SEWARD, Neb. - The women's bracket of the 62nd annual Concordia Invitational Tournament culminated in dramatic fashion Saturday, as the No.10-ranked Cardinals (19-4) from CUAA upset host and second-ranked Bulldogs (20-3) from Concordia (Neb.) 73-69.
This victory was doubly momentous for the Cardinals, it being just the second time the women have won CIT, and because, even more notably, head coach Andrea Gorski is now the university's record-holder for career wins (97) by a women's coach, surpassing Hall of Fame coach Walt Harting's previous mark of 96 games.
The Cardinals came into the game aggressively, separating themselves from the Bulldogs by eight points within the first four minutes of play. But the feisty Nebraska team battled back and brought the score to within one during the five-minute mark, eventually pulling ahead after several ties and ended up taking a well-earned two-point lead with them into halftime thanks to Kristen Conahan, who scored the last three of her 13 first-half points with 12 seconds left on the clock.
After the break, the Bulldogs did what they could to keep the red and black at arm's length, defending a modest lead for 12 minutes of the second half before the Cardinals started breathing down their neck. Three ties later, CUAA found themselves on top, gaining as much as a seven-point advantage while Nebraska struggled to find their footing. Missed baskets late in the game, coupled with effective Cardinal rebounding, spelled out the demise of Bulldog basketball in this championship game, as they would lose to their Ann Arbor counterpart by four points.
The top performance honors of Saturday's game go to Abbey Hengesbach, who racked up 22 points and 10 rebounds, notching her ninth double-double of the 2013 season, teammate Hannah Sabol, who had 16 points and 17 total rebounds, boasting her seventh double-double.
In addition to individual game recognitions, Sabol was announced as tournament MVP, while both she and teammate Hengesbach were named to the all-tournament team.