Concordia women's basketball team rolling into NCAA Elite Eight

  • Article by: JOEL RIPPEL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 25, 2014 - 6:36 AM

The Golden Bears recovered from a February hiccup and take a nine-game win streak into a matchup with Nova Southeastern.

Back-to-back losses late in the regular season left the Concordia (St. Paul) women’s basketball team’s playoff hopes in jeopardy.

“Both of the losses were heartbreaking,” Golden Bears coach Paul Fessler said. “We didn’t play well and we didn’t execute. We told the team that we were on the bubble for getting in the NCAA tourney. The team really rallied.”

Since the one-point loss to Minnesota-Crookston and a three-point loss to Bemidji State in mid-February, the Golden Bears have won nine consecutive games to earn the program’s first berth in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.

The Golden Bears (28-8) will play Nova Southeastern in the quarterfinals on Tuesday in Erie, Pa.

“The team focused and really came back strong and has played well,” Fessler said. “We’ve played really strong defense. They’ve bought into the game plan and executed our game plan.”

The Golden Bears won their final two regular-season games before winning four games to claim the NSIC tournament championship. In the final, the Golden Bears defeated Northern State 54-36. The Wolves had defeated the Golden Bears 61-59 on Jan. 11.

Despite the tourney championship, the Golden Bears were the No. 7 seed for the eight-team Central Regional in Searcy, Ark. Concordia opened regional play with a 68-57 victory over host Harding, which was ranked No. 2 in Division II. The Golden Bears followed with victories over Central Missouri and Emporia State. The three-point victory over Emporia State avenged a 71-52 loss to Emporia on Nov. 10.

Offensively, Concordia relies on 6-2 junior forward Anika Whiting and guards Rachel Hansen, Ameshia Kearney and Carissa Wolyniec.

Whiting, who is averaging 17.8 points per game, is the first player in program history to score more than 600 points in a season. Hansen is averaging 13 points per game, while Wolyniec and Kearney have combined to make 163 three-pointers.

“My four teammates have made my job easier,” Whiting said. “Teams can’t double-team me because of our outside game. Since Day One in the preseason, our goal was to do something in the NCAA tourney. After those losses near the end of the regular season we said, ‘It’s now or never.’ ’’

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 11:00 AM
New York
Oklahoma City 1:30 PM
San Antonio
Cleveland 4:00 PM
Miami
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Chicago
Golden State 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
DePaul 12:30 PM
Loyola Marymount
Ohio 3:00 PM
Nebraska
Colorado 5:30 PM
Hawaii
George Washington 7:30 PM
Wichita State
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close