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Home Sports Friedrich Arena welcomes teams for NAIA basketball championships

Junior guard Taysha Rushton (4) dribbles the ball, keeping it away from Benedictine and toward the basket

Photo credit: Josiah Seabaugh

By Mi-Ree Zwick


Friedrich Arena was full of fans Friday as Concordia hosted the first round of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championship for Women’s Basketball, welcoming teams from Kansas, Missouri and Texas for what was billed as a “battle for the red banner.”

In first-round play, the Bulldogs beat the Benedictine Ravens, from Kansas, 67-57 in overtime. The teams traded the lead throughout the game and Shari Misuraca, parent to Benedictine Raven Kyra Misuraca, said it was very exciting.

“I think it could have gone either way,” she said. Kyra’s grandfather, Karl Windle, said that the Ravens normally score higher.

“That’s how you know this is a good game,” he added.

The Bulldogs’ Juliana “JJ” Jones said the game was nerve-wracking for a while, but that she had faith in the team.

Erik Vieselmeyer, part of the home crowd, praised both sides.

“[There were] great teams on both sides,” he said, but the Bulldogs “battled to the very end and came out victorious.”

Concordia and the rest of the Seward community showed support for the Bulldogs, waving white “sko dawgs” bandanas. Concordia’s student section yelled its support and coordinated their movements in synchrony to demonstrate their school spirit.

Micah Baughman, parent of Raven player Makayla Baughman said there was a good student section at Concordia.

The Bulldogs’ game was the highlight for the home crowd, but there were other aspects of Concordia that visitors appreciated. The general consensus was that the concessions were delicious and fairly priced. Baughman said that he was very impressed with the facilities.

Miscura drove from Oklahoma to the game, so the family did not get the chance to explore the campus.

“But they [Concordia] are a good team, and the food was good,” said Misuraca.

In other Friday action, Wayland Baptist University, from Texas, beat Columbia College from Missouri 66-62. Second-round play on Saturday has Concordia facing Columbia College.

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