Photo Courtesy of Sower Staff
By Elisha Meyer
Grace Barry controlled the paint with 18 points as the Concordia University Bulldogs came up with their first win of the new year Thursday night over the twelfth-ranked Raiders of Northwestern College 97-81.
Both teams came into the contest on long-term holiday rest. The Bulldogs had not played a game since the team’s trip to Florida on December 20 and 21, and the Raiders had last played against Waldorf University on December 19.
While the Bulldogs would ultimately claim victory, Northwestern refused to go down without a fight. The Raiders held their own with a 48.4 shooting percentage from the floor and a more than respectable performance from the foul-line with 81.3% free throws made.
Northwestern College also made it a point to move the ball at a faster rate pass more frequently, which led to 22 team assists and, in the end game, help eight Raiders players get points on the board. This would keep the game relatively close throughout the first three quarters, with the Bulldog lead being cut to as little as nine points. Leading the scoring was Alexis Toerring with 16 points, followed by Sammy Blum with 13 points. Jada Cunningham helped the offense run efficiently with nine assists along with seven points of her own.
As well as the Raiders shot from the field, the Bulldogs simply shot better. A 10-2 fourth-quarter run finally separated the two teams and led Concordia to another win close to eclipsing 100 point-mark. Concordia made more than half of their field goals (52.9%), and while the team struggled again from the free-throw line with a woeful 55% of foul shots made, it more than made up for it in its performance from the three-point arc. The Bulldogs doubled the mark of six three-pointers made by Northwestern College, shooting 44.4% from beyond the line.
Barry would lead the scoring for the Bulldogs with 18 points and record nine assists as well, falling just one short of a double-double performance. Philomena Lammers was once again close to the top with 17 points of her own.
With the loss, Northwestern College has yet to pick a win verses a ranked team. The Raiders came into the game sporting a 10-2 record, both losses coming to GPAC conference foes, as well as top ten teams in fifth-ranked Dordt University (92-84) and sixth-ranked Hastings College (72-62). Now falling to top-ranked Concordia, the Raiders remain winless against the top 25 at 0-3.
The Raiders (10-3) will travel to Doane University for a matchup on Saturday versus the Tigers (1-12).
The Bulldogs (13-1) will travel back to Seward to take on another ranked opponent in Dordt University (13-2) on Saturday.