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Eric Peterson, Published January 12 2013

Cobbers men defeat Hamline, keep winning streak alive

MOORHEAD – Concordia hasn’t played like this since the 1990s.

Aaron Lindahl scored 18 points on Saturday at Memorial Auditorium. His performance help lift the Cobbers to a 78-67 victory against Hamline in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball.

Concordia (10-4, 7-2 MIAC) has won seven consecutive games and hasn’t lost since Dec. 3. The Cobbers haven’t won seven in a row since the 1995-96 season when the team had a

10-game streak. Concordia won the MIAC tournament that season.

“It feels awesome,” Lindahl said. “We haven’t had a win streak like this in a while, not since I’ve been here.”

The Cobbers had four different players, all seniors, score in double figures Saturday, led by Lindahl. Ebo Nana-Kweson (13), Andrew Martinson (11) and Brandon Fisher (10) also reached double digits.

“We’re just a more focused basketball team than what we’ve been for a while,” Cobbers head coach Rich Glas said.

The Cobbers took control early in the second half with a 13-2 surge that pushed their lead into double figures. Senior center Jason Huus started the surge, scoring a basket off a rebound with 16 minutes, 50 seconds to play in the second half. Nana-Kweson capped the rally. He sank two foul shots that gave Concordia a 53-39 lead with 12:06 to play. The Pipers did not get closer than seven points of the lead after that stretch.

“We knew we were going to have to outplay them just in effort,” said Hamline acting head coach Jason Verdugo. “We did that in spurts where we matched their effort. I think their experience ended up winning out.”

Lindahl missed most of last season after suffering a knee injury on Dec. 10, 2011. The 6-foot-4 guard is averaging 11.4 points per game through 14 games this season.

Coincidentally, Lindahl hurt his knee against Hamline at Memorial Auditorium.

“It was nice to get a win over them, that’s for sure,” Lindahl said with a smile.

The Pipers had five players who didn’t play Saturday because they were serving rotating suspensions. The discipline came in the wake of an alleged assault on a woman after Hamline’s New Year’s Eve game against Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. One player was dismissed and head coach Nelson Whitmore was suspended indefinitely after the reported assault. Verdugo said the team will have all of its players (14 were suspended for unspecified lengths) back for next Wednesday’s game at St. John’s.

Lindahl said not knowing what players Hamline had available created a challenge.

“It was a little tough,” Lindahl said. “We didn’t know who they were going to play until about five minutes before the game. … I think we handled it really well. We came out and got after them when we needed to.”

HAMLINE (6-7, 3-5 MIAC): Harris 3-4 2-4 8, Ford 10-20 1-4 21, Pinera 4-13 0-0 10, Easter 3-10 1-1 8, Welsh 2-6 4-4 8, Moll 1-3 0-0 3, Pannell 3-6 0-0 7, Bungue 0-0 0-0 0, Cooper 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 27-65 8-13 67.

CONCORDIA (10-4, 7-2): Fisher 5-9 0-0 10, Huus 3-3 0-0 6, McKenzie 3-9 0-0 8, Nana-Kweson 4-12 3-3 13, Lindahl 5-10 6-6 18, Rude 0-0 0-0 0, Martinson 4-12 0-0 11, Bolger 1-3 1-1 3, Flotterud 3-7 3-3 9. Totals 28-65 13-13 78.

Half: CC 37, HU 32. 3-point goals: HU 5-18 (Ford 0-5, Pinera 2-2, Easter 1-3, Welsh 0-2, Moll 1-3, Pannell 1-3), CC 9-25 (Fisher 0-1, McKenzie 2-6, Nana-Kweson 2-5, Lindahl 2-4, Martinson 3-9). Total fouls: HU 13, CC 14. Rebounds: HU 40 (Ford 13), CC 38 (Lindahl 9). Assists: HU 4 (Easter 2), CC 15 (McKenzie 7). Steals: HU 2 (Ford 2), CC 5 (Lindahl 2). Turnovers: HU 10 (Pinera 3), CC 6 (Nana-Kweson 3). A: 462.

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

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