By Zack Gentry
Sophomore forwards Tristan Smith and Noah Schutte combined for 38 points Wednesday as the Concordia men’s basketball team beat the Mount Marty Lancers Wednesday night at 86-64.
Sophomore guard Bradley Bennett went 4-5 from three and ended with 18 points.
In the first half, the Lancers came out swinging with an immediate 3-pointer after the tip-off. The Bulldogs scored back-to-back shots with a layup and a three to take their first lead early into the game. Both teams found a small spark that led to a run, and the Lancers were able to keep the game close.
Bennett and the Lancers traded 3-point shots. CUNE scored twice more, and the Lancers got the last points of the half, so by halftime the Bulldogs had a 39-33 lead. Both teams played physical, but the Bulldogs capitalized on the Lancers’ mistakes.
During the second half, the teams traded baskets until the Lancers were able to pull within seven points, but the Bulldogs continued to hit their shots, including another 3-pointer by Bennett to secure the win.
“We got the W, but I felt like we weren’t playing our best basketball,” said senior forward Gage Smith. “It felt like we were not pushing in transition like we usually do, and slowed down the game and played at their speed. I think we picked up toward the end, and we were finally able to move the ball around and get what we wanted.”
Junior forward Kelly Vyhnalek said the team played well but could have used more offense in the first half.
“We could have done a lot better job sharing the ball and getting more post touches,” he said. “We figured it out in the second half and scored a lot more when we shared the ball and had better action.”