SIOUX CITY — Concordia found itself in an unfamiliar position early against Indiana Tech on Saturday in the quarterfinals of NAIA Divison II women's basketball tournament.
The top-ranked Bulldogs were the ones committing turnovers against Tech’s pressure, whereas it's usually Concordia’s pressure defense causing turnovers.
The few turnovers Tech caused led to a 6-0 lead when Concordia coach Drew Olson called a timeout to give his team some thoughtful advice.
“(Coach) put it in our hands and said if we really want it, we have to take it from them,” Concordia junior guard Grace Barry said.
Tech was able to get another basket after Concordia’s timeout, but from there, the Bulldogs got back to playing their kind of game.
Concordia’s defense started to get to the Warriors and it led to a 17-0 run for Concordia for a 17-8 lead. The game was never closer than six points again as the Bulldogs controlled the rest of the game for a 73-53 victory to earn a spot in the semifinals for the third straight season and for the fourth time in the past five seasons.
Olson said the team’s game plan was completely adjusted after the first few minutes of the game.
“Our game plan was to play our usual style of defense. Pressing using our matchup zone. (Indiana Tech) did a really good job early on and as a coaching staff, we thought we had to adjust to it,” Olson said. “We were planning on switching to man (defense) at some point. It was just earlier than we expected. I was really pleased with our kids and their ability to adapt and their confidence in knocking down shots played a big part in that first half.”
After falling behind 8-0, Concordia outscored Tech 43-16 for the rest of the first half, holding the Warriors to only 34.5 percent (10-of-29) shooting and causing nine turnovers, which turned into 13 points for the Bulldogs.
You have free articles remaining.
“This group is a tough group. They are confident and really believe in each other,” Olson said. “So they are never going to get worried that we are down 6-0 early in the game. They believe in themselves.”
Concordia shot 50 percent (16-of-32) in the first half and knocked down seven three-pointers on nine attempts. For the game, the Bulldogs shot 43.3 percent (26-of-60).
Barry led Concordia with 17 points and six assists and Mackenzie Koepke came off the bench and hit three three-pointers. She finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Six different players (Barry, Koepke, Taylor Cockerill, MacKenzie Helman, Riley Sibbel and Philly Lammers) all finished with eight or more points.
“You can’t take off possessions against them. They will make you pay every single time,” said Tech coach Jessie Biggs.
Indiana Tech finishes the season with a 32-4 record. With the loss, the Warriors fall to 0-3 all-time in the national quarterfinals.
Alexis Hill led Indiana Tech with 17 points. Kendall Knapke had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Up next for the Bulldogs will be a semifinal game at 6 p.m. Monday against either second-ranked Northwestern (Iowa), a rival from the GPAC, or fifth-ranked College of the Ozarks.
College of the Ozarks defeated Hastings 86-55 late Friday night to reach the quarterfinals. Shandra Farmer scored 14 points to lead the Broncos.