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Eric Peterson, Published February 08 2012

Fong leads St. Olaf men to victory against Cobbers

MOORHEAD – Concordia head coach Rich Glas was blunt in his postgame comments Wednesday.

“A top-tier team showed us how to play for 40 minutes and we were a lower-tier team,” Glas said.

Bobby Fong scored a game-high 27 points to lead St. Olaf to an 81-64 victory against the Cobbers in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball at Memorial Auditorium.

The Cobbers (7-15, 5-12 MIAC) have lost their past five games. They are in 10th place in the 11-team MIAC with three games remaining in the regular season.

“It’s all personal pride and pride in what we want to build in the program,” Glas said. “We don’t want to be a lower-tier team. We want to be a top-tier team.”

The Oles pulled away with 46 points in the second half, shooting 58 percent (18 of 31) from the floor over the final 20 minutes. St. Olaf (13-9, 12-5) is in the third place in the MIAC.

“All of us our disappointed,” Glas said. “We just did not play with the mental toughness that you have to have. Now is when we’ve got to really show our character and really play our best basketball when things aren’t so good.”

The Cobbers cut the St. Olaf lead to 37-34 after junior center Jason Huus scored an inside basket with 19 minutes, 15 seconds to play in the second half. The Oles took control from that point, countering with a 15-3 run. Fong scored a transition layup to cap the rally, staking St. Olaf to a 52-37 lead with 15:55 remaining. The Oles led by as many as 24 points in the second half, netting 10 consecutive points during one stretch.

“We’re just not getting it done mentally right now, and that affects our physical play,” Glas said. “It’s our mindset. It’s our ability to concentrate on each possession and execute, and we just didn’t do a very good job of that.”

The 6-foot-9 Huus paced the Cobbers with 16 points and eight rebounds, shooting 6-for-8 from the field.

ST. OLAF (13-9, 12-5 MIAC): Neville 6-14 2-2 14, Nielson 5-8 0-0 10, Gunderson 3-5 5-6 11, Fong 10-19 5-5 27, Wieloch 2-2 0-0 5, Pratt 1-1 0-0 2, Jenson 1-4 0-0 3, Kuck 3-6 0-0 7, Hultgren 0-0 0-0 0, Braden 1-2 0-0 2, Aslesen 0-0 0-0 0, Sathoff 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 32-62 12-13 81.

CONCORDIA (7-15, 5-12): Nana-Kweson 4-15 1-1 10, Fisher 6-9 0-0 12, Huus 6-8 4-8 16, McKenzie 3-11 2-2 8, Rude 0-2 0-0 0, Molina 0-0 0-0 0, Baildon 1-2 0-0 2, Abercrombie 1-2 2-2 5, Golberg 0-3 0-0 0, Flotterud 3-4 0-1 6, Zimmer 2-2 0-0 5, Martinson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-59 9-14 64.

Half: SO 35, CC 32. 3-point goals: SO 5-16 (Neville 0-2, Nielson 0-1, Fong 2-6, Wieloch 1-1, Jenson 1-2, Kuck 1-4), CC 3-13 (Nana-Kweson 1-4, Fisher 0-2, McKenzie 0-2, Rude 0-1, Baildon 0-1, Abercrombie 1-2, Zimmer 1-1). Total fouls: SO 12, CC 14. Rebounds: SO 32 (Gunderson 9), CC 35 (Huus 8). Assists: SO 13 (Nielson 4), CC 10 (Nana-Kweson 4). Steals: SO 7 (Fong 4), CC 2 (McKenzie, Rude). Turnovers: SO 7 (five players with 1), CC 15 (Huus 3, McKenzie 3).


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

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