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Eric Peterson, Published February 15 2014

Cobbers women edge St. Thomas for MIAC win

MOORHEAD – Finding range from beyond the arc helped vault Concordia to victory Saturday afternoon at Memorial Auditorium.

The Cobbers sank four 3-pointers in the opening six minutes of the second half. Those long-range shots helped spark a Concordia rally, which ended with a 60-57 victory against St. Thomas in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s basketball.

“I think that was a big turning point in the game,” said Cobbers senior Alley Fisher, who finished 3-for-4 from 3-point range. “We have a lot of good shooters.”

The Cobbers (19-4, 17-3 MIAC) are tied for second place in the MIAC with the Tommies with two conference games remaining in the regular season. Concordia holds the head-to-head tiebreaker, beating St. Thomas in both regular-season meetings this season. St. Mary’s (21-2, 18-2) is in first place in the league with a game lead on both teams, and has the inside track to the top seed for the MIAC tournament.

“This was a very big game for us,” said Fisher, who finished with a game-high 19 points. “We came out to prove a point. We want to be at the top.”

The Cobbers trailed by seven points early in the second half before using the 3-pointer to rally. At one point, 3-point shots accounted for 12 consecutive Concordia points. Fisher and freshman guard Greta Walsh both hit two 3-pointers apiece during that span. Walsh capped the long-range flurry with a 3-pointer from the right wing with 16 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the game. That 3-pointer sparked a 13-2 run that pushed the Cobbers into the lead for good.

Walsh also capped that momentum-shifting rally with a transition basket that gave Concordia a 49-42 lead with 9:30 remaining. The Cobbers took a 56-46 lead after senior guard Erika Jossart drained a 3-pointer with 4:37 remaining.

“I think it was the movement,” Fisher said of the 3-point success and offensive success in the second half. “The first half we were standing around, waiting for someone to do something. … We had to do it for ourselves and we had to do it for each other.”

The Tommies mustered a furious rally late with an 11-2 scoring burst. St. Thomas senior Taylor Young hit a tough 15-foot shot from the wing that cut the Concordia lead to 58-57 with 1:35 remaining.

Fisher countered with a layup in transition 15 seconds later to help seal the victory. Neither team scored in the final 80 seconds.

“She likes to be aggressive and she likes to go to the basket hard,” Cobbers head coach Jessica Rahman said of Fisher. “She just took it to the basket hard and finished.”

The Cobbers scored 34 points in the second half on 46 percent (13 of 28) shooting from the field. Concordia shot 50 percent (5 of 10) from 3-point range in the final 20 minutes. St. Thomas went 0-for-12 from beyond the arc for the game. The Tommies didn’t score from the field during one seven-plus minute stretch in the second half.

“We didn’t talk about what this game might mean,” Rahman said. “We talked about the fact that in order for us to feel like we did the job and we were successful, we had to go out and leave it all on the floor. … That’s what the kids did. You could definitely see that.”

The Cobbers have won 13 of their past 14 games, including five in a row.

ST. THOMAS (19-4, 17-3 MIAC): Young 5-13 2-2 12, Weiers 3-9 4-6 10, Stone 1-10 0-0 2, Margarit 3-4 0-0 6, Brandenburg 4-9 6-7 14, Gernes 0-0 0-0 0, Hughes 0-1 0-0 0, Warner 1-3 0-1 2, Dockter 4-6 3-3 11, Langer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-55 15-19 57.

CONCORDIA (19-4, 17-3): Johnson 4-9 0-0 8, Lippert 2-3 0-0 4, Walsh 4-7 1-2 11, Jossart 1-6 0-0 3, Fisher 6-11 4-5 19, Peterson 1-2 2-2 5, Rosenfeldt 0-0 0-0 0, Jeske 1-2 2-2 4, E. Januschka 2-3 2-2 6, Walloch 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 21-46 11-13 60.

Half: UST 31, CC 26. 3-point goals: UST 0-12 (Young 0-3, Stone 0-6, Brandenburg 0-1, Warner 0-1, Dockter 0-1), CC 7-16 (Johnson 0-2, Walsh 2-4, Jossart 1-4, Fisher 3-4, Peterson 1-2). Total fouls: UST 14, CC 14. Rebounds: UST 29 (Weiers 6, Brandenburg 6), CC 33 (Lippert 7). Assists: UST 8 (Young 3, Brandenburg 3). Steals: UST 11 (Young 4), CC 9 (Walsh 4). Turnovers: UST 16 (Young 5), CC 21 (Walsh 5). A-482.

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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com