ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Philly Lammers exerted her will early and often while spurring the top-ranked Concordia University Nebraska women’s basketball team to another dominant Concordia Invitational Tournament weekend. Lammers beasted her way to a double-double on Saturday (Jan. 26) while earning CIT MVP honors. CUNE won going away in the CIT championship game, 82-56, over host Concordia University, Ann Arbor.
Thirteenth-year head coach Drew Olson’s program has won six CIT titles and 12 CIT games in a row. The weekend ended with the 29th CIT championship in program history. The Bulldogs are 22-2 overall.
“This is a really special event,” Olson said. “Any time you win a championship or a trophy of some kind it’s special. I hope our kids don’t take that for granted because not everybody gets to win it. Thankfully we did. We take a lot of pride in that and being able to bring it back home.”
Lammers had no equal at CIT in terms of post play. Over the two CIT games, she powered home a combined 40 points while adding 22 rebounds, seven steals and four blocked shots. She went off for 23 points (10-for-14 from the field) and 14 rebounds in the championship game, which CUNE controlled from start to finish. The Bulldogs won handily despite being far from their best from an offensive standpoint. They shot only 33.0 percent (29-for-88) from the floor.
But CUNE packs a defense that always serves it well on the road. In an amped up environment CIT environment inside Cardinal Field House, the home team knew it had to be near perfect to have a chance. It wasn’t CUAA (5-20) shot 34.0 percent from the floor, sank only three 3-point field goals and turned it over 32 times.
Even when the starting backcourt has an uncharacteristically tough night shooting the ball, the Bulldogs have proven they have many ways to skin a cat. It’s what champions are made of.
“I think CIT is always awesome,” Lammers said. “It’s always a great time. When the crowd is into it that makes it such a great atmosphere. Obviously the teams were going at each other really hard. It’s just always a lot of fun.”
Also a CIT All-Tournament selection, sophomore Taylor Cockerill did a lot of her damage from the free throw line (7-for-8) on her way to 14 points. She added eight rebounds. Quinn Wragge (12 points, five rebounds, two steals) also reached double figures. Off the bench, Delani Fahey and MacKenzie Helman both knocked in a pair of treys.
The Cardinals got little in the way of offensive production outside of Katie Snow, who totaled 18 points and four steals in 32 minutes of action. No other CUAA player had more than six points. The Cardinals also lost the rebound battle, 53-45.
Olson has now presided over 10 CIT championships. No other coach in the history of the women’s event has won more than seven since the women became part of CIT in 1973. CUNE’s all-time record at CIT is now 74-18.
Now the Bulldogs look forward to a Sunday flight back to Nebraska and a return to Walz Arena. They will attempt to avenge one of this season’s two losses on Wednesday when they host No. 14 Dordt (17-7, 10-6 GPAC) at 6 p.m. CST. The Defenders won the first meeting in a classic double overtime tilt that ended in a 97-92 final score on Jan. 2.
Said Olson, “I think our kids understand what’s ahead. At the same time, we want to enjoy this because this is a really special event. When we get back home we’ll get back to work and focus on Dordt and only Dordt.”
CIT All-Tournament Team
MVP – Philly Lammers, CUNE
Taylor Cockerill, CUNE
Crystal Corr, CUC
Katie Snow, CUAA
Camryn Szolyga, CUW