*This story was posted to MyNAIATourney.org on March 13, 2015.
No. 1 seed Concordia, fresh off a first round drumming of No. 8 seed Bryan (Iowa), handled the heat and won 92-82 over No. 5 seed College of Saint Mary. Senior Bailey Morris, who eclipsed 2,000 career points on the day, came through with a big-time performance for the Bulldogs, finishing with a staggering 34 points and eight rebounds.
Concordia’s senior backcourt, combined with early foul trouble for the Flames, plagued St. Mary early. They fell behind 12-7 early in the first half, thanks to an early nine-point outburst from senior Tracy Peitz.
The Bulldog starting backcourt filled it up in the first half, nearly outscoring the entire St. Mary team by themselves. Morris dropped 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting, while Peitz added 13 points of her own, finishing with 21 points overall. But the tandem wasn’t quite as successful on the defensive end, picking up five fouls between them.
St. Mary also managed to get themselves in foul trouble in the first half, as juniors Deaundra Young and Shelby Alberry picked up seven fouls between them. Before the foul trouble, Young made her presence felt, finishing the half with seven points and six rebounds in just 11 minutes of action. She finished with yet another double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Senior Tiffany Anzalone led the Flames with eight first half points.
Concordia held a confortable 45-34 lead at halftime.
The second half was much the same story for the Bulldogs. Morris and Peitz continued their dominance and Concordia pushed their lead to 59-43 with 14:35 left in the half. Soon after, Morris caught a pass on the left wing, drained a three-pointer, and surpassed 2,000 points for her overall collegiate career.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling,” Morris said. “I think what makes it cooler is knowing all the teammates and coaches that have helped me get there.”
Concordia Head Coach Drew Olson insists Morris deserves to get all the praise she receives.
“It’s an awesome honor for her and I’m really proud of her. She deserves all of that,” Olson said. “Bailey is a killer, she has the killer instinct and can score whenever her team needs her.”
Concordia’s offense continued to put up impressive second half numbers, eclipsing their 85-point average on the season. Despite a late charge from the Flames, Concordia sank free throws down the stretch and sealed the victory.
With the win, Concordia is set to take on No. 3 seed Jamestown (N.D.) on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Quarterfinals.