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Eric Peterson, Published February 21 2013

Cobbers women advance to MIAC championship game

MOORHEAD – Alexandra Lippert is perfect from 3-point range in her career.

The Concordia junior sank a shot from long range in the closing seconds Thursday night at Memorial Auditorium. Lippert’s 3-pointer capped a 64-48 victory against St. Benedict in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball semifinals.

“I’ve never shot a 3-pointer in a game in my life,” said the 6-foot-4 Lippert, who finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. “First-ever make, first-ever shot.”

Lippert scored 15 of her points after halftime to help the Cobbers (21-5) pull away from the Blazers in the final 14 minutes. Her final three points came on the 3-pointer with five seconds remaining on the game clock with the shot clock nearing zero.

“That was just the perfect way to cap the game right there,” said Cobbers senior Tricia Sorensen, who scored a game-high 19 points. “You know it’s a good game if Alex hits a 3.”

The Cobbers host St. Thomas at

3 p.m. Saturday for the MIAC championship. The winner earns an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III tournament. The loser would have to wait for an at-large bid.

“You can hope for a bid, but if we win Saturday our destiny is in our hands,” Sorensen said.

St. Benedict (20-7) split two regular-season meetings with the Cobbers. The home team won all three games played between the teams this season. The Blazers are unlikely to earn an at-large bid to the national tournament.

“I thought it was an amazing season,” said St. Benedict senior Morgan Dale, who scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. “These girls, I couldn’t have asked for a better team. They are all my best friends. It’s really hard. That’s why it’s so hard because I’m going to miss them.”

St. Benedict took a 38-36 lead after senior Brianna Barrett sank a 3-pointer with 14 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the second half. The Cobbers countered with 21 of the next 24 points. Lippert scored eight points, while Sorensen added six, during that momentum-changing stretch.

“I think there were a lot of runs throughout the whole game and they just had a bigger one,” said Dale, who went to high school in Jamestown, N.D. “We just weren’t able to come back. They played well and they started hitting their shots.”

Sorensen capped the Concordia scoring spree with a transition layup. That basket gave the Cobbers a 57-41 lead with 4:12 remaining.

“We just talked about how we needed to want it more than they did,” said Lippert, who anchored the Concordia defense with two blocked shots.

The Cobbers shot 44 percent (15 of 34) from the field in the second half after shooting 29 percent (10 of 35) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. Lippert put an exclamation point on Concordia’s strong second half with her 3-point accuracy.

“I pretty much thought it was a chuck, I don’t really think it was a good shot,” Lippert said with a laugh. “When it went in, I was shocked.”

ST. BENEDICT (20-7): Dale 4-10 0-0 11, M. Lueck 0-3 0-0 0, Koch 1-4 0-0 2, Canton 5-16 0-0 10, Barrett 6-13 3-3 18, Fischer 1-3 0-0 3, Alexander 1-2 1-2 4, E. Lueck 0-1 0-0 0, Berbos 0-0 0-0 0, Hughes 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 18-53 4-7 48.

CONCORDIA (21-5): Sorensen 8-18 1-1 19, Lippert 8-11 0-0 17, Jossart 1-9 1-2 4, Thesing 5-15 1-1 13, Fisher 2-8 2-2 8, Januschka 0-5 0-0 0, Jeske 1-2 0-0 3, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Walloch 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-69 5-6 64.

Half: CC 29, CSB 29. 3-point goals: CSB 8-21 (Dale 3-5, M. Lueck 0-2, Koch 0-2, Canton 0-1, Barrett 3-5, Fischer 1-2, Alexander 1-2, E. Lueck 0-1, Falk 0-1), CC 9-24 (Sorensen 2-6, Lippert 1-1, Jossart 1-5, Thesing 2-5, Fisher 2-5, Januschka 0-1, Jeske 1-1). Total fouls: CSB 7, CC 6. Rebounds: CSB 36 (Dale 7), CC 45 (Lippert 9). Assists: CSB 9 (Canton 4), CC 18 (Jossart 10). Steals: CSB 5 (Canton 2, Alexander 2), CC 10 (Jossart 2, Walloch 2). Turnovers: CSB 13 (Dale 3, Canton 3), CC 9 (Fisher 2, Walloch 2). A-489.

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

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