SIOUX CITY, IOWA — Drew Olson has had his team near so regularly. It took seven trips to the Final Four, but Concordia subsequently was given the task completed on the countrywide stage. The Bulldogs reached the top of NAIA Division II basketball Tuesday night time, defeating Southeastern (Florida) University 67-59 to assert the program’s first national championship at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. “This is just a testimony to how plenty we paintings and the way bad we want it,” stated countrywide tournament MVP Grace Barry, a Lincoln East graduate. The Bulldogs surely set that tone early. Olson said his group was given “steamrolled in a manner” final year inside the countrywide championship in opposition to Dakota Wesleyan, so an 11-three deficit inside the first quarter caught his attention greater than usual. He called a timeout to get his gamers on the right web page, and the Bulldogs answered with a run for the Concordia records books. “I’m wondering, ‘How are our youngsters going to reply?’” Olson stated.
“That (the response) shows their man or woman and longevity. They didn’t make exertions and that they’d been there before.” A 17-zero run ensued after the timeout, and an 8-point Concordia deficit was a nine-point Bulldog lead. “We’ve simply found out to live regular,” Barry stated. “No matter what they’re doing, we’re going to be us. We are going to play Bulldog basketball.” Barry led the identify with running with 15 factors and seven assists. She additionally performed each minute of the contest and accrued four steals. Barry and the extended Concordia sector defense put stress on Southeastern for all forty mins. Concordia forced a few turnovers inside the first half that become factors on the other give up for the Bulldogs. “That’s who we are,” Olson said. “We’re a group that needs to force turnovers and get smooth baskets. We were capable of doing that early.” The Fire responded with a barrage of 3-pointers, nine in all within the first half of, to race back and tie up the rating at 37 after 20 minutes. Despite giving up nine threes — which Olson said is not best but “you need to provide something up while we increase on protection” — the Concordia protection settled in.
Southeastern’smain scorer, Elsa Paulsson-Glantz, who averaged 17 factors in keeping with the game coming in, become held to two Tuesday. Concordia ramped up the protective strain, and Waverly native Taylor Cockerill furnished a spark. She scored five factors in the very last minute of the 0.33 region, consisting of a 3-pointer on the horn that gave the Bulldogs a fifty six-forty seven lead. Cockerill completed with thirteen factors. Concordia held off a fourth-quarter push from Southeastern that reduce the result in 61-fifty nine with 3 minutes left. But loose throws from 4 exclusive Bulldogs sealed the win and this system’s first national championship. “To be the first to anything for this software is top notch,” stated Philly Lammers, who scored eleven points and grabbed a crew-leading 12 rebounds. “With these women, it’s in order that unique. I love them and I’d do some thing for them.”