MOORHEAD, Minn. (1/21/19) ---A balanced scoring attack helped Concordia post a gritty 73-68 win over St. Mary's.
The Cobbers had four starters reach double figure scoring totals and iced the game by making their free throws in the final seconds as they swept the season wseries with the Cardinals.
The Cobbers built a 13-point lead with just over 12 minutes to play but the Cardinals stuck around and made it close down the stretch.
The game featured 10 ties and 13 lead changes – including a 35-35 score at the half – but Concordia scored the first six points of the second half and never trailed the rest of the way.
The win pushes the Cobbers into sole possession of fifth place in the league with a 6-5 record. CC is now 9-7 in all games. SMU drops to 5-10 overall and 3-8 in MIAC contests.
After a back-and-forth first 20 minutes, the first seven minutes of the second half belonged to Concordia.
The Cobbers went on an 18-7 run over the first seven minutes after the break - capped by an Austin Rund wing triple – to take a 53-42 lead.
That's when the Cardinals began to battle back.
Over the next five minutes they managed to cut the deficit to only five points at 57-52 with eight minutes to play after Aaron Romportl scored three of his game-high 22 points.
A transition layup moments later from Austin Nelson pushed the lead to eight points but turnovers proved costly and SMU stayed close.
The Cardinals scored 17 points off of Concordia's 17 turnovers and an additional 13 points off of offensive rebounds in the game.
Up 67-64 with just over a minute to play and the shot clock winding down, Alderman connected on a jumper to push the lead to five points.
The Cobbers hit enough bonus free throws to stave off a Cardinal comeback.
CC outshot St. Mary's 49.0% (24-of-49) to 42.2% (27-of-64) and dominated the glass 42-29. The Cobbers also had 14 assists to SMU's seven.
THE DAILY DOUBLE – Austin Nelson had 10 points and 10 rebounds to record his first career double-double. The 10 boards is a career high and he has scored in double figures in 14 of 16 games en route to averaging 14.4 points per contest.
I'LL TAKE SOME MORE HEINZ PLEASE – Austin Heins finished with a team-high 17 points to go along with seven rebounds. He has scored in double digits in six of 11 MIAC games and the team is 5-1 when he scores 10 or more points against conference opponents. After going 7-for-11 from the floor, his shooting percentage of 66.7% is tops in the conference.
FILLING UP THE STAT SHEET – Zach Kinny continues to inch closer towards a triple-double. He finished Saturday's game with 12 points, eight rebounds and nine assists to follow up his 8-9-9 performance on Wednesday. In the past week he has averaged 12 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists in three league games. Kinny is leading the MIAC in assists by 20 dimes and is averaging 8.6 helpers per game.
DOWNHILL DYLAN – Dylan Alderman finished with 15 points and seven rebounds with nine of those points coming from the foul line. The senior from Fargo strolled to the charity stripe 13 times – the seventh time in the past two seasons he has shot 10 or more free throws in a game.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Cobbers will look to even the season series with Gustavus when they host the Gusties on Wednesday, Jan. 25. GAC won the first meeting 92-75 at the end of November but are currently 3-13 overall. The Gusties dropped to 3-8 in MIAC games after dropping a 95-91 double overtime heartbreaker against Macalester.
CONCORDIA vs. ST. MARY'S HIGHLIGHTS: