MOORHEAD, Minn. (1/21/13)—Jason Huus scored the final seven points in Concordia's improbable 54-52 upset win over No.1-ranked St. Thomas on Monday. Huus finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and four blocks to propel the Cobbers to its biggest win in program history.
Video of the final 2.8 seconds and victory celebration
"It was the greatest moment of my life – by far," responded Huus on the huge home win.
The win is the first in program history over a No.1-ranked team and snaps a two-game losing streak. It also keeps the Cobbers in the thick of the conference playoff race. Concordia is now 11-6 overall and 8-4 in league play and in sole possession of third place in the MIAC standings.
The 52 points scored by the Tommies is the fewest by a UST team since the 2009-10 season – a stretch that covers 93 games.
Postgame audio interview with head coach Rich Glas
"We had great effort the whole game," said Cobber head coach Rich Glas. "We kept battling... we just stuck with them defensively. We made them really work on the defensive end and offensively we made enough plays in critical times to get the win."
St. Thomas loses for the first time all season. The Tommies, who gained the No.1 ranking in the D3hoops.com poll last week, are now 16-1 in all games and 11-1 in the MIAC. It is the first loss for St. Thomas against a conference team in 18 games.
Huus was at the forefront of Concordia's first win over the Tommies since the 2007-08 season but the Cobbers had several other players step up during the electric 60 minutes of play. Andrew Martinson went 3-for-6 from behind the arc, had a stretch in the second half where he couldn't miss from the outside and finished with a team-high 11 points – all in the second period of play.
Martinson's hot streak in the second didn't go unnoticed by Glas who singled out that second-half stretch as one of the keys in the game, "AMart (Andrew Martinson) was huge, he had an 11-point run that got us a little lead and we never let go," commented Glas.
The Cobbers trailed by three at the break but then watched the deficit creep to seven at 37-30 with 14:09 to play before the Cobbers scored seven straight points to tie the game at 37-37. From there the Tommies would regain a four-point lead before Martinson went on his 11-point run to stake CC to a 49-43 lead with 5:55 to play.
The Tommies eventually tied the game at 52-52 before Huus was fouled under the basket and connected on two free throws with just 29-seconds to play. St. Thomas had a pair of chances to tie the game in the final nine seconds but both shots glanced off the rim – including a potential game-winning 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Neither team was able to find a consistent rhythm on offense. The Cobbers shot 39.6% (21-for-53) from the floor and 30.0% (6-for-20) from 3-point range. On the other end of the court St. Thomas connected on 37.3% (19-for-51) of their shots from the floor and 28.6% (4-for-14) of their attempts from outside the arc.
The biggest statistical advantage came on second chance points. Concordia used 10 offensive rebounds to come away with an 11-2 edge in second chance points. The Cobbers had a slight 36-32 advantage in overall rebounds.
Besides the nine points from Huus and 11 points from Martinson, Concordia had two other players score in double figures. Ebo Nana-Kweson posted a 10-point, 8-rebound performance and Jordan Bolger came off the bench to go 4-for-5 from the field and score 10 points.
St. Thomas was led by forward Zach Riedeman who went 6-for-8 from the field and had a game-high 14 points. Will DeBerg added 10 points and Connor Nord recorded a team-high six rebounds.
Concordia will have little time to celebrate the win as they grind through a three-game week. The Cobbers will play at Carleton on Wednesday, Jan. 23 before returning home to host second-place Augsburg on Saturday, Jan. 26.