Toe-To-Toe With DII Elite 8

Senior Isaac Anderson tied his career for points as he scored 12 and grabbed three rebounds in the Cobbers' narrow loss at #9 MSU Moorhead.
Senior Isaac Anderson tied his career for points as he scored 12 and grabbed three rebounds in the Cobbers' narrow loss at #9 MSU Moorhead.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (11/17/15)—Concordia went toe-to-toe with the ninth ranked team in NCAA Division II on Tuesday. The Cobbers were within two points of MSU Moorhead with eight minutes left but slipped up and lost 90-82. 

The Cobbers were within five points of the Dragons, who went to the Elite 8 in Division II last season, for almost the entire game. The eight-point loss is in sharp contrast to the 27-point loss last season to MSUM where CC trailed by as many as 30 points.  

Tom Fraase picked right up where he left off from last Friday night. The sharpshooter drilled his first two 3-pointers of the game but Concordia still trailed the Dragons 12-10 with 14:51 remaining in the first half. 

Williston State transfer Ayob Ayob broke out in transition and knocked down a three-pointer on consecutive possessions but Isaac Anderson answered with a hook in the lane followed by another Fraase deep ball which squared the game at 15-15.

On the Cobbers' next possession down the floor Austin Nelson had the play of the game for CC as he soared down the baseline for the tip-slam off a missed shot. His put back slam gave Concordia a 17-15 lead.

MSUM proceeded to go on a 12-4 run that kept Concordia chasing the game for the final 29 minutes of play. Tanner Kretchman and Aaron Lien buried triples as the Dragons raced to a 31-23 lead with just under nine minutes to play in the half.

The Dragons held a seven-point lead at 38-31 when the Cobbers began to play their way back into it.  Anderson would knock down a pair of free throws along with a jumper and then Nelson canned a three to go with a couple free throws and suddenly CC was down 41-40.

Kretchman came off a screen and knocked down a three followed by a Lien runner to keep Concordia at bay heading into the break. Nelson's half court attempt at a buzzer-beater hit the rim on the left side and the Cobbers trailed 48-44.

Concordia came out of the intermission determined to keep pace with the No. 9 Dragons.  The teams exchanged baskets on the opening possessions of the second half and the Cobbers continued to clip at the heels of MSUM.

Former Moorhead High School teammates would exchange baskets at the 15-minute mark. Matt Ellingson wove his way through the lane for a bucket but Lien answered the following trip down the floor by hitting a three which made it 57-52.

Concordia would continue to battle as Lien broke free for a basket a few minutes later but was answered by a layup in the form of an elbow jump shot from Fraase. His hoop pulled CC within one at 59-58 with 12 minutes to play.

The Cobbers within five points for the first 12:40 of the second half before an Arroyo Edwards layup pushed the Dragons ahead 72-66 with 7:20 to play.

Ayob came down and hit another three of his 14 points two possessions later to thrust the Dragons ahead by nine, but Fraase led the no-quit attitude for CC by rattling home another trey on the following possession.

Big man Isaac Sevlie laid in a put back a few possessions and that was answered by Jordan Bolger moments later with a jumper from the wing to keep the game within reach.

Trailing 87-80 with under 40 seconds to play, Dylan Alderman hit a shot in the lane but he was forced to foul Kretchman whose free throws put the game on ice as the Dragons held on for the 90-82 victory.

TOMMY BOY: Tom Fraase is off to a ridiculous start. Averaging 21 points in the first two games, he is shooting 58.3% from the floor and 50.0% from beyond the arc.

NEARING MILESTONES: Jordan Bolger played the third fewest minutes in a game since his freshman year due to foul trouble. Bolger still managed to chip in 14 points with five rebounds. He is currently 13 rebounds away from hitting 500 boards and 147 points away from hitting 1,000 for his Cobber career.

BATTLE OF 8TH STREET: The Dragons claimed their fifth consecutive battle of 8th street with their 90-82 win. The eight-point spread is the closest game in that five-year span. The last time CC beat MSU-Moorhead was in 2011 when they defeated the Dragons 83-78 in Memorial Auditorium. Cobber Darrin Olmscheid poured in 27 points while Erik Lien, brother of current Dragon guard Aaron Lien, had two points in limited action. 

SPUD POWER: Austin Nelson rose to the occasion playing a former high school teammate in Lien. To go along with his rim-rattler, Nelson scored a career-high 11 points, the first time he has hit double figures in his career, and hauled down a career-high eight rebounds.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS: Isaac Anderson came off the bench with some big minutes for the Cobbs. In 14 minutes, Anderson tied his career high with 12 points and also added three rebounds. In two games this season, his "per 40" would be 30.4 points per game. Anderson is averaging 0.76 points per minute on the floor.

STAT STUFF: Down the stretch the Cobbers struggled to guard the size of the Division II Dragons. MSU-Moorhead outrebounded CC 42-21 in the contest and outshot Concordia. MSUM knocked down 55.9% (33-for-59) while the Cobbers connected on 45.5% (30-for-66) of their shots from the field.

WHAT'S NEXT? The Cobbers will actually take a bus-ride for the first time this season when they travel to the Twin Cities this weekend for a non-conference doubleheader. Concordia will take on North Central on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Concordia will stay in the metro and travel to Arden Hills to face another UMAC opponent in Northwestern on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m.