The game film is going to tell the story.

A handful of shots at or around the rim either rolled off or bounced out of the cylinder.

“And two of them were more open than warmup layups,” Mount Marty men’s basketball coach Todd Lorensen said.

In a 10-point game, those missed opportunities loom large, just as they did for the Lancers on Wednesday night.

Concordia captured an 86-76 win over Mount Marty in a GPAC showdown at Cimpl Arena.

There was a particular stretch in the early minutes of the second half, especially, when the Lancers (7-11, 4-9) couldn’t get their looks at rim to fall.

“Two or three other ones were really high quality looks that you need to make to beat good teams,” Lorensen said.

Instead, the Lancers — now on a five-game losing streak — were playing catchup the entire second half.

After Mount Marty got within 56-48 with 14 minutes remaining, the Bulldogs scored six straight to balloon the margin.

The Lancers responded to get within 69-63 at the 5:30 mark, but they couldn’t mount a rally.

“We never got to a point where they were in a spot where they absolutely needed a response,” Lorensen said.

Mount Marty got 22 points, four rebounds and four assists from senior Jailen Billings, and also got a spark from a newcomer to the rotation.

Senior Tyrell Harper, a transfer, was cleared by the NAIA earlier in the day, and recorded 17 points and six rebounds in his Mount Marty debut.

“That’s really hard to come in when you haven’t played in a college basketball game for 22 or 23 months,” Lorensen said. “You can practice all you want, but it takes you a bit to adjust to the speed of the game.”

Harper, a Vermillion High School graduate, most recently played at Savannah State (then a NCAA Division I program) in the 2018-19 season and then didn’t play basketball last season.

At 6-foot-7, he gave the Lancers a lengthy weapon on the perimeter and under the basket.

“He brought us a lot on the defensive end,” Lorensen said. “His length really helps us. We just need him to have a little bit more urgency; he’s such a laidback guy, but he’ll get there with more time.”

Concordia made only one more basket than Mount Marty, but made eight more free throws. The Bulldogs (13-6, 10-4) got a combined 49 points and 14 rebounds from Carter Kent and Justin Wiersema.

Mount Marty also got 11 points, five rebounds and five assists from senior Elijah Pappas, as well as nine points from sophomore Luke Ronsiek.

With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Lancers are looking to find another gear to make a late-season push.

“The two games coming into this one, I thought we had better urgency. I didn’t think we got off to a great start tonight,” Lorensen said.

“But I still feel good about who we are and how we’re growing together. We’ll get back at it and keep working.”

Mount Marty will play Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

Follow @jhoeck on Twitter

CONCORDIA (13-6, 10-4 GPAC)

Gage Smith 5-10 4-5 15; Ryan Holt 6-11 0-0 13; Sam Scarpelli 0-2 0-0 0; Carter Kent 10-17 5-6 29; Justin Wiersema 6-13 6-8 20; Grant Wragge 0-1 0-0 0; A.J. Watson 0-1 2-2 2; Klay Uher 1-2 0-0 2; Thomas Young 1-1 0-0 3; Noah Schutte 1-2 0-0 2. TOTALS 30-60 17-21 86.

MOUNT MARTY (7-11, 4-9 GPAC)

Elijah Pappas 3-7 3-4 11; Jonah Larson 2-4 0-0 5; Jailen Billings 8-14 5-5 22; Kade Stearns 2-5 0-0 6; Keegan Savary 1-4 0-0 2; Marcus Edwards 0-0 0-0 0; Allen Wilson 1-3 0-0 2; Cooper Cornemann 1-8 0-0 2; Luke Ronsiek 3-3 0-0 9; Tyrel Harper 8-15 1-2 17. TOTALS 29-63 9-11 76.

Half — CON 40-32. Three-Pointers — CON 9-19 (Kent 4-6, Wiersema 2-4, Young 1-1, Smith 1-2, Holt 1-3, Scarpelli 0-1, Wragge 0-1, Watson 0-1), MMU 9-25 (Ronsiek 3-3, Pappas 2-5, Stearns 2-5, Larson 1-3, Billings 1-4, Harper 0-1, Savary 0-2, Cornemann 0-2). Total Rebounds — CON 36 (Wiersema 8), MMU 30 (Harper 6). Assists — MMU 12 (Pappas 5), CON 6 (Kent 2). Turnovers — CON 12, MMU 10. Personal Fouls — MMU 18, CON 10. Fouled Out — None.


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