Sunday Roundup (12/3)
1/3 or 1/4, however you look at it, the Bison are through step one and it was every bit the dominating performance that I was predicting, even if several things could have been better. For my full break down, check out the Pick Six!
The rest of the pack was as unimpressive as the Football team was impressive.
The men's Basketball team got things rolling with a visit to Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday night. It represented another early season test against a team that may be in the 68 team field come March and the Bison weren't blown out but they continued what I consider to be a troubling trend - a lack of offense - when they only scored 50 points. Coach Richman will likely continue to preach that their defense has to improve. That may be true but if he never moves the team beyond the Dribble Weave then no level of defense will suffice against the best teams in the Summit and in the country! That showed itself to be true two days later as the team took on a Mississippi State team that I wouldn't expect to see in the NCAA tournament but they do have SEC level players. That disparity resulted in a 24 point thrashing, including a 54 point second half stomping by the Bulldogs. That pushes them to 3-4 to date and with a rematch against Missouri State looming things may not be able to get better.
But the men's team wasn't the only unit getting run out of the gym in the second half of the week. The women's team travelled to Colorado Wednesday and Milwaukee on Friday, only to get outscored by 85 over the two games. There's no way to spin that positively but the 38 points that they managed against Milwaukee is as much a negative as the amount that they allowed to be scored. They have a few days to regroup before hosting UT Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday night. Then each of the teams take I-29 to Grand Forks for a Saturday double feature against the baby birds.
Another week, more mercurial play by these Timberwolves. They took care of business against a Pelicans team that was without the oft injured but this time ejected Anthony Davis for most of the contest. And in their two losses, they competed until the end against both Washington & OKC, who are each high tier playoff teams. I'm not calling them moral victories because they're professional and talented ones at that so win the games but a close loss isn't as disheartening as many have been over the decades. 2018. Just be cohesive and healthy come the new year. That's the new flag location...not sure how optimistic I am about it's viability though.
All quiet on the Eastern campus
Until Friday. Both the men's & women's basketball teams took their talents to central and Northwestern North Dakota. First up was the University of Mary on Friday then onto Minot for a Saturday two step. The women were lead in scoring by Jacky Volkert on Friday and Kiley Borowicz on the way to their 2-0 road trip.
The men's team didn't fare quite as well, falling to Minot after squeaking out a win against the U of Mary. They also did it differently in that they were paced by Johnny Beeninga in both games. Both units showed that beyond their leading scorers they have capable offensive players who can get into double figures on an any evening basis, which bodes well for their chances in the NSIC!
Beyond the Basketball, the swimming team took care of business in the Moorhead invitational. The thing that I found most interesting about it is that between Concordia & MSUM neither had facilities to suit their purposes and had to compete in West Fargo. I don't mean that as criticism but my snarkiness may be coming out, nay, I just think it's the most interesting footnote. The Dragons for their part did take first place with the most points scored.
Concordia's sports week kicked off with a women's Basketball match up with the Jimmies. The Cobbers were paced by Grace Wolhowe's 14 points and she was joined in double figures by two teammates but that's not the level of offense that will often lead to success. Such was the case on Tuesday as they fell 75-64. They followed that up with a two point loss against Macalester which ended with the Cobbers leading scorer being reserve Mira Ellefson, of the Hawley Ellefson's and possibly the sister of Bison Tight-end Ben Ellefson. Even if not a sibling there's almost certainly some relation so those are good bloodlines!
But I digress. Next on the week's slate was a Wrestling showdown at the U of Mary which they lost 33 - 12. The Grapple gang then headed out Wisconsin for a weekend trio of duals which they also managed to get goosed in.
And the losing thread continued as the men's Basketball travelled to St. Thomas and managed to keep it close through out but fell by nine. Austin Heins' 21 points lead the way and he was joined in double figures by a trio of mates but they weren't able to overcome the depth of the Tommies bench. If there had been any frustration's building up it would seem that they were exercised when the Cobbs returned to the Twin Cities for a face off with Macalester. Lead in the scoring column by reserve Bryden Urie (16), Concordia went 14 players deep and got offense from 9 of them. Now, whether their defense was clicking or Macalester is just inept I don't know but they poured in 73 compared to Mac's 47 and should be in a better frame of mind of that one.
And as the week progressed into it's end the winning spread out. Both the men's and women's Hockey teams took care of business against St. Olaf. The women hosted while the men travelled but each scored five goals and since they aren't the MN Wild that was enough to skate off victorious. The women were lead in the box score by Abbie Canton (2) & the gents had five different goal scorers but Zach Doerring scored and assist so he gets the call out. Unfortunately the momentum from those wins was short lived as each team took to the ice again on Saturday against the Ollies and went 0-1-1. The women got the tie at 2-2 while the men dropped it 3 - 1.
As already noted, their swim team competed in a regional meet and finished in fifth place.
So all in all it was an up and down week of action in the region and that doesn't even include any of the high school action that took place. That'll start coming en mass soon!