Fast Start Runs Out Of Gas

Senior Kevin Wolfe tries to break free from a St. John's defender during the Cobbers' first MIAC game of 2018. Wolfe went 7-for-11 from the floor and finished with a team-high 17 points.
Senior Kevin Wolfe tries to break free from a St. John's defender during the Cobbers' first MIAC game of 2018. Wolfe went 7-for-11 from the floor and finished with a team-high 17 points.

MOORHEAD, Minn.  (1/03/18)---Concordia jumped to a 7-2 lead against No.16-ranked St. John's but lost the momentum midway through the first half and lost 72-55.

"I really liked our intensity and work rate in the first five minutes of the game," head coach Grant Hemmingsen commented. "We came ready to play against one of the best teams in the league and it showed."

The Cobbers wouldn't sustain the early success as the Johnnies went on a 17-2 run in a six-minute span to turn a five-point Cobber lead into a 10-point advantage for SJU.

Concordia (3-7/1-4 MIAC) was able to get to within six points at the break and stayed within arm's length of St. John's until the final 10 minutes of the game when SJU started to heat up from the outside and connect on their free throw attempts. The Johnnies went 4-for-6 from 3-point range and 8-for-10 from the foul stripe in the final 10 minutes of play.

The Cobbers held the Johnnies to their lowest point total in MIAC play and second lowest of the season.

"We were much better on the defensive end tonight," Hemmingsen said. "We have worked on making the opposing team have to work at getting to the basket and making shots and it helped tonight."

St. John's (9-1/5-0 MIAC) was held to 42.6% (23-for-54) shooting from the floor which is 13 percentage points below their average. The Johnnies, who entered the game with the best shooting percentage in Division III, were held to 23 field goals which is a season low.

Like the final 10 minutes of the game, the statistical difference came from outside the arc and on the free throw line. Concordia shot 25.0% (4-for-16) from 3-point range and 69.2% (9-for-13) from the free throw line as compared to 43.5% (10-for-23) and 76.2% (16-for-21) for St. John's.

Senior Kevin Wolfe led the offensive attack from inside the paint. Wolfe was able to get free around the basket and finished with a team-high 17 points. He went 7-for-11 from the floor and also added a team-high five rebounds.

Jordan Davis came off the bench and put up 10 points. He was 3-for-4 from the floor and 2-for-3 from long range.

Andrew Holen provided a huge boost of energy throughout the game and scored eight points to go along with five rebounds.

FEED THE WOLFE: Kevin Wolfe has scored at least 15 points in two of the last three games. He is averaging 16.0 points per game during that stretch and has raised his season average to 9.1 ppg. He is currently third on the team in scoring.

THE YEAR OF THE FREE THROW: 2018 might be the "Year of the Free Throw" for the Cobbers. Concordia went 9-for-13 from the foul stripe vs. SJU. Their final mark of 69.2% is a season high. CC has struggled from the free throw line during the year but the New Year has raised their season percentage to 56.8%.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will head out on the road for a pair of conference games. CC will play at Gustavus on Saturday, Jan. 6 and then turn the bus southeast to take on St. Mary's on Monday, Jan. 8.