UMary takes on Concordia University-St. Paul. As for this one, well we saw two different games in one. The first half between the Marauders and CSP was as close as can be. And if you enjoy the three point shot (who doesn’t) then this was the game for you. In the first half, the offense came from both teams. Brittney Dietz was phenomenal in the first two quarters, and would finish the day with over 20 points (a performance that would earn her conference player of the week.) Dietz came in as one of the top scorers in Marauders history, and she showed for a statewide audience exactly how she climbed the all-time UMary list. For the Golden Bears, Anna Schmitt led the way as she has all season long. Despite that, her team saw Mary get on a 16-0 run. At the half, the Marauders had built a solid lead as we went to the break at 44-36.
Then our “game 2” started. As accurate as Mary was to build their halftime lead, the Golden Bears were even more deadly. Lauren Shifflet, Mishayla Jones, and the continued performance of Schmitt simply could not miss. They went nearly 75% from deep, and that’s tough to beat no matter what. The Marauders strung together a few runs, but the Golden Bears were always there to answer with a deep ball. There isn’t a team in NSIC that was going to beat Concordia-University St. Paul on this Saturday afternoon. They were simply too good, and the Marauders fell 96-75.
So the Golden Bears went into game 2 of our doubleheader looking for to bring out the brooms here in Bismarck, while an incredibly talented Marauders Men’s team was looking to put a stop to that real quick. UMary came in at 14-9, while the Golden Bears were just 8-15 under their 2nd year head coach Joey James. But hey, as they say you can throw out the records when two conference foes meet up. And that proved true in this one.
Concordia-University St. Paul men’s team clearly took some cues from the women’s team, as they continued letting it fly from outside. And more importantly, they were hitting them like crazy too. Dialo Powell, Matt Ambriz, the foul-plagued Cole Olstad, and Bryndan Matthews all did a tremendous job from outside. Their devastation from outside opened up the key for the big guys Shea Mandli and Mike Yahnkey. Still, it was the backcourt battle between Powell and Mary’s Brandon Tyler that determined who held the lead. It was really a back-and-froth affair and, Tyler’s career day had UMary in the driver’s seat for parts of the game.
The crazy nature of this one would continue in the 2nd half. The Marauders dominance in the paint would be announced in the loudest way possible. To open up the second half, the first possession down the floor Marquealis Edwards ran by two Golden Bears and threw down a Space Jam. The Marauders would continue to do most of their damage from inside, especially on second, third, and even fourth chance points. The rebound domination drove UMary into the final few minutes of this one and kept the Golden Bears attack at bay. But at the end of the day, CSP took advantage of a simple fact: three is more than two. Rickey Suggs and Bryan Jefferson gave it their best effort to try and close things out, but just like in the prior game the outside shooting of the Golden Bears would simply prove to be too much. Concordia-St.Paul would hit their free throws at the end and come away with the narrow two possession win.