SEWARD, Neb. – A day after regaining the No. 1 ranking in NAIA Division II, the Concordia University women’s basketball team looked like the No. 1 team. The Bulldogs set the tone early with a 15-0 run out of the gate in the process of demoralizing the hopes of visiting Doane. Philly Lammers notched the game’s first six points in a 106-47 Concordia victory inside Walz Arena on Wednesday night (Jan. 23).
Thirteenth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad moved to 20-2 overall and to 14-2 in GPAC play. This marks the 11th time the program has reached at least 20 wins in a season during Olson’s tenure.
A week ago Doane surprised then 21st-ranked Hastings with an upset win in Crete. Any thought of a shocker happening at Walz on this particular evening died quickly. From the opening tip it became clear that Lammers was too talented inside, the Bulldog press was too pesky and that the host just had too much depth. It’s also nearly impossible to beat Concordia went it shoots 58.1 percent from the floor.
This one was essentially decided before the first quarter culminated. Delani Fahey threw in a couple of triples to make it 28-8 late in the stanza. The Bulldogs then tacked on five more points before the close of the period while adding to a commanding lead. The Tigers (4-19, 1-15 GPAC) just didn’t have an answer for a Concordia team that had clearly not overlooked an opponent situated at the bottom of the league.
The numbers tell the tale of the Bulldogs’ dominance. Concordia forced 38 turnovers and committed only 13. It also shot 42.3 percent (11-for-26) from 3-point range and limited Doane to just 25.9 percent (14-for-54) shooting overall. The 106 points scored by the Bulldogs were a season high.
Lammers got each of her game high 15 points in the first half and then mostly became a spectator over the final 20 minutes. She gave way to the likes of Claire Cornell, who went on the attack and poured in a career high 14 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Fahey added 11 as one of 10 Concordia players to net at least seven points. Koepke put home nine points on 3-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Riley Sibbel chipped nine points and five steals. At the point, Grace Barry totaled eight points and five assists – and the list of contributors goes on.
“I just went hard,” Cornell said of her big run in the second half. “It wasn’t all me. You had Rylee Pauli, you had Jayda (Lyon) up top and Taryn (Schuette). Without those girls creating opportunities those fast breaks wouldn’t happen. I have to give a lot of credit to them.”
Reigning GPAC Player of the Week Haylee Heits of Doane paced her squad with 10 points (4-for-12 from the field). Eight Tigers who saw action had just as many or more turnovers as compared to points scored. Doane dropped its two meetings with the Bulldogs this season by a combined margin of 99 points.
The 68th annual Concordia Invitational Tournament is up next for the Bulldogs, who have drawn Concordia University, Wisconsin (13-4) in Friday’s action. Tipoff from Cardinal Field House in Ann Arbor, Mich., is set for 12 p.m. CST / 1 p.m. EST. CUNE has won 28 CIT titles in program history and carries a 10-game CIT win streak into the tournament.
Count Cornell among the freshmen who are pumped to experience CIT for the first time.
Said Cornell, “I’m super, super excited. I heard the last time it was home it was a really big deal from a lot of the upperclassmen. They said it’s a lot of fun and a lot to remember so I’m looking forward to it.”