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Eric Peterson, Published February 08 2012

Sorensen, Cobbers power past St. Olaf

MOORHEAD – The operative word for the Concordia women’s basketball team Wednesday was “energy.”

That ingredient was constant, particularly on defense, for the Cobbers during an important conference matchup.

Junior forward Tricia Sorensen poured in 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help spark Concordia to a 56-47 victory against St. Olaf in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

“We knew we had to bring good energy on defense,” Cobbers coach Jessica Rahman said. “We took some big steps forward as far as defensive intensity and really play good team defense.”

The Cobbers (15-7, 13-6 MIAC) took over sole possession of third place in the conference with three games remaining in the regular season. If Concordia maintains that third spot, it will host a first-round game in the MIAC playoffs.

The Cobbers have a tough remaining schedule with games against conference-leading St. Thomas and second-place Gustavus.

The Cobbers were tied with St. Olaf (15-7, 12-7) for third place heading into Wednesday.

“It’s not the end all, because we still have three more games left, but it was important,” Rahman said.

The Cobbers imposed their defensive will early, holding St. Olaf to two points through the game’s first 10 minutes. The Oles made one of their first 14 shots (7 percent) from the field.

Concordia took a 13-2 lead after Sorensen drained a 3-pointer from the baseline with 10 minutes, 35 seconds remaining in the first half.

“We’ve been pushed hard, we just had the energy, and we wanted the game,” Sorensen said. “We are really pleased with our defense. It’s a big part of our game.”

Sorensen did most of her offensive damage after halftime.

The 5-foot-11 forward scored 13 points over the final 20 minutes. The Cobbers started the second half on a 13-5 run. Center Alexandra Lippert scored an inside basket to cap that run, staking Concordia to a 36-24 lead with 12:52 remaining in the second half.

The Cobbers played from the lead over the game’s final 36-plus minutes. St. Olaf’s only lead was a 2-0 advantage.

St. Olaf scored a 66-51 home victory against the Cobbers in first meeting between the teams this season on Jan. 4.

“We knew that this game tonight was going to be a big game for us,” Rahman said. “We needed to come in and play our ‘A’ game and play for 40 minutes.”

ST. OLAF (15-7, 12-7 MIAC): O’Donoghue 0-1 0-0 0, Haglund 1-4 1-2 3, Raney 2-8 2-4 6, Rotty 2-13 1-4 5, Wolter 4-11 3-5 11, Bates 4-9 0-0 12, Blanford 1-2 0-3 2, Rongstad 1-1 0-0 3, Menzel 0-0 0-0 0, Frogner 1-3 3-6 5. Totals 16-52 10-24 47.

CONCORDIA (15-7, 13-6): Sorensen 5-11 5-5 18, Lippert 2-10 3-4 7, Jossart 4-7 2-3 10, Vance 1-4 3-4 5, Thesing 2-7 1-2 5, Rosedahl 1-3 0-0 3, Fisher 1-5 0-0 2, Benjamin 0-3 0-0 0, Walloch 2-2 2-2 6. Totals 18-52 16-20 56.

Half: CC 23, SO 19. 3-point goals: SO 5-19 (Rotty 0-5, Wolter 0-3, Bates 4-8, Rongstad 1-1, Frogner 0-2), CC 4-16 (Sorensen 3-5, Jossart 0-1, Vance 0-2, Thesing 0-3, Rosedahl 1-2, Fisher 0-3). Total fouls: SO 18, CC 16. Rebounds: SO 44 (Haglund 7), CC 36 (Sorensen 10). Assists: SO 8 (Wolter 3), CC 11 (Walloch 5). Steals: SO 8 (Wolter 4), CC 4 (four players with 1). Turnovers: SO 15 (three players with 3), CC 13 (Thesing 6).


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

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