Free Throw Streak Foils Oles

Junior Mira Ellefson finished with a team-high 16 points and made two of the Cobbers' 14 straight free throws at the end of the team's 81-72 win at St. Olaf.
Junior Mira Ellefson finished with a team-high 16 points and made two of the Cobbers' 14 straight free throws at the end of the team's 81-72 win at St. Olaf.

STORY LINE: Concordia outscored St. Olaf 52-34 in the second half to erase a 9-point halftime deficit and beat the Oles 81-72. The Cobbers shot 50.0% (13-for-26) from the floor and 53.3% (8-for-15) from outside the arc in the final two periods of play as they picked up their second straight conference win.

RECORDS: Concordia wins three straight games for the first time this season and is now 6-7 in all games and 3-3 in the MIAC. The Cobbers are 4-3 on the road this year. St. Olaf loses for the second straight game and is now 5-8 overall and 2-4 in conference play.

SLOW START: Concordia stumbled out of the starting gate as they fell behind 15-2 and trailed 25-11 after one quarter. The Cobbers shot 18.2% (2-for-11) from the floor and 12.5% (1-for-8) from 3-point range in the first 10 minutes of play.

SECOND-HALF SUCCESS: The Cobbers started their comeback trek by outscoring the Oles 22-13 in the third quarter. CC went on an 8-2 run out of the halftime break to cut the deficit to 40-37. Concordia would then fall behind 50-39 with 3:50 to play in the period before going on a 12-1 streak to tie the game at 51-51 at the end of the third period. The Cobbers would take their first lead of the game on the first possession of the fourth quarter when Amber Lingen broke free for a layup. CC would push the lead to eight points when newcomer Braydn Dresser canned a 3-pointer with 6:23 to play. The Oles would cut the lead to a single point at 63-62 and then again at 65-64 with 2:50 to play but then the Cobbers would seal the win by making free throws down the stretch.

TWO TOUCHDOWN FREE THROW EFFORT: The Cobbers pulled away from St. Olaf in the final 1:30 by making 14 straight free throws. Braydn Dresser started the free throw train by making the first four. Elizabeth Birkemeyer  added two more and then Grace Wolhowe made four straight before Amber Lingen and Mira Ellefson finished off the streak by making two each. Concordia finished the day by going 24-for-26 (92.3%) from the foul line. The 24 made free throws are a season high.

LEAGUE LEADERS: Concordia now leads the MIAC in free throw percentage. The Cobbers are connecting on 77.4% of their foul shots for the season. Mira Ellefson is second in the conference with an 89.1% success mark. She is 41-for-46 on the year from the foul line.

STAT LEADERS: Mira Ellefson finished with a team-high 16 points. She went 4-for-6 from outside the arc. The Cobbers had four of their five starters finish with at least 10 points. Amber Lingen went 6-for-6 from the free throw line and put up 14 points. Grace Wolhowe added a dozen points and Elizabeth Birkemeyer had 10. Birkemeyer led CC in rebounding. She had seven boards.

WHO'S THAT GIRL?: The best kept secret for the Cobbers on Saturday was freshman Braydn Dresser. Dresser joined the team at the Christmas break after transferring from Dakota Wesleyan. She was pressed into action after an injury to Kirstin Simmons and didn't even appear on the team roster for the game. Dresser made her presence felt by connecting on 3-of-4 shots from outside the arc and finishing with 13 points in 19 minutes of play.            
 
UP NEXT: Concordia will return to Moorhead to host Hamline on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 5:45 p.m. The Cobbers bested the Pipers 63-50 earlier in the year in St. Paul. Since that game on Dec. 1 Hamline has gone 4-2 and is now 8-5 overall and a similar 3-3 in the MIAC.