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Eric Peterson, Published January 21 2013

Cobbers women upset No 9-ranked St. Thomas

MOORHEAD – Jessica Rahman didn’t know if she would have her leading scorer until about two hours before tipoff Monday. So the Concordia women’s basketball coach planned like she would not have senior Tricia Sorensen available.

“To me, if we had Tricia for the game, it would be a great big bonus, and that’s what it turned out to be,” Rahman said.

Sorensen scored all of her team-high 15 points in the second half. Her performance helped lift the Cobbers to a 69-62 victory against No. 9-ranked St. Thomas in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

“It’s a huge win,” said Sorensen, who also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds off the bench. “Everyone in the MIAC is a tough team. To beat St. Thomas, they’re phenomenal. So it’s great to be able to come out and beat them.”

The Cobbers (12-4, 11-2 MIAC) have won three consecutive games, moving into a first-place tie for the conference lead with the victory.

Sorensen didn’t practice Sunday after she experienced concussion-like symptoms in Saturday’s 50-49 victory at Gustavus. She had sat out the game before that. Sorensen suffered a concussion on Jan. 12 against Hamline. Rahman started sophomore Erin Januschka in place of Sorensen against the Tommies.

Sorensen missed one shot in the first half and played six minutes while picking up two fouls. The 5-foot-11 forward, however, got hot in the second half. She sank 6 of 10 shots from the field and made 2 of 2 free throws after halftime.

“She came in and played phenomenal in that second half,” Rahman said.

Sorensen scored arguably her biggest basket with less than a minute to play in the second half and the Cobbers clinging to a two-point lead. She grabbed a missed free throw and scored on the rebound to give Concordia a 66-62 lead with 32 seconds remaining. Sorensen credited teammate Alley Fisher for the critical basket.

“I just saw her tip it and I went to the spot,” said Sorensen, who also sank two free throws with five seconds remaining. “It was really all her. I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time.”

The Cobbers, who trailed by as many as eight points early in the second half, scored the game’s final six points.

Junior forward Taylor Young helped St. Thomas build a 34-31 halftime lead, scoring 10 points in the first 20 minutes. The 5-foot-11 forward was 4-for-8 from the floor in the opening half. The Tommies had two separate runs of seven consecutive points before halftime. Senior guard Kellie Ring capped the second one with a steal and layup that gave St. Thomas a 31-24 lead with 2:52 remaining in the first half.

Cobbers junior post Alexandra Lippert helped keep her team close in the first half, scoring nine points on 4-for-5 shooting from the floor before halftime. Concordia finished with five players scoring in double digits.

“I think the balanced scoring has been the key for us offensively,” Rahman said.

The Cobbers had 21 turnovers against an active St. Thomas defense, which finished with 15 steals.

“Their whole team is athletic,” Sorensen said. “It’s a hard trap and we got a little excited sometimes and made some passes that we shouldn’t. We stayed calm at the times we needed.”

ST. THOMAS (13-3, 11-2 MIAC): Young 9-18 2-2 20, Smith 2-6 3-4 7, Ring 2-9 1-3 5, Emery 0-1 0-1 0, Dockter 7-11 3-3 17, Margarit 1-2 2-2 4, Hughes 2-7 0-0 6, Warner 1-3 1-2 3, Favilla 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-58 12-17 62.

CONCORDIA (12-4, 11-2): Januschka 3-3 0-0 6, Lippert 4-7 3-3 11, Jossart 2-6 6-8 10, Thesing 4-10 1-2 10, Fisher 2-5 7-8 12, Rosenfeldt 0-1 0-0 0, Gaustad 0-0 0-2 0, Sorensen 6-11 2-2 15, Jeske 0-1 1-2 1, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Walloch 1-1 2-2 4. Totals

Half: UST 34, CC 31. 3-point goals: UST 2-16 (Young 0-1, Smith 0-2, Ring 0-4, Dockter 0-1, Hughes 2-6, Warner 0-1, Favilla 0-1), CC 3-9 (Jossart 0-2, Thesing 1-4, Fisher 1-1, Sorensen 1-2). Total fouls: UST 21, CC 18. Rebounds: UST 25 (Dockter 6), CC 39 (Sorensen 8). Assists: UST 11 (three players with 3), CC 9 (Thesing 5). Steals: UST 15 (Young 4, Ring 4), CC 9 (Walloch 3). Turnovers: UST 13 (Emery 3), CC 21 (Thesing 6).

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com