JAMESTOWN, N.D. – The three-game roll by the Concordia University men’s basketball team ended with a thud inside Newman Arena in Jamestown, N.D., on Saturday (Jan. 19). The Bulldogs surrendered 59.3 percent shooting and got flattened, 95-68, by the 21st-ranked Jimmies. Concordia had hoped to win back-to-back GPAC road games.
Instead, sixth-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad dropped to 11-11 overall and to 4-10 in conference play. In their three previous games, the Bulldogs had beaten Hastings, No. 7 Briar Cliff and Midland.
“I don’t think we came out of the gates ready to fight and compete,” Limback said. “We gave them some good looks early. They’re a very high scoring team and you have to make them work for their shots. We let their leading scorers get some good looks early and we weren’t able to fight with them. Offensively, we took too many bad shots that led into their offense.”
Spurred by junior point guard Brevin Sloup, the Concordia offense had come alive over the past couple of weeks. It’s just not that easy to keep up with Jamestown (19-4, 9-4 GPAC), which entered the game ranked seventh among all NAIA Division II teams in scoring average (91.6). Jimmie standouts Kevin Oberweiser (24 points) and Jon Purintun (20 points) both went 8-for-13 from the field. Collectively, Jamestown shot 11-for-19 from 3-point range.
A glimmer of hope came early in the second half when a 6-0 Bulldog run slashed the deficit to 13 (57-44). Just over four minutes later, Jamestown had built the lead back up to 20 (68-48) via an Oberweiser triple. The Jimmie firepower proved to be too much. Sloup (16 points) finished as the lone Concordia player in double figures.
Off the bench, Sammy Adjei put up nine points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes of action. Tanner Shuck (2-for-10 from the field) and Justin Wiersema both chipped in nine points as well. Chuol Biel added eight points, five rebounds and a blocked shot. As a team, the Bulldogs shot 42.9 percent from the floor. They made just 5-of-17 tries from 3-point range.
This was another bump in the road that Concordia hopes to learn from.
“You have to have a short term memory on this,” Limback said. “We’ll bounce back. We have competitors. Tonight I didn’t like the way we approached the game. There were too many moments where we didn’t have any fight. There were spurts here and there, but we lost a lot of the 50-50 balls. We’ll learn from this and be back to practice on Monday.”
Jamestown has transitioned quite well in its first season in the GPAC. The Jimmies sit in third place with Oberweiser and Purintun leading the way. In the post, Brock Schrom is also a nice presence. He posted 14 points, seven rebounds and five blocks on Saturday.
The Bulldogs will be back inside Walz Arena on Wednesday to host Doane (6-16, 3-11 GPAC). Concordia will aim to avenge a 65-52 loss in Crete that occurred on Dec. 5. The Tigers have claimed two GPAC wins since then with victories coming over Mount Marty and Dordt. Wednesday’s clash will precede a trip to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Concordia Invitational Tournament.