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Eric Peterson, Published January 30 2013

Point guard play helps streaking Cobbers women prevail

MOORHEAD – When it comes to point guards, Jessica Rahman figures two is better than one.

“Being able to have two ball handlers like that on the floor that can run the offense, it’s hard to key on one person,” said the Concordia women’s basketball head coach.

Concordia point guards Emily Thesing and Erika Jossart combined for 29 points, 11 rebounds and four assists Wednesday night at Memorial Auditorium. Their effort helped spark the Cobbers to a 65-58 victory against St. Olaf in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

“I think it’s been a big key for us,” Rahman said. “The other team can’t key in on one point guard.”

Thesing, a 5-foot-7 senior, finished with a game-high 20 points and also grabbed six rebounds. Jossart, a 5-7 junior, added nine points, five rebounds and two assists.

“She can find people really well,” Thesing said of Jossart. “I have always been and offensive-minded point guard. … It takes a little pressure off and gives me a chance to spot up for a 3 or whatever shot it is. It helps both of us.”

The Cobbers (15-4, 14-2 MIAC) have won six consecutive games and remain in first place in the conference. They have won 12 of their past 13 games. Concordia’s lone loss in that stretch was a 73-66 overtime defeat at home against Hamline.

Against St. Olaf, the Cobbers were clinging to a one-point lead in the final minutes when senior Tricia Sorensen drained a clutch shot. The 5-foot-11 forward sank a 3-pointer from the right wing that gave Concordia a 62-58 lead with 1 minutes, 12 seconds remaining. The Cobbers scored the final six points of the game.

“It helps that Tricia hit that big shot,” Thesing said. “Tricia hitting that three at the end kind of gave us momentum.”

The Cobbers trailed by six points at halftime, but forged into the lead with a 12-0 run early in the second half. Thesing capped the rally with a 15-foot jump shot that gave Concordia a 44-38 lead with 12:02 remaining. The Cobbers never trailed after that stretch. St. Olaf went more than eight minutes without a point during that game-changing Concordia rally.

The Cobbers shot just 30 percent (9 of 30) from the field in the second half.

“It was just a gutsy performance on defense,” Rahman said. “We made some defensive stops until we could find a way to score.”

ST. OLAF (10-9, 8-8 MIAC): Haglund 0-0 0-0 0, Raney 5-9 1-2 11, Gutierrez 2-3 0-0 5, Webber 2-2 0-0 5, M. Wolter 3-11 4-6 11, Wahlberg 0-1 0-0 0, Bandel 2-3 4-5 8, Cerjan 3-9 0-0 7, A. Wolter 0-2 0-0 0, Menzel 1-1 0-0 2, Frogner 2-8 4-6 9. Totals 20-49 13-19 58.

CONCORDIA (15-4, 14-2): Sorensen 3-12 2-4 9, Lippert 2-8 4-7 8, Jossart 3-6 2-2 9, Thesing 7-16 3-4 20, Fisher 2-11 3-5 7, Gaustad 0-0 0-0 0, Januschka 1-5 0-0 2, Jeske 1-1 0-0 3, Johnson 1-2 0-0 2, Walloch 1-3 3-4 5. Totals 21-64 17-26 65.

Half: SO 36, CC 30. 3-point goals: SO 5-14 (Gutierrez 1-1, Webber 1-1, M. Wolter 1-4, Cerjan 1-4, A. Wolter 0-1, Frogner 1-3), CC 6-27 (Sorensen 1-4, Jossart 1-3, Thesing 3-9, Fisher 0-9, Januschka 0-1, Jeske 1-1). Total fouls: SO 19, CC 18. Rebounds: SO 34 (Raney 8), CC 46 (Sorensen 12). Assists: SO 13 (M. Wolter 4), CC 12 (Fisher 3). Steals: SO 4 (Frogner 2), CC 11 (Sorensen 3, Walloch 3). Turnovers: SO 19 (Gutierrez 6), CC 15 (Jossart 3, Fisher 3). A-301.

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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

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