The Concordia Eagles, defending NAIA National Champions, are far from finished in 2013. After blowing back-to-back first half leads last week on the road, the Eagles built another double-digit first half lead against No. 8 Westmont on Tuesday night, February 19, and held serve in the second half, beating the GSAC Champion Warriors 93-61.
Dakota Downs led Concordia with 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting and 13 rebounds, his 11th double-double of the season. Peter Smith scored 18 and Tim Harris scored 11, battling foul trouble all night. Concordia got contributions from all over, especially reserve guard Alex Rudd, who went three-of-five from three, scoring 14 points, his second highest point total this season. Concordia outrebounded the Warriors 37-33, and held the hot shooting team to four threes. Concordia was relentless on defense, forcing 28 turnovers, for 18 Concordia assists. Concordia shot an effective 50 percent from the field.
Concordia jumped out to a 14-7 lead as Harris hit a three and Rudd converted a three-point play and layup. Westmont cut it to five, 18-13, at the 13:17 mark, but Concordia was just gearing up for their run. The Eagles went on a 13-3 run with four points from Harris, a tip-in from Brandon Hucks, and three from Rudd to lead 31-15 with 9:49 left. Westmont cooled the run and Concordia led 37-22 at the 6:03 mark. Concordia scored seven of the next 11 and finished the half with a three from DeLaun Frazier and layup from Downs to lead 59-33 at the break. Concordia got easy buckets as turnovers turned into ball movement and layups.
"I was happy to see our guys show some killer instinct, that's been missing lately," Concordia head coach Ken Ammann said. "I thought our effort was outstanding tonight."
Concordia came out and matched every Westmont basket blow-for-blow through the first ten minutes of the second half. Concordia scored eight straight with the score 72-48 to lead 80-48, capped by a three-point play from Downs. The Eagles kept coming, as Smith dialed home a three at 4:33 to give Concordia a 35-point edge, their largest of the game, 89-54. Concordia finished it off, 93-61.
Concordia won 33-14 off turnovers, 48-28 in the paint, 14-5 in second chance points, 13-6 in fastbreak points, and 31-20 in bench points. Concordia improved to 17-10 and 6-7 in the GSAC, while Westmont fell to 23-6 and 11-2, after wrapping up the GSAC Regular Season Championship on Saturday.