Stung In Season Opener

Senior Olivia Johnson scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Concordia's season opener against Wis.-Superior.
Senior Olivia Johnson scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Concordia's season opener against Wis.-Superior.

Moorhead, Minn. (11/13/15) --- It was a game of streaks for Concordia in their opening game of the season. Unfortunately the young Cobbers could not produce stops down the stretch and dropped their season opener 86-77 to Wis.-Superior.

One of the keys for the game came at the free throw line. Concordia outrebounded the Yellowjackets 33-27 and posted a better shooting percentage from the field and the free throw line the Yellowjackets had a 12-point advantage in free throws made.  

Concordia shot 80% from the line compared to Superior's 66.7%. The Cobbers went 16-of-20, but the Yellowjackets stepped to the line 42 times, knocking down 28 of those attempts.

Because of the new rule change playing in the quarter format took some time to get used to. The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair. Olivia Johnson started off the scoring for the Cobbers with a fitting basket and a foul. Johnson stepped to the line and knocked down the free throw scoring three the old fashioned way. Following back-to-back jump shots from Johnson and Jenna Januschka Concordia pushed their lead to 16-9 with 2:11 to play in the opening quarter. Superior would end the opening quarter with a 6-0 run aided by four made free throws from Allie Nelson making it 16-15 Concordia.

The Yellowjackets came out and scored the first three points of second quarter pushing the run to 9-0 while grabbing the lead. Greta Walsh would end the four minute scoreless drought for the Cobbers with a corner three which tied the score 19-19. Walsh proceeded to catch fire.

Walsh would knock down 3-pointers on three of four possessions which gave Concordia a 27-23 lead with 6:42 to play in the opening half.

Nelson then hit a pair from the charity stripe and notched a tough runner in the lane pushing the Yellowjackets ahead by two. Concordia had the final possession of the first half and gave the ball to Olivia Johnson who floated a fadeaway that kissed every part of the rim and swiftly fell through at the buzzer tying the game 32-32 at the half.

Much like the second quarter, Superior started the third on a hot streak. Allyssa Lindberg hit a three pointer to spark an 8-2 run forcing Concordia head coach Jessica Rahman to call timeout.

The Cobbers would battle back. With 4:13 to play in the third quarter Cassidy Rahman rattled home a corner 3-pointer cutting the deficit to 51-45.

Following an Amelia Leger trifecta, Johnson would again end the quarter with a basket as she hit a jumper before time expired which made it 59-52 after three quarters of play.

Concordia scored on two of its first three possessions in the fourth as Januschka and Johnson exchanged jump shots but the Yellowjackets countered with triples from Nelson and Hailey Kontny.

Superior would score on six of its first seven possessions in the fourth quarter which extended their lead to 72-60. Walsh had back-to-back hard finishes in the lane and Rahman and Januschka would can three's but Superior scored on 14 of their 17 possessions in the final quarter staving off any kind of rally from Concordia.

I CALL DIBS: Olivia Johnson posted a double-double in the season opener, pouring in a game-high 20 points while hauling down 11 rebounds. It was the seventh double-double of her Cobber career. She also recorded two assists and one steal. The senior captain went 6-of-11 from the field and hit 8-of-10 attempts from the free throw line.

JUST ANOTHER JANUSCHKA: Jenna Januschka also recorded a double-double in the season opener. The St. Cloud Cathedral product chipped in a career-high 13 points while recording  a career-high 10 rebounds. She also added three assists.

IT IS A GAME OF STREAKS: Superior's 9-0 run to end the first and begin the second quarter and their 8-2 run to start the second half proved to be the difference. CC found themselves trailing 40-34 at that point, and could not get closer than six points the rest of the way.

BENCH PRODUCTION: Concordia's bench was outscored by Superior's Hailey Kontny alone. CC had 15 bench points while Kontny racked up 19 points. Superior's bench outscored CC's 35-15.

WHAT'S NEXT? Not much time to reflect on the season opener as the Cobbers return to action tomorrow night when they host Minn.-Morris. Morris traveled to Marshall, Minn. to take on Southwest Minnesota State in exhibition play, dropping that contest 75-52. Tomorrow's game tips off at 5:45 p.m.