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Eric Peterson, Published January 30 2013

Super sub Martinson leads Cobbers men to victory

MOORHEAD – Andrew Martinson kept getting open Wednesday night at Memorial Auditorium, and the Concordia senior kept draining shots.

Martinson poured in a career-high 31 points off the bench. His hot shooting sparked the Cobbers to a 78-73 victory against St. Olaf in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball.

“He’s worked at his craft,” Cobbers head coach Rich Glas said. “He’s accepted a role of not starting and being the ignition key off the bench and he’s played it beautifully. He’s a big reason for our success.”

The Cobbers (13-7, 10-5 MIAC) have won three of their past four games and remain in third place in the conference. Concordia has five MIAC games remaining in the regular season. The tops six teams in the conference advance to the MIAC playoffs.

“It starts with teammates getting me open and getting me the ball,” said Martinson, who scored 23 points in the second half. “A lot of times I don’t create for myself. That’s not really part of my game.”

Martinson made 9 of 14 shots from the field, including 4-for-7 shooting from 3-point range. The 6-foot guard also made 9 of 9 free throws. Martinson has 129 career 3-pointers and needs five more to break the school record. Brett Inniger (1993-95) has the record with 133.

“It was just one of those nights,” Martinson said. “Everything was dropping for me. When I got good looks, I knocked them down.”

All of Martinson’s 23 second-half points came in the final 13 ½ minutes. Martinson gave the Cobbers a 51-48 lead, draining a 3-pointer with 11 minutes, 2 seconds remaining. That long-range basket capped a 13-2 run and gave Concordia the lead for good.

“We went to him,” Glas said. “He had the hot hand and we kept on running plays for him and he delivered. That was a heck of a performance by Mr. Martinson.”

Martinson has scored in double figures in the past seven games. He has scored double digits in 12 of 19 games, coming off the bench all season.

“He’s doing his job is what he’s doing,” said Cobbers center Jason Huus, who had 12 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots. “We are working hard to get him open. … I take pride in helping him get open because he makes his shots.”

Martinson is shooting 51 percent (46 of 91) from 3-point range this season. He is averaging 11.3 points per game. That ranks second on the team. Glas said it’s not easy to be as productive as Martinson has been in a reserve role.

“It takes a talent to do that,” Glas said. “It takes a lot of focus. He is ready to do it. … That’s why I like having a guy play that role so they get used to the whole sitting there and then going in and getting it going.”

ST. OLAF (7-12, 6-8 MIAC): Gunderson 3-12 1-2 7, Hultgren 3-7 0-0 6, Nielsen 6-10 2-2 14, Pratt 7-11 3-4 21, Pahl 4-5 0-0 11, Jenson 0-0 2-2 2, Daly 1-3 1-2 3, Kuck 2-4 0-0 4, Aeikens 0-1 1-2 1, Braden 2-7 0-0 4, Sathoff 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-61 10-14 73.

CONCORDIA (13-7, 10-5): Nana-Kweson 3-9 1-2 8, Fisher 3-6 0-0 7, Huus 6-11 0-1 12, McKenzie 3-7 5-7 12, Lindahl 2-5 0-0 5, Rude 0-1 0-0 0, Martinson 9-14 9-9 31, Bolger 1-3 1-2 3, Flotterud 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-57 16-21 78.

Half: SO 37, CC 33. 3-point goals: SO 7-14 (Gunderson 0-1, Pratt 4-7, Pahl 3-4, Daly 0-2), CC 8-24 (Nana-Kweson 1-6, Fisher 1-4, McKenzie 1-4, Lindahl 1-3, Martinson 4-7). Total fouls: SO 21, CC 14. Rebounds: SO 29 (three players with 4), CC 38 (Huus 12). Assists: SO 11 (Gunderson 3, Pratt 3), CC 15 (Fisher 4, McKenzie 4). Steals: SO 6 (Aeikens 2), CC 3 (three players with 1). Turnovers: SO 5 (Nielsen 2), CC 9 (Nana-Kweson 3, Huus 3). A-301.

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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com