MOORHEAD, Minn. (2/13/15) ---Concordia honored the memory of Leanne Miller by playing tough defense and getting a key 61-50 win over St. Benedict.
The Cobbers held its opponent to 50 points or less for the fourth time in the last six games, led wire-to-wire and beat the Blazers by 11 in the annual Leanne Miller Pink Zone Breast Cancer Awareness Game.
The game ws played in honor of former Concordia player Leanne Miller who played for the Cobbers from 2004-07 and passed away from breast cancer in 2014.
The Cobbers jumped ahead 7-0 in the first two minutes and never trailed the entire contest.
The early-game success helps the Cobbers improve to 16-7 overall and 12-4 in MIAC contests while St. Ben's drops to 14-9 and 9-7 in conference play. Concordia remains tied with Gustavus for third in the league after the Gusties won their third straight game on Saturday.
Following a Cassidy Rahman 3-pointer to make it 7-0, St. Ben's was forced to take an early timeout and the Blazers responded.
CSB's Chelsey Guetter scored seven of the next nine points for the Blazers as they went on a 9-4 run to close the quarter.
St. Ben's went on an 8-2 run, but Januschka answered with a flip layup that dropped in and another wing trifecta to extend the lead to 26-19.
CC used a shooting percentage of 45.8% (11-of-24), including 3-of-7 from distance, while holding the Blazers to a 34.8% (8-of-23) and 0-for-5 from beyond the arc to hold a 26-21 lead at the half.
The Blazers scored on the first two possessions coming out of the half but Greta Walsh had the answer. The junior point guard scored six of the next 10 points to push the lead to 36-26.
With the Blazers crawling back into it, Johnson rifled a skip pass to Katie Rosenfeldt cross court who drilled a 3-pointer to help the Cobbers keep a double-digit lead at 44-33 heading into the final 10 minutes.
CSB scored on three straight possessions to start the fourth quarter, but Concordia scored on the following trip each time.
A Blazer triple cut the deficit to nine points, but Jamie Mentzer nabbed a board and got out on the break with the finish on the opposite end to bring the lead back to double figures.
St. Benedict cut the lead down to eight points with exactly two minutes to play, but Concordia went 5-for-6 from the foul line and extended their possessions to hold on for the 61-50 win.
CC shot 50% (11-for-22) in the second half compared to CSB's 39.3% (11-of-28). The Cobbers also went 12-for-15 from the foul line after the intermission.
Concordia also controlled the glass in the second half by outrebounding St. Ben's 21-10 with Johnson accounting for five of them.
Januschka led a trio of Cobbers in double figures with 15 points while Johnson and Walsh added 12 points apiece. Johnson also chipped in seven boards and four dimes.
GRIT GANG SHINES ON DEFENSE
Concordia leads the MIAC in fewest points allowed per conference games. The Cobbers define stingy on the defensive end - giving up a mangy 51.8 points per contest.
A GOOD JUNIOR CAMPAIGN
Jenna Januschka continues to put together a solid junior season for Concordia. She scored 15 points on Saturday and the Cobbers are now 12-1 this season when she scores 15 points or more. The St. Cloud Cathedral product is sixth in the league in scoring at 14.7 points per game. She is also fifth in the conference in shooting percentage at a clip of 50.6%. Januschka is in the top 10 in 12 different statistical categories in the conference.
SHE CAN DO IT ALL
Olivia Johnson chipped in with 12 points and seven boards and has now scored in double digits in 15 of 23 games this season. She averages 11.5 points a contest and is in the top ten of six different statistical categories in the league. Johnson heads the second best rebounding team in the conference by being first in defensive rebounding and fourth in overall rebounding. "Dibs" is also 123rd in the league in personal fouls, especially impressive considering her aggressive style of play.
Concordia will travel to St. Paul to play St. Kate's on Wednesday, February 17. The Wildcats (12-11/6-10) are coming off an 81-57 win over Macalester (CC's final opponent on Saturday). The Cobbers bettered St. Kate's 69-47 back on January 20.