SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Concordia (Neb.) Bulldogs have taken down the Northwestern (Iowa) Red Raiders to advance to the 2018 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship. It was a whole team effort and Philly Lammers had another all-around day to lead the Bulldogs in their win.
- The second matchup of the semifinals put Concordia up against Northwestern. Concordia came out of the Liston Bracket as their victor and Northwestern came out of the Duer Bracket as their victor.
- Concordia came into the tournament red hot. The Bulldogs only had one loss all season long and came in the No. 2 team in the country. Concordia blew through the first round, defeating Stillman (Ala.) by a score of 75-52. The Bulldogs again blew through the second round, beating Taylor (Ind.) 71-50. Their final matchup of the their bracket play was the only game the team did not win by at least 20 points, as they defeat Jamestown (N.D.) by 18, with a final of 79-61.
- Northwestern had some close games during their bracket play to get to the semifinal. They defeated Friends (Kan.) in the first round 81-74. However, the Red Raiders eased past Eastern Oregon, winning 83-60. The quarterfinal game took Northwestern to overtime against St. Francis (Ill.). The game finished with Northwestern reaching the semifinal by a score or 89-83. Northwestern entered the tournament as an At-Large Bid, the only team in the semifinals to do so.
- The first quarter was for the Bulldogs. At one point leading by eight, the Bulldogs shot 56 percent from the floor, as well as knocking down 2-3 shots from deep. But the Red Raiders outrebounded the Bulldogs 16-6 in the first, keeping the score manageable going into the second. The score at the end of the first was 23-20 in favor of Concordia. Quinn Wragge dropped eight in the first to lead the game at the time. But the biggest difference was the offensive rebound margin. Northwestern pulled down nine offensive boards in just the first alone.
- The second quarter proved to be just as close as the first. After back and forth all quarter, the Bulldogs had a two point led with just under a minute remaining. But the last minute was what the Bulldogs needed to pull ahead. Concordia added four more to their two point lead to enter half with a six point lead. Philly Lammers and Quinn Wragge for Concordia both had double-digit points going into the second half, as did Renee Maneman and Kassidy DeJong for the Red Raiders.
- After a 6-0 Concordia run to start the third, the Red Raiders called a timeout, as the lead had grown from six to 12 with 7:41 remaining in the third. The Bulldogs slowly built up the lead throughout the third quarter. An And-1 play from Dani Hoops pushed the lead to 18 with just 20seconds left in the quarter. Although a buzzer beating 3 to end the quarter by Paige Danner cut it back down to 15 heading into the fourth. With the Bulldogs shooting 48 percent through the fourth, it was no wonder they entered the fourth leading 65-50. Concordia dominated the paint up until this pint, outscoring the Red Raiders 44-28 in the paint.
- Another Maneman three, her third of the game, helped cut the lead down to 12 at the start of the fourth. When the media timeout hit in this game, the Bulldogs has a 12 point led, up 74-62, with 4:21 remaining. But the Red Raiders would not quit. A Paige Danner 3 brought the lead to just 10 with 1:23 left in the game. And then an And-1 by Haley Birks brought it to just eight. But when Lammers went to the line on a foul, the Bulldogs went up 10 with 24 seconds left. A made Red Raider three brought the lead to seven, and that is where the game ended. As time expired, the Bulldogs won 84-77.
- Philly Lammers had yet another all-stat day, leading the Bulldogs in both points (23) and rebounds (9). Mary Janovich notched a team-high seven assists, and the team finished with three double-digit scorers.
- Concordia advances to just its second National Championship in program history. The Bulldogs defeated Northwestern 84-77 and will move on to face Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) tomorrow night, March 12th at 7:00 P.M. to see who will go home with the