Posted by: Sports
A greater electricity permeated Walz Arena on an afternoon when five seniors were recognized prior to the Bulldogs' final home game of the 2012-13 season on Saturday. No. 15 Dordt, still clinging to conference title hopes, fended off a spirited Concordia bunch and picked up an 84-73 road win. The Bulldogs stand at 6-20 overall and 2-16 in GPAC action with two games remaining in the season.
Senior guard Phil Friedrich saved his best performance for his final game in front of the Walz crowd. He provided his typical energy off the bench and was nearly flawless shooting the ball from the field. He flashed his dependable mid-range jumper as he connected on 7 of 9 field goal attempts for 18 points.
"My offensive play is based entirely on my teammates," Friedrich said. "If it wasn't for the bigs setting me screens and the guards getting me good passes – I really don't have too much of an offensive game outside of that. My jumpers are all created by the other guys on the team. I'm thankful for all of them out there."
Concordia cut a 12-point halftime deficit to just three after an 11-2 run to start the second stanza. The Bulldogs made another push late in the game after a Dordt run. Friedrich's jumper from near the right wing got Concordia within 67-60 with 6:38 left for a glimmer of hope.
The Defenders (22-6, 14-5 GPAC) were simply too much on the interior. They out-numbered the Bulldogs 40-30 on points in the paint and held a 39-29 rebound advantage. Dordt wing Trevor Wolterstorff went for a game high 25 points while adding nine rebounds. He teamed with senior Jordan Vogel (14 points, 10 rebounds) to combine for a lethal performance on the interior.
Their efforts sent Concordia to defeat on Senior Day. Friedrich and teammates Porter Birtell, Charles Dunbar, Brent Houchin and Beau Smith were acknowledged prior to the game for their contributions to the program. Birtell, sidelined for the rest of the season, missed his sixth-consecutive game while Dunbar returned to action after sitting out Wednesday's game.
"It's been a good group of guys that we came in with," Friedrich said. "Brent, Porter and I were the three original seniors and then Beau and Chuck joined us. We've been glad to take them on. It's an emotional time to play your last game here."
Friedrich's 18 points topped his previous career high by 10 points. The Seward native posted eight points on two occasions this season – versus Bethel (Kan.) on Nov. 10 and against Midland on Nov. 28.
Friedrich and company were crippled by a 12-2 Dordt run midway through the second half. Wolsterstorff stole the show by producing a consistent scoring effort (13 first-half points, 12 second-half points). That allowed the Defenders to pull away any time the Bulldogs made a run.
Smith fell just shy of a double-double with 15 points and eight rebounds. He nailed 3 of 5 attempts from 3-point range. Haywood was Concordia's only other double-figure scorer was sophomore Joel Haywood with 11. Houchin posted nine points and six boards.
Concordia will finish up the season with a pair of conference road games beginning with Hastings (19-9, 10-8 GPAC) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. The 2012-13 campaign will come to an end next Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to play Mount Marty (7-20, 3-15 GPAC) at 4 p.m.