Photo Courtesy of Lyric Allen
By Elisha Meyer
Brevin Sloup nailed seven three-pointers as part of a 26-point performance to lead the Concordia University men’s basketball team to a no-doubter victory in Walz Arena over the visiting Bobcats of Peru State College 109-60.
The win marks the first series of back-to-back wins for the Bulldogs in nearly a month, when Concordia beat Nebraska Chrsitian College 70-58 on November 23 and barely escaped a near-upset against Doane University 83-77 (2OT) on December 4.
The win also served as a boost for a struggling Concordia offense that hadn’t reached above 71 points in the four-game losing streak and only scored 59 in its most recent victory over Menlo College. The win over the Bobcats was the first 100-point performance for the Bulldogs this season, as well as the most points scored in a game since December 4.
Saturday’s game was highlighted by a slow start that turned into, arguably, one of Concordia’s best halves of the season. The Bulldogs shot a devastating 63.2% from the floor, and equally so, 55.6% from three-point range in the second half. When the dust settled, the Bobcats were outscored by 30 points in the half
The score would stay relatively tight in the first nine minutes of the contest, however. Two three-pointers from Henry Tanksley and Isaac Simpson gave the Bobcats an early 6-0 lead over the Bulldogs in the opening minutes, but Concordia would shake off the slow start with two three-pointers of its own from Tanner Shuck and Justin Wiersema. Both teams exchanged leads until Peru State held a slim 11-9 edge on the Bulldogs.
Concordia refused to let the Bobcats hold on any longer, as the Bulldogs went on a torrid 17-2 run in the next four to five minutes of the half. The run was started by a layup from Carter Kent that tied the game and also sent him to the free-throw line after a blocking foul was called on the play. Kent would make two more shots from the field in his contributions to the run.
Peru State would never come close to a lead again as the Bulldogs pounded the Bobcat’s defense mercilessly, shooting 50% from the floor and hitting six shots from the three-point arc en route to a 19-point halftime lead 44-25 and the eventual 49-point final deficit.
Both teams had players with big individual performances. Tanksley contributed 18 points for Peru State, followed by Simpson’s 12 points. Both players were the only ones with double-digit performances for the Bobcats. Concordia would benefit from a 26-point performance from Sloup, with 21 of those points coming from three-point range. Following him was Kent with 14 points and Gage Smith with 13 points.
The Bobcats (6-7) will continue their season against Mounty Mercy University (7-6).
The Bulldogs (9-5) will take to the road once again, as the team re-enters conference play against Northwestern College (13-3) in Orange City, Iowa next Thursday at 8:00 pm.