Concordia outscored Nebraska Wesleyan by 17 points at the free throw line as the Bulldogs overcame a double digit second half lead to down the Prairie Wolves, 68-65, in the home opener for NWU on Tuesday (Nov. 20) at Snyder Arena.
The Bulldogs (5-1, 2-0 GPAC) hit 30-37 from the free throw line, including 21-25 in the second half, compared to the Prairie Wolves 13-22 shooting at the charity stripe for the game. NWU hit just 50% in the second half at the line making 9-18.
Nebraska Wesleyan (2-1, 0-1 GPAC) led by seven points at halftime, 29-22, as they shot 44.0 percent from the field and limited Concordia to just 25.0 percent shooting.
NWU then came out in the second half and built up an 11-point lead with 16:09 left. Concordia climbed back within four points before Sass Karemae hit a jumper from the top of the key with 13:16 left to make the score 46-40.
From there, NWU would not hit another field goal for nearly seven minutes as Concordia came back to take a two point lead, 50-48, with 8:48 left. Eric Jackson converted two free throws then Tim Schweitzer finally broke the field goal drought with a layup at the 6:44 mark to put NWU up two.
The two teams traded leads for the next three minutes as Jackson put the Prairie Wolves up 60-58 with 3:53 to play. Concordia then scored seven straight points to build up a five point lead as Joel Haywood hit a basket with just under two minutes to play.
NWU got within three points, then stopped Concordia on the other end and had a look at a 3-pointer that wouldn't fall. Haywood hit two more free throws to go up five with 0:22 seconds left.
Jackson did hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead with 1.7 seconds left. An immediate foul put Haywood back to the line and he hit 1-2, but the last second heave down court was to no avail as the Bulldogs came out victorious.
Three Concordia players scored double figures with Haywood hitting 21 points, Adam Vogt scoring 17 and Porter Birtell with 13.
For NWU, Trent Scheitel came off the bench for 17 points and nine rebounds. Jackson scored 14 and Tim Schweitzer had 10.
Nebraska Wesleyan will next host the 24th Annual Snyder Classic this weekend with two games on Friday and Saturday nights.