It's Not How You Start The Game, It's How You Finish

It's Not How You Start The Game, It's How You Finish

WINONA, Minn. (2/03/13)—Concordia proved the age-old adage "it's not how you start the game, it's how you finish the game" on Sunday at St. Mary's. The Cobbers went 0-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half but then finished the game by scoring 11 of the final 15 points and went on to edge the Cardinals 61-60.

The comeback win is the fourth straight for Concordia and 12th in the last 15 games. The Cobbers are now 15-7 in all games and 12-5 in league play. CC has three games remaining in the regular season and needs only one more victory to clinch only its second playoff berth in the last five years. If Concordia can win all three of their final regular-season games they will finish no lower than second place and clinch a bye in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

The victory needed 56 of the 60 minutes to boil to the surface. A day after torching Macalester for 85 points and shooting 55.2% from the floor and 65.0% from 3-point range, the Cobbers struggled to find any kind of shooting touch and finished the game by connecting on a mere 38.9% of their attempts from the floor and 18.8% of their shots from outside the arc. It is the second worst field goals and 3-point shooting percentage of the year for CC.

Despite their ice-cold touch from outside, the Cobbers were able to stay within striking distance of St. Mary's by winning the battle around the basket. Concordia outrebounded the Cardinals 41-32 for the game and held a 20-14 edge in points in the paint.

Concordia trailed by as many as nine points in the first half and did not hold a lead for the entire first 20 minutes of play. The Cobbers tied the score or got to within one point on five occasions in the first period of play but each time they got close, St. Mary's would respond with a run to grab a multiple-point lead.

The Cardinals looked like they would run away with the game at the start of the second half when they scored 12 of the first 17 points to take an 11-point lead with 13:03 to play. The Cobbers then started to find a rhythm offensively and went on to post a 14-2 run to grab their first lead of the game at 50-49 with 6:19 to play. The game-changing run was fittingly capped by Concordia all-time 3-point leader Andrew Martinson when he buried another long ball.

St. Mary's responded with a 7-0 run before CC countered with a 9-2 streak to retake the lead at 59-58 with 1:52 to play. The final minutes of play would be a free throw shooting contest with the Cobbers connecting on six of their final eight foul shots in the dying minutes of play.

Martinson and Ebo Nana-Kweson were the only two Concordia players with more than eight points but the Cobbers did have all nine players that played in the game score at least two points. Martinson finished with 12 points and has now scored in double figures in nine straight games and 11 of his last 12. Nana-Kweson had a team-high 15 points and also added five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman Jordan Bolger came off the bench to collect a game-high 11 rebounds. That is also a career high.  

Concordia will put its win streak on the line when they host St. John's on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.