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Home Sports Bulldogs claw through Tigers with last second free throws, win 74-72

Junior guard Taysha Rushton finishes passing the ball to a teammate as junior forward Abby Heemstra (13) and junior guard Kendal Brigham (32) cheer on the Bulldogs. 

Photo credit: Courtney Wright (photo from previous game)

By Darien Semedo


No. 7 Concordia Bulldogs Women’s Basketball (21-4, 15-4) defeated the Doane Tigers 74-72 (14-11, 9-10) on the road behind a big second half and clutch free throws with two seconds left.

As the game entered the clutch, the Bulldogs seemed to recover after a rough first half on offense. Leading by seven with just over five minutes left, the Tigers would fight back into the game, tying it 70 all with only 45 seconds left. Both teams would exchange scores, and with two seconds left on the clock junior Taysha Rushton would be fouled on a drive to the hoop. Rushton would drain both shots from the charity stripe, completing the second half comeback for the Bulldogs.

In what seems like a common occurrence for the Bulldogs, the team started slowly in the first quarter. The Bulldogs found themselves down six while only scoring 13 points in the period. Nothing would change in the second, as the Bulldogs only put up 14 and found themselves down 12 going into the second half. As a team, the Bulldogs would shoot 9 percent (1-11) from the three-point line, while the Tigers would shoot 54 percent (7-13).

The second half would be a complete flip, as the Bulldogs came out aggressively. A 25-13 third quarter would tie the game up heading into the fourth, where the Bulldogs were able to close out the game. In the second half, Concordia would shoot 47 percent (8-17), compared to Doane’s 18 percent (2-11). The game was full of fouls, leading to 23 free throw attempts for the Tigers, including 19 in the second half.

On offense for the Bulldogs, five would finish in double digits. Junior Abby Krieser (18) would lead as junior Abby Heemstra, junior Sadie Powell, and sophomore Kristin Vieselmeyer would all finish with 11. Junior Kendal Brigham would finish the game with 10 points and 10 assists as she operated the offense late, resulting in five assists in the final period. The Bulldogs would finish shooting 40.9 percent from the field, and right by their season average of 32 percent from distance.

The Bulldogs would struggle to force turnovers as the Tigers would only end with 11 on the game. Concordia would end with four blocks and three steals on the night, while Heemstra and Krieser would lead the team with eight rebounds with Powell adding seven as well.

Coach Drew Olsen will now prepare his team to play the Dordt Defenders (24-1, 19-0) on the road. Last time the two teams met, the Bulldogs came up just short of upsetting the top National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics team. The Bulldogs hold a two-game lead for second place in the Great Plains Athletic Conference but as the season comes to a close, every win will be important for seeding in the GPAC Tournament.

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