Game Time...Third-ranked ranked Northwestern travels to #7 Concordia in a GPAC women's basketball showdown between top 10 teams. The Red Raiders are tied with Hastings for second place in the current GPAC standings at 14-3, 22-3 overall. Concordia is currently in first place with a 15-3 league record, 1/2 game in front of NWC, 23-5 overall. Listen live to the game via the KSOU broadcast at the following link: Listen Now! or watch the game via the Concordia webcast at this link: Watch it!
All-Time...Northwestern is now 22-28 all-time against Concordia, winning 4-of-the-last five match-ups and going 8-2 over the last 10.
Last Time vs Concordia...Alli Engebretson scored a career-high 28 points in leading Northwestern to an 86-68 win over Concordia in what was also the NAIA D-II game of the week played Jan. 11 in Orange City.
Engebretson matched her career-high with six three-pointers and helped spark an outstanding shooting performance from beyond the arc. The Red Raiders were 10-for-20 from the three-point line and shot 47% for the game. Mackenzie Small made all three three-pointers and scored 19 points while Paige O'Neal added 10.
Northwestern used a 10-0 run to open up a 17-7 lead and later outscored Concordia 14-1 to hold a 31-13 advantage in the first half. Leading 47-32 at the break, Northwestern outscored the Bulldogs 11-1 to start the second half and led by 20-or-more points most of the way thereafter.
Concordia, playing without several injured starters, shot 33% for the game and was led by Devin Edwards and Becky Mueller with 12 points each.
Concordia News and Notes...Concordia escaped with a 78-77 home win over Midland Wednesday night as the visiting Warriors missed the game-winner with one second left on the clock. The win moved the Bulldogs into first place with a 15-3 league record, 23--5 overall, and have just two games left in the regular season. They have won seven straight games since losing to Hastings (Jan. 22).
Drew Olson is in his eighth season as the head coach and has guided the Bulldogs to the national tournament in five of the last six years. Last year, Concordia began with 15 straight wins before finishing 16-4 in the GPAC, 25-7 overall. They lost in the first round to Cardinal Stritch and finished ninth in the final poll. Four starters and nine players return off that squad.
Concordia ranks third in the GPAC in scoring (82ppg) and is shooting 43% from the field and 31% from the three-point line. Defensively, the Bulldogs are giving up 71.5 points per game and are limiting teams to 42% from the field.
Bailey Morris leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 18ppg, second best in the conference. A second team all-conference pick last year, Morris is fourth in the GPAC with 102 assists and has 43 three-pointers this season. Senior guard Kristen Conahan, a two-time NAIA All-American, scores 13.4 points per game and is seventh in the GPAC with 50 three-pointers. Conahan has been hampered of late with a knee injury however. Tracy Peitz scores 14 points per game and is third in the league with 71 steals. She earned all-conference honors last year. Becky Mueller is scoring 10.3 points per game in her first season at Concordia while Kelsey Hizer averages 6.3 points.
Northwestern News and Notes...The Red Raiders are currently tied with Hastings for second place in the GPAC regular season with a 14-3 record, 22-3 overall. They trail first place Concordia by just 1/2 game and are just a game ahead of fourth place Morningside with three games left to go. All three losses this season are on the road, two to ranked teams (Morningside and Dakota Wesleyan).
Northwestern leads the GPAC in scoring, ranking second in the NAIA at 91ppg. They also lead the conference in field goal percentage (47%), three-point percentage (36%) and free throw percentage (75%). Defensively, the Red Raiders are giving up 70 points per game and are also the top rebounding team in the conference.
Three players rank among the GPAC's top 10 in scoring, led by Alli Engebretson who averages a league-best 18.5 points per game. The senior is second in the GPAC with 76 three-pointers, shooting nearly 40% from beyond the arc. Engebretson also ranks fifth in the league in rebounding (7.4). Karen Hutson is fourth in the GPAC in scoring (17.3) and became the latest player to reach the 1,000-point milestone. The junior reached the milestone in the loss to DWU Wednesday night and is one of three current players with 1,000 points (Engebretson, Kleinsasser). Hutson leads the conference in field goal percentage (56%). Samantha Kleinsasser averages 16.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, ranking second in the GPAC with 41 blocked shots. Mackenzie Small (12.8) and Paige O'Neal (5.8) are the other top scorers for NWC. Small ranks 10th in the GPAC with 44 three-pointers.
Up Next...Northwestern plays host to Dordt College on Wednesday night, Feb. 19 at 6pm.