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Eric Peterson, Published November 28 2012

Martinson leads Concordia men past Bethel

MOORHEAD – Andrew Martinson turned a year older Wednesday and responded with a more mature performance.

The birthday boy netted a team-high 18 points off the bench to spark Concordia to a 73-65 victory against Bethel in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball at Memorial Auditorium.

“One year older, it made a difference in his game tonight,” Cobbers head coach Rich Glas joked.

The game was the conference opener for Concordia, which improved to 3-2 overall this season.

“We just played together and stuck together,” said Martinson, who scored 12 of his points in the first half. “I think it shows how far we’ve come as a team. I think we’ve grown a lot.”

The Cobbers had a mature reaction to watching the double-digit lead they built in the final nine minutes of the first half, evaporate early in the second half.

The Royals took a 42-41 lead after junior forward Kyle Zimmerman scored an inside basket with 14 minutes, 52 seconds to play in the second half.

Concordia responded with 18 of the next 24 points. Senior forward Ebo Nana-Kweson drained a 3-point shot and added a 3-point play during that game-changing stretch. Freshman forward Jordan Bolger capped the rally with two free throws that gave Concordia a 59-48 lead with 6:35 remaining. The Cobbers made 8 of 8 free throws in the final four minutes to seal the victory. Concordia made 23 of 27 foul shots against the Royals. The Cobbers were shooting 58 percent as a team entering the game.

“We responded to that and made a few big plays to make some hoops and made some big free throws,” Glas said. “Defensively, we just kind of kept chucking away at them and not letting them get any big runs on us.”

Martinson made 6 of 10 shots from the field and was 4-for-4 from the foul line. The 6-foot senior guard drained two 3-pointers in the first half and made all of his free throws in the game’s final two minutes.

Martinson doesn’t mind his reserve role.

“It’s a fun role to play to come give the team a spark off the bench,” said Martinson, who is from Chaska, Minn.

“The bench is important,” Glas added. “Andrew is a guy who is capable of starting for us. But, you’ve got to have people off the bench who are going to lift your team.”

BETHEL (2-2, 0-1 MIAC): Hall 10-15 8-10 28, Robinson 2-8 2-4 7, Zimmerman 8-14 8-10 24, Westlund 0-1 0-0 0, Gorski 1-9 2-2 4, Wolhowe 0-2 0-0 0, Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Casey 0-1 0-0 0, DeCleene 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-52 20-26 65.

CONCORDIA (3-2, 1-0): Nana-Kweson 4-9 4-5 14, Fisher 0-3 0-0 0, Huus 3-4 6-7 12, McKenzie 4-11 0-0 8, Rude 0-2 0-0 0, Bolger 1-2 3-4 4, A. Lindahl 1-4 2-3 4, Flotterud 4-5 4-4 12, Martinson 6-10 4-4 18. Totals 23-50 23-27 73.

Half: CC 37, BU 34. 3-point goals: BU 1-10 (Hall 0-1, Robinson 1-5, Westlund 0-1, Gorski 0-1, Wolhowe 0-2), CC 4-16 (Nana-Kweson 2-4, Fisher 0-1, McKenzie 0-1, Rude 0-2, Bolger 0-1, A. Lindahl 0-2, Martinson 2-5). Total fouls: BU 19, CC 17. Rebounds: BU 22 (Hall 8), CC 38 (A. Lindahl 8). Assists: BU 6 (Zimmerman 2), CC 14 (Nana-Kweson 4). Steals: BU 6 (Zimmerman 2), CC 2 (Nana-Kweson, Rude). Turnovers: BU 7 (Westlund 3), CC 14 (three players with 3).

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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com