Concordia fell back on their namesake in their 2013 home opener on Wednesday night, November 20, that is pressure defense, in a 85-69 win over visiting Olivet Nazarene from Illinois.
The No. 6-ranked Eagles forced 30 turnovers for 23 steals and 36 points off turnovers to go with 28 bench points and 18 fast break points. On the offensive end Tim Harris led Concordia with 26 points, going six-of-10 from three and eight-of-13 overall. Fellow starter Montreal Harris added 15. DeLaun Frazier scored 11 off the bench, hitting three long bombs. Josh Smith blocked three shots, led the team with nine boards, and had two highlight dunks. The Eagles shot 54% from the field, and Olivet Nazarene shot 57%.
Concordia's first half defense was impressive as they forced 18 turnovers for 15 steals. Tim Harris opened the game with a three, which was quickly answered by the Tigers. Lucas Simpson converted a layup, but Olivet Nazarene scored seven straight in response to lead 10-5 three minutes in. Three straight layups from Concordia made it 11-10 Eagles. It was back and forth until DeLaun Frazier hit a three to make it 16-12. Olivet Nazarene scored four straight to tie the game, but Harris came back with a three and Nolan Abernathy converted a steal and finish. Olivet Nazarene hung within five until Kiefer Douse stole the ball near midcourt and flushed the dunk at the other end. At 4:33 was the play of the half, as Josh Smith blocked an Olivet Nazarene attempt, grabbed the ball, and finished a highlight reel slam at the other end. Olivet Nazarene closed to five, 38-33, with two minutes left. Two free throws and a layup from Donnell Phifer at the buzzer made it 42-33 Eagles at the break.
After Olivet Nazarene opened the second half with a jumper, Concordia scored eight straight led by a three and three-point play from Harris. The Tigers cut it back to eight at 14:57, 52-44, but a free throw and three from Frazier pushed it back to 12. With the count 59-48, Concordia scored nine-straight led by two steals from Tommy Stangl and one from Smith. They led to two threes from Harris and a dunk from Stephen Grosey to put Concordia up 68-48, their largest lead of the game. The Tigers had it back to 14 at the 7:32 mark, but a three from Harris at 5:17 had the Eagles back up 20. An alley-oop dunk from Harris made it 84-62 and Concordia marked their largest lead of the game. The Eagles cruised to the finish with the large advantage.
Concordia improved to 4-1, while Olivet Nazarene fell to 1-5. The Eagles are back at home at 2 pm on Sunday, November 24 against Lewis and Clark College. Watch the live stream at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/cui.portal#.