Concordia "cries it out," comes to terms with season's abrupt end

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A national champion was supposed to be crowned at the NAIA Division-II Women's Basketball Tournament on Tuesday. The Concordia Bulldogs believe it would've been them. The reigning champs were the #1 seed in the tournament with a 32-2 record.

"There are some really good teams there," Concordia head coach Drew Olson said. "You don't underestimate the heart of a champion. That's what our team had. Regardless of who we were playing, I believe we were going to win."

Concordia was in Sioux City for the national tournament when the season abruptly ended on Thursday. The Bulldogs had advanced to the second round with a 75-57 victory over Wilberforce last Wednesday.

"In every single game, if it was close, we were going to somehow grind it out and get a win," senior guard Grace Barry said. "I think we could've won another national championship if we would've had the opportunity."

Barry was the NAIA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player in 2019. She was one of six seniors on the 2020 squad, which also includes Philly Lammers. The veteran forward ascended to second on the school's all-time scoring list. Lammers was on pace to break the Bulldogs' career scoring record at the NAIA Tournament. She finished with 2,033 career points, which is 21 shy of Bailey Morris' all-time mark.

"I didn't want to come in and set records," Lammers said. :"I wanted to play my heart out for the game that I love." The All-American forward says she knew she was approaching the scoring record.

"It would've been nice, but I would've liked the national championship more."