The Concordia Eagles ended their regular season the right way on Saturday afternoon, March 1, with a 75-56 win over Arizona Christian in Phoenix, AZ.
Ashley Ellis led Concordia with 16 points and eight rebounds, leading her squad in rebounds and points for the second-straight contest. Ashley Engeln scored 11, going three-of-four from behind the arc. Brittany Stafford scored 10 points, and Asia Auberry had 10 points and seven rebounds. The Eagles absolutely dominated the glass, 60-29, including 23 offensive rebounds. Concordia shot 40% from the field, held Arizona Christian to 34%, and made nine more foul shots.
It was back and forth through the first six minutes, and Concordia took a 12-11 lead at 13:53 on a layup from Jade Reed via Katie Ogdon. The Firestorm fought back and led by four on two separate occasions over the next six minutes. A jumper from Auberry tied the game at 24 with 5:20 left, and Concordia scored six straight, with four from Auberry, to lead 30-24. Concordia went to the break up 33-28.
The teams traded baskets early in the second half, but a three from Engeln made it 41-32 three minutes in. At 13:21 Carly Bishop dialed a three and Concordia led by 13. A layup from Stephanie Larson extended it to 53-39 with 10 minutes left. Arizona Christian responded on a 9-1 run to get back in it, but Concordia scored eight straight in response, led by threes from Ogdon and Engeln. The Eagles controlled from there, extending the lead with free throws to win 75-56.
"The passion and fire we played with this afternoon is what I want this team to be remembered by," Concordia head coach Trisha Stafford-Odom said. "With the exception of a brief stretch, we made it a point to corral the vast majority of rebounds and get the shots we wanted. I am not a fan of careless turnovers, but I love the pressure our guards put on their defense."
The Eagles improved to 12-14 and finished 5-9 in conference, their second-straight season with that conference record. Arizona Christian dropped to 5-23 and 0-14 in the GSAC. Concordia will be the sixth seed in the upcoming GSAC Tournament and will be on the road on Wednesday, March 5, at 5:30 pm. Check cuieagles.com for the opponent.