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Chris Murphy, Published January 04 2014

Cobbers fall to St. Mary's 66-57 in women's bball

MOORHEAD – Concordia women’s basketball coach Jessica Rahman wasn’t able to celebrate her birthday as she would have liked Saturday, as the Cobbers fell to St. Mary’s 66-57 in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action at Memorial Auditorium.

Rahman is currently sitting on 198 career wins, trying to become the first Concordia basketball coach to get 200 wins. She had other things on her mind after her Cobbers dropped to 4-2 in the MIAC, while St. Mary’s moved to 4-1.

“I don’t think about it,” Rahman said. “That’s not why I’m here. We have two games coming up Monday and Tuesday, so we have to get back on track.”

St. Mary’s (7-1, 4-1) came into Saturday’s game with the best 3-point shooting percentage in the MIAC. The Cardinals didn’t disappoint, hitting eight of their 14 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

“They get to the basket hard and that creates a helping situation defensively and they kick it out at the right time,” Rahman said. “Their kids had their feet ready and hands ready and they stepped in and hit those shots. Once you get into a zone, you get your confidence going and it’s a little easier to put up the next shot.”

St. Mary’s first nine points of the second half came off of 3-pointers. Shelby Auseth opened the second half with two 3-pointers to put the Cardinals up 36-34. Darcey Rice finished with game-high 16 points and was 4-of-5 from beyond the 3-point stripe. Her 3-pointer early in the second half put St. Mary’s up 39-37 and the Cardinals would never trail from there.

“We didn’t come out and execute as well as we would have liked today,” said Concordia forward Olivia Johnson, who finished with a team-high 15 points. “They knew what to do to stop us and we didn’t adjust very well to stop them back. They shot very well outside the arc today.”

Layups from Mikayla Forness and Alexandra Lippert cut the St. Mary’s lead to 43-42, but the Cardinals answered with an 11-2 run.

“As you go in the MIAC season, every game is a big game because every team is a good team,” Rahman said. “You have to prepared, come to the gym, lace your shoes up and get after things. There was an even flow to the game. We just needed to match that last run they had and we didn’t quite do it.”

With 1 minute, 42 seconds remaining, Concordia cut the St. Mary’s lead to 62-57. The Cobbers, however, put the wrong girl on the free-throw line, as Bridget Pethke moved to 30-for-30 from the charity stripe on the season, netting all four of her attempts in the final minute.

“We have to learn from this,” Johnson said. “We have to take the mistakes we learned and take out our anger out on St. Olaf.”

Concordia will play four of its next five games on the road. Rahman says it’s nothing new for the Cobbers.

“We’re used to that kind of thing,” Rahman said. “I think we approach the road games very similarly to how we approach the home games. We have to get ready to go and get out there and play hard.”

ST. MARY’S (7-1, 4-1 MIAC): Euerle 4-9 2-2 10, Pethke 3-9 4-4 11, Schoenthaler 3-10 0-0 7, Rice 6-8 0-0 16, Auseth 3-10 4-4 12, Brown 2-2 0-1 4, Awoniyi 2-6 0-2 4, Larson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 24-58 10-13 66.

CONCORDIA (6-3, 4-2): Johnson 4-10 6-6 15, Lippert 2-7 3-4 7, Walsh 4-5 0-0 10, Jossart 1-7 1-2 4, Fisher 0-3 2-2 2, Jeske 2-2 0-0 4, Forness 1-3 2-3 4, Januschka 3-6 0-0 6, Walloch 2-4 1-2 5. Totals 19-48 15-19 57.

Half: Concordia 34, St. Mary’s 30. 3-point goals: St. Mary’s 8-14 (Pehtke 1-3, Schoenthaler 1-1, Rice 4-5, Auseth 2-4, Mathews 0-1), Concordia 4-11 (Johnson 1-2, Walsh 2-2, Jossart 1-4, Fisher 0-1, Forness 0-1, Januschka 0-1). Total Fouls: St. Mary’s 16, Concordia 15. Rebounds: St. Mary’s 29 (Euerle 9), Concordia 34 (Lippert 7). Assists: St. Mary’s 11 (Pethke 6), Concordia 7 (Fisher 3). Steals: St. Mary’s 12 (Auseth 3), Concordia 5 (five with 1). Turnovers: St. Mary’s 13, Concordia 15. A: 168.

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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548