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Eric Peterson, Published February 05 2014

Gunderson lead St. Olaf to victory against Cobbers men

MOORHEAD – St. Olaf guard Connor Gunderson looked at home Wednesday night at Memorial Auditorium, even though he was on the visiting team.

The senior scored a game-high 18 points to lead to the Oles to a 68-57 victory over Concordia in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball. In the process, Gunderson surpassed 1,000 points for his career.

“It was kind of ironic to get it here,” said Gunderson, who remembers watching a Concordia player surpass 1,000 points at Memorial Auditorium during Gunderson’s freshman season.

The Cobbers (10-11, 6-10 MIAC) have lost two consecutive games. Concordia is two games out of the final spot in the MIAC playoffs. The top six teams make the conference tournament.

“I tip my hat to them,” Cobbers head coach Rich Glas said of St. Olaf. “They’re a good team. They have eight seniors, they know what it’s all about and they are on a roll.”

St. Olaf (16-4, 13-2) has won nine consecutive games. Gunderson was efficient against the Cobbers, making 7 of 9 shots from the field and 3 of 4 shots from the foul line. The 6-foot-6 Gunderson also grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

“He’s just a solid ballplayer,” Glas said.

Gunderson surpassed 1,000 points, draining a 15-foot jump shot from the right wing that gave the Oles a 35-27 lead with 19 minutes remaining in the second half. That gave him 12 points for the game. Gunderson had 989 career points entering the game.

“It’s a great feeling. I told the guys in the locker room I couldn’t have done it without them,” Gunderson said. “They give me the ball in position to score and I put them in.”

The Cobbers never led in the second half. Concordia took a 12-10 lead (its final lead of the game) after Aaron Zimmer made two free throws with 12:57 to play in the first half. St. Olaf counted with the next 10 points. Gunderson scored eight points during that key stretch. The Oles took a 20-12 lead after Gunderson swished a 3-pointer with 10:15 to play until halftime.

The Oles had a 33-27 halftime lead. The Cobbers couldn’t get closer than five points of the lead in the second half.

ST. OLAF (16-4, 13-2 MIAC): Hultgren 1-3 0-0 2, Nielsen 3-9 5-6 12, Pratt 1-4 0-0 3, Gunderson 7-9 3-4 18, Pahl 4-11 2-2 10, Jenson 1-1 0-0 3, Daly 1-3 4-4 6, Kuck 3-6 3-3 9, Aeikens 1-1 1-2 3, Braden 1-1 0-0 2, Aslesen 0-0 0-0 0, Turnblad 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-49 18-21 68.

CONCORDIA (10-11, 6-10): Syverson 4-5 0-1 8, Bolger 2-8 5-7 9, Rude 2-2 1-2 6, Fraase 3-7 1-2 8, Giese 1-10 0-0 3, Ellingson 0-1 2-2 2, Bergeson 4-8 2-2 13, Deutsch 0-1 0-0 0, Zimmer 0-0 2-2 2, Anderson 3-5 0-0 6. Totals 19-47 13-18 57.

Half: SO 33, CC 27. 3-point goals: SO 4-14 (Nielsen 1-2, Pratt 1-2, Gunderson 1-2, Pahl 0-6, Jenson 1-1, Kuck 0-1), CC 6-16 (Bolger 0-1, Rude 1-1, Fraase 1-4, Giese 1-3, Bergeson 3-7). Total fouls: SO 15, CC 16. Rebounds: SO 33 (Gunderson 7), CC 26 (Bolger 6). Assists: SO 9 (Aeikens 4), CC 10 (Bolger 3). Steals: SO 4 (Gunderson 2), CC 6 (Bolger 3). Turnovers: SO 11 (Gunderson 3), CC 12 (Syverson 3). A-353.


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