SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – After seemingly taking control down the stretch, top-ranked Concordia saw an eight-point lead in the final minutes of regulation melt away and ultimately fell 96-86 in double overtime at Dordt (10-9, 5-5 GPAC) on Saturday. The Bulldogs (15-1, 8-1 GPAC) were unable to pull another close victory out of the fire like they had against the other conference favorites Briar Cliff, Morningside and Northwestern.
“Dordt played great,” Concordia head coach Drew Olson said. “They shot the ball very well and really played to their strengths. We couldn’t get the stops when we needed them. If you’re going to beat good teams on the road you have to step up and make a play.”
With the loss, Concordia dropped its first game of the season and had streaks of 23-straight wins against GPAC foes and 10 road victories in a row snapped.
Dordt ran away in the second overtime with a 16-6 advantage in the five-minute period, which would not have been possible without late heroics in regulation. Defender junior guard Kayla Broekhuis threw up a long 3-pointer that banked home to tie the game at 71 with :8.6 left. Concordia guard Bailey Morris then dribbled the length of the floor but couldn’t get the layup to go down, setting the stage for overtime.
The Bulldogs also got a good look at the end of the first overtime on an out-of-bounds play with :4.7 left. Junior forward Lori Laboda got loose off a screen and received the inbounds in the paint. Her attempt rimmed out and was tipped around as the clock ran out.
Dordt quickly took command of the second overtime with a jumper and a 3-pointer, both from the hot hand of Kara Van Dyke, who finished with a game high 27 points. Concordia had a flicker of hope after Kristen Conahan drilled her fourth and final triple of the game to make the score 87-83 with 3:09 to go. Dordt pushed the lead back up to seven soon after and never allowed the Bulldogs to get any closer than six points.
Concordia shot 46.2 percent (30-for-65) for the game, including 8-for-21 (38.1 percent) from long range. However, the Bulldogs made only 1 of 6 attempts from beyond the arc in the overtimes as they struggled to overcome a mounting double overtime deficit. The Defenders 45.8 percent (27-for-59) from the field and made 32 of 37 free throws compared to 18-for-25 shooting from the charity stripe by the Bulldogs.
Broekhuis and Van Dyke were the stars all afternoon for a Dordt team that also defeated No. 6 Briar Cliff on Dec. 15. Broekhuis and Van Dyke combined for 48 points while both playing in excess of 40 minutes. The duo came up with several clutch points when Concordia threatened to steal a road win.
“It comes down to being able to defend,” Olson said. “They got up five (in the second overtime) and we lost a little of our cool. Then we got down seven and we were forced to do some things we wouldn’t normally do.”
For the Bulldogs, sophomore forward Jericca Pearson posted a career high 18 points on the strength of 10-for-15 free throw shooting.
“Jericca did some great things,” Olson said. “She posted up well and our guards were able to find her inside. I thought she played very well.”
Conahan (14), Tracy Peitz (14), Morris (12), Kelsey Hizer (10) and Lori Laboda (10) joined Pearson in double-figures in scoring. Laboda added 12 rebounds to post her third double-double of the season. Hizer’s 10 points were a career best.
The 15-0 start marked the second best start in school history behind only the 2002-03 squad’s 33-0 run. Olson summed it up by saying, “You learn a lot more from a loss, but I never like to lose.” At 8-1 in league games, Concordia remains atop the GPAC, now tied with Morningside.
Dordt head coach Craig Stiemsma was proud of the way his team responded after relinquishing an 11-point first half lead and then falling behind by eight late in regulation.
“We got down eight and a lot of teams would have given up there. We kept fighting,” Steimsma told KDCR Radio after the game.
The Bulldogs return home on Tuesday when Hastings (9-10, 4-5 GPAC) visits Seward for a 7:30 p.m. contest. A junior varsity game at 5:45 p.m. will precede varsity action.