Photo Courtesy of Lyric Allen
By Elisha Meyer
Grace Berry recorded nine of her 14 points in the first quarter to jumpstart the Concordia University Bulldogs to a no-doubter win over the University of Jamestown Jimmies 105-56.
While it was not another record-breaking day on offense, the Bulldogs immediately put their recent shooting struggles behind them with a 10-0 opening run on their way to a 29-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. Jimmies coach Thad Sankey was forced to call timeout twice, one of them three minutes into the game, in order to slow Concordia down. Bulldogs coach Drew Olson said that he was happy with how Concordia played on both ends of the court.
“I’m pleased with how we played,” coach Olson said. “It’s good to just kind of get our identity back.”
Eager to put the game away completely, Concordia dominated the first half with a 48.4% shooting percentage The Bulldogs posted 51 first-half points in a well-balanced attack inside and outside the paint. While the three-pointer would not drop in the first half (4-17), the Bulldogs scored 25 points in the paint
Concordia would keep the offense going in the second-half, eclipsing 100 points for the eighth time this season. Leading the Bulldogs in scoring was Taylor Farrell, who shot 5-6 from behind the three-point arc to add to her 18 points. Berry followed with 14 points, just ahead of Philomena Lammers’ 13 points.
Jamestown had little success when getting shots off, only making 31.1% of shots from the floor. This figure was, in part, thanks to an eight-point second quarter for the Jimmies in which only two field goals were made. Jamestown’s 56 points makes the Jimmies the tenth team to fail to score 60 or more points against Concordia this season.
Leading the Jimmies in scoring was Hannah DeMars, who recorded 15 points and nine rebounds in a near double-double performance.
Concordia’s defense made it a challenge for the Jimmies to even make it past half-court. Constant full-court pressure from the Bulldog defense created 34 turnovers, 20 of them steals. The score reflected such a figure, with 44 of Concordia’s final 105 points coming from turnovers.
Coach Olsen said that he told his players before the game that it was time to get back to work on the defensive side of the ball.
“I told them we’ve got to get back to who we are,” Coach Olson said. “That’s playing as hard as we possibly can for the time they have in there.”
With the latest Coaches’ Top 25 poll coming out this Wednesday, this could be Concordia’s last game as the number one team in the country looking forward. Looking to take its place is Hastings College, after the Broncos held Concordia to its lowest point total of the season in a defining 66-59 victory this past Wednesday. Second-ranked Southeastern University is also a threat to take the number one spot after routing the Bulldogs 97-72 on December 20. Both teams are responsible for the only losses Concordia has suffered this season.
The Bulldogs (15-2) will travel to Omaha this Wednesday looking for a similar performance against the Flames of the College of Saint Mary (2-9).
The Jimmies (10-7) will play on Wednesday as well, as Jamestown will return to their home court for a date with Briar Cliff University (5-13).