MOORHEAD, Minn. (12/12/15) --- Concordia entered Saturday's game with Augsburg winless in the MIAC at 0-3. A loss to the Auggies would have made the road to the MIAC tournament a tough task so to say Saturday's contest was a must-win was an understatement.
Jordan Bolger led a trio of Cobbers in double figures with 20 points as Concordia staved off a furious late rally from Augsburg and held on for a 73-70 win. Austin Nelson added 16 points and Tom Fraase tallied an additional 15.
The Cobbers knocked down five more 3-pointers than their opposition and hit one more field goal which proved to be the difference.
With the hard-earned victory, Concordia improves to 4-5 overall and 1-3 in MIAC play while Augsburg falters to 4-3 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
Concordia jumped out to an early 11-6 lead. Fraase connected on a 3-ball on the game's opening possession and Dylan Alderman followed with a triple of his own moments later.
Augsburg would even the score minutes later at 13-13 after Harry Sonie hit a 3-pointer and Collin Olmscheid knocked down a mid-range jumper with 12:09 to play in the opening half.
Nelson broke the tie on the ensuing possession by canning a trifecta. He was just getting started.
The Auggies went on a 7-0 run but it was Nelson who answered. The Moorhead product was the benefactor of good ball movement as he drilled triples on consecutive possessions that brought CC within one point.
Zach Kinny evened the score 25-25 with a deep ball at the 6:53 mark.
Minutes later Nelson would put the Cobbers ahead. He scored in transition and then hit a jumper that made it 37-32.
Sonie hit a jumper and a pair of free throws for Augsburg in the closing minute and Concordia held a one-point lead, 37-36, heading into recess.
Bolger answered the bell out of the break. The senior scored inside, knocked down a pair of freethrows and hit a wing jumper to score six consecutive points for the Cobbers. Fraase rattled homeanother 3-pointer shortly thereafter that pushed CC ahead 46-43 with 15:55 to play and theCobbers would never trail for the remainder of the game.
Concordia vs. Augsburg Highlights - Dec. 12, 2015
Concordia continued to utilize the long ball. CC shot 47.6% (10-for-21) from outside the arc in the game with Nelson hitting four for the second straight game. Kinny nailed three triples off the bench and Fraase hit a pair.
Kinny connected to give Concordia a 58-52 advantage with 8:56 to play. Matt Ellingson then hauled down a rebound and got out on the break to find Bolger who finished through the contact. After completing the 3-point play, Kinny drilled another triple on the ensuing possession to make it 64-54.
The trifecta gave the Cobbers their largest lead of the game with 7:56 to play in the second half.
Augsburg slowly chipped away at the Concordia lead.
For the next 6:17 of the half, Augsburg went on a 14-7 run.
Brandon Little hit a three-pointer and notched a layup off a backdoor cut in the half court, then Sonie made three trips to the charity stripe, hitting 5-of-6 free throw attempts.
Leading 71-68, the Cobbers desperately needed a basket when Alderman drove down the right lane line and kissed the ball off the glass to make it 73-68.
The Auggies would have one final attempt following another Sonie layup, but the deep corner 3-pointer fell short and the Cobbers held on for the victory.
Concordia outshot Augsburg, by the grace of one basket. The Cobbers shot 54.9% (28-for-51) compared to 52.9% (27-for-51). The rebounding numbers were just as equal, as the teams split the boards 25-25.
As aforementioned, the Cobbers did their damage from beyond the arc. They hit five more deep balls than the Auggies did.
Augsburg's bench outscored Concordia's 30-11 and the Auggies scored 44 points in the paint compared to the Cobbers' 36 points.
Austin Nelson was dialed in from deep. He connected on 4-of-6 attempts from beyond the arc and finished with 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting in 30 minutes played. Nelson continues to show signs of his improvement in all facets of his game, and is looking more and more comfortable as a called-upon scorer for the Cobbers. His four made 3-pointers marked the third time this season he has made a quartet of triples in a single game.
WHAT DOESN'T SHOW UP IN THE STATS
Dylan Alderman does a little bit of everything for Concordia. He competes, fills up the stat sheet and provides a heady presence at point guard. Alderman finished with seven points, two rebounds, four dimes and a pair of steals. He was on the floor diving for loose balls at pivotal moments and scored the Cobbers' final bucket of the game which proved to be a big basket.
LOCKED AND LOADED
Concordia's starting five has scored 72.2% of the team's total points this season so when Zach Kinny came in and provided a spark it was a huge uplift. He scored nine of the team's 11 bench points, all coming from behind the arc.
Senior Casey Bruggeman finished his college career on Saturday. The Pelican Rapids native has been riddled with injuries for the majority of his career and will undergo hip surgery on Monday afternoon. Head coach Rich Glas released this statement via his twitter account:
The Cobbers are off until after Christmas break. The team will have three weeks to fine tune things before MIAC play resumes when Concordia hits the road to take on Gustavus on Saturday, January 2.