Photo Courtesy of Sonja Brandt
By Elisha Meyer
Carter Kent led all players by recording 25 points as the Bulldogs cruised to an upset victory Thursday night over the nineteenth-ranked Raiders of Northwestern College 88-65.
The Bulldogs came into the game needing a conference victory after losing their past three GPAC games as part of a four-game losing streak dating from December 7 through December 21. The streak included a near-upset of top-ranked Morningside College 72-71, showing the Bulldogs would not go down easily.
Northwestern College drew first blood in the contest with an early 6-0 run that eventually turned into a 12-7 lead in the opening minutes. The fast start was boosted by Jay Small, who would lead the Raiders in scoring with 17 points. The offense would eventually post a 43.6 shooting percentage, but would struggle all game from the foul line, shooting only 52.9% on free throws.
It wouldn’t be long before the Bulldogs shook off the slow start. Concordia’s offense, which had scored 109 points in the most recent matchup against Peru State College on December 28, tied the game up at 12 apiece, and gained a lead that wouldn’t be relinquished for the rest of the contest. The Bulldogs shot 39.7% from the field and shot even better from three-point range, hitting 14 total threes on the night.
Five of those threes belonged to Kent, who turned in another brilliant performance for Concordia with 25 points. In a long second for the Bulldogs in scoring was Gage Smith with 14 points and a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc. The starters weren’t the only ones to shine for the Bulldogs in terms of scoring. Bench players scored a total 33 points in the effort.
As impressive as Concordia’s offense was, the defense put the Raiders away for good. Concordia’s offense would only turn the ball over five times all game, while the defense forced 16 Raider turnovers. An impressive eleven of those turnovers came from steals, all of which lead to 19 points off the Raider mistakes.
The win means a fresh three-game winning streak for the Bulldogs, which the team will take into Saturday’s matchup with Dordt University (12-4).
Northwestern College will take a 13-4 record into their next matchup against the Tigers of Doane University (4-12).