Drama Down The Stretch

Sophomore Elizabeth Birkemeyer  dribbles the ball towards the basket in the second half of the Cobbers' game with St. Mary's. She finished with career-high totals in points, rebounds and assists.
Sophomore Elizabeth Birkemeyer dribbles the ball towards the basket in the second half of the Cobbers' game with St. Mary's. She finished with career-high totals in points, rebounds and assists.

STORY LINE: Concordia had a pair of chances in the final 10-seconds to break a 66-66 tie but came up short and then watched as St. Mary's hit a 10-foot jumper with less than 2-seconds on the clock to come away with a 68-66 victory. The Cobbers outscored the Cardinals 18-10 in the fourth quarter but couldn't come up with the game-winning basket.

RECORDS: Concordia falls for the second straight game and is now 7-9 overall and 4-5 in the MIAC. St. Mary's wins for the third straight game and is 10-6 in all games and 6-3 in conference play.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED: The first critical moment in the final stages of the fourth quarter came with 4:37 to play when a St. Mary's player drove to the basket, made contact with a Cobber defender and connected on the jump shot. The referee originally waved off the basket and called a player control foul on the offense but after a short huddle with all three referees they allowed the two points to be counted and explained that the contact came after the player released the shot.

The final few seconds produced several game-turning plays. St. Mary's took a timeout with 20-seconds remaining in the game and the score tied at 66-66. After the ensuing inbounds play, the Cobbers were able to steal the ball and push it forward to an open player who went in for a contested layup. The ball barely missed and Concordia was able to come away with the offensive rebound. A second shot on the possession from the middle of the lane fell off the right side of the rim but then a Cardinal player knocked the ball out of bounds. Concordia turned the ball after the inbounds play and St. Mary's called timeout to set up a play from inside midcourt. The Cardinals converted on the catch-and-shoot to go ahead 68-66 as time was winding down.

ELECTRIC ELIZABETH: Sophomore Elizabeth Birkemeyer finished with a career-high 16 points as she shot 7-for-13 from the floor and knocked down both of her 3-point attempts. She also grabbed a career-high nine rebounds and also tied a career-high for assists with four.

STREAKY START: Concordia bolted from the starting block and scored the first seven points of the game. St. Mary's then went on a 10-2 streak to take a 10-9 lead. The Cobbers then outscored the Cardinals 11-10 for the final five minutes of the opening period and the score was tied at 20-20 heading into the second quarter.

HOLD ON TO THAT BALL: Concordia committed a season-low nine turnovers in the game. The previous season low was 13. On the other side of the ball, the Cobber defense forced 14 miscues and held an 18-8 edge in points off of turnovers.

3-POINT QUANDRY: Concordia shot 43.5% (10-for-23) from outside the arc. It is the fourth time this season that the Cobbers have connected on at least 10 shots from outside the arc. Concordia is now 1-3 in those games.     

UP NEXT: Concordia will play away from Moorhead for the first time since Jan. 5 wheh they travel to St. Peter to take on Gustavus on  Saturday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. The Gusties are 8-8 in all games and 5-4 in the MIAC and are coming off a 74-65 win at Macalester on Wednesday.  

CONCORDIA vs. ST. MARY'S HIGHLIGHTS: