SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The first quarter made it appear as though the second-ranked Concordia University women’s basketball team would cruise to the national championship game. But third-ranked Saint Xavier University (Ill.) came roaring back with a dominant third quarter, shot impossibly well from 3-point range and broke down the Bulldog zone. The Cougars won, 91-83, sending Concordia home with a loss in the national semifinals on Monday night inside the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Eleventh-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad ends its season with a record of 34-3 overall for the third most wins in a single season in program history.
The Bulldogs have accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish under Olson, including three GPAC regular-season and tournament titles and three trips to the national semifinals. They are still searching for that elusive national title. “It doesn’t take away from our season,” Olson said. “It was a great season – an incredible team. The accomplishments are many. At the same time, you’re a competitor. You always want to get to that next level. You always want to find a way to win that last game. We’re disappointed, but we’ll go back to work next year.”
The Bulldogs had hoped to complete unfinished business left behind from 2015 when they lost a heartbreaker, 59-57, to rival Morningside in the national championship game. In that classic battle, Concordia led by as many as 12 points and held an advantage in the final minute before being clipped at the end by the Mustangs. The Bulldogs will be back. They will return four of five starters, including Lammers, who averaged 12.8 points and 9.8 rebounds during her first run at the national tournament. Janovich, a junior, was the GPAC defensive player of the year.