SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) The first No. 1 seed was on display in the NAIA National Championships as Concordia (Neb.) took to the court against No. 8 Bryan (Tenn.). The Bulldogs, fresh off both the Great Plains Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships, are back as a top-seed after getting knocked out in the first-round last year by Goshen (Ind.). Concordia was not ready to fall at the hands of yet another Cinderella this year, as they put away the Lions, 101-66.
With the win, the Bulldogs are back in the second-round and will take on No. 5 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) who defeated No. 4 IU Northwest in the game prior. Concordia now holds a 32-2 overall record, while the Lions drop to 18-5 to close out their season. This was the sixth appearance in the national championship for Bryan, now 1-6 in those contests.
The Lions started out with the pressure in their favor as they jumped out to a quick 5-0 start over the Bulldogs. However, it did not take long for Concordia to get back on top as they ended the first half leading Bryan, 53-35. For the remainder of the game, that point difference grew even more at times, with the Bulldogs taking the double-digit victory.
Led by junior guard Dani Anderson, who netted 18 total points and went 7-of-16 in the contest, the Bulldogs never looked back after their gained the advantage. As a team, Concordia connected on 37-of-83 from the field and pulled down 45 total rebounds. Three players for the Bulldogs scored in double-digits to end the match – Anderson (18), Laurel Krohn (13) and Brenleigh Daum (11).
Although the Lions could not break closer to the Bulldogs, they showed their balance as three players broke the double-digit mark. Led by Megan Billingsby, who scored a team-high 21 points, Bryan ended with seven different players finding the bottom of the net.