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Concordia wins paint battle to lead to win over DWU men

Concordia University controlled the paint and controlled the final result in Saturday's Great Plains Athletic Conference men's basketball showdown against Dakota Wesleyan.

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(Republic file photo)
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SEWARD, Neb. — Concordia University controlled the paint and controlled the final result in Saturday's Great Plains Athletic Conference men's basketball showdown against Dakota Wesleyan.

The Bulldogs, who are receiving votes in the latest top-25 poll, finished with a 54-26 edge in scoring in the paint and took down DWU 78-69.

Gage Smith scored a game-high 25 points and had 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (11-6, 7-4 GPAC), while Noah Schutte had 21 points and eight rebounds. Bradley Bennett had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Concordia, which overcame a 2-for-20 3-point shooting effort as a team. The Bulldogs led 40-32 at halftime.

DWU finished with four scorers in double figures, led by 21 points from Kallan Herman. Nick Wittler had 15 points, Blaze Lubbers had 11 points and eight rebounds and Koln Oppold had 10 points and seven rebounds and six assists for the Tigers. DWU had a 35.9% shooting day, making 9 of 33 3-pointers.

DWU (8-8, 4-4 GPAC) now plays two games in a row at home, starting with Midland on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the Corn Palace.

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An 8-0 run by DWU capped by a Koln Oppold go-ahead 3-pointer gave the Tigers the final edge, as the Red Raiders put up just two points over the final 4 1/2 minutes of play.
The Tigers never trailed for the second game in a row, pulling ahead by as many as 18 points in the third quarter on the way to a road GPAC win.
"I think he truly felt like you were going to be rewarded for doing the right things," Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said of the legendary late Cougar football coach.