MOORHEAD, Minn. (2/11/17) --- Concordia couldn't hold on to a four-point lead with 1:08 left in regulation and lost 79-74 in overtime to Hamline in a battle of teams holding on to the last two conference tournament spots.
Games in mid-February always feature must-win games and Saturday's match-up between the Cobbers and Pipers was no different. In the end Concordia wasn't able to overcome turnovers and a rough shooting night from the foul line as Hamline scored on 11 of their final 13 trips between regulation and overtime to earn the win.
While the Pipers were connecting 84.6% of their possessions at the end of regulation and into overtime the Cobbers only managed to score on five of their last 13 possessions sandwiched between the second half and OT.
In addition CC turned the basketball over 20 times, which led to 25 Piper points off of turnovers. Concordia also went 13-of-20 from the charity stripe.
Each team's largest lead was only seven points. To the chagrin of Cobber fans, Concordia's largest lead came at the 4:31 mark of the first half while Hamline's came with just 28 seconds remaining in overtime.
The loss drops Concordia to 12-10 overall and 9-8 in the MIAC. The Cobbers currently hold a game lead over seventh-place St. Olaf and are a-half game behind Hamline for fifth place. The Pipers are now 13-10 overall and 10-8 in the league.
The Cobbers led by four points with 1:08 to play but a Zach Smith layup gave the Memorial crowd bonus basketball.
The Pipers scored on the last four possessions of regulation and the first five of overtime to take a 77-72 lead. After a missed jump shot, Dylan See-Rockers stepped to the line and buried a pair of free throws that pushed the lead to seven points with just 28 ticks remaining.
Senior Austin Nelson carried the Cobbers with his hot shooting from long distance. The Moorhead native scored 27 points for the second time this season as he drilled 7-of-13 attempts from beyond the arc and went 10-of-18 from the floor.
Isaac Brooks paced the Pipers with 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor. He led a balanced Hamline attack that had three players score in double figures.
Concordia dominated the glass 39-28 and had 10 more assists on made field goals but they had nine more turnovers.
Hamline's physical play in the paint also led to them outscoring CC 34-18 inside the lane. The Pipers also doubled up Concordia's bench 16-8.
SAAD BUSTER: Junior Guilherme Saad led the rebound charge for the Cobbers. He grabbed a career-high 11 boards and was one of 10 CC players to record at least one rebound in the game.
THE SIMPSONS COULD NOT HAVE PREDICTED THIS – If you are a devout fan of the famous sitcom, The Simpsons, you would know the show predicts the future. In 2000, the show predicted Donald Trump would be President of the United States. The FIFA scandal was predicted in 2014 and the tragedy of 9/11 was forecasted in 1997. However, not even the Simpsons could have predicted the wild season that is MIAC Men's Basketball.
Concordia and Hamline were picked to finish ninth and 11th (last in the league) in the league. If the season were to end today, both teams would be in the conference playoffs.
WHAT'S NEXT? The Cobbers will have to rebound quickly as they travel to Northfield on Monday to face the hottest team in the MIAC. Concordia squares off against Carleton on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. The Knights have strung together 10 straight wins since losing to Concordia in Moorhead four weeks ago. Carleton is coming off a 16-point win over St. Thomas 79-63 on Saturday in St. Paul.
CONCORDIA vs. HAMLINE HIGHLIGHTS: