Full Nelson

Junior Austin Nelson had a career-high 21 points to help Concordia outlast North Central 79-73.
Junior Austin Nelson had a career-high 21 points to help Concordia outlast North Central 79-73.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (11/20/15) --- Powered by a career high 21 points from Austin Nelson, Concordia weathered the storm and escaped with a 79-73 win over a scrappy North Central squad on Friday night. 

The game featured a wildly entertaining fast-paced game that had 11 ties and nine lead changes throughout the course of the 40 minutes of play. 

North Central lived and died by the deep ball as they hucked 32 3-pointers, connecting on 12. Meanwhile, the Cobbers utilized their size advantage down low punishing the Rams in the lane en route to scoring 50 points in the paint compared to North Central's 14 points.

With the win Concordia improves to 2-1 overall as they continue their five-game non-conference schedule before MIAC play begins in early December.  The Rams drop their first game of the season and are now 1-1.

It was evident from the beginning that Austin Nelson was in for a big day. The junior wing evened the score at 4-4 90-seconds into the game with a layup after the Rams hit their first two shots of the contest. 

Three minutes later Dylan Alderman went on a 5-0 run by himself with back-to-back layups and a free throw to push the Cobber lead to 11-7.

Two possessions later Nelson flew in off a missed jumper and hammered home a put-back dunk, his second in as many games, that gave Concordia the 13-10 lead.

North Central proceeded to go on a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer and bucket from Jared High that pushed the Rams to a 17-15 lead.

Tom Fraase would score on the following possession and then Isaac Anderson threw down a rim-rattling dunk on the next trip down the court that tied the game 19-19 with just over 10 minutes to play in the opening half.

The Anderson throw-down sparked a 10-2 Cobber run in which Zach Kinny drilled a deep ball that gave Concordia a 29-21 lead.

North Central's Jared High hit a three followed by an 8-0 run from Josh High which included a pair of triples. Travis Voight was then fouled on a three-point attempt and hit all three tries as the Rams went on an 11-3 run giving them the 35-32 lead with just over a minute to play in the half.

Nelson would score in the half court followed by a pair of free throws from Austin Heins that gave CC a slight 36-35 lead at the half.

Concordia came out of the locker room clearly disappointed with the first half. Alderman scored the first basket of the half then hauled down a rebound on the defensive end and took it coast-to-coast for the quick four-point swing. 

Brady Syverson got in on the action moments later hitting a baby hook in the lane. He would score on four of the next five possessions with Fraase hitting a three in between the lefty's baskets that pushed the Cobber lead to 51-41.

Nelson would cash in from downtown before the Rams stormed back. Trailing 54-43, North Central went on a 16-2 run that included four shots from beyond the arc.

The Cobbers would weather the storm as Syverson hit a jumper followed by back-to-back Nelson trifectas that gave Concordia a 64-61 lead with just over seven minutes to play.

Jared High answered the Cobbers. He hit a pair of free throws followed by a triple, then proceeded to draw the foul and hit another pair from the charity stripe that kept the Rams within two points at 72-70.

Syverson hit back-to-back jumpers pushing the lead to 76-72 with 1:29 remaining in the contest followed by another huge trey from Nelson that iced the game. CC was able to hang on for the hard fought 79-73 road win.

BIG MAN ON CAMPUS: With the absence of Jordan Bolger due to an elbow injury, Austin Nelson had a career day. He poured in a career-high 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including 4-for-7 from distance. The Moorhead product added six rebounds, three steals and an assist. 

THE BRADY BUNCH: Brady Syverson had a coming out party at North Central. The senior starter found his groove against the Rams, scoring a season-high 16 points to go along with seven rebounds and an assist. 

STREAK SURVIVAL: North Central went on several huge runs during the game that made things interesting. The Rams went on streaks of 7-0, 11-3 and 16-2 during the game. Bench production proved important as the Cobbers bench outscored their opposition 29-16. 

SOPHOMORE BUDDIES: Austin Rund and Austin Heins recorded their first varsity minutes in a Cobber uniform and made the most out of them. Rund went 1-for-4 with two points, a rebound and an assist in eight minutes while Heins went 3-for-4 from the free throw line in five minutes played.

WHAT'S NEXT? Concordia will stay overnight in the Twin Cities and travel to Arden Hills on Saturday for another non-conference UMAC tilt with defending conference champion Northwestern at 3 p.m. The Eagles will also be playing back-to-back games as they defeated Marian University 87-66 to improve to 3-0 on the season.