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Eric Peterson, Published January 25 2014

Cobbers edge Gustavus in overtime

MOORHEAD – Erika Jossart remained calm at the right moment Saturday at the Memorial Auditorium.

The Concordia senior sank two free throws with four seconds remaining in overtime. Those points lifted the Cobbers to a 73-71 victory against Gustavus in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball.

“That was a very gutsy performance by her today,” Cobbers head coach Jessica Rahman said. “Erika stepping to the line and hitting those free throws. That was playing to win.”

Jossart finished with a team-high 15 points and added three assists. The Cobbers (13-3, 11-2 MIAC) have won seven consecutive games.

“They are a tough team,” Jossart said of Gustavus. “They fought hard for 45 minutes. We had to fight harder and keep coming back at them.”

The Gusties kept coming back at the Cobbers in the second half. Concordia had a 10-point halftime lead and built two more nine-point leads after that. Gustavus was able to rally from all three deficits, shooting 54 percent (13 of 24) from the floor in the second half.

“They were playing extremely well, they were shooting the ball with confidence and we were playing tentative,” Rahman said. “They hit some big shots and I think that got us a little bit tight and then we got tentative.”

Cobbers sophomore Olivia Johnson hit a short turnaround jump shot that tied the score at 71-71 with 41 seconds to play in overtime. That shot set the stage for Jossart.

The 5-foot-7 point guard was fouled on a drive to the basket with 4 seconds remaining. She drained both free throws to clinch the victory.

“To lose that game, it would really hurt us. It was a big team win for us,” Jossart said. “Being able to fight back and win big games … that’s what championship teams are going to do.”

Gustavus had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation after senior Britta Rinke was fouled on her way to the basket with 3 seconds remaining in the second half. Rinke swished the first free throw, knotting the score at 63-63. She missed the second foul shot and the game went to overtime.

“You’re always nervous when a team’s on the line to win the game,” Jossart said. “We got lucky that she missed.”

All five Concordia starters scored in double figures. The Cobbers remained tied with St. Thomas for second place in the MIAC behind league-leading St. Mary’s.

“Gustavus is a high quality basketball team,” Rahman said. “I always have a lot of respect for them.”

GUSTAVUS (8-8, 5-8 MIAC): Rinke 5-11 3-7 15, Johnson 6-11 5-6 18, Schroeder 4-6 2-2 10, Blaschko 1-9 4-6 7, Howard 4-8 6-8 16, Iverson 1-4 2-2 4, Hohenstein 0-1 1-2 1, Lundquist 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 21-52 23-35 71.

CONCORDIA (13-3, 11-2): Johnson 3-7 5-7 12, Lippert 5-10 3-6 13, Walsh 4-9 3-3 12, Jossart 4-8 5-6 15, Fisher 4-11 0-0 10, Peterson 0-1 0-0 0, Rosenfeldt 0-0 0-0 0, Jeske 1-1 0-0 3, Forness 0-4 0-0 0, E. Januschka 2-5 2-5 6, Walloch 0-4 2-2 2. Totals 23-60 20-29 73.

Half: CC 32, GAC 22. Regulation: CC 63, GAC 63. 3-point goals: GAC 6-10 (Rinke 2-2, Johnson 1-1, Blaschko1-3, Howard 2-2, Iverson 0-2), CC 7-21 (Johnson 1-3, Walsh 1-4, Jossart 2-5, Fisher 2-6, Jeske 1-1, Forness 0-1, E. Januschka 0-1). Total fouls: GAC 21, CC 24. Fouled out: Schroeder, Lippert. Rebounds: GAC 38 (Schroeder 7), CC 40 (Johnson 8). Assists: GAC 10 (Rinke 4), CC 13 (Jossart 3, Fisher 3). Steals: GAC 13 (Schroeder 4, Howard 4), CC 10 (Jossart 2, Walloch 2). Turnovers: GAC 21 (Johnson 5, Howard 5), CC 21 (Jossart 4). A-420.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.