Posted by: Sports
The top-ranked Bulldogs began their defense of last season's GPAC crown by cruising past Mount Marty 91-61 on Friday at Walz Arena. For the second-straight year, Concordia (7-0, 1-0 GPAC) begins conference play with a victory over the Lancers (2-3, 0-1 GPAC).
Led again by an aggressive trapping defense, the Bulldogs bullied Mount Marty.
"Our defense is fantastic," head coach Drew Olson said. "Our girls have really bought into what we do – be really aggressive in man-to-man and look to trap. The couple years playing with each other has really helped us figure out how to play with each other. It's really paying off this year."
The Bulldogs sprinted out to a big early lead thanks to a 13-0 run that made the score 15-2 at the 15:51 mark. The run included a pair of Tracy Peitz 3-pointers as well as a Katie Rich three-point play.
Mount Marty, who was coming off a 76-65 loss to No. 23 Saint Mary (Neb.) in its most recent game, cut the deficit to seven over the next two minutes as Concordia remained stuck on 15. However, back-to-back 3-pointers by Bulldog senior Beth Kohmetscher built the lead back up to 21-8 with 13:20 to go in the half and Concordia cruised the rest of the way.
Kohmetscher would go on to nail four 3-pointers in the first half and five for the afternoon on the way to a game high 15 points. She is now 24-for-50 from long distance on the season.
Kohmetsher, a native of Deweese, Neb.,led the way for an offense that once again displayed great balance. Concordia placed five players in double figures with Bailey Morris (14), Lori Laboda (12) Kristen Conahan (11) and Peitz (11) joining Kohmetscher.
"That's our team," Olson said. "We've got so many weapons that you don't really know who's going to be the dominant player that night. We just have great distribution all the way around. The girls are playing really well together."
The Bulldogs, who entered the week leading the NAIA Division II women's basketball with 20.5 steals per game, stole the ball 21 more times on Saturday (led by five from Katie Rich) and forced 29 Mount Marty turnovers. The tenacious Concordia defense held the Lancers to 37.5 percent shooting.
"It all started with our defense," Morris said. "We were playing great defense up in our press in the half court, getting good traps and steals. That just opened up a lot of things for us offensively, being able to run in transition."
The Bulldogs led 52-29 at halftime and built an advantage as large as 41 points in the second half. Sizzling shooting from the outside (13-for-28 – 46.4 percent), sparked by Kohmetscher, provided more than enough offense for Concordia to move to 1-0 in GPAC action.
Mount Marty got 11 points apiece from Taylor Forsch and Holly Hegge. Allison De Kam added seven points and nine rebounds.
The Bulldogs continue GPAC play on Tuesday when they travel to Lincoln to take on Nebraska Wesleyan (1-0), which won its season opener 52-40 over Macalester College on Friday. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.