will then welcome fellow conference power and 11th-ranked Morningside (15-5, 6-4 GPAC) for a 2 p.m. CT tilt on Saturday.
In last week’s only outing, the GPAC-leading Bulldogs (18-1, 11-0 GPAC) remained unbeaten (8-0) at home this season by dismantling Midland, 95-38, on Jan. 11. The Warriors were suffocated by Concordia’s pressure defense, which limited the visitors to 21.4 percent shooting while forcing 27 turnovers. The Bulldogs continued their series dominance versus Midland, outscoring the conference foe from Fremont, 65-19, over the third and fourth quarters.
Blossoming freshman standout Philly Lammers notched in her second career double-double, equaling a career high 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds in the trouncing of Midland. The product of Millard West High School has played beyond her years. She paces Concordia in several key offensive categories, including scoring (12.8), rebounding (6.3), blocks (1.0) and field goal percentage (.612).
A well-rounded team that can score, the Bulldogs have especially made defense their calling card. They have forced an average of nearly 28 turnovers per game and rank 13th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.353). Three Bulldogs average more than two steals per game: Mary Janovich (2.83), Lammers (2.21) and Shelby Quinn (2.11). Their ball-hawking style has helped Concordia produce a turnover margin of plus-10.3 (second best among all NAIA Division II teams). Its last three opponents have turned in shooting percentages of 33.9, 28.3 and 21.4, respectively.
It's been a struggle inside conference play for College of Saint Mary. The Flames notched their lone GPAC victory on Jan. 4 when they defeated Dordt, 81-70. CSM features six players who average more than seven points per game. In the first meeting between the two sides, the Bulldogs pummeled the Flames, 95-56, inside Walz Arena on Nov. 30.
Morningside owns a seven-game winning streak entering the week. Included in that run was a 101-71 blowout of then 10th-ranked University of Jamestown (N.D.) on Dec. 29. The Mustangs like to pull the trigger from 3-point range. They rank fifth nationally in 3-point field goals per game (9.6). Madison Braun, the team’s leading scorer (16.5), has made 58-of-130 (.387) 3-point attempts. Lexi Ackerman (16.2) and Lauren Lehmkuhl (12.8) also average in double figures. The Mustangs have either won the conference outright or shared the GPAC regular-season title each of the last four seasons.
Saturday’s game begins a run of four in a row at home. Concordia will host No. 7 Hastings on Jan. 25 before CIT tips off on Jan. 27.
Concordia: 18-1, 11-0 GPAC
G – Shelby Quinn: 6.9 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.0 rpg, 2.1 spg, .810 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 10.1 ppg, 1.5 spg, 1.1 rpg, .414 fg%, .383 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.4 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3.4 rpg, 2.83 spg, .521 fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 10.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.8 spg, .571 fg%, .736 ft%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.2 spg, 1.0 bpg, .612 fg%
College of Saint Mary: 5-14, 1-11 GPAC
G – Justice Ross: 7.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.2 spg, .360 fg%
G – Alyssa Laudato: 3.2 ppg, 1.5 apg, 0.9 rpg, .378 fg%
G – Peyton Hagen: 8.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, .377 fg%, .312 ft%
F – Ashley Nelson: 8.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, .361 fg%, .764 ft%
F – Shelby Allberry: 5.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, .495 fg%, .579 ft%
Morningside: 15-5, 6-4 GPAC
G – Lexi Ackerman: 16.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.5 spg, .480 fg%, .359 3-pt fg%
G – Madison Braun: 16.5 ppg, 3.5 spg, 2.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, .463 fg%, .387 3-pt fg%
G – Jordyn Moser: 4.3 ppg, 2.3 apg, 1.0 spg, .380 fg%
F – Rachelle Housh: 4.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, .367 fg%
F – Lauren Lehmkuhl: 12.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.0 spg, .493 fg%, .408 3-pt fg%
OMAHA, Neb. – The most dominant team in NAIA Division II women’s basketball keeps rolling. The second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team held only a slight advantage in the turnover battle (plus-four), but still managed to win handily, 101-77, over host College of Saint Mary on Wednesday night.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s remains undefeated in GPAC action with a league mark of 12-0. Winners of 19-straight games, Concordia stands at 19-1 overall.
“I thought Philly (Lammers) came out and dominated, but we didn’t finish as well as we normally would,” Olson said. “Credit to CSM. They played really hard. They played a great game. That’s the most points we’ve given up in a while, so that’s frustrating. We didn’t control them in the press like we normally do. That’s a credit to them.”
Lammers finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. She and teammate Quinn Wragge (13 points, 12 rebounds) helped Concordia control the boards. Lammers and company outrebounded the Flames, 52-32. Off the bench, Erin Vieselmeyer chipped in 11 points and six rebounds.
It may not have been the most crisp performance of the year for the Bulldogs, but they still led 18-10 after the opening quarter and controlled much of the action. Junior Mary Janovich made the most of her 16 minutes and totaled 13 points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field. The Gretna native nailed 7-of-8 shots from the free throw line.
An ‘off’ night for Concordia means shooting 46.7 percent (35-for-75) from the field in a win by a 24-point margin. The Flames shot 42.2 percent (27-for-64) from the floor. They got a team best 15 points from Miranda Acuna.
Again, Wragge picked up the ‘quiet numbers’ on Wednesday after a rookie year during which she was counted on for big offensive production.
“She finishes with a double-double and you didn’t know it,” Olson said in his interview on the radio show following the game. “Erin also had 11 points and six rebounds. I felt like we could have done a better job taking advantage of our size inside. Despite how the numbers looked, I thought we could have done even better.
“Mary played great. She was very efficient in her minutes tonight. I thought Laurel Krohn (nine points) was awesome. She is somebody who hasn’t been playing a ton of minutes but believed in herself to knock down some shots. She played really, really well tonight.”
Wednesday night’s effort marked the 17th win by double digits this season for the Bulldogs. Concordia has completed a season sweep of College of Saint Mary. Olson’s squad dominated the Flames, 95-56, in Seward on Nov. 30.
A rematch awaits on Saturday for the Bulldogs, who will host No. 11 Morningside on Saturday. The Mustangs (16-5, 7-4 GPAC) have won eight-consecutive games since a 77-73 loss to Midland on Dec. 16. Nine days earlier, Concordia defeated defending GPAC champion Morningside, 80-52, in Sioux City, Iowa.
SEWARD, Neb. – It had been nearly three months since the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team had faced a double-digit deficit. No need to worry. Red-hot and 11th-ranked Morningside saw its lead melt away and the Bulldogs rolled up a 90-60 victory inside Walz Arena on Saturday afternoon. Concordia responded to the sterling start by the Mustangs with a 33-14 run to close the first half.
The Bulldogs have won 20-straight games, marking the third longest win streak during 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s tenure. GPAC-leading Concordia has moved to 20-1 overall and to 13-0 in the GPAC. Only the 2002-03 edition (perfect 16-0) has produced a longer unbeaten run to begin conference play.
“I was just really proud of our kids’ composure at that point,” Olson said of the early deficit. “It was kind of good for us to face a little bit of adversity. We really handled it well. The adjustments weren’t much other than taking away their high post a little bit more. I felt like every time they were getting the ball in the high post they were scoring.
“Offensively we had people step up. Sydney Feller hit a big three and Erin Vieselmeyer came through with a couple baskets that kind of settled us down.”
The Mustangs (16-6, 7-5 GPAC), who saw their win streak stopped at eight, jumped out to a fast start by getting the ball over the top of the vaunted Bulldog press. Junior Lauren Lehmkuhl (14 points, 11 rebounds, four steals) did her part in serving as Concordia’s arch villain, but Philly Lammers and company have many ways to skin a cat. Lammers was too much inside, Mary Janovich relentlessly harassed Morningside and the press eventually got to the opposition.
The run to begin the third quarter was a thing of beauty for Concordia, which turned a 44-35 halftime advantage into a commanding 58-35 lead. The 14-0 splurge began with two Lammers buckets in the paint, was bolstered by some Janovich theatrics and was capped by a Dani Andersen trifecta.
First quarter aside, this was the typical performance from the 2016-17 Bulldogs. In 20 minutes of action, Lammers totaled 14 points and nine rebounds. The pesky Janovich piled up 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Quinn Wragge, also a disruptive force in the press, chipped in 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Off the bench, Vieselmeyer rattled off 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Feller nailed four of her first six attempts from beyond the arc on her way to a dozen points.
“We have so many people who can score,” Wragge said. “Any game, you never know who’s going to step up. It’s awesome because I don’t think anybody on our team feels a lot of pressure to score and to have to perform well every game. We spread it out really evenly.”
Concordia shot 47.4 percent (36-for-76) from the floor (12-for-30 from 3-point range) compared to 32.8 percent shooting by Morningside. Though the Mustangs handled the press well early on, they finished with 26 turnovers. Madison Braun (16 points, 5-for-14 from the field) joined Lehmkuhl as Morningside double-figure scorers.
The Bulldogs have earned their first regular-season sweep of Morningside since the 2012-13 season. Concordia is now 79-9 at home since the start of the 2011-12 season.
“Morningside’s a really good team,” Olson said. “But I couldn’t be more proud of how we played. We just keep getting better every day. Hopefully we’ve got a little more in us.”
Another big-time matchup looms on Wednesday when seventh-ranked Hastings (18-4, 11-2 GPAC) pays a visit to Seward. Tipoff from Walz Arena is slated for 6 p.m. CT. It will be the first meeting of the season between rivals that occupy the top-two spots in the GPAC standings. That contest will lead into the 66th annual Concordia Invitational Tournament that will get underway Friday afternoon.
SEWARD, Neb. – For the second time in the history of the Concordia Invitational Tournament, Walz Arena will serve as the host for the grand event that is now in its 66th year. The Bulldog women’s basketball team cruised past Concordia-Wisconsin, 75-53, in last season’s CIT championship tilt in River Forest, Ill. Blackboard and Chartwells are sponsoring this year’s CIT.
Head coach Drew Olson’s squad will take the floor at 6 p.m. on Friday in the third of four games on CIT’s opening day. CUNE will match up with Concordia-Wisconsin in the opening round. All four men’s and all four women’s games will be streamed live via the Concordia Sports Network. Bulldog games will also be carried live by 104.9 Max Country with Tyler Cavalli calling the action.
Wednesday vs. Hastings: CIT is always meaningful for the Bulldogs, but Wednesday’s contest also carries a lot of weight. Olson’s bunch hosts No. 7 Hastings (18-4, 11-2 GPAC) at 6 p.m. CT on Wednesday in a battle between rivals that currently occupy the top-two spots in the GPAC standings. The Broncos were upset at home, 76-69, by 25th-ranked Northwestern in their most recent outing. On the other hand, Concordia steamrolled No. 11 Morningside, 90-60, over the weekend, pushing its winning streak to 20. It’s been more than a year since the Bulldogs and Broncos last meeting, which resulted in a 75-72 CUNE victory in Seward.
Friday, Jan. 27 (all times Central)
Saturday, Jan. 28
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CUNE has established a history of dominance at CIT. The Bulldogs have won 24 of the last 30 tournaments, including three titles in a row under Olson. From 1996 to 2006, CUNE won 11-straight CITs while under the direction of three different head coaches (Mark Lemke, Micah Parker and Todd Voss). Not only has Olson coached in the last 10 CITs, he played for three CIT championship men’s teams coached by Grant Schmidt between 2001-03. Olson’s women’s teams have captured CIT titles in seven of his 10 seasons at the helm of the program.
Sophomore Quinn Wragge collected CIT MVP honors last year after totaling 35 points, 12 rebounds, five steals and four blocked shots over the two tournament wins. Last season’s CIT run in the Windy City also included a 64-52 win over Concordia-Chicago in the opening game of the event. CUNE’s most recent CIT loss came by a 73-69 at the hands of Concordia-Ann Arbor in the 2013 championship game played in Seward. Wragge was joined on the 2016 CIT all-tournament team by Becky Mueller, a senior on last season’s squad.
CUNE’s 26 all-time CIT titles far and away leads the field of four. CUC comes in next with four championships. However, the Cougars are on an extended drought with their most recent CIT title having come in 1986. CUAA won two of three CIT titles (2011 and 2013) in recent years. The latter championship came inside Walz Arena. Meanwhile, CUW broke through with a CIT championship in 2007, ending a 12-year title drought for the program.
Wragge had rave reviews for her first CIT championship experience as a freshman in 2016. “It was crazy,” said the Crofton, Neb., native. “It’s so loud. You’re trying to yell at your teammates and they can barely hear you. It just makes for an awesome, awesome atmosphere. It was a good game so that just made it even more exciting.”
Concordia University, Nebraska
2016-17 Record: 20-1
Head Coach: Drew Olson (11th season)
All-Time CIT Titles: 26 (most recent: 2016)
Top Player: Mary Janovich (11.7 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3.2 rpg, 2.8 spg, .541 fg%)
Offensive PPG: 85.8 (4th in NAIA Division II)
Defensive PPG: 58.2 (14th in NAIA Division II)
Quick Hitter: Ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division II, the Bulldogs have been as dominant as any team in the nation this season. Of the team’s 20 wins, 18 have come by double-digit point margins. Olson’s balanced squad includes four players who average more than 10 points per game.
Concordia University, Ann Arbor
2016-17 Record: 14-7
Head Coach: Thad Sankey (4th season)
All-Time CIT Titles: 2 (most recent: 2013)
Top Player: Kari Borowiak (16.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.2 apg, 2.7 spg, .533 fg%)
Offensive PPG: 74.0 (26th in NAIA Division II)
Defensive PPG: 65.9 (61st in NAIA Division II)
Quick Hitter: CUNE alum Thad Sankey’s 2016-17 club is his best team in his four seasons leading the Cardinals. CUAA jumped out to a 7-0 start before finally suffering its first loss. Do-it-all Kari Borowiak supplies firepower in the backcourt.
Concordia University, Chicago
2016-17 Record: 10-6
Head Coach: Rusty Rogers (3rd season)
All-Time CIT Titles: 4 (most recent: 1986)
Top Player: Taylor Jacobsen (17.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.4 spg, .439 fg%)
Offensive PPG: 71.4 (63rd in NCAA Division III)
Defensive PPG: 67.1 (301st in NCAA Division III)
Quick Hitter: The Cougars have steadily improved under head coach Rusty Rogers, who is in his third season at CUC. At 10-6 overall, the Cougars have already equaled their win total from the 2015-16 campaign. After averaging 6.6 points last season, Taylor Jacobsen has shouldered a much larger role offensively.
Concordia University, Wisconsin
2016-17 Record: 13-3
Head Coach: Stacey Brunner-Jones (13th season)
All-Time CIT Titles: 3 (most recent: 2007)
Top Player: Taylor DeLong (13.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.1 spg, .603 fg%)
Offensive PPG: 63.9 (209th in NCAA Division III)
Defensive PPG: 51.3 (27th in NCAA Division III)
Quick Hitter: At 11-2 in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play, the Falcons sit just one game out of first place in the league standings. CUW’s biggest asset is its defense, which has limited opponents to just 35.5 percent shooting. The Falcons have dropped their last six meetings with CUNE, its opponent on Friday.
SEWARD, Neb. – A dominant inside presence in her rookie season, Philly Lammers earned conference recognition after helping the second-ranked Concordia women’s basketball team to its 19th- and 20th-straight wins during last week’s action. On Tuesday (Jan. 24), Lammers was named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Basketball Player of the Week. Her selection marks the third conference weekly award of the season for the Bulldogs. Mary Janovich has twice been named the GPAC player of the week in 2016-17.
Lammers has gotten comfortable in her freshman season, which carried on with two more stellar outings last week. In the 101-77 win at College of Saint Mary, the product of Millard West High School went for 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks while making 7-of-12 shots from the floor. Three days later, she put up 14 points (6-for-9 from the field) and nine rebounds in the 90-60 victory over No. 11 Morningside. All that production came in a total of 41 minutes on the week.
An Omaha native, Lammers tops Concordia in scoring (13.1), rebounding (6.5), blocked shots (1.0) and field goal percentage (.613). She ranks sixth among all NAIA Division II players in field goal percentage.
Lammers and the Bulldogs (20-1, 13-0 GPAC) will attempt to keep their win streak intact on Wednesday when seventh-ranked Hastings (18-4, 11-2 GPAC) visits Seward in a battle of the top-two teams in the GPAC standings. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT from inside Walz Arena.
SEWARD, Neb. – Throughout most of this season, the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team has made it look easy. That wasn’t the case in Wednesday’s GPAC dogfight with ninth-ranked Hastings. But the Bulldogs bit hard in the fourth quarter and pulled away from the Broncos for a 68-47 win inside Walz Arena.
No team has been quite prepared for the 40-minute root canal opponents are subjected to at Walz. Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s program is 80-9 at home since the start of 2011-12 and a perfect 10-0 this season at Walz. Concordia has won 21-straight games and sits at 21-1 overall and at 14-0 in league play.
“I thought that was one of the best defensive teams we’ve played,” Olson said. “They were really physical and did a great job defending us. It was a grind but at the same time, I couldn’t be more proud of our kids for how they played in that fourth quarter. They executed really well in the fourth and defended. That’s when we started getting easy baskets.”
The Broncos (18-5, 11-3 GPAC) never did figure out how to contain Philly Lammers, whose stock keeps on rising in her freshman campaign. She was a constant force even as the Bulldogs struggled offensively through the first three quarters. Lammers burned Hastings for career highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds.
After trailing 42-39 late in the third quarter, python-like Concordia squeezed the life out of the Broncos. Concordia allowed Hastings just two made field goals over the final 11-and-a-half minutes of game time during a defining run of 29-5 to close it out. During that spurt, the Broncos turned it over 11 times.
The Bulldogs have a way of taking teams out of any semblance of an offensive rhythm. Tenacious D again fueled the continuation of Concordia’s win streak. The Broncos finished with a shooting percentage of just 34.0 and were flustered into 26 turnovers.
“I like these games. It’s good for us,” Olson said. “It just reaffirmed that our kids have great confidence. They’re composed regardless of what the score is. They believe they’re going to find a way to win every single time.”
Lammers hasn’t felt pressure as a rookie, because she’s never had to do it alone. The soul-crushing Bulldog run got kicked into overdrive with a pair of Dani Andersen triples – one at the close of the third quarter and another at the outset of the fourth. Later, Mary Janovich had her own personal 5-0 run and Aubri Bro tossed in a late triple for good measure.
Janovich added 10 points in 19 minutes of action. She was the only Concordia double-figure scorer other than Lammers on a night that was more about defense. Lammers swatted two shots while Erin Vieselmeyer did the same off the bench. Lammers, Shelby Quinn and Quinn Wragge each had three steals.
The Bulldogs have gone about their business impressively without focusing on the string of victories.
“It’s there in the back of the mind,” Lammers said. “But the win streak doesn’t matter if we lose the next game. We always just try to keep focus on the next one.”
Lammers has already gotten pretty good at that. Said Olson of the Millard West High School product, “She just plays on another level.”
Hastings got a team high 11 points from Rachel Jelden. The Broncos have now lost back-to-back games, having also fallen to Northwestern, 76-69, on Jan. 21.
The 66th annual Concordia Invitational Tournament is up next. In a rematch of the 2016 CIT title game, the Bulldogs will take on Concordia University, Wisconsin (14-3), an institution affiliated with NCAA Division III, at 6 p.m. CT on Friday. The winner will move on to the championship game at 5 p.m. CT on Saturday. Walz Arena will serve as the venue for CIT for the second time in the event’s history.
SEWARD, Neb. – The 2016-17 Concordia University women’s basketball team has found a formula that works – and it doesn’t deviate. In front of a packed house inside Walz Arena, the second-ranked Bulldogs annoyed visiting Concordia University-Wisconsin to death in a 107-65 victory on Friday night. CUNE finds itself in familiar territory, ready to vie for yet another Concordia Invitational Tournament championship.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson has guided seven of his first 10 squads to CIT titles. The Bulldogs have now won 22-straight games and stand at 22-1 overall this season.
“I thought Concordia-Wisconsin did a great job early on. They had a good game plan in their press break,” Olson said. “And they hit some tough shots. They had a really good field goal percentage going into the half. We just told our kids they needed to do a better job dictating and being more aggressive. We kind of wore on them with our depth and our energy.”
CUW wore out like almost every CUNE opponent has all season. The Bulldogs mowed down the Falcons with their patented press that helped force 34 more turnovers. CUW never had a chance to settle into any sort of offensive system. In one sequence in the fourth quarter, Quinn Wragge poked away a heavily pressured pass, leading to a trey in the corner for Mary Janovich. Devin Edwards came away with a theft on the next possession that resulted in two more easy points.
It was that kind of night for the Falcons (14-4), who actually shot 59.1 percent (13-for-22) in the first half. CUW, a member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference of NCAA Division III, slumped to 30.3 percent over the final 20 minutes.
The second half turned into a one-sided track meet with Janovich dashing up the floor for easy scores in transition. The junior from Gretna, Neb., made 7-of-9 shots from the field, including all three attempts from 3-point range. The athleticism of Wragge was also too much for the Falcons to fend off. Wragge attacked for 14 points and six rebounds. She also had five assists and four steals.
Not only that, six Bulldog came off the bench to supply six or more points. Brenleigh Daum topped the reserves with 10 points and senior Devin Edwards chipped in nine points, three assists and two steals.
Edwards was also a role player for the 2014-15 national runner-up team. She believes this team to be similarly special.
Said Edwards, “Just like the past team (2014-15) that had such great chemistry and worked together, this team definitely has that.”
For Edwards and the other five seniors on the roster, CIT in the friendly surroundings of Walz Arena is a beautiful thing. The current class of seniors conquered the other Concordias in Mequon (2014), Ann Arbor (2015) and Chicago (2016). Now they want to do the same in front of the home fans.
“I definitely expected it to be crazy with the atmosphere and everything, but it was over the top,” Edwards said. “Looking out to the crowd and seeing all of our Concordia students there was incredible.”
The Bulldogs shot 52.6 percent (41-for-78) for the game. They dropped in 14 shots from beyond the arc. Freshman MacKenzie Helman canned both of her attempts from long range. She was one of eight Bulldogs to make a 3-point shot.
The Falcons ended up with a shooting percentage of 41.8 (23-for-55). They were topped by the 16 points from Samantha Blissett.
The Bulldogs will shoot for their fourth-straight CIT title and 27th in program history on Saturday evening (5 p.m. CT). Concordia University, Ann Arbor (16-7) will serve as the opponent. It will be a rematch of the 2014 championship game that CUNE won, 70-50. Olson will again match wits with his former graduate assistant coach, Thad Sankey, who is in his fourth season leading the Cardinal women’s basketball program.
SEWARD, Neb. – It requires a doozy of an effort for an opponent to hang with the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team for a full 40 minutes. In Saturday evening’s Concordia Invitational Tournament championship game, Concordia University-Ann Arbor made it through an entire quarter before feeling the pain. In the end, the Bulldogs won, 89-62, while claiming their 27th CIT title in program history.
CUNE has won eight CIT championships, including four in a row, during head coach Drew Olson’s 11-year tenure. With Saturday’s victory, the Bulldogs (23-1) ran their win streak to 23, equaling an Olson era best.
“I thought we did a really nice job of bothering them, pressuring them and just kind of wearing them down,” Olson said. “By the end of the game, the shots they were taking probably weren’t the shots that they want.”
Philly Lammers and Quinn Wragge were double the trouble inside for a CUAA squad lacking size in the post. On her way to earning MVP honors for the second year in a row, Wragge racked up a season high 22 points with most of her scoring coming on shots from point-blank range. Meanwhile, Lammers’ strength advantage was evident. She compiled 17 points and 10 rebounds.
A native of Crofton, Neb., and a first team all-conference choice last season as a freshman, Wragge already had 12 points at the half. A disruptive force just like many of her teammates, Wragge also had seven steals over the two tournament games. Whether attacking on offense, or on defense, Wragge had it all going on.
“CIT is always a ton of fun, but having it here was super awesome,” Wragge said. “There are so many fans here that know us. So many people came out here to watch us and the atmosphere was crazy.”
Wragge and company exercised control with pressure defense that has become their calling card. The Cardinals (16-8) managed only four points the entire second quarter while watching a tie ballgame become a 15-point halftime deficit (38-23). It was a rough night for the backcourt duo of Kari Borowiak (15 points) and Brianna Rowe (12 points), which combined to go 6-for-31 from the floor. Mia Long (13 points on 4-of-5 shooting) had been the team’s most reliable scoring option, but she fouled out in the third quarter.
Once the Bulldogs get on a roll, there’s little chance of stopping them. Not only did they shoot 46.4 percent (32-for-69), but they forced another 28 turnovers and held CUAA to a measly shooting clip of 29.1 (16-for-55). Fourteen of the 15 Bulldogs that suited up registered in the scoring column. CUNE had built a 20-point lead by midway through the third quarter.
Mary Janovich (eight points and seven assists) joined Wragge on the all-tournament team. Janovich scored 19 points in Friday’s blowout win over Concordia University, Wisconsin. Off the bench, Sydney Feller knocked down three treys and totaled nine points in Saturday’s win.
Afterwards, people were buzzing about the electric atmosphere inside Walz. All CIT’s are energy-filled, but this one was something else.
“Our students were incredible,” Olson said. “I just loved the energy and hope that it continues. I hope they keep coming back for more.”
CUNE alum Thad Sankey is in his fourth season leading the CUAA women’s basketball program. He served one season as a graduate assistant on Olson’s staff.
The Bulldogs will have a week off before returning to conference play next Saturday for a trip to Mount Marty (10-13, 5-9 GPAC). Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT in Yankton, S.D. In this season’s first meeting, Concordia topped the Lancers, 75-65, inside Walz Arena.
2017 CIT All-Tournament
MVP – Quinn Wragge, CUNE
Samantha Blissett, CUW
Kari Borowiak, CUAA
Taylor Jacobsen, CUC
Mary Janovich, CUNE
SEWARD, Neb. – It didn’t take long for Philly Lammers to establish herself as one of the top players in the GPAC. On Tuesday (Jan. 31), she was named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Basketball Player of the Week. The freshman from Omaha garnered the same honor last week. Teammate Mary Janovich has also been tabbed the conference player of the week twice this season.
The latest accolade comes after Lammers led the second-ranked Bulldogs to three home victories during last week’s action. In the win over No. 9 Hastings, Lammers went off for career highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds while making 9-of-10 shots from the field. The Millard West High School alum also had a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) in the CIT championship triumph over Concordia-Ann Arbor. For the week, she averaged 16.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals.
Lammers remains the team leader in scoring (13.5), rebounding (6.9), blocked shots (1.1) and field goal percentage (.619). Her field goal percentage ranks sixth best among all NAIA Division II players.
Lammers and the Bulldogs (23-1, 14-0 GPAC) will take their 23-game win streak into action at Mount Marty (11-13, 5-9 GPAC) on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT in Yankton, S.D.
Dani Andersen cried shortly after Concordia suffered what remains its only defeat all season. The tears flowed not because of the loss of a basketball game, but because of the loss of something much greater than any game could ever be.
Recalls Andersen of the season opener in late October, “It was going to be emotional. I just kind of fell apart in the locker room because I couldn’t go out and talk to my mom.”
Lisa Andersen, mother of Kaleb, Joelle and Dani, used to paint free throw and 3-point lines on a cement slab on the family’s farm in Columbus, Neb. Lisa coached girl’s basketball for two seasons at Lincoln Christian high school. She gave that up in part to be able to spend more time watching Joelle and Dani. Said Dani, “I don’t know if she ever really missed a game.”
Basketball stood as a symbol of the relationship Dani and her mother enjoyed. A former basketball and volleyball player at Morningside, Lisa always had something to say after one of Dani’s games. Why settle for that jumper when you could have driven to the basket? Lisa had a keen sense for the sport. Her mind could jog through plays that occurred throughout a game. It meant Dani had to be on her toes and ready to answer her mom’s questions. But above all, Lisa provided positive reinforcement.
On Oct. 28, 2016, there would be no such postgame feedback. “That was really hard for me,” Dani said. Her father Kent and sister Joelle made their way into the gym at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colorado. It was supposed to be a joyous moment as Dani donned Bulldog blue for the first time. Instead, the pain that sprouted that spring came rushing back.
‘A God thing brought me here’
God had always been there for Dani. She understands that now more than she ever has before. While still enrolled at Midland University in February 2015, a then sophomore version of Dani met with her family after the Warriors had just been defeated handily in Fremont by Concordia.
One thought kept racing through Dani’s mind with the night’s contest having just concluded. She couldn’t escape it, even if she tried. There were competing voices inside her head. ‘Dani, you’re going to be at Concordia next year.’ ‘No, absolutely not.’ As those thoughts clashed, Bulldog head coach Drew Olson appeared near her in the arena lobby in somewhat of a chance encounter.
Olson had recruited Dani out of Lincoln Christian. There was mutual interest at that time, but Dani ultimately decided to reunite with her older sister. Says Dani, “I still think I was supposed to be at Midland for those two years.” Her second year in Fremont was nearing its end that night she came face-to-face with Olson. There were also voices inside Olson’s head that told him he needed to say something. Recalls Olson, “For some reason I felt in my heart that I needed to tell her that she’s a really good player. I basically apologized for the (scholarship) mix up with recruiting and how it ended up.”
Olson had no idea that the wheels had already begun spinning in Dani’s mind. This was the same young woman who had conditioned herself to dislike Concordia, one of the premier programs in the conference. She tried to convince herself that Concordia was “the last place I wanted to be,” though she knew it wasn’t true. Says Dani, “Whenever we played Concordia, I was always like, ‘We have to beat them. I do not like them.’”
The brief exchange in February 2015 made a lasting impact upon Dani, who felt a sudden change of heart. Maybe she was supposed to spend two years at Midland, but her final two collegiate basketball seasons would be spent at Concordia. “It was totally a God thing that brought me here,” Dani said. Olson himself believes that The Holy Spirit was at work.
After discussions with her family and her now fiancé and lots of prayer, Dani had made her decision. She kept being nudged in Seward’s direction. She asked for and was granted her release from Midland. Per NAIA rules, Olson could not have contacted her about a possible transfer until she had secured her release. Dani didn’t know if Olson still wanted her, or if Concordia could make room for her. As Dani says, “It was just a lot of trust in God.”
Olson knew what kind of talent and high character she possessed. There would be no scholarship snafus this time. Welcome to the Bulldog family, Dani.
April 5, 2016
In early April of 2016, several members of the Andersen family were engaged in a group text conversation about the ongoing NCAA Division I basketball tournament. At some point during the conversation, Lisa stopped replying. Kent had been in New Jersey on business and Kaleb, Joelle and Dani were going about their own lives. Dani was nearing the completion of her first school year at Concordia. Her thoughts were consumed by a school project and afternoon basketball practice.
There were anxious moments before practice on the day of April 5, 2016. Lisa wasn’t responding to calls on her cell phone or at work. Kent was still out of town. Just before basketball practice was about to get started that day, Dani answered a call from Kaleb. “You need to come to Lincoln,” Kaleb urgently instructed her. He would tell her nothing more until she arrived in Lincoln. Kaleb, Joelle and Dani convened on the family home. There Lisa rested lifelessly. At the age of 52, Lisa had died in her sleep. The siblings, stunned, were left trying to make sense of what had occurred.
Says Dani, “It was really hard to know that my mom is not there anymore. It was so confusing and so not real. We all knew from the get go, she’s with Jesus now. It doesn’t take away the hurt, but it gives hope that we get to see her again.”
Dani was sad and she was angry. She was angry with God. “Why would You take my mom away from me?,” Dani asked. “I had to come to a point where I could be honest with God and tell Him, ‘I’m angry with you right now. You have my mom and I don’t get her.”
Such struggles are often hidden behind Dani’s infectious smile. If you didn’t know her story, you would never know the pain she’s gone through. None of that is evident when she’s rising up to drain another 3-pointer or relentlessly harassing a ball handler as part of Concordia’s devastating press. From the perspective of the fan, everything looks perfectly fine when they see Andersen on the bench, cheering wildly for a teammate who just nailed a 3-point shot.
What they don’t see is the heartache that surges to the forefront unpredictably. Sometimes it might happen in the weight room like it did during one instance at the beginning of the school year. Olson noticed and told her to go home. Last weekend at CIT, Dani played in front of the most rambunctious audience she’s ever experienced. She wished her mother was there. It still stings.
“I don’t think she shows what she’s going through all the time,” Olson said. “I think there are so many games where it’s weighing on her and maybe her performance isn’t as good as what she’s capable of or what she’d like, but a lot of it is because of what she’s still going through. I think her teammates get that a little bit. She’s just an incredibly tough person to be able to have that on her mind and still be able to perform like she is.”
Faith Bible Church on South 84th Street in Lincoln hosted a celebration service for Lisa Andersen on April 8, 2016. The entire Concordia women’s basketball team showed up to lend their support. Some stuck around afterwards to comfort Dani. She spent roughly two weeks away before returning to Concordia to finish out the semester.
During the initial weeks of grieving, Dani didn’t have contact with many of her teammates, but she could feel people praying for her and her family. Dani remembers Drew and his wife M’Leigh bringing a lasagna to the family. Every little thing meant a lot. Says Dani, “The prayers we got from so many people – it’s amazing how you can feel that. We know people have prayed for us because we can feel the difference. It’s crazy. I’ve never experienced that before and the power of other people praying for my family. We just felt like people were lifting us up and blessing us with their prayers.”
Dani has come to terms with God. She says she can feel Him feeling the pain right along with her. She also makes it clear that no day ever goes by without thoughts about mom. As the National Anthem plays prior to games, Dani says a prayer and talks to her mom. Says Dani, “I want to make her proud.”
There was hardly a care in the world during Dani’s youth as she rode horseback and raised her own pony when the family still lived in Columbus, as it did for the first 10 years of Dani’s life. Early on, Lisa passed her love of basketball on to her daughters. Family games took place on that cement slab where Dani and Joelle developed fierce competitiveness. Neither one wants to give an inch against the other.
Dani and Joelle (two years older than Dani) became teammates in high school at Lincoln Christian and then again at Midland. “It was really fun,” Dani said. “She was kind of our go-to person and I was the point guard. I was always trying to get her the ball. It was interesting sometimes in practices. We usually wouldn’t have to guard each other, but sometimes we would. We’d get really competitive with each other. She was always stronger than me so I was always getting knocked down.”
Lisa influenced her children beyond just the game of basketball. Her obituary stated, “She taught her children to love others and more importantly, to love Jesus. Lisa poured into her husband, children and community through her gifts of music, coaching and teaching, and her ability to impact individuals in deeply meaningful ways.”
Lisa met her husband Kent while playing basketball in a YMCA league. They married in June of 1989.
She may no longer be living, but Lisa left behind a lasting legacy. Dani beamed when discussing the qualities she most admired about someone so dear to her. Says Dani, “She was not afraid of what other people thought of her. She was going to speak the truth or say something that other people might not be willing to say. She wouldn’t let what other people did effect her. She had a boldness to her that was amazing. People always felt comfortable around her.”
The perfect fit
Dani is a blur on the basketball court. She draws attention with her quickness, her non-stop motor and her ability to shoot from the perimeter. Not only a perfect fit for Olson’s frenetic pace and system, she’s been a hit with her Bulldog teammates. Like her mother, Dani has an inviting and warm personality.
More than a year removed from her transfer, Dani is thriving despite the understandable emotional swings that she must deal with. Concordia is 23-1 overall, ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division II and is on course for an unforgettable season. Dani has played a major role in that success. She’s averaging 9.3 points and has knocked down a team high 52 shots from 3-point range.
“She just fits our style so well,” Olson said. “Defensively, she’s incredible on the ball. It’s been fun with our new press and our new zone, seeing Mary (Janovich) and her work together. They just know exactly what each other is going to do. Off the court, her faith and her personality fit perfectly. She’s just such a caring person. She’s unselfish. She didn’t come here to start or play big minutes. She came here to be part of our culture. She adds to our team in so many ways.”
Dani has been an impact addition for another Concordia team that will compete at the national tournament next month. It will be a festive atmosphere and a lifelong memory for many involved. Lisa Andersen won’t be in Sioux City to watch, but she’ll surely be a proud mother. Says Dani, “I still think about her when I play.”
YANKTON, S.D. – The second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team started sluggishly, but finished with a flurry in its latest victory. Philly Lammers, winner of two-straight GPAC player of the week awards, went for her third double-double in four games while leading the Bulldogs to an 84-62 win at Mount Marty on Saturday afternoon.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad stands at 24-1 overall and remains unbeaten in conference play at 15-0. The active 24-game win streak is the longest for the program during Olson’s tenure.
“We definitely weren’t sharp early on. Part of that is Mount Marty’s defense,” Olson said. “They do a great job in their man-to-man and they’re well coached. Anything we tried to run, they were basically telling their players what’s about to happen. We didn’t get a whole lot of easy baskets from our sets like we normally do. It was up to our kids to make plays. Thankfully we’ve got really talented kids that can make plays.”
Concordia simply grinded out a victory in Saturday’s affair. The Lancers (11-15, 5-11 GPAC) trailed by just nine points (56-47) after Ali Kuca drained one of her five treys with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Bulldogs didn’t panic. Mary Janovich followed with a three-point play and Concordia maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Mount Marty hung around with a solid defensive effort, but it didn’t have an answer for Lammers, who totaled 17 points and 10 rebounds. The always reliable Janovich racked up 14 points while Shelby Quinn (12 points, six assists) and Quinn Wragge (11 points, seven rebounds, three steals) also found their way into double figures in scoring.
Concordia also pulled away by doing the fundamentals well. It outrebounded the Lancers, 40-32, and committed only one turnover the entire second half. Meanwhile, Mount Marty gave it away 23 times, leading to 25 points off turnovers for the Bulldogs.
Olson continues to marvel at the work of Lammers, who is enjoying one of the best rookie seasons in program history.
“Philly was phenomenal,” Olson said. “We kept telling our kids, ‘We’ve got to get the ball inside more.’ Philly does such a good job of sneaking into position inside the lane. When she catches the ball inside the lane, she’s going to finish it. It was a pretty impressive performance on both ends. She does so many things for us in the press.”
Kuca equaled Lammers with a game high 17 points. A sharpshooter herself, Logan Wagner poured in 16 points. As a team, Mount Marty went 18-for-46 (.391) from the floor. The Lancers appeared in the national semifinals in 2016.
Concordia has now won 19 games by a margin of 20 points or more. Its 24-game win streak tops the 23-game run put together by the 2014-15 national runner-up squad for the longest win streak during Olson’s 11 years leading the program.
The Bulldogs will return home on Wednesday to host Doane (13-13, 7-9 GPAC) for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff. Concordia is a perfect 12-0 at home this season and owns a home record of 82-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season. Only once in program history (2002-03) have the Bulldogs sported a 16-0 mark in conference play.
At 15-0 in the GPAC, Concordia holds a four-game lead in the loss column in the conference standings. It can clinch at least a share of the GPAC title with a win on Wednesday.
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).
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%
SEWARD, Neb. – Hanah Barnard and visiting Doane hung around into the second half, but in the end, the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team chalked up its 25th-consecutive win. Sophomore Quinn Wragge starred in an offensively-oriented contest that culminated with a 97-73 Bulldog victory.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has extended what remains the second longest winning streak in school history. It has also locked up at least a share of the GPAC regular-season title for the third time in six years. Concordia is 25-1 overall and 16-0 in conference play.
“That’s a goal that we have, but we want to get better every day,” Olson said. “That’s what we talked about. I didn’t think we had the greatest focus tonight. That’s something we have to get better at. Tomorrow’s practice will be a little be more effective. We’ll be more focused for the Briar Cliff game on Saturday.”
Concordia has spent much of this season smothering opponents with a devastating press. On this night, the Bulldogs shot 49.2 percent from the floor and sped away from the Tigers after a sloppily played opening quarter. After halftime, Concordia aggressively attacked the basket with the likes of Wragge (19 points, seven rebounds), Erin Vieselmeyer (16 points, five rebounds) and Philly Lammers (16 points, seven rebounds, five steals).
Vieselmeyer got loose in the third quarter when she tallied 12 points, helping the Bulldogs push a five-point halftime lead (38-33) to 13 (71-58).
“They always say that mental part of the game comes over the physical part,” Vieselmeyer said. “I think that was definitely a big part of it – just having my confidence and being able to finish inside.”
Concordia shot 60.7 percent (17-for-28) from the field in the second half and made 23-of-26 attempts from the free throw line during that same stretch. The hot shooting made it easier to cover for a solid offensive night on the other side. Barnard, the GPAC’s second leading scorer, totaled 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Morgan Hill added 17 points for the visitors.
The Tigers (13-14, 7-10 GPAC) just don’t have the weaponry to keep up.
“I thought we did a better job of getting the ball inside (in the second half) and being more productive in there,” Olson said. “I thought Erin and Philly did a great job of attacking. I loved Quinn’s whole game, defensively and on the offensive end. She was really aggressive. Doane did a great job of continuing to compete and doing some different things that we haven’t seen this year.”
Mary Janovich chipped in nine points and a pair of steals in 17 minutes. Colby Duvel came off the bench and provided eight points and four boards.
Doane committed 10 turnovers in the first quarter but then settled in and gave it away only 13 times over the last 30 minutes of play.
The Bulldogs already own at least a piece of the GPAC title (making five conference championships under Olson – three regular season and two tournament). They will attempt to lock up the outright championship on Saturday when they travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to take on Briar Cliff (14-13, 8-9 GPAC) in a 2 p.m. CT matchup. Concordia will also be at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D., on Sunday for a 2 p.m. tilt with No. 12 Dakota Wesleyan (22-4, 13-4 GPAC).
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – An incredible ride through the conference season continued on Saturday afternoon for the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team. It may not have been their most crisp performance of the season, but when the day culminated, the Bulldogs had clinched the outright GPAC title courtesy of a 90-70 win at Briar Cliff (14-14, 8-10 GPAC).
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s program has now captured three GPAC regular-season titles in the past six years. Concordia moved its win streak to 26 and stands at 26-1 overall and 17-0 in conference play heading into the regular season’s final three games.
Following the win, President Brian Friedrich entered the locker room and surprised the team with the GPAC championship trophy.
“That was awesome. Our kids loved it,” Olson said. “The support that we get from President Friedrich is incredible. For our kids to see that big, gold trophy – that’s pretty cool. It’s special.”
Concordia has made it a habit lately of having to shake itself out of an early lull. An energized Briar Cliff squad celebrating its senior day, raced out to a 9-0 advantage before sophomore Quinn Wragge came to the rescue. She enjoyed a monster game (17 points, 11 rebounds) that helped the Bulldogs overcome 39 turnovers in mistake-riddled affair. There were a combined 21 turnovers in the first quarter alone.
“It was just kind of a bad, sluggish start,” Olson said. “They did a great job of pressuring us. We probably should be more prepared for that, but in the second half I thought our kids really settled in and took care of the ball a lot better. They just knocked down shots. I thought our aggressiveness finally started to come through.”
As has been the case all year long, Concordia proved to have too much talent and too much depth. Feeding off their defensive tenacity, the Bulldogs went on an 18-5 run that started late in the third quarter and spilled into the fourth quarter. At that point, it was over. Included in that spurt was a beautifully executed runout that went from Mary Janovich to Dani Andersen to Quinn Wragge for a hoop and a foul.
Janovich backed Wragge with a productive offensive outing of her own. The ultra-efficient guard from Gretna made 6-of-8 shots from the floor and dished out three assists while equaling Wragge’s team high 17 points. Off the bench, Erin Vieselmeyer supplied solid minutes again, registering nine points and five rebounds. Aubri Bro chipped eight points as one of nine Bulldogs with five or more points.
No team in the GPAC is going to enjoy playing against Briar Cliff freshman Kailey Burke over the next few seasons. The Hinton, Iowa, native totaled 16 of her 21 points in the first half. But Burke and her teammates failed to take advantage of the turnovers and shot only 35.0 percent from the floor. On the other hand, Concordia shot 57.7 percent and drained 8-of-15 shots from the perimeter over the final 20 minutes.
Now the conference race is over.
“It was just really cool. We had no idea,” Wragge said of the postgame trophy presentation. “It was a surprise and it was awesome. It felt really good.”
Olson also led Concordia to an outright GPAC regular-season title in 2011-12 and then a share of the league championship in 2013-14. The 2011-12 and 2014-15 squads also seized conference tournament crowns.
The Bulldogs are in the midst of grueling weekend of conference play. In a makeup contest, Concordia will be at No. 12 Dakota Wesleyan (22-4, 13-4 GPAC) at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday. The two conference powers met inside Walz Arena on Dec. 3 when the Bulldogs held off the Tigers, 85-82, in a classic battle that came down the final possession.
MITCHELL, S.D. – The second longest win streak in program history finally came to an end on Sunday afternoon. Playing on the road for the second time in as many days, the GPAC champion Concordia University women’s basketball team struggled mightily offensively and fell at No. 12 Dakota Wesleyan, 75-53, inside the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad had won 26-straight games before being dealt a defeat by the Tigers. The Bulldogs are now 26-2 overall and 17-1 in conference play.
“That was a tough game for us. We just did not play good basketball,” Olson said. “I felt like we were really impatient offensively. We tried to do a little bit too much at times. Dakota Wesleyan did a great job defending. They’re big and long and switched a lot of things. We had to move the ball more. I also felt like we lost our composure a little bit.
“By the time we did settle in, it was an uphill battle. Dakota Wesleyan just outplayed us overall.”
Concordia has routinely shook off slow starts in recent outings, but it played catch up the entire afternoon on Sunday after the Tigers raced out to a 12-0 lead. Complicating matters for the Bulldogs was their shooting woes. They went just 15-for-60 from the floor and 2-for-22 from 3-point range.
Dakota Wesleyan did a superb job limiting Concordia’s star players. Quinn Wragge went 2-for-11 from the floor. Philly Lammers was 3-for-10. Mary Janovich made 1-of-6 shots. The Bulldogs were unable to get much of a transition game going either and had a 21-13 disadvantage in points off turnovers.
Though Janovich made only one shot from the field, she helped Concordia climb back into the game by spurring a 14-2 run that she capped with a 3-point field goal with 9:39 left in the game. At that point, the Bulldogs sprung to life and trailed 54-45 after having whittled down what had been a 22-point deficit. But Concordia went cold again and Amber Bray delivered a 3-point dagger to make it 62-47 with 5:31 remaining.
In front of a spirited Corn Palace crowd, Dakota Wesleyan (23-4, 14-4 GPAC) pulled away down the stretch. The Tigers shot 50 percent (11-for-22) from the field and 90 percent (9-for-10) from the free throw line over the game’s final two periods while snuffing out the Bulldog comeback bid. Sarah Carr paced Dakota Wesleyan with 14 points off the bench. Bray (12) and Rylie Osthus (11 points, eight assists) joined Carr in double figures in scoring.
Janovich led Concordia with 12 points. She went 9-for-10 from the foul line. Shelby Quinn added 12 points and five rebounds. Wragge registered six points and 10 rebounds.
Sunday’s contest was a makeup for a game that had originally been scheduled for Jan. 15. The postponement came because of an ice storm that struck Nebraska. Dakota Wesleyan had the advantage of not having to play on Saturday.
“This was a good trip despite this game,” Olson said. “It was great to have that experience for our kids. We know that we’re a great team. We earned that GPAC championship. We earned an automatic bid to the national tournament. I also felt like this was good team bonding to stay overnight in a hotel. To get that tournament feel of back-to-back games is beneficial.”
Another difficult road challenge awaits on Wednesday when the Bulldogs will venture to No. 10 Hastings (21-7, 13-5 GPAC) for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff. Concordia defeated the Broncos, 68-47, inside Walz Arena on Jan. 25.
SEWARD, Neb. – With the GPAC regular-season championship trophy already in hand, the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team will attempt to start a new winning streak. The second-longest win streak in school history (26) fell by the wayside on Sunday when the Bulldogs were blitzed by No. 12 Dakota Wesleyan, 75-53. A day earlier, Concordia won at Briar Cliff, 90-70, to put an end to the conference race.
The Bulldogs will close out the regular season this week, traveling to No. 10 Hastings (21-7, 13-5 GPAC) for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff on Wednesday prior to hosting Dordt (13-15, 5-13 GPAC) at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The regular-season finale will serve as senior day for the program.
Both of this week’s contests will be carried live on 104.9 Max Country radio (play-by-play by Tyler Cavalli). Wednesday’s game can be seen via the Hastings Stretch Internet portal. The Concordia Sports Network will stream Saturday’s tilt.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson has now guided the program to three GPAC regular-season titles (2011-12, 2013-14 and 2016-17) and two GPAC tournament championships (2012 and 2015). Under previous head coach Todd Voss, Concordia captured the league title in 2002-03 and won the GPAC tournament in 2005. The Bulldogs also won NIAC titles in 1996-97 and 1997-98 under the direction of Mark Lemke.
The Bulldogs now find themselves in unfamiliar territory – looking to respond following a loss. Concordia has been so dominant that it has trailed in the second half of only four games all season. In the loss at Dakota Wesleyan, the Bulldogs dug a hole of 20 points for just the second time this season. Of their 26 wins, 21 have come by margins of 20 or more.
From a statistical standpoint, sophomore Quinn Wragge was the team’s top performer last week. Over the three conference games, Wragged averaged 14.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. She recorded her third double-double of the season at Briar Cliff (17 points, 11 rebounds). Now with 794 career points, Wragge is on a fast track to join the program’s 1,000-point club.
Six seniors are part of this year’s roster: Aubri Bro, Devin Edwards, Carissa Gutz, Laurel Krohn, Shelby Quinn and Erin Veiselmeyer. Among them, Quinn has the most playing experience. She’s tallied 616 points, 350 rebounds, 300 assists and 146 steals over 126 career games. All six seniors will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s men’s basketball game.
Hastings is coming off a loss of its own having been upset, 61-57, at Mount Marty on Feb. 11. The Broncos remain a virtual lock for an invitation to the national tournament. Hastings has been impressive defensively, holding opponents to 60.2 points per game and 41.1 percent shooting. On the other hand, Dordt is on a surprising run after starting conference play with 12-straight losses. Since then, the Defenders have won five of six with upset victories over No. 8 Morningside and No. 22 Northwestern.
Concordia: 26-2, 17-1 GPAC (1st)
G – Shelby Quinn: 6.8 ppg, 4.4 apg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 spg, .377 fg%
G – Dani Andersen: 8.7 ppg, 1.5 apg, 1.4 spg, .358 fg%, .328 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.9 ppg, 3.3 apg, 2.8 rpg, 2.5 spg, .538 fg%, .453 3-pt fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 11.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.0 spg, .557 fg%, .724 ft%
F – Philly Lammers: 13.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.1 spg, 1.1 bpg, .587 fg%
Hastings: 21-7, 13-5 GPAC (3rd)
G – Shandra Farmer: 9.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.5 spg, .407 fg%
G – Holly Hild: 11.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.1 spg, .431 fg%, .722 ft%
G – Jordan Johnson: 6.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg, .358 fg%, .306 3-pt fg%
F – Mackenzie Willicott: 9.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.1 spg, .485 fg%, .726 ft%
F – Rachel Jelden: 8.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.1 spg, .417 fg%
Dordt: 13-15, 5-13 GPAC (10th)
G – Annie Rhinesmith: 7.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.4 spg, .391 fg%, .391 3-pt fg%
G – Kim Kroeze: 9.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.6 apg, .400 fg%
G – Jamie Gesink: 9.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 spg, .504 fg%, .750 ft%
F – Paige Engbers: 7.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, .374 fg%, .358 3-pt fg%
F – Shae Pollema: 8.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, .434 fg%, .733 ft%
HASTINGS, Neb. – It was rarely a thing of beauty, but the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team is back in the win column. Another slow start didn’t doom the Bulldogs this time. They followed essentially the same script they used exactly three weeks ago, dominating the fourth quarter while sewing up a 60-46 win over host and 10th-ranked Hastings inside Lynn Farrell Arena on Wednesday evening.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad, champions of the GPAC regular season, has moved to 27-2 overall and to 18-1 in conference play. The Bulldogs went 9-1 in conference road games this season.
“Despite us not playing our best game, we still had the toughness to stay together and to continue to grind out possessions and find a way to win,” Olson said. “That’s a really good team on their home floor. I thought we did a great job in the fourth quarter.”
The Broncos (21-8, 13-6 GPAC) have had no problem hanging with Concordia for three quarters, but the fourth quarter has been a completely different story. Eventually, the Bulldogs wore Hastings down with their signature defensive tenacity. Trailing 42-37 after 30 minutes, Concordia went on a 20-0 run that included seven points from Quinn Wragge. The Crofton native brought the bench to its feet with a steal, layup and one that helped break Hastings’ spirit in the final stanza.
In two meetings this season, the Bulldogs have outscored the Broncos by a combined total of 49-9 in the fourth quarter.
“We weren’t playing the best, but we just tried to keep playing our game and keep hustling,” said senior guard Shelby Quinn. “They’re a very good team. We just had to make the simple plays and go out there and play basketball like we know how.”
For the second-straight road outing, Concordia struggled to knock down shots, but it didn’t let that effect its play on the other end. Hastings shot only 30.2 percent (16-for-53) from the floor. It was a particularly rough go in the second half when it made only 7-of-29 (.241) attempts.
The bench kept the Bulldogs afloat early on. Erin Vieselmeyer made all four shots from the field and all six attempts from the free throw line on her way to a team high 14 points. Reserves actually accounted for the first 13 points of the game for Concordia. Sydney Feller dropped in seven points and Devin Edwards and Laurel Krohn contributed six points apiece off the bench.
“I’m really proud of our bench group, especially Erin Vieselmeyer,” Olson said. “She really lifted us in the first quarter during that time when we were struggling. I felt like we got settled in and finally played free in the second half. That was the difference.”
The Broncos have dropped three-consecutive conference games and will be either the No. 3 or 4 seed in the GPAC tournament that begins next week. Holly Hild paced Hastings with 15 points on 4-for-9 shooting. The rest of the team’s starters were a combined 8-for-23 from the field. It got only 11 points from its bench.
Wragge (12 points, five rebounds) and Vieselmeyer were the only Bulldogs to find their way into double figures. Philly Lammers posted five points and five rebounds.
The Bulldogs will put a bow on the regular season on Saturday when they host Dordt (13-16, 5-14 GPAC) inside Walz Arena. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT. Concordia will recognize its six seniors at halftime of the men’s game as part of Senior Day festivities. The seniors have helped the program to a combined record of 109-21.
SEWARD, Neb. – The second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team put a cap on the regular season by dominating visiting Dordt, 90-55, inside Walz Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs celebrated their group of six seniors, which played at home for the final team in regular-season action. The seniors have helped the program to a four-year record of 110-23.
Eleventh-year head Drew Olson’s squad is now 28-2 overall. At 19-1 in GPAC play, the 2016-17 team has broken a program record for most conference wins in a single season.
“I was really proud of our group. We played with a lot of energy and a lot of toughness,” Olson said. “We just flew around. It was fun going in waves like we did today. I couldn’t be more proud of our senior group and what they’ve accomplished in their careers.”
Olson went with an all senior starting five on a day when he distributed minutes up and down the roster. While hitting the Defenders with waves of fresh legs, Concordia’s defensive intensity was overwhelming. Dordt shot just 27.0 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 28 times.
This is the type of game that results when the shots are falling for the Bulldogs, who absorbed an early third quarter push from the Defenders (13-17, 5-15 GPAC) before running away with another blowout win. As part of a 42-11 second half splurge, Brenleigh Daum drained consecutive treys before passing the baton to Dani Andersen, who promptly knocked in two perimeter jumpers of her own.
In the second half, Concordia looked like the vintage powerhouse it’s been throughout most of this season. The Bulldogs had struggled on the offensive end in their previous two outings, at Hastings and at Dakota Wesleyan. But over the final 20 minutes on Saturday, they shot 53.1 percent (17-for-32) from the floor. Concordia got all that production while deploying all 15 players for more than 10 minutes each.
Daum found her stroke, making 4-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc on her way to a game high 14 points in less than 12 minutes of action. Andersen drilled each of her four attempts, including three triples, as part of her 11-point outing. Quinn Wragge posted 11 points and six rebounds while Philly Lammers chipped in nine and four.
“I haven’t been having the greatest shooting percentages,” Daum said. “In warmups I was a little frustrated with myself. Coach came over and was like, ‘Relax. It’s our last regular season game. Just go out and have fun.’ That’s what I did.”
Olson had a little more fun late in the game when he decided to send all six seniors into the game at the same time as a show of appreciation for their dedication to the program. Olson wasn’t worried about the resulting technical.
“I wanted all six of them to be on the floor together one time,” Olson said. “I knew what the penalty was, but I wanted to send them off in their last home regular-season game all together. We told them to stay on the floor as long as possible until the officials blew the whistle. I think we made it about four or five seconds.”
Not a single Dordt player reached double figures. Paige Engbers had a team best nine points. The Defender starting five combined for 19 turnovers and just nine field goal makes.
It’s tournament time for the Bulldogs, the No. 1 seed in the GPAC tournament. Concordia will host eighth-seeded Midland (15-14, 7-13 GPAC) at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday. The winner will advance to play in the semifinals next Saturday. By way of their GPAC regular-season title, the Bulldogs have already clinched a spot in the national tournament.
SEWARD, Neb. – Champion of the GPAC regular season for the third time in six seasons, the Concordia University women’s basketball program is set to begin what it hopes to be a long postseason journey. Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad lost only two games all regular season while going 19-1 in GPAC play, breaking the school record for most conference wins in a campaign.
In Wednesday’s GPAC quarterfinal, the top-seeded Bulldogs (28-2, 19-1 GPAC) will host eighth-seeded Midland (15-14, 7-13 GPAC). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT from Walz Arena, where Concordia is a perfect 14-0 this season. The game can be seen live on the Concordia Sports Network and heard via 104.9 Max Country radio. The Bulldogs defeated the Warriors by scores of 89-50 and 95-38 during the regular season.
“It’s a really special group,” Olson said following last week’s regular-season capping 90-55 win over Dordt. “What they’ve done through their work ethic, just staying together is phenomenal. To be able to go 28-2 and to be 19-1 in this conference really says a lot about the team, their spirit together and how tough they are. I’m hoping it continues.”
Concordia has twice won the conference tournament under Olson’s direction (2012 and 2015). The 2011-12 squad was the most recent to garner the No. 1 seed in the GPAC bracket. On their way to the postseason title, the Bulldogs defeated Dakota Wesleyan, Hastings and Morningside. Concordia also toppled the Mustangs in the 2015 GPAC tournament championship game. The Bulldogs were one and done last season with a quarterfinal loss at Briar Cliff.
Featured in last week’s action was a 60-46 victory at No. 10 Hastings. Concordia was sluggish through the first three quarters, but then outscored the Broncos, 23-4, in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs got their groove back offensively in the win over Dordt. They shot 53.1 percent (17-for-32) from the field in the second half. Junior guards Dani Andersen and Brenleigh Daum went a combined 7-for-8 from 3-point range.
Daum, who equaled a season high 14 points versus Dordt, believes the Bulldogs are primed for success in the postseason.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Daum said. “Everyone else is, too. I know we’re hungry to go after that GPAC championship game and go all out and win it and head to nationals.”
By way of the regular-season title, Concordia has already clinched a spot in the national tournament. It has achieved great heights without a single Bulldog averaging more than 22.1 minutes per game. Millard West High School product Philly Lammers doesn’t even average 20 minutes, but is still a strong candidate for conference player of the year. She leads the team in scoring (12.7), rebounding (6.8), blocked shots (1.13) and field goal percentage (.576).
Last week the Bulldogs celebrated their six-member senior class as part of senior day festivities. Over the past four seasons, Concordia has a combined record of 110-23 with two GPAC regular-season titles, one conference tournament championship, four national tournament appearances and a national runner up finish in 2015. The seniors have gone 54-5 at home in their careers. This is the third-straight senior class to play every career game with a team national ranking.
Midland ended its regular season by dropping six of its last seven. The lone win during that stretch came by an 80-59 score over College of Saint Mary. The headlining performers for the Warriors are Joelle Overkamp (16.7 ppg) and Megan Kucks (14.3 ppg). Both play more than 33 minutes per game. Concordia has won 33-consecutive meetings with Midland. (The Warriors had defeated the Bulldogs in January 2009, but had to forfeit the game).
The winner of Wednesday’s game will advance to Saturday’s semifinal round and play either fourth-seeded Hastings (22-8, 14-6) or fifth-seeded Northwestern (18-10, 10-10 GPAC). Concordia will host as long as it remains alive in the bracket.
Concordia: 28-2, 19-1 GPAC
G – Shelby Quinn: 6.6 ppg, 4.3 apg, 1.9 spg, .370 fg%, .798 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 8.6 ppg, 1.5 apg, 1.4 spg, .370 fg%, .337 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.5 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.8 rpg, 2.5 spg, .533 fg%, .448 3-pt fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 11.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 spg, .556 fg%, .734 ft%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.1 spg, 1.1 bpg, .576 fg%
Midland: 15-14, 7-13 GPAC
G – Megan Kucks: 14.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.6 spg, .401 fg%, .341 3-pt fg%
G – Chansea Nelson: 4.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg, .406 fg%, .417 3-pt fg%
G – Madison Severson: 4.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.9 spg, .338 fg%, .348 3-pt fg%
G – Joelle Overkamp: 16.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.5 spg, .468 fg%, .800 ft%
F – Miranda Paul: 7.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, .354 fg%, .331 3-pt fg%
SEWARD, Neb. – Midland was merely a speed bump in the Concordia University women’s basketball team’s quest for a second GPAC tournament championship this season. Winner of the regular-season title, the Bulldogs remained unbeaten at home by knocking out the visiting Warriors, 88-69, inside Walz Arena on Wednesday night.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has moved to 29-2 overall via its third victory over Midland in 2016-17. This meeting was more highly contested than the previous two.
“Part of it might have been that this would be the last game of their season,” Olson said. “Midland battled a little bit more. I thought they did a really nice job of handling our pressure in the second half. They hurt us down low at times, but overall, I felt like we had the pace where we wanted it where they couldn’t ever come back in that second half.”
Junior sniper Dani Andersen is heating up at the right time. After making all four of her attempts in the regular-season finale versus Dordt, she followed it up by netting 19 points while going 5-for-9 from beyond the arc. On the interior, freshman Philly Lammers returned to her dominant ways. She burned Midland for 19 points and eight rebounds.
Seven of Lammers’ boards were of the offensive variety on an evening when Concordia held a 48-37 rebound advantage. The Bulldogs gobbled up 21 offensive boards, leading to 20 second chance points.
“(Our frontcourt play) opens up a lot,” Andersen said. “They were trying to double in the post because Philly’s such a beast. That just opens up the skip pass and opens up the extra pass for a shot. It creates more offense for us.”
Midland (15-15) managed to limit its turnovers to 19, but it shot only 33.9 percent (19-for-56) from the floor. The Warriors kept themselves from being 40-pointed this time around by making 23-of-28 shots from the charity stripe. Midland still failed to make a serious threat. Its slimmest deficit during the second half was 16.
In a workmanlike win, Andersen’s splurge from the perimeter stood out. During one stretch of just over two minutes in the second quarter, she plashed in three treys while dispatching of her former team.
The Bulldogs and their pesky defense had star Warrior Joelle Overkamp’s number this season. In two regular-season matchups against Concordia, Overkamp went a combined 4-for-21 with nine points. She entered this week averaging 16.7 points per game. She found more breathing room on Wednesday, totaling 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting. Teammate Amanda Hansen (10-for-11 foul shooting) recorded a game high 26 points.
Bulldog sophomore Quinn Wragge (10 points, nine rebounds) just missed a double-double. She was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Off the bench, senior Erin Vieselmeyer added eight points and six rebounds. Concordia played without starting junior guard Mary Janovich for the second-straight outing.
On the hunt for their second GPAC tournament title in three years, the Bulldogs will host Northwestern (19-10) at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday in the conference semifinals. The other side of the bracket pairs second-seeded Dakota Wesleyan (25-5) with Cinderella No. 6 seed Doane (16-15). Should Concordia win on Saturday, it would then host the GPAC championship game at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday (Feb. 28). No matter the outcome, the Bulldogs have clinched a national tournament bid courtesy of earning the GPAC regular-season title.
“It’s going to be a great game. “They’re a really scary team,” Olson said of the Red Raiders. “They’re so talented and it’s been forever since we played them. It’s going to be a really tough team and probably a great game.”
SEWARD, Neb. – Time for round two. After upsetting 16th-ranked Hastings on the road, fifth-seeded Northwestern (19-10) will serve as Saturday’s opponent in the semifinals of the GPAC tournament. Tipoff from Walz Arena is set for 3 p.m. CT. The second-ranked and top-seeded Concordia University women’s basketball team will put its unblemished 15-0 home record on the line.
Saturday’s game can be seen live on the Concordia Sports Network. Tyler Cavalli will call the play-by-play for 104.9 Max Country radio.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad raced out to a 25-11 first quarter lead and then cruised to an 88-69 conference quarterfinal win over Midland on Wednesday evening. The combination of Dani Andersen (19 points, 5-for-9 3-point shooting) and Philly Lammers (19 points, eight rebounds) proved too much for the eighth-seeded Warriors (15-15) to handle. Quinn Wragge (10 points, nine rebounds) came up just short of a double-double. The Bulldogs limited Midland to just 33.9 percent shooting.
Concordia is one win away from reaching 30-win mark for the third time under Olson and for the fifth time in school history. The high water mark for victories in a season during Olson’s tenure was produced by the 2014-15 national runner up team that went 35-3 overall. Olson also guided the 2011-12 squad, GPAC regular-season and tournament champion, to a 34-3 mark and national semifinal appearance.
The Red Raiders stand in the way of the Bulldogs’ fourth GPAC tournament title.
“I think it’s going to be a great game,” Olson said after Wednesday’s win. “They’re a really scary team. They’re so talented. It’s been forever since we played them. The last time (Kassidy) De Jong wasn’t there and they have a second semester transfer post that’s playing really well. It’s going to be a really tough team and probably a great game.”
These two sides last met before Christmas. Without De Jong, Northwestern got steamrolled, 91-44, inside Walz Arena on Dec. 10. Lammers totaled 18 points and six rebounds while the Red Raiders struggled mightily offensively. They shot 28.1 percent from the floor and went only 1-for-16 from 3-point range. A month earlier, Concordia defeated Northwestern, 88-81, in Orange City, Iowa. All five Bulldog starters scored in double figures (17 apiece from Mary Janovich and Shelby Quinn) to help overcome 27 points from De Jong.
The Red Raiders possess the résumé of a team worthy of a top 25 ranking. They own five wins over current nationally-ranked teams: No. 10 Morningside, No. T-11 Friends University (Kan.), No. T-11 University of Jamestown (N.D.) and No. 16 Hastings (two). Northwestern did not lose a single game outside of conference play during the regular season in another show of the GPAC’s power. De Jong is averaging 18.5 points (second in the GPAC) and needs just three more points to reach 1,000 for her career – and she’s just a sophomore.
There’s no doubt about Concordia’s tournament worthiness. The Bulldogs clinched their spot in the national tournament courtesy of their GPAC regular-season championship. Based on the current top 25, their résumé includes wins over No. 8 College of the Ozarks (Mo.), No. 9 Dakota Wesleyan, No. 10 Morningside (twice), No. 16 Hastings (twice) and No. 17 Indiana Tech.
Concordia is battle tested and ready for primetime.
“We’re really excited to be at this point of the season,” Andersen said on Wednesday. “We just want to keep it going for our seniors and cherish every moment that we have on the court out there.”
The other semifinal pairs second-seeded Dakota Wesleyan (25-5) against sixth-seeded Doane (16-15). The two semifinal winners will meet in the championship game at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday (Feb. 28).
G – Shelby Quinn: 6.6 ppg, 4.3 apg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 spg, .363 fg%
G – Dani Andersen: 8.9 ppg, 1.5 spg, 1.5 apg, .377 fg%, .347 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.5 ppg, 3.2 apg, 2.8 rpg, 2.5 spg, .533 fg%, .448 3-pt fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 11.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.0 spg, .561 fg%, .745 ft%
F – Philly Lammers: 12.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.1 spg, 1.1 bpg, .585 fg%, .798 ft%
G – Renee Maneman: 8.9 ppg, 7.6 apg, 4.3 rpg, 1.9 spg, .481 fg%
G – Paige Danner: 9.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.1 spg, .333 fg%, .297 3-pt fg%
G – Kassidy De Jong: 18.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.0 spg, .492 fg%, .295 3-pt fg%
F – Haley Birks: 13.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 1.3 spg, .523 fg%
F – Darbi Gustafson: 12.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.0 bpg, .538 fg%, .696 ft%
SEWARD, Neb. – The stage is set for the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team to host the GPAC tournament championship game for the second time in six years. In Saturday’s conference semifinal, the Bulldogs relentlessly pestered visiting Northwestern on their way to an 88-51 win inside Walz Arena.
The victory established another benchmark in a special season for 11th-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad. At 30-2 overall, the Bulldogs have reached the 30-win plateau for the third time under Olson and for the fifth time in program history.
It was defense that paved the way again for Concordia, which forced 34 turnovers and held the Red Raiders to 26.9 percent shooting (14-for-52).
“I thought our kids had really good focus on who their different players were, whether they were a driver or a shooter,” Olson said. “We did an awesome job keeping the ball out of the lane. Overall it was just an incredible defensive performance for our kids to be able to stay that focused throughout the game.”
The Red Raiders were just the latest team to get Lammer’ed. Freshman Philly Lammers threw out a line of 18 points, five rebounds, five blocks and three steals. Though a post player, Lammers plays an integral role in Concordia’s killer press, which helped instigate 15 first quarter Northwestern turnovers on Saturday.
The Red Raiders got within seven points late in the second quarter before the game got out of hand. Up 30-23, Concordia then closed the first half on an 8-2 run. It claimed its first 20-point lead of the afternoon at the 3:32 mark of the third quarter when Syndey Feller splashed in a trey that came after her own steal.
The Bulldogs are a team on repeat. They turn you over and then go on the attack.
“We just kept our focus and intensity level up,” Lammers said. “We go on every play and don’t take any off. We always go for the ball and are in their face all the time.”
It took Northwestern nearly seven-and-a-half minutes to finally drop in its first field goal of the game. At one point midway through the second quarter, Lammers had more blocked shots than the Red Raiders had made field goals. Making matters worse for Northwestern, it had to play again without starting post Darbi Gustafson and several key players struggled. Paige Danner went 1-for-13 from the floor and had nine turnovers. Kassidy De Jong made only 4-of-14 shots and gave it away seven times.
On the other side, Dani Andersen and Brenleigh Daum stayed white hot. Andersen (12 points) made 3-of-7 shots from beyond the arc and Daum (12 points) dropped home 3-of-6 attempts from long distance. Off the bench, Erin Vieselmeyer chipped in 12 points and three rebounds in eight minutes of action. As a team, Concordia shot 45.6 percent (31-for-68) for the game and 52.9 percent in the second half.
Now the Bulldogs have earned the right to host the conference championship game for the first time since 2012, when they celebrated a 73-66 win over Morningside.
“It’s pretty cool. Our kids obviously feel a lot more comfortable here,” Olson said. “We’re hoping for a huge turnout. Hopefully our student body really shows up and goes crazy like the last time we hosted.”
The Bulldogs will vie for their fourth GPAC tournament title in program history when the action gets underway at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday. The conference championship game will match Concordia against either ninth-ranked Dakota Wesleyan (25-5), the only GPAC team to defeat the Bulldogs this season, or Doane (16-15). In this season’s first meeting, the Bulldogs held off Dakota Wesleyan, 85-82, in Seward on Dec. 3. Concordia won both regular-season games over Doane.
SEWARD, Neb. – The 2016-17 Bulldogs hope to join the 2011-12 squad as the lone teams in program history to win GPAC regular-season and tournament titles in the same season. For the first time since 2012, Walz Arena will host the GPAC women’s basketball tournament championship game when the action tips off at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Second-seeded and ninth-ranked Dakota Wesleyan (26-5) will serve as the opposition.
The game will be carried live by the Concordia Sports Network. Audio will be provided by 104.9 Max Country radio with Tyler Cavalli calling the play-by-play. Devin Smith serves as color commentator.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson is asking for a big student showing. “It’s pretty cool. Our kids obviously feel a lot more comfortable here,” Olson said. “We’re hoping for a huge turnout. Hopefully our student body shows up and goes crazy like the last time we hosted.”
The Bulldogs have been dominant so far in postseason play. Top-seeded Concordia blew past eighth-seeded Midland, 88-69, in the conference quarterfinals and then drubbed No. 5 seed Northwestern, 88-51, in the semifinals. The Bulldogs have made a habit of pummeling opponents. They have won 22 times by 20 points or more. They’ve trailed in the second half of only five of their 32 games.
The Tigers will attempt to do something that hasn’t been accomplished yet this season – defeat Concordia inside Walz Arena. The Bulldogs are a perfect 16-0 at home. The 2016-17 Concordia edition has a chance to become the first team in GPAC era program history to complete an undefeated home season. Since the start of the 2011-12 campaign, the Bulldogs are 86-9 at home.
Like Concordia, Dakota Wesleyan has breezed to the championship tussle. In the quarterfinals, the Tigers routed seventh-seeded Briar Cliff, 94-60, and then cruised past sixth-seeded Doane, 81-57. Both of those games were staged at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D. In true road games, Dakota Wesleyan is 8-4. Included in those four losses was an 85-82 defeat in Seward on Dec. 3. The Tigers are superb on both ends of the floor. Nationally, they rank sixth in field goal percentage offense (.459) and 14th in field goal percentage defense (.359).
Dakota Wesleyan will have to contend with freshman Philly Lammers, who has been on a tear this postseason. Against Midland, she went for 19 points, eight rebounds (seven offensive) and two steals in only 18 minutes of action. Then in the semifinals, she totaled 18 points, five rebounds, five blocks and three steals in 22 minutes. Lammers is the team leader in scoring (13.1), rebounding (6.8), blocks (1.22) and field goal percentage (.583).
Lammers experienced the rowdiness of CIT for the first time this season. Now she’ll get a feel for the GPAC championship game.
“I think that’s definitely going to be exciting,” Lammers said after the win over Northwestern. “We have a really great home crowd and fan base. It’s always fun to play in your home arena.”
Concordia has lost only one time in its last 31 outings. That defeat was a 75-53 loss at Dakota Wesleyan on Feb. 12, the day after the Bulldogs clinched the conference regular-season championship. In that loss, Concordia shot just 25.0 percent (15-for-60) from the floor and went 2-for-22 (.091) from beyond the arc.
The 2016-17 Bulldogs are the fifth winningest team in program history. The top four are 2002-03 (36-2), 2014-15 (35-3), 2011-12 (34-3) and 2004-05 (31-5). Each of those four squads advanced to the national semifinals. The 2014-15 group remains the only team in school history to reach the national championship game.
Both Concordia and Dakota Wesleyan have clinched berths in the national tournament. The qualifying field and bracket will be announced on Wednesday by the NAIA. The championship event will get underway from the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, on March 8. The Bulldogs will make their 16th appearance all-time at the national tournament.
G – Shelby Quinn: 6.6 ppg, 4.3 apg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 spg, .362 fg%, .778 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 9.0 ppg, 1.6 spg, 1.6 apg, 1.2 rpg, .379 fg%, .350 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.2 ppg, 3.1 apg, 2.7 rpg, 2.4 spg, .530 fg%, .448 3-pt fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 11.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 spg, .556 fg%, .735 ft%
F – Philly Lammers: 13.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.1 spg, 1.2 bpg, .583 fg%, .798 ft%
Dakota Wesleyan (26-5)
G – Rylie Osthus: 10.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.4 spg, .436 fg%
G – Chesney Nagel: 4.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, .379 fg%, .683 ft%
F – Amber Bray: 9.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.8 apg, .497 fg%, .854 ft%
F – Ashley Bray: 12.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 spg, .520 fg%, .405 3-pt fg%, .936 ft%
F – Erica Herrold: 11.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, .415 fg%, .350 3-pt fg%, .745 ft%
SEWARD, Neb. – You thought you knew stress – but then you watched the 2017 GPAC women’s basketball tournament championship game. Already conference regular-season champs, Concordia rallied, built an 11-point fourth quarter lead that it watched melt away, went to overtime and then dodged not just bullets, but grenades at the buzzer on Tuesday night.
In the end, the home Bulldog fans tossed their defibrillators to the side and rushed the court in celebration of a 78-77 win over ninth-ranked Dakota Wesleyan. Concordia has now won the conference tournament four times in the GPAC era – three times under 11th-year head coach Drew Olson.
“No stress at all,” Olson joked afterwards. “That was an amazing game. It was really fun to be part of. I think it’s something our kids will always remember.”
Breathing was hard in the closing seconds of overtime, well, regulation too for that matter. On the contest’s final possession, the Tigers’ Ashley Bray launched a trey that misfired. The ensuing two-hand tip by Sarah Carr came dangerously close to dropping through the bottom of the net, but the ball somehow rolled off the left side of the rim.
Chaos ensued. It was jubilation on one side and dejection on the other in a “wow, this is sports” moment that can’t be staged nor duplicated.
“It was definitely nerve wracking,” said sophomore Quinn Wragge. “We were all just like, play our defense. This is what we’ve been taught. Just get the rebound if it goes out.”
For the second time in program history, the Concordia women’s basketball team has swept GPAC regular-season and tournament championships. In a contest with all the intensity appropriate for a conference tournament final, the Bulldogs avenged their only GPAC loss. Walz hadn’t seen this type of electric atmosphere since it played host to the Concordia Invitational Tournament a month ago. After two anticlimactic conference tournament wins leading into Tuesday, the Bulldogs got all they wanted from a worthy foe.
As part of a starring performance, Wragge pushed Concordia’s lead to 66-55 by draining a pair of free throws with 5:03 left in the fourth quarter. It looked like the Bulldogs had finally wore down Dakota Wesleyan. Pulling away in the final stanza is just something Concordia does, but not this time.
“When we had them down 10, I felt really confident that we had them,” Olson said. “Then Rylie Osthus, she carried them. She hit some huge shots. They did a great job finding ways to get stops. They’re a really good team and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw them a fourth time.”
The Tigers actually took a 70-69 lead on Amber Bray’s bucket in the last 20 seconds of regulation. The Bulldogs forced the overtime after Philly Lammers went 1-for-2 from the foul line and Dakota Wesleyan came up empty following a timeout.
The largest lead for either team in overtime was three points. Lammers tallied six of Concordia’s eight points in the extra session with two coming on free throws that proved to be the deciding points. Neither team scored after Lammers gave the Bulldogs a 78-77 advantage with 34 seconds remaining.
Concordia hung on and earned the right to cut down the nets inside its own arena. The Bulldogs, 31-2 overall, finished 17-0 at home, completing the program’s first undefeated home season in the GPAC era.
“This is why we play,” Wragge said. “That was our goal at the beginning of the season and we accomplished it. There’s no one else I’d rather do it with than these girls.”
Wragge played huge. She wound up with 18 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Lammers topped Concordia with 19 points (5-for-15 from the field; 9-for-13 from the free throw line) in 28 minutes. Junior guard Mary Janovich totaled 10 points and three assists, Dani Andersen dropped in nine points and Shelby Quinn added eight points and six assists. Concordia shot 40.6 percent (26-for-64) from the field.
Osthus led all players with 21 points, though she also committed nine of her team’s 22 turnovers. Amber Bray (17), Erica Herrold (15) and Carr (13) also reached double figures in scoring for the Tigers (26-6), who clinched their national tournament bid with the conference tournament runner up claim. Dakota Wesleyan, which shot only 34.4 percent (22-for-64), outrebounded Concordia, 55-44.
The Bulldogs are set to make their 16th all-time appearance – ninth under Olson – at the national tournament. The NAIA will announce the national qualifying field and tournament bracket on Wednesday (March 1). The first round of action opens up on March 8. All 31 games of the event will take place at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
SEWARD, Neb. – After winning GPAC regular-season and tournament titles, the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team pulled in three of the four major honors awarded by the GPAC. As announced on Wednesday (March 1), GPAC defensive player of the year recognition went to junior Mary Janovich, GPAC freshman of the year accolades went to Philly Lammers and the GPAC coach of the year went to Drew Olson, who is in his 11th season leading the Bulldogs.
Concordia placed a trio of standouts on the conference’s first team: Janovich, Lammers and sophomore Quinn Wragge. Three Bulldogs also garnered All-GPAC honorable mention: junior Dani Andersen and seniors Shelby Quinn and Erin Vieselmeyer.
A product of Millard West High School, Lammers was arguably the most dominant player in the conference during her rookie season. She averages .68 points per minute, more than any other player in the GPAC. She has paced the team in scoring (13.3), rebounding (6.7), blocks (1.22) and field goal percentage (.570). An essential part of the team’s suffocating press, Lammers also averages more than two steals per game. She put up a career high 23 points in a win over Hastings on Jan. 25.
Named conference freshman of the year in 2014-15, Janovich is the fourth player in program history to collect GPAC defensive player of the year honors. Concordia has won four of the last six conference defensive awards. The native of Gretna, Neb., moves up to the first team after netting second team mention in each of her first team seasons. A pest at the top of the Bulldog press, Janovich sports season averages of 10.8 points, 3.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals and is shooting 51.6 percent from the floor and 43.7 percent from 3-point range. She has totaled 867 career points over 83 games as a Bulldog.
Wragge has now made back-to-back appearances on the conference’s first team. She’s already racked up 850 points over her first 65 career collegiate games. This season as a sophomore, the native of Crofton, Neb., is averaging 11.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.5 assists while shooting 56.5 percent from the field. Wragge earned her second-straight CIT MVP award in 2017 and her 22 points in the CIT championship game are a season high.
Andersen has been Concordia’s most prolific 3-point shooter this season, stroking 71 3-point field goals out of 201 attempts (35.3 percentage). The Lincoln Christian High School alum is in her first season competing as a Bulldog after transferring from Midland. She is averaging 9.0 points this season and has totaled 733 career points when factoring in her two seasons with the Warriors.
Quinn and Vieselmeyer are both in their final years as Bulldogs. Serving as the team’s point guard this season, Quinn has now played 123-consecutive games. The Bellevue, Neb., native ranks 20th nationally in assists per game (4.3). She is also averaging 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Meanwhile, Vieselmeyer is one of the nation’s top players off the bench. She is averaging 6.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.7 blocks while shooting 53.4 percent from the field.
Concordia will make its 16th all-time appearance at the national tournament when the action begins next week. The tournament bracket is set to be announced today (March 1).
Concordia GPAC major award winners
Player of the Year
2014-15 – Bailey Morris
2013-14 – Bailey Morris
Defensive Player of the Year
2016-17 – Mary Janovich
2013-14 – Tracy Peitz
2012-13 – Katie Rich
2011-12 – Katie Rich
2004-05 – Kari Saving
Freshman of the Year
2016-17 – Philly Lammers
2014-15 – Mary Janovich
Coach of the Year
2016-17 – Drew Olson
2011-12 – Drew Olson
2002-03 – Todd Voss
SEWARD, Neb. – There were no feelings of uneasiness on Selection Wednesday for the Concordia University women’s basketball team, which has known for weeks that it would make up part of the field at the 2017 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championships. The GPAC regular season and tournament champion Bulldogs now get set for their national tournament first-round date with eighth-seeded Bryan College (Tenn.). The two sides will square off at 12 p.m. CT next Wednesday (March 8). All 31 games of the national tournament will take place inside the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Named GPAC Coach of the Year for the second time in his career on Wednesday, Drew Olson will lead Concordia onto the national stage for the ninth time during his 11-year tenure. For the third time under Olson, the Bulldogs (31-2) have piled up more than 30 wins in a season.
After the thrill of Tuesday’s 78-77 overtime win the GPAC tournament title game, Concordia (one of four No. 1 seeds in the national bracket) is riding high into its 16th all-time appearance at the national tournament. For a team that has dominated most of their games this season, the experience of Tuesday night should only help the Bulldogs when times get tight in Sioux City.
“At some point in the tournament we’re going to be faced with some adversity,” Olson said. “For our kids to have the composure to find a way to win in that game was awesome. We were down early, then up 11 and then lose the lead. There were a whole bunch of situations where we could have panicked and we didn’t. Our kids did a great job of keeping their composure. We showed that we’ve learned from the two losses that we had in the win last night.”
Before the 2016-17 squad can place itself in the same elite company as the four previous teams in school history to surpass 30 wins, it must make its mark at the national tournament. Olson took the 2014-15 group, led by national player of the year Bailey Morris, to the title game and also guided the 2011-12 squad to the national semifinals. Two other teams in school history have been among the last four standing: the 2002-03 and 2004-05 editions, both coached by Todd Voss.
What makes this team unique from past years its signature zone press, which Olson tweaked this season to better fit his personnel. The results have been nothing short of incredible. Led by GPAC defensive player of the year Mary Janovich, Concordia has forced 882 turnovers for an average of 26.7 per game. Inside, Philly Lammers has also been a defensive force, ranking second in the GPAC in blocks (1.22) and fifth in steals (2.09).
For unfamiliar nonconference opponents, the press can be devastating.
“It’s definitely new and different and I don’t think teams can really simulate that or practice that to prepare for it,” Olson said. “I think it gives us a little bit of an advantage. When you get to the national tournament, by the time you’re in that third round you’re going up against a really good team and they’ve probably seen you play there a couple times. You just need to play your best basketball. That’s what matters the most.”
As if more evidence is needed to enhance the profile of the nation’s second ranked team, the Bulldogs are the first GPAC squad since the 2010-11 national championship Northwestern group to place three players on the all-conference first team. Those accolades went to Janovich, Lammers and sophomore Quinn Wragge. They’re the three most decorated players, but there’s also sharpshooting guard Dani Andersen and steady senior point guard Shelby Quinn and a host of key bench players.
On the flip side, the Lions (18-14) have made their way to the national tournament after winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament. Sophomore guard Amber Levi averages a team high 16.5 points per game for the Lions. Bryan stood below .500 overall (13-14) before going on its current five-game win streak. Head coach Jason Smith has led the program to the national tournament in two of the past three seasons. The Lions and Bulldogs also met in the first round in 2015. Concordia cruised past Bryan, 76-35, on its way to reaching the national title game.
The winner between Concordia and Bryan will advance to play in the second round against either fourth-seeded IU Northwest (Ind.) (25-6) or fifth-seeded Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (24-6). That contest will be played Friday, March 10 at 10:15 a.m.
SEWARD, Neb. – The 38th national tournament game in the history of the Concordia University women’s basketball program is set to tip off at 12 p.m. CT on Wednesday. One of four No. 1 seeds, the overall second-ranked Bulldogs (31-2) will go up against eighth-seeded Bryan College (Tenn.) (18-14) in a first-round matchup that will be staged at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
(1) Concordia (31-2) vs. (8) Bryan (18-14)
When: Wednesday, March 8 | 12 p.m. CT
Where: Tyson Events Center | Sioux City, Iowa
Watch: NAIA Network (fee required)
Listen: 104.9 Max Country (Tyler Cavalli)
Tickets: $14 daily; $60 all-tournament pass; more info HERE
Champions of the GPAC regular-season and postseason, head coach Drew Olson’s 11th Concordia team is stating its case as one of the best in school history. At 31-2 overall, the 2016-17 Bulldogs have equaled the 2004-05 squad (31-5) for the fourth most victories in a single season in program annals. Each of the first four Concordia teams to record 30 wins reached at least the national semifinals.
In order to make a similar run this March, the Bulldogs will first have to get past Bryan, champion of the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament. At least in terms of rankings, the Lions have yet to play the type of elite team they will face on Wednesday. They have played three contests against nationally-ranked teams (Nos. 22, 23 and 25) and have gone 2-1 in those matchups. In the AAC semifinals, sixth-year head coach Jason Smith’s squad upset No. 25 Reinhardt University (Ga.) as part of its late season run.
The Lions have gone 1-5 in their previous five national tournament appearances. They also met the Bulldogs in the first round of the 2015 national championships. Concordia jumped out to a 26-5 lead and cruised to a 76-35 win on its way to a national title game appearance. Bryan went just 10-for-58 (.172) from the floor and committed 23 turnovers.
The ability to force and then feed off turnovers has been a staple for Olson’s best teams. The Bulldogs’ patented full-court press has helped cause opponents to average 26.7 turnovers per game.
“It’s definitely new and different and I don’t think teams can really simulate that or practice that to prepare for it,” Olson said. “I think it gives us a little bit of an advantage. When you get to the national tournament, by the time you’re in that third round you’re going up against a really good team and they’ve probably seen you play there a couple times. You just need to play your best basketball. That’s what matters the most.”
Olson isn’t afraid to go all the way to the end of the bench, but the headlining performers are first team all-conference selections Mary Janovich, Philly Lammers and Quinn Wragge. Janovich garnered GPAC defensive player of the year honors and Lammers was named the conference’s freshman of the year.
The Bulldogs possess the coaching, the talent, the depth, the senior leadership and the national tournament experience to make a deep run. They also seem to have the right chemistry. It’s been a necessity for a team with no players averaging more than 22.4 minutes per game.
Said Wragge following the GPAC tournament championship game overtime win over Dakota Wesleyan, “This is why we play. That was our goal at the beginning of the season and we accomplished it. There’s no one else I’d rather do it with than these girls.”
Wednesday’s winner will advance to the second round and play either fourth-seeded IU Northwest (Ind.) (25-6) or fifth-seeded Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (24-6) at 10:15 a.m. on Friday. Concordia is the top seed in the Liston Bracket.
G – Shelby Quinn: 6.6 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.0 spg, .352 fg%, .763 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 9.0 ppg, 1.6 spg, 1.2 rpg, .379 fg%, .353 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 11.2 ppg, 3.1 apg, 2.6 rpg, 2.4 spg, .525 fg%, .444 3-pt fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 11.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.0 spg, .565 fg%, .736 ft%
F – Philly Lammers: 13.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.1 spg, 1.2 bpg, .570 fg%, .788 ft%
G – Brandi Whitted: 2.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, .268 fg%, .346 3-pt fg%
G – Erisha Talley: 8.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 spg, .415 fg%, .750 ft%
G – Amber Levi: 16.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 spg, .377 fg%, .368 3-pt fg%
F – Tonesha Allison: 5.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.7 spg, .378 fg%, .621 ft%
C – Megan Billingsby: 12.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, .495 fg%, .641 ft%
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The mismatch that appeared on paper played out in reality on Wednesday afternoon. The second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team, one of four No. 1 seeds, breezed past Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament champion and eighth-seeded Bryan College (Tenn.), 101-66, in the first round of the NAIA Division II national tournament.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad will be one of 16 teams left dancing by the time the first round concludes on Thursday evening. Wednesday’s winning formula included 12 3-point field goals and 32 turnovers forced.
“I thought we started off a little sluggish,” Olson said. “I don’t know if it was jitters or what. We just needed to calm down and just play hard.
“With our depth and athleticism, we want the game to be at a really good pace. We might give up some stuff like we did today. They did a nice job throwing it deep at times, but I think that feeds into what we’re trying to do.”
The only real frustration was a quick 5-0 lead for the Lions (18-15) right out of the gate. Olson promptly called timeout and his team responded. Juniors Dani Andersen and Brenleigh Daum both knocked down three treys apiece during an impressive first half shooting display. At one point during the first quarter, Daum threw in eight points in less than a 50-second stretch.
Concordia (32-2) was making its 16th all-time appearance, but it was the first career national tournament game for Andersen, a transfer from Midland. She looked perfectly comfortable on the big stage, making 7-of-16 shots (four treys) on her way to a team high 18 points.
“It was pretty fun,” Andersen said. “People were able to find me on the court and I was able to put those shots in.”
The Lions, led by the game high 21 points and 11 rebounds from Megan Billingsby, did their best to hang around. They went on a 6-0 first half run and got within five (27-22) early in the second quarter. But it was evident that Bryan was out of its league. The Bulldogs quickly built the lead back up to double digits and led, 53-35, at halftime while deploying its usual wave of substitutes.
The Lions shot 41.4 percent (24-for-58) from the field. They managed to get some easy buckets by tossing the ball over the top of the press, but it just wasn’t nearly enough. The 40 minutes of relentless pressure were too much.
“My teammates are awesome,” said senior point guard Shelby Quinn. “We just have tremendous pressure on defense. Today it worked in our favor.”
Senior guard Laurel Krohn got the start in place of Mary Janovich, who sat out as a precaution. Krohn made 3-of-5 shots from 3-point range and posted a career high 13 points. There was also plenty of productivity off the bench. Carissa Gutz added eight points and six rebounds. In eight minutes of action, Erin Vieselmeyer had nine points, five rebounds and one crowd pleasing blocked shot in which simply picked the ball right out of the shooting hand of a Lion player. Concordia outscored Bryan, 51-12, in bench points.
The Bulldogs shot 44.6 percent (37-for-83) from the floor and 34.3 percent (12-for-34) from beyond the arc. Five different players made at least one 3-point field goal, including Aubri Bro and MacKenzie Helman.
In the second round, the Bulldogs will take on fifth-seeded Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) (25-6) at 10:15 a.m. CT on Friday. The Wolves defeated fourth-seeded IU Northwest (Ind.), 71-57, in the opening round on Wednesday morning. Friday’s game can be seen live via NAIAnetwork.com (fee required). It can also be heard live via 104.9 Max Country radio.
Cardinal Stritch has been a common national tournament opponent for Concordia. The two programs have met three previous times on the national stage. The Bulldogs have won two of those three, although the most recent matchup resulted in a 66-60 first-round Wolves win in 2013.
“Cardinal Stritch is a great defensive team and really well-coached,” Olson said. “They’re really good in the half court. We have to make it more of a transition game. If we’re just playing in the half court, then it’s going to favor them, but hopefully we can keep the pace going how we want.”
This isn’t the first Drew Olson-coached team to feature a devastating press. But it just might be the best at executing it. Director of Athletics Devin Smith likens this pesky Bulldog squad to “gnats at a picnic.” You can only stand them for so long before you decide to pack it up and go home.
The four-quarter stress Concordia places upon teams can sometimes feel like more of a 40-minute root canal than an actual basketball game. Back on Jan. 25, the Bulldogs and Hastings were tied going into the fourth quarter. Concordia wore the Broncos down while dominating the final quarter.
“We played hard for 30 minutes and stayed right with Concordia,” Hastings head coach Jina Johansen told the Lincoln Journal Star afterwards. “You can practice for their press and their speed. But you can’t prepare for 40 minutes of what they do. That’s why they are (ranked) No. 2.”
On Wednesday, Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament champion Bryan College was the latest team to get dogged by the press. The Lions turned it over 32 times and the Bulldogs cruised to a 101-66 win in the opening round of the national tournament.
The 2016-17 edition of Concordia women’s basketball has been even more smothering than the 2014-15 group that made a run to the national title game. This year’s team has forced an average of 26.9 turnovers per game and has held opponents to a shooting percentage of 35.5. Those figures are just a bit better than the ’14-15 squad that became the first in school history to cause more than 1,000 turnovers in a season.
“It’s a really special group,” Olson said back in mid-January. “You can’t get ahead of yourself because they haven’t accomplished the things that the great teams have. I’m confident in saying this is one of the best defensive teams I’ve ever seen. The 2011-12 team was really good defensively and probably had better athletes. But this new style that we’re playing feeds into this group’s talent and athleticism. This is a very good group.”
Perhaps hidden behind the typically impressive offensive numbers, the Bulldog defensive tenacity is what has really been the backbone of the program. Over the past six years, Concordia has garnered four GPAC defensive player of the year awards. Junior guard Mary Janovich is the latest to collect such accolades.
What’s remarkable about this year’s team is that it adjusted to some new wrinkles after the season already began. Eleven years into his head coaching tenure, Olson possesses the genius – and the guts – to tweak the system that had long been proven successful. After a 72-64 loss to defending national champion Marian University (Ind.) in the season opener, Olson scrapped his preferred man-to-man tendencies for a zone press. With Janovich serving as the most relentless among the gnats, the Bulldogs have abused opponents all season long.
“Obviously this year is different because we have been running a zone instead of man-to-man like we have in the past,” Janovich said. “I just think that this zone fits our team better than a man press would and it's a high-risk, high-reward thing.”
The press has been bolstered by reinforcements. This team has a totally different look than the one that fell in the first round of the 2016 national tournament when Janovich was sidelined with an ACL tear, Dani Andersen sat out redshirting and Philly Lammers was still a senior at Millard West High School.
Olson has the perfect complement of players both in the starting lineup and off the bench. Every single starter averages more than 1.5 steals per game. You might think the press is all about the harassing guards in the backcourt, but the likes of Lammers and Quinn Wragge are just as important. Their length allows them to jump passing lanes and get deflections that often equate into easy buckets in the other direction. It’s not always perfect. There’s risk involved that sometimes leads to layups for the opposition, but Concordia is well schooled in what it does.
“Coach Olson does a great job with us of being able to adapt our press to any kind of press break a team throws at us,” Wragge said. “With teams figuring our press out we have had to change some things and he always does a good job of leading us to a place where even in the middle of a game we are ready for something new that they will try.”
There are times when simply breaking half court is a chore. The stat isn’t kept, but Concordia has forced numerous 10-second violations because of the chaos it creates. It starts at the top with roadrunner-like Andersen as well as Janovich, Shelby Quinn and the bench mob of Devin Edwards, Laurel Krohn and company. Most teams eventually snap under the pressure.
“It's awesome knowing that even if a team breaks the press once or twice, we can still see in their faces that it's frustrating to have to continue to try to break the press,” Andersen said. “Many teams get worn out and start to break down.”
Other teams wear out, but the Bulldogs don’t. No player averages more than 23 minutes per game. Olson isn’t afraid to go 15 deep – and he’s not afraid to keep the press on late in contests that are already decided. Why? Because how else will freshmen such as MacKenzie Helman and Riley Sibbel be ready to step into bigger roles in the future?
There’s always a method to Olson’s madness – and it’s driving opponents mad.
Said Wragge, “We are usually able to get something out of it because we just fly around. We have so many girls that can play and that know what to do.”
UP NEXT: For the fourth time in national tournament history, Concordia and Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) (25-6) will meet up. The two sides will go head-to-head in the second round inside the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, at 10:15 a.m. CT on Friday. The Wolves advanced by toppling IU Northwest (Ind.), 71-57, on Wednesday.
More of a half court team, Cardinal Stritch also possesses a stingy defense. Among all NAIA Division II teams, the Wolves rank fifth in scoring defense (56.3) and 15th in field goal percentage defense (.359). They limited IU Northwest to 37.3 percent shooting. In the first-round victory, junior guard Maranda Huibregtse went off for 25 points while playing all 40 minutes. Senior guard Nicole Fenner also played all 40 minutes and totaled 15 points. The team’s leading scorer this season has been 5-foot-11 sophomore Kelli Schrauth (16.6 ppg).
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs blew away eighth-seeded Bryan College (Tenn.), 101-66, in the opening round. Playing in her first career national tournament game, Andersen led Concordia with 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting from the field. Krohn got the start in place of Janovich and put up a career high 13 points. Brenleigh Daum added 11 points off the bench.
The winner of Friday’s game will advance to the quarterfinals and play either second-seeded Davenport University (Mich.) (31-3) or third-seeded University of Jamestown (N.D.) (26-5) at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday. The games can be seen live via NAIAnetwork.com. They can also be heard live by tuning into 104.9 Max Country radio (commentators Tyler Cavalli and Devin Smith).
Previous national tournament meetings with Cardinal Stritch
2013 – L, 60-66
2012 – W, 69-48
2005 – W, 65-51
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – This Concordia University women’s basketball team can turn a three-point lead into a 20-point advantage in a hurry. The Bulldogs proved too much for 18th-ranked Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.). Too much depth. Too much athleticism. Too much pressure. For the eighth time in program history, second-ranked Concordia is moving on to the quarterfinals of the national tournament courtesy of a 75-56 win over the Wolves on Friday morning.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has boosted its record to 33-2 overall. The Bulldogs are now 24-15 all-time at the national championships.
“We felt like we had more depth. We just wanted to wear them down,” Olson said. “I thought that paid off in the third quarter as we were able to get some transition layups because of the work we did in the first two quarters.”
Concordia scored the game’s first bucket courtesy of sophomore Quinn Wragge and never trailed. Freshman Philly Lammers went head-to-head with standout Stritch post Kelli Schrauth and enjoyed another monster day in the paint. Despite facing consistent double teams, Lammers poured in a game high 20 points and added 14 rebounds and three steals. She went 9-for-15 from the floor.
Lammers and her frontcourt mates led the charge offensively. Erin Vieselmeyer came off the bench and supplied 12 points and seven rebounds and Quinn Wragge chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds.
“We always try to attack and be aggressive,” Lammers said. “That’s what Coach says is when we’re best – when we’re all trying to attack and get into the paint and score. We were trying to focus on that.”
The Wolves fell behind 9-0 right out of the gate but made a game of it by going on an 8-0 run early in the third quarter. Suddenly, Stritch trailed by just three (39-36) after having been down 12 in the opening quarter. Olson subbed out all five starters and the Bulldogs responded with a game defining splurge.
Devin Edwards, who totaled eight points as a reserve, drained a trey. Then Sydney Feller piggybacked with one of her own. They sparked a fire that resulted in a 16-3 run and a 55-39 lead in the waning moments of the third quarter. The Wolves failed to make a serious charge the rest of the way.
Cardinal Stritch just wasn’t going to go on an extended run, because it couldn’t find a rhythm on offense. It shot only 29.0 percent (18-for-62) from the field and suffered from a rash of turnovers early on and then again when Concordia made a splash in the third quarter. The Wolves (27-6) ended up turning it over 26 times.
“That’s one of the things we take a lot of pride in,” Lammers said. “We always want to get up in the other team and force as many turnovers as we can. We want to be up in their face the best we can.”
Stritch enjoyed its most success when it could find Schrauth on the interior. She grabbed five offensive rebounds (12 total) as a difficult player to box out. Schrauth topped her team with 16 points on 7-for-15 shooting. Only one other player – Haley Ream (12) – reached double figures for the Wolves. They fell despite keeping the Bulldogs to a 40.8 percent (31-for-76) figure from the field.
For those getting their first look at Lammers on the national stage, they’re seeing the athletically gifted and mentally composed star that Bulldog fans have enjoyed watching all year.
“She’s very special and very unique to be that athletic as a post player,” Olson said. “It really allows us to do a lot of things, especially on the defensive end. She’s a matchup nightmare on both ends.”
The Concordia bench tallied 37 points with Vieselmeyer leading the way. Colby Duvel added six rebounds for a Bulldog bunch that held a slight, 49-46, rebound advantage.
UP NEXT: Concordia will challenge the same quarterfinal opponent that it had on its path to the 2015 national championship game, the University of Jamestown (N.D.). The Jimmies’ route to the quarterfinals included a first-round win over 23rd-ranked Oregon Institute of Technology, 87-63, and a second-round victory over No. 6 Davenport University (Mich.), 80-67. Jamestown is 2-3 this season against GPAC opponents with the wins coming over Briar Cliff and Dordt.
Head coach Greg Ulland’s squad appears to be playing its best basketball of the season this March.
“Jamestown’s tough,” Olson said. “(Taylor) Hammer puts up 36 (points versus Davenport). That’s really impressive and then those three guards are really tough to keep in front. I think that’s the biggest challenge tomorrow. With the defense that we play, how can we control those guards? That’s going to be tough.”
The Bulldogs got Mary Janovich back on Friday. She had sat out Wednesday’s first-round win over Bryan College (Tenn.) as a precaution. Janovich did not score in 13 minutes of action against Cardinal Stritch. She was a major player in the 2015 run when she averaged 11.4 points over five national tournament contests.
Janovich and company will try to contain Kyra Dewald, who entered the tournament averaging a team best 15.5 points per game. She went just 1-for-9 against Davenport, but was picked up by her teammates, including Hammer, McKayla Orr (16 points) and Bryn Woodside (10 points, five rebounds). The Jimmies (27-5) are a perennial national championships qualifier. They are making their sixth-straight appearance at the Tyson Events Center.
Spurred by national player of the year Bailey Morris, Concordia defeated Jamestown, 76-59, at the national tournament in 2015. If the Bulldogs can duplicate that effort, they will advance to the semifinals and play whichever squad emerges out of the Duer Bracket. That semifinal matchup will be at 8 p.m. CT on Monday (March 13).
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Concordia University women’s basketball team continues to take the national championships by storm with its signature depth and pressure. The Bulldogs deployed their usual assembly line while suffocating 10th-ranked University of Jamestown (N.D.) in a 74-59 national quarterfinal win inside the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson will take Concordia to the Fab Four for the third time in his coaching tenure and for the second time in three years. It will mark the fifth all-time national semifinal appearance for the program. The Bulldogs are now 34-2 overall (two wins off the school single-season record).
Concordia’s defense has been filthy on the national stage. A day after piling up 36 points in Jamestown’s second-round win over second-seeded Davenport University (Mich.), Taylor Hammer fouled out with a mere two points. The only Jimmie to put a dent in the Bulldog zone was McKayla Orr, who had 21 points and went 5-for-11 from 3-point range.
“I was really proud of how focused they were,” Olson said. “The key to that game I felt like was limiting those three guards for Jamestown. They’re so quick. We just had to be able to keep them in front of us. They got behind us at times and kicked out for some threes, but overall that was the biggest job that we did.”
The Jimmies shot only 30.2 percent (19-for-63) for the game though they limited their turnover count to a respectable figure of 16. The 3-pointers were the only thing that allowed Jamestown to hang around in the early stages of the fourth quarter. Orr and Kyra Dewald delivered on back-to-back treys to open up the final frame. What had been a 16-point Bulldog lead was trimmed down to eight (56-48) with under nine minutes left in the game.
But Concordia and its seemingly endless waves of talent always had an answer. It allowed the Jimmies just three field goals over the closing nine minutes and quickly built the lead up to 14 (64-50) behind back-breaking treys from Devin Edwards and Mary Janovich.
“They do such a good job,” said Jamestown head coach Greg Ulland. “They’re deep. They’re strong. They’re athletic. (Drew’s) got a great, great team right there. I wish them all the best. They’re really, really good.
“You could see it. Our kids every once in a while are like, ‘Shoot, here comes another five’ – and there’s no drop off. He plays 15 kids that are all legitimately worthy of playing time.”
The frontcourt duo of Philly Lammers and Quinn Wragge has been especially formidable at the national tournament. After going for 20 points and 14 rebounds in Friday’s win over Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.), Lammers just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds in addition to three blocked shots on Saturday. While playing nearly 30 minutes, Wragge attacked the basket for 16 points. She also pulled down nine rebounds.
Janovich, who’s battled through pain for much of this season, scored Concordia’s first four points on her way to 11 for the afternoon. She also was a major pest on the defensive end and plucked a pair of steals. Janovich and company are a confident bunch with a team-first attitude.
“I think we mesh a lot better this year,” Janovich said. “Our chemistry on and off the court is really, really good.”
The Bulldogs have yet to be seriously challenged at the national tournament having won by margins of 35 in the first round, 19 in the second round and 15 in the quarterfinals. Just like Friday’s game, Concordia never trailed, but it got enough of a push from Jamestown that Olson used his starters for more than 22 minutes each.
No matter who was on the floor, the Bulldogs executed the game plan precisely.
“We knew we had a different matchup from yesterday with our zone (against Hammer),” Wragge said. “We were just going to control their guards and put a lot of pressure on them so they couldn’t pass it in to her. Philly did a great job. She was at the high post denying her the ball and not letting her get a lot of touches.”
Shelby Quinn (12 points, three assists) joined Wragge and Janovich as double-figure scorers. Many players made strong contributions off the bench, such as Brenleigh Daum (six points, 2-for-4 from 3-point range), Edwards (six points, two steals), Erin Vieselmeyer (four points, five rebounds, two blocks) and Colby Duvel (four points, five rebounds). Collectively, Concordia shot 44.1 percent (26-for-59) from the floor and held a 46-34 rebound advantage.
Previous Bulldog appearances in the national semifinals came in 2003, 2005, 2012 and 2015. Todd Voss served as head coach for the first two Fab Four runs.
UP NEXT: Concordia will play at 8 p.m. CT on Monday in the national semifinals. It awaits the winner between No. 3 Saint Xavier University (Ill.) (32-2) and No. 7 College of the Ozarks (Mo.), which play at 8 p.m. Saturday (March 11). Monday’s game will be televised on ESPN3.com. It will also be carried live on 104.9 Max Country radio.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Concordia University women’s basketball team is one win away from returning to the NAIA Division II national championship game for the second time in three years. A national semifinalist for the fifth time in program history, the second-ranked Bulldogs (34-2) have No. 3 Saint Xavier University (Ill.) (33-2) standing in their way.
Monday’s semifinal matchup between Concordia and Saint Xavier is scheduled to tip off at 8:04 p.m. CT from the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. The game will be televised on ESPN3.com. Tyler Cavalli and Devin Smith will also call the action live on 104.9 Max Country radio.
“It’s great to be in the final four,” said 11th-year head coach Drew Olson following Saturday’s 74-59 quarterfinal win over 10th-ranked University of Jamestown (N.D.). “We’re going to keep the same mindset of staying focused on the next day.”
The Bulldogs took the floor at the Tyson Events Center Sunday afternoon for a light practice session. Concordia and the other semifinalists have the day off. The two remaining squads on the other side of the bracket are No. 1 University of St. Francis (Ill.) (34-1) and No. 4 Marian University (Ind.) (33-3). Those two teams will go head-to-head immediately prior to Concordia’s game.
The Bulldogs have been as impressive as anyone through the first three rounds of the national tournament. In addition to the win over Jamestown, Concordia’s path to the semifinals has included victories over Bryan College (Tenn.), 101-66, and No. 18 Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.), 75-56. Bulldog national tournament opponents are shooting just 33.3 percent from the field and have committed 74 turnovers.
Jamestown head coach Greg Ulland was effusive in his praise of the Bulldogs, GPAC regular season and tournament champions.
“They do such a good job,” Ulland said. “They’re deep. They’re strong. They’re athletic. (Drew’s) got a great, great time right there. I wish them all the best. They’re really, really good.
“You could see it. Our kids every once in a while are like, ‘Shoot, here comes another five’ – and there’s no drop off. He plays 15 kids that are all legitimately worthy of playing time.”
Following a season-long theme of balance, Concordia has had a different leading scorer in each of its three games on the national stage. Dani Andersen poured in 18 points in the win over Bryan, Philly Lammers had 20 points and 14 rebounds versus Cardinal Stritch and Quinn Wragge posted 16 points and nine boards against Jamestown.
Named GPAC freshman of the year, Lammers has shown no sign of nervousness in her first taste of the national tournament. She’s averaging 12.0 points and 9.0 rebounds during her stay in Sioux City.
“She’s very special and very unique to be that athletic as a post player,” Olson said. “It really allows us to do a lot of things, especially on the defensive end. She’s a matchup nightmare on both ends.”
Monday’s semifinal tilt figures to feature a high number of possessions between two exceptionally up-tempo squads. The Cougars, champion of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, rank second nationally in scoring offense at 91.7 points per game. Saint Xavier can also play defense. It held No. 7 College of the Ozarks to 53 points and 26.0 percent shooting in another of Saturday’s quarterfinal battles.
In that victory, Brittany Collins put forth a beastly performance that included 21 points and 23 rebounds. She adds the punch inside and junior guard Kara Krolicki supplies firepower from the perimeter. Tabbed the CCAC player of the year, Krolicki is averaging 21.7 points per game and went over 2,000 career points this past week. She dropped 29 points in the 96-66 second-round win over Friends University (Kan.). Like Concordia, the Cougars have rolled through the national championships. The victory over Friends was sandwiched in between wins over Indiana University Kokomo, 100-61, and College of the Ozarks, 69-53.
The strength of 17th-year head coach Bob Hallberg’s group is its backcourt, which also includes standouts Maddie Welter (12.7 ppg) and Mikayla Leyden (12.4 ppg).
“I thought we matched up pretty well,” Hallberg told the Sioux City Journal after his team’s win over the Lady Bobcats. “We're not a really big team except for our post player and we're not a physical team and they're not either. With guards vs. guards tonight there were a lot of good matchups where we were able to stick on their guards with our quickness. I thought we got a little tired late in the game, but it was a good matchup for us. We're very good if a team is guard oriented.”
Concordia and Saint Xavier last met on Nov. 7, 2014, at the Cattle Classic hosted inside Walz Arena in Seward. The Bulldogs won that matchup, 81-64. The two sides have never met at the national tournament. The Cougars are making their first-ever appearance in the national semifinals.
Concordia also put together Fab Four runs in 2003, 2005, 2012 and 2015. The first two were led by head coach Todd Voss. Olson has been at the controls for the other three semifinal advancements.
The winners of Monday’s semifinal games will meet in the championship game at 7:04 p.m. CT on Tuesday. That contest will also be shown on ESPN3.
G – Shelby Quinn: 6.6 ppg, 4.3 apg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 spg, .347 fg%, .778 ft%
G – Dani Andersen: 8.9 ppg, 1.6 spg, 1.6 apg, 1.2 rpg, .375 fg%, .345 3-pt fg%
G – Mary Janovich: 10.8 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.7 rpg, 2.3 spg, .526 fg%, .446 3-pt fg%
F – Quinn Wragge: 11.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.9 spg, .566 fg%, .739 ft%
F – Philly Lammers: 13.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.1 spg, 1.3 bpg, .567 fg%, .780 ft%
Saint Xavier (33-2)
G – Mikayla Leyden: 12.4 ppg, 6.0 apg, 5.5 rpg, 2.4 spg, .576 fg%, .424 3-pt fg%
G – Kara Krolicki: 21.7 ppg, 4.0 apg, 3.6 rpg, 2.2 spg, .493 fg%, .468 3-pt fg%
G – Maddie Welter: 12.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.4 spg, .479 fg%, .480 3-pt fg%
G – Chanel Fanter: 9.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.1 spg, .492 fg%, .426 3-pt fg%
C – Brittany Collins: 14.5 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 3.2 bpg, 1.4 spg, .639 fg%, .721 ft%
*National rank in parentheses
Offensive PPG: 84.6 (4th)
Field Goal % Offense: .440 (14th)
Defensive PPG: 59.9 (17th)
Field Goal % Defense: .351 (5th)
Turnover +/-: +8.9 (4th)
3-pt FG/Game: 8.8 (9th)
Rebound +/-: +4.7 (27th)
Offensive PPG: 91.7 (2nd)
Field Goal % Offense: .490 (2nd)
Defensive PPG: 62.3 (33rd)
Field Goal % Defense: .344 (2nd)
Turnover +/-: +6.5 (7th)
3-pt FG/Game: 12.3 (2nd)
Rebound +/-: +1.9 (59th)
SEWARD, Neb. – The GPAC champion Concordia University women’s basketball team placed six members on the 2016-17 list of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. The group includes four seniors who are two-time Scholar-Athletes: Carissa Gutz, Laurel Krohn, Shelby Quinn and Erin Vieslemeyer. Earning Scholar-Athlete recognition for the first time are juniors Dani Andersen and Sydney Feller.
In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status. A total of 286 Division II women’s basketball student-athletes across the nation were named 2016 Scholar-Athletes by the NAIA.
Concordia University ranks as the NAIA’s all-time leader in number of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes with 1,247 and counting (27 for the fall athletics season). The 2015-16 season produced a GPAC best 92 Bulldog scholar-athletes and a national best 20 NAIA Scholar-Teams. The 2014-15 season culminated with GPAC-leading totals of 94 Bulldog scholar-athletes and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams. During the 2013-14 academic year, Concordia garnered 101 Scholar-Athlete honorees (most in the NAIA) and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams (tied for fourth nationally).
2017 Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athletes
Dani Andersen, Jr. | Lincoln, Neb. | Biology
Sydney Feller, Jr. | Papillion, Neb. | Pre-Medicine
Carissa Gutz, Sr. | Osmond, Neb. | Elementary Education
Laurel Krohn, Sr. | Osmond, Neb. | Accounting/Business Administration/Business Communication
Shelby Quinn, Sr. | Bellevue, Neb. | Elementary/Special Education
Erin Vieselmeyer, Sr. | Holyoke, Colo. | Biology; Pre-Physician
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The first quarter made it appear as though the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team would cruise to the national championship game. But third-ranked Saint Xavier University (Ill.) came roaring back with a dominant third quarter, shot impossibly well from 3-point range and broke down the Bulldog zone. The Cougars won, 91-83, sending Concordia home with a loss in the national semifinals on Monday night inside the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad ends its season with a record of 34-3 overall for the third most wins in a single season in program history. The Bulldogs have accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish under Olson, including three GPAC regular-season and tournament titles and three trips to the national semifinals. They are still searching for that elusive national title.
“It doesn’t take away from our season,” Olson said. “It was a great season – an incredible team. The accomplishments are many. At the same time, you’re a competitor. You always want to get to that next level. You always want to find a way to win that last game. We’re disappointed, but we’ll go back to work next year.”
Concordia is left thinking about what could have been after being burned by the outside shooting of Saint Xavier. The Bulldogs went 12-for-24 from beyond the arc, but the Cougars (34-2) were even better. Behind Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference player of the year Kara Krolicki (26 points), Saint Xavier drilled 16-of-28 shots from long distance.
Even Dani Andersen’s white-hot performance (7-for-11 from 3-point range) couldn’t save Concordia, which was put on its heels by a 20-0 Cougar run to end the third quarter. Once leading 28-11, the Bulldogs found themselves in an eight-point hole (61-53) entering the final 10 minutes. Saint Xavier had found its footing and gained its composure after struggling early against the press.
“That first period was an eternity for me,” said Saint Xavier head coach Bob Hallberg. “After the first period we were nervous. There was a home-court advantage down here. The best thing about a pressing team is when the fans are making a lot of noise, there’s an intimidation factor. Concordia brings such a great following with them. We couldn’t get rid of the ball fast enough in the first period. Once we settled down and played our game, we showed what we can do.”
Really, Olson could not have scripted a better opening quarter. Philly Lammers was unstoppable. She went for 13 points and five rebounds and Andersen poured in nine of her 21 points in that first 10 minutes. The Cougars were able to crack down on Lammers, who finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and hit the Bulldogs with a flurry of triples, including seven from Krolicki and another five from Maddie Welter.
“We jumped on them pretty good and got a big lead. Then it was just lights out,” Olson said. “I’ve never seen a team shoot like that. It was a really impressive display by them.”
Concordia did all it could in the fourth quarter from an offensive perspective. The problem was that it was simply trading buckets while playing catch up. The Bulldogs had one more last gasp when Mary Janovich made a trey to make it a seven-point deficit (88-81) in the final minute. Shelby Quinn then stole the ball in the backcourt and Janovich rose up for another triple that misfired. The door had closed.
It’s the end of the line for six seniors, including Quinn, the team’s point guard, and a group of key role players off the bench.
“Those six seniors are incredible. Just great people,” Olson said. “They were incredible for the team culture we had. I’m going to miss them a ton. That’s what I’m really thinking about.”
All five starters reached double figures for Concordia with Andersen’s 21 points leading the way. Lammers and Quinn Wragge both had 15. Mary Janovich added 12 points, four assists and two steals and Quinn wasn’t far off a triple-double with her 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
The Bulldogs had hoped to complete unfinished business left behind from 2015 when they lost a heartbreaker, 59-57, to rival Morningside in the national championship game. In that classic battle, Concordia led by as many as 12 points and held an advantage in the final minute before being clipped at the end by the Mustangs.
The Bulldogs will be back. They will return four of five starters, including Lammers, who averaged 12.8 points and 9.8 rebounds during her first run at the national tournament. Janovich, a junior, was the GPAC defensive player of the year.
SEWARD, Neb. – Following the fifth national semifinal appearance in school history for the Concordia University women’s basketball program, junior Dani Andersen was named to the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship All-Tournament Team. Andersen was one of five players placed on the all-tournament second team. There were also five chosen as first teamers.
Andersen averaged 11.0 points while going 12-for-30 (.400) from 3-point range over her first four career national tournament games. Her 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting from beyond the arc in the semifinal loss to Saint Xavier University (Ill.) were a personal best as a Bulldog. A transfer from Midland, Andersen has racked up 777 points in her career that began with her freshman and sophomore seasons as a Warrior.
A Lincoln native, Andersen was also tabbed honorable mention All-GPAC. She finished her first season as a Bulldog with averages of 9.2 points and 1.6 steals per game. She was the team’s most prolific outside shooter, going 83-for-231 (.359) from 3-point range in 2016-17.
Andersen is Concordia’s first national championships all-tournament selection since both Bailey Morris and Tracy Peitz were selected to the first team in 2015 when the Bulldogs made a run to the national championship game.
2017 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship All-Tournament Team
Charnelle Reed – St. Francis (Ill.)
Jessica Almeida – Marian (Ind.)
Brittany Collins – Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Joana Soeiro – Marian (Ind.)
Kara Krolicki – Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Shann Sellers – Friends (Kan.)
Maya Ah You – Eastern Oregon
Bailey Hooker – Southeastern (Fla.)
Dani Andersen – Concordia (Neb.)
Kellie Kirkhoff – Marian (Ind.)
Hustle Award of the Year
Bryn Woodside – Jamestown (N.D.)
Most Valuable Player
Joana Soeiro – Marian (Ind.)
Coach of the Year
Katie Gearlds – Marian (Ind.)
SEWARD, Neb. – Champions of the GPAC regular season and postseason, the Concordia University women’s basketball team placed three athletes on the list of NAIA Division II All-Americans. GPAC freshman of the year Philly Lammers has been awarded second team All-America honors. Meanwhile, both Mary Janovich and Quinn Wragge garnered honorable mention All-America accolades.
Lammers enjoyed arguably the best freshman season ever by a Bulldog. No Concordia rookie in school history had ever garnered All-America honors. The most dominant player in the GPAC on per-game average basis, the Omaha native topped the Bulldogs in scoring (13.2), rebounding (7.0) and blocked shots (1.24) while shooting 56.0 percent from the floor. In her first taste of the national tournament, Lammers averaged 12.8 points and 9.8 rebounds over her team’s four-game run in Sioux City. Lammers is the program’s second conference freshman of the year over the past three seasons.
Janovich, the 2014-15 GPAC freshman of the year, collected GPAC defensive player of the year honors this season. The native of Gretna, Neb., averaged a career best 10.9 points as a junior in 2016-17. She also averaged 3.0 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals and shot 52.5 percent from the field, 43.9 percent from 3-point range and 80.0 percent from the free throw line. In her career, Janovich has tallied 890 points and 186 steals over 86 games since arriving in Seward in 2014.
A two-time first team All-GPAC honoree, Wragge has already piled up 899 points over her first two collegiate seasons. Also a star as a freshman, the Crofton, Neb., native averaged 11.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.6 assists as a sophomore. She shot 56.8 percent from the field and 73.9 percent from the free throw line while playing in all 37 games.
Named GPAC coach of the year, Drew Olson was one of six finalists for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NAIA National Coach of the Year award. Olson led Concordia to the national tournament for the ninth time in his 11-year tenure. He has won three GPAC regular-season titles and three conference tournament championships.
Not including honorable mention honorees, the Bulldog women’s basketball program has raked in a total of 19 All-America awards in school history. During Olson’s tenure, three players have garnered multiple All-America honors: Kristen Conahan (2012, 2013), Bailey Morris (2014, 2015), Tracy Peitz (2014, 2015) and Whitney Stichka (2008, 2009).
SEWARD, Neb. – Both Mary Janovich and Philly Lammers picked up additional All-America honors last week from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The organization tabbed Janovich and Lammers as NAIA honorable mention All-Americans on March 14. The WBCA combines both NAIA Divisions I and II when selecting its All-America teams. Excluding honorable mention choices, just 10 players are placed on the WBCA All-America team.
On March 14, the WBCA named 11th-year head coach Drew Olson one of six finalists for its NAIA National Coach of the Year Award. For the third time in his career, Olson (a two-time GPAC coach of the year) has been honored by the WBCA as its Region II coach of the year. The WBCA national award ended up going to Dale Neal of Freed-Hardeman University (Tenn.).
Lammers, also named a second team NAIA Division II All-American, garnered GPAC freshman of the year honors during a standout rookie season for Olson’s program. No Concordia freshman in school history had ever garnered All-America honors. The most dominant player in the GPAC on a per-game average basis, the Omaha native topped the Bulldogs in scoring (13.2), rebounding (7.0) and blocked shots (1.24) while shooting 56.0 percent from the floor. In her first taste of the national tournament, Lammers averaged 12.8 points and 9.8 rebounds over her team’s four-game run in Sioux City. Lammers is the program’s second conference freshman of the year over the past three seasons.
A first team All-GPAC performer, Janovich was also an honorable mention NAIA Division II All-American. Named the 2014-15 GPAC freshman of the year, Janovich collected GPAC defensive player of the year honors this season. The native of Gretna, Neb., averaged a career best 10.9 points as a junior in 2016-17. She also averaged 3.0 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals and shot 52.5 percent from the field, 43.9 percent from 3-point range and 80.0 percent from the free throw line. In her career, Janovich has tallied 890 points and 186 steals over 86 games since arriving in Seward in 2014.
Olson guided the 2016-17 Bulldogs to a record of 34-3, GPAC regular-season and tournament titles and a national semifinal appearance. The winningest coach in program history, Olson’s 11-year record stands at 282-91 (.756).
SEWARD, Neb. – The eleventh season of head coach Drew Olson’s tenure as Concordia head women’s basketball coach produced yet another elite national finish. The Bulldogs checked in at No. 3 in the 2016-17 NAIA Division II Postseason Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, released on Wednesday (March 22) by the NAIA. This marks the sixth time that Olson has guided Concordia to a top-10 finish.
The Bulldogs have been ranked in every national poll since the start of the 2011-12 season (75 polls in a row). Three-straight senior classes have played each game in their careers for ranked Concordia squads. During that time, the Bulldogs have risen as high as No. 1, appearing at the top spot for the first four polls of the 2012-13 campaign. Olson has led the program to national semifinal appearances in three of the past six seasons. Concordia is the only program in the nation with three semifinal trips since 2012.
This year’s squad well outperformed its preseason ranking of 14th. The Bulldogs jumped up seven spots to No. 7 with the release of the first regular-season ranking on Nov. 29. They vaulted to No. 2 on Dec. 13 and held that spot until moving back one spot to third on Wednesday.
Olson’s teams have finished inside the top 25 in eight of his 11 seasons. The highest final national ranking was a No. 2 placement in 2015 after a national runner-up claim. Both the 2011-12 and 2016-17 squads were ranked third at the close of their seasons.
The women’s basketball program has held the No. 1 ranking a total of 11 times, including the final seven polls of the 2002-03 season. The 2014-15 Bulldogs became the first in program history to reach the national title game and was the fourth Concordia women’s basketball team to advance to the national semifinals. The fifth semifinal appearance came this March.
Final end of season top 25 rankings under Olson
Preseason top 25 rankings under Olson