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Chris Murphy, Published January 04 2014

Concordia rolls St. Mary's in men's basketball

MOORHEAD – During a recent three-game losing streak, Concordia men’s basketball coach Rich Glas told his players to focus on what was in front of them, rather than on what had already happened.

“It’s one possession, one game at a time,” Glas said. “You have to do the best you can at that possession in that game. You can’t get hung up on record or anything else. You have to have the mental toughness to play that possession and play that game you’re in. When that one is done, you do your best the next possession.”

With Saturday’s 68-47 win over St. Mary’s at Memorial Auditorium, Concordia (6-5, 2-4 MIAC) has won three of four to move above .500, since dropping three straight. Saturday’s win also got the Cobbers out from the cellar of the MIAC standings.

“We needed this conference win,” Glas said. “Now, we got two tough road games and it’s always tough to play on the road in conference. We have to play a better 40 minutes than we played tonight. I don’t think we were quite in tuned those first 20 minutes offensively.”

Neither team seemed awake offensively in the first half. St. Mary’s shot 33.3 percent and Concordia shot 35.7 percent from the field in the first half. The teams nearly combined for more turnovers (14) than field goals (17) in the first half. Brady Syverson’s 13 points helped the Cobbers take a 27-23 lead into the break.

“We just kept coming back every day and worked hard,” Syverson said of the three-game losing streak. “It was definitely big to get our second conference win. It’s a much better feeling.”

Concordia had a 30-26 lead in the early going of the second half, but used a 17-3 run to bust the game completely wide open.

“We scored on seven of our first 10 possession of the second half,” Glas said. “That was pretty much the ballgame.”

Concordia pushed the lead to as much as 66-43 in the second half. The Cobbers shot nearly 47 percent in the second half, including hitting four of their six 3-point attempts, to make up for the first half shooting woes.

“We realized how poor we came out in the first half and we didn’t have the energy we wanted,” Syverson said. “Second half, we wanted to come out and bring the energy that we wanted. We brought it out, knocked down shots and we won.”

Concordia finished with four in double digits in scoring. Outside of Syverson’s 17, Jordan Bolger had 15 points and six rebounds, Brandon Giese had 11 points and six rebounds and Brett Bergeson came off the bench for 13 points.

St. Mary’s (2-8, 1-4) was led by Wylie Ferron’s 17 points.

ST. MARY’S (2-8, 1-4 MIAC): Swiggum 4-9 0-3 9, Ferron 5-10 5-7 17, Pederson 1-6 4-4 6, Romportl 1-2 0-0 2, Collins 1-4 0-2 2, Ortiz 0-1 1-2 1, Vix 3-4 0-0 7, Schlosser 1-1 0-0 2, Meyer 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 16-41 11-20 47.

CONCORDIA (6-5, 2-4): Syverson 8-11 1-1 17, Bolger 6-9 3-3 15, Rude 1-8 1-2 4, Fraase 2-7 5-5 11, Giese 1-8 0-0 2, Zimmerman 1-4 0-0 2, Ellingson 1-1 0-0 2, Bergeson 4-6 2-3 13, Deutsch 1-1 0-1 2. Totals 25-60 12-15 68.

Half: Concordia 27, St. Mary’s 23. 3-point goals: St. Mary’s 4-11 (Swiggum 1-2, Ferron 2-3, Pederson 0-1, Romportl 0-1, Collins 0-2, Vix 1-2), Concordia 6-14 (Rude 1-3, Fraase 2-3, Giese 0-2, Bergeson 3-5, Hawkins 0-1). Total Fouls: St. Mary’s 16, Concordia 15. Rebounds: St. Mary’s 26 (Meyer 6), Concordia 41 (Hawkins 7). Assists: St. Mary’s 9 (Swiggum and Pederson 3), Concordia 9 (three with 2). Steals: St. Mary’s 7 (Pederson 2), Concordia 6 (six with 1). Turnovers: St. Mary’s 14, Concordia 12. A: 187.

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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548