Voss carries Tigers over Bulldogs - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Voss carries Tigers over Bulldogs

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The prolific interior production of Dakota Wesleyan 6-foot-7 forward Jalen Voss was on full display on Sunday evening as he led the Tigers to a 79-63 victory in Mitchell, S.D. Host Dakota Wesleyan effectively limited Concordia's touches in the post while feeding Voss on the offensive end. Concordia slumped to 5-14 overall and 2-11 in GPAC action.

Concordia's lone first half 3-point field goal – a top of the key jumper from freshman Robby Thomas – gave it a 22-19 lead at the 7:30 mark of the first half. The Bulldogs then went the remainder of the half without a field goal as they struggled to knock down perimeter shots (4-for-16 from beyond the arc). This allowed the Tigers to focus on containing Concordia posts Porter Birtell and Brent Houchin.

The duo was efficient when catching ball on the block, but could not receive the ball inside enough as the Tigers often fronted the post. Birtell, who entered play second in NAIA Division II with a field goal percentage of 65.6, dropped in 5 of 8 shots from the field for 12 points.

Voss, the only GPAC player who averages a double-double (points and rebounds), went for a game high 26 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Most of his buckets came from point-blank range as he dominated in the paint. He tallied eight points during the Tigers' 20-5 run to close the first half, which staked them to a 39-27 advantage. The native of Worthington, Minn., also hauled in eight rebounds.

Senior guard Beau Smith tried to ignite a late rally. He connected on back-to-back bombs to get Concordia within 68-57 with 3:05 left to play. The Bulldogs would get no closer the rest of the way as Dakota Wesleyan responded on its ensuing possession with a layup after getting an offensive rebound.

Smith, Birtell and Houchin combined for 43 points, led by the 19 of Smith. The trio went 18-for-32 from the field while the rest of the team managed only 6-for-25 shooting.

Thomas, a freshman wing, came through with his best game in a Bulldog uniform. The Shawnee, Kan., native posted a line of nine points and six rebounds in 23 minutes – all career highs.

The Tigers out-shot Concordia 49.1 percent to 42.1 percent. Dakota Wesleyan also drained 18 of 22 free throws compared to the Bulldogs' 11-for-18 effort from the charity stripe.

Concordia will get another shot at No. 17 Doane (20-3, 10-3 GPAC) on Wednesday in Crete. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. The Tigers picked up a win at Walz Arena on Dec. 12 by a 77-67 score. Doane sits in first place in the GPAC, a half-game ahead of No. 5 Northwestern (9-3).

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