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Eric Peterson, Published November 20 2012

Dragons knock off Cobbers in men's basketball

MOORHEAD – Anthony Tucker had a game-high point total and his team beat a rival by double digits Tuesday night, but that didn’t mean the Minnesota State Moorhead senior guard was satisfied.

Tucker scored 24 points to spark the Dragons to a 70-57 victory against Concordia in nonconference men’s basketball at Memorial Auditorium.

“Our intensity was good,” Tucker said. “Obviously, it’s a rivalry game and you want to play well for bragging rights and what-not. I think our intensity was good. We just made some mental mistakes.”

The Dragons (4-0) led by as many as 21 points in the second half, but were unable to completely pull away from the Cobbers. Concordia (1-1) cut the MSUM lead into single digits once in the final nine minutes.

“In the second, we ended up winning the half, not that that’s any big thing,” Cobbers head coach Rich Glas said. “But I thought we played a little better.”

The Dragons scored 22 of the game’s first 30 points and never trailed.

“We would have liked to have played a little bit better, but credit Concordia,” Dragons head coach Chad Walthall said. “I respect the fact of how hard (Concordia) played in the second half. We could have played better, but you’ve got to give Coach Glas and his team a lot of credit.”

The Dragons took a 54-34 lead after Jordan Riewer scored a layup in transition with 11 minutes, 57 seconds remaining in the second half. Concordia countered with its strongest rally, scoring the next 11 points.

“We battled,” Glas said. “We kept playing against a good team and didn’t die.”

Cobbers senior guard Andrew Martinson capped that surge with back-to-back 3-pointers that trimmed the MSUM lead to 54-45 with 8:05 remaining.

“At that point you want to push it from 20 to 25 to 30, keep getting stops,” Tucker said. “Unfortunately, we let it go the other way.”

The Dragons squelched the Concordia scoring spree with a string a six straight points. Tucker scored four points during that stretch. The 6-foot-4 Tucker made a basket in the middle of the lane that gave the Dragons a 60-45 lead with 6:10 remaining. MSUM never saw its lead sink into double digits after that scoring run.

“They put us in some difficult situations and we didn’t handle it,” Walthall said. “You never want to take it for granted, a city rivalry. You’ve got to appreciate the win. I think we appreciate the win and move on.”

Glas said his team needs to play stronger from the start. The Dragons built a 39-21 halftime lead.

“We tippy-toed around to start the game,” Glas said. “We’ve got to come out with a little more confidence in ourselves that we can do the job. We had opportunities. We just had a poor first half making shots against a good team that can make shots.”

MSUM (4-0): Novak 6-12 2-3 14, Filipek 1-4 2-4 4, Tucker 9-14 5-6 24, Riewer 5-7 0-0 11, Vaughan 2-3 2-3 8, Holt 0-2 0-0 0, Wohler 3-3 0-0 6, Figini 1-4 0-2 2, Olson 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 27-51 12-20 70.

CONCORDIA (1-1): Fisher 4-9 0-0 8, Huus 4-6 0-0 8, Rude 0-1 0-0 0, McKenzie 1-6 2-2 5, Nana-Kweson 5-13 6-7 17, Martinson 4-9 0-0 11, Johnsrud 0-1 0-0 0, Bolger 2-4 1-2 5, Zimmer 0-0 0-0 0, Giese 0-1 0-0 0, A. Lindahl 0-4 0-1 0, Flotterud 1-5 1-1 3, G. Lindahl 0-0 0-0. Totals 21-59 10-13 57.

Half: MSUM 39, CC 21. 3-point goals: MSUM 4-10 (Filipek 0-1, Tucker 1-3, Riewer 1-2, Vaughan 2-2, Holt 0-2), CC 5-13 (Fisher 0-1, Rude 0-1, McKenzie 1-3, Nana-Kweson 1-2, Martinson 3-4, Johnsrud 0-1, A. Lindahl 0-1). Total fouls: MSUM 15, CC 16. Rebounds: MSUM 29 (Olson 9), CC 37 (Nana-Kweson 7). Assists: MSUM 9 (Tucker 4), CC 4 (Fisher 2). Steals: MSUM 8 (Tucker 4), CC 2 (Fisher, Nana-Kweson). Turnovers: MSUM 5 (five players with 1), CC 10 (Nana-Kweson 4).

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

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