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Eric Peterson, Published January 13 2011

Cold start dooms Concordia women in loss to St. Thomas

Concordia waited too long to score its first points Wednesday at Memorial Auditorium, and the sluggish start proved costly.

The Cobbers missed their first 17 shots from the field and were held scoreless for more than 11 minutes to start the game. St. Thomas took advantage, never trailing en route to a 67-54 victory in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball.

“We had no shots dropping at first, so that was kind of rough, and we just had a hard time getting into our offense and everyone doing the same thing,” said Concordia freshman center Alexandra Lippert.

The Cobbers (8-3, 6-2 MIAC) have lost their past two conference games. St. Thomas (9-2,

8-0) remained unbeaten in the MIAC.

“We just couldn’t find a way to put the ball in the basket that first 10 minutes or so and it’s tough,” Cobbers coach Jessica Rahman said. “Luckily, it’s the middle of the season right now. We’re going to have to make some adjustments and find a way to get the job done. But I have faith in these kids. They know how to play the game of basketball, so we’ll figure it out.”

The Cobbers couldn’t find the range Wednesday, especially in the first half.

St. Thomas scored the game’s first 12 points. Concordia didn’t score its first points until there were 8 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the first half after Lippert sank two foul shots. The Cobbers didn’t score their first field goal until there was 7:46 remaining in the first half after Lippert scored an inside basket.

St. Thomas led 24-15 at halftime as the Cobbers shot 19 percent (5 of 27) from the field over the first 20 minutes.

“We were really frustrated that not many shots were dropping. We were playing defense, but the offense was definitely frustrating,” Lippert said. “Once you get in a hole, you have to work your butt off to get back and it’s a lot of extra energy that you don’t need to be wasting.”

The Cobbers sliced the Tommies lead to 24-21 with 17:55 to play in the second half after Lippert scored an inside basket. That was the closest Concordia got after halftime. St. Thomas countered with an 8-1 run to squelch the Concordia surge.

Lippert netted a game-high 21 points and added 11 rebounds. Lippert was 9 of 15 from the field, while the rest of the Cobbers were 12 of 42 from the floor.

“She played terrific. She did the little things,” Rahman said of the 6-foot-4 Lippert. “She found a way to put the ball in the hoop, which was good. She got herself into scoring position, and those are things that are important.”

ST. THOMAS (9-2, 8-0 MIAC): Townsend 2-6 0-0 4, Smith 4-7 1-2 9, Booth 2-7 0-0 4, Dienhart 2-2 1-3 5, Johnson 2-6 7-8 11, Ring 2-3 8-8 13, Young 2-6 3-4 7, Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Weiers 7-9 0-0 14. Totals 23-46 20-25 67.

CONCORDIA (8-3, 6-2): Schultz 0-4 1-2 1, Lippert 9-15 3-5 21, Jossart 6-12 0-0 15, Nord 2-11 1-2 5, Bauernfeind 2-6 1-2 5, Herbranson 2-3 0-0 5, Thesing 0-3 0-0 0, Sorensen 0-3 1-2 1, Walloch 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 21-57 8-15 54.

Half: UST 24, CC 15. 3-point goals: UST 1-6 (Townsend 0-1, Booth 0-1, Johnson 0-3, Ring 1-1), CC 4-17 (Jossart 3-5, Nord 0-5, Bauernfeind 0-1, Herbranson 1-1, Thesing 0-2, Sorensen 0-3). Total fouls: UST 15, CC 22. Fouled out: Schultz. Rebounds: UST 30 (Smith 6), CC 32 (Lippert 11). Assists: UST 11 (Johnson 5), CC 13 (Schultz 5). Steals: UST 11 (Ring 3), CC 8 (Sorensen 2). Turnovers: UST 19 (Booth 5), CC 20 (Jossart 6).

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com