COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (2/13/15) --- Concordia could not overcome a double-digit deficit for a majority of the second half and dropped a 75-64 decision at St. John's.
SJU narrowly outshot CC 46% (29-of-63) to 44.3% (27-of-61), but the Johnnies found their way to the foul line 12 more times and converted on 11-of-15 attempts.
The Cobbers drop to 15-9 overall and 12-7 in league play while St. John's slides one spot ahead of Concordia in the conference standings with a 17-6 overall record and a 12-6 mark in MIAC games.
The Johnnies slowly grabbed the lead over the ensuing six minutes to make it 18-17 at the 10-minute mark.
The following six-minute span featured seven lead changes and two ties, but at the 4:04 mark a 3-pointer from Joe Risinger put SJU ahead for good at 31-26.
St. John's held a 33-28 advantage at the intermission and one statistical category clearly showed the difference in the first half – turnovers.
Concordia lost the turnover battle 6-2 in the first 20 minutes and SJU manufactured those Cobber mistakes into points, leading the points off turnover category 7-2 which equaled the five-point deficit for CC.
Jordan Bolger scored on the first possession of the second half and Brett Bergeson connected from distance but St. John's was able to execute on the offensive end. SJU scored on nine of the first 11 possessions in the opening ten minutes of the second period which included four long balls to take a 58-44 lead with just under 10 minutes left.
Austin Nelson then drilled a trifecta followed by consecutive baskets from Bolger to bring the deficit under 10 points.
Bolger hit a ball from distance in the final two minutes, but SJU went 7-of-9 from the foul line in the final four minutes and scored on six of their last eight possessions to hold off the Cobbers.
St. John's shot 51.9% (14-of-27) and outscored Concordia 42-36 in the second half. As previously mentioned, the Johnnies got to the line down the stretch 12 times and converted 10 of them while the Cobbers missed their only free throw attempt in the second half.
Both teams were feeling the Ferbruary cold snap from outside the arc. Concordia entered the game third in the MIAC in 3-point shooting percentage at 39.7%, but went 9-for-29 (31%) while St. John's was even colder from outside at 6-for-24 (25%).
Bolger continued his M-V-P campaign by pumping in 22 points and hauling down 16 points while playing all 40 minutes. The conference's leading scorer (19.3 points per game) also leads the league in minutes played. He has now played 40 minutes or more seven times this season.
Fraase chipped in 17 points and six boards in 39 minutes played. Fraase has also played the fifth most minutes in the league.
HOME SWEET HOME
The home team has won 16 of the last 18 games in the series between the Cobbers and Johnnies in a streak that dates back to the 2007-08 season. The lone "away" wins during the past nine seasons have been by SJU last season and CC in 2012-13.
Concordia finished with 13 turnovers in the game which marks the second time in the past three games that CC has posted a double-digit miscue total. The Cobbers lost both games when they committed at least 10 turnovers and are now 4-7 when they have a double-digit turnover total. Concordia is 11-2 when they commit fewer than 10 miscues in a contes.
The Cobbers will have the week off before finishing up their regular season at home against Macalester on Saturday, February 20. The Scots (3-20/1-17 MIAC) host Augsburg in a midweek game before coming to Moorhead on the weekend. Concordia beat the Scots 79-74 in an overtime barnburner back on January 16.