Rally Time Comes Up 1:56 Short In MIAC Opener

Brady Syverson tied a season high in points (13) and had a season high in rebounds (9) in the Cobbers' loss at St. John's.
Brady Syverson tied a season high in points (13) and had a season high in rebounds (9) in the Cobbers' loss at St. John's.

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (12/03/14)—Concordia clawed its way back from a 12-point lead with just over eight minutes in their conference opener at St. John's and took a one-point lead with 3:07 to play but were then outscored 11-7 down the stretch and wound up losing 79-76.

The Cobbers had to chances to tie, or take the lead, on two occasions in the final 1:30 but a pair of costly turnovers kept Concordia from grabbing the late-game lead.

The loss ends a two-game winning streak for Concordia. CC is now 3-2 on the season. St. John's wins for the third straight game and is now 3-1 in all games.

Concordia had to fight an uphill battle after the midway point of the first half. After the teams traded leads five times in the first 10 minutes of play, St. John's went on a 12-5 run to take an eight point lead with 5:55 to play. The Johnnies would then make the final eight points in the half to grab an 11-point lead at 33-22 at the break.

St. John's stretched the lead to as many as 15 points in the first 1:27 of the second half before the Cobbers started their methodical comeback. CC dropped the lead to single digits in a span of 3:52. Concordia cut the lead all the way to four points before SJU pushed back and retook the double-digit lead at 62-50 with 8:19 to play. After the teams traded baskets, CC caught fire and outscored the Johnnies 15-4 to take a one-point lead at 69-68 with 3:07 to play.

Jordan Bolger would then connect on a lay-up at the 1:56 mark to tie the game at 71-71. St. John's scored on their next possession and never trailed after that point. The Cobbers cut the lead to a pair of points on two different occasions only to have a turnover in the half-court offense cost them a chance at tying the game.

One of the biggest differences in the game came at the free throw line where St. John's shot 15 more foul shots than Concordia. The Cobbers were a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line but the Johnnies connected on 22 of their 25 foul shots to post a 12-point advantage from the free throw line. The other big difference in the game came in the turnover department. Concordia committed 16 miscues but that was 11 more than St. John's. SJU then used that edge to hold a 23-10 advantage in points off of turnovers.  

The Cobbers shot 50.0% (29-for-58) from the field and 40.0% (8-for-20) from the floor while the Johnnies shot 45.6% (26-for-57) from the floor and 35.7% (5-for-14) from outside the arc.

Concordia outrebounded St. John's 34-26 for the game.

The Cobbers had five players, including four starters, score in double figures. Brandon Giese led the team in scoring for the fourth time this season. He was 6-for-14 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line and finished with 16 points. Giese was uncharacteristically cold from outside the arc. He was 0-for-6 from 3-point range which marked the first time all season he failed to make a 3-point field goal. Giese also had a game-high six assists on the night.

Brady Syverson had his best game of the year. He grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and scored 13 points. He is the fifth different player to lead CC in rebounding in the team's five games this season.  

Bolger was solid from the field all night long and finished with 15 points. He was 7-for-10 from the floor, connected on his first 3-point field goal of the season and first since Jan. 8 of last season. Bolger also pulled down five rebounds.   

Tom Fraase and Brett Bergeson also finished with 13 points in the game. Both players also connected on three shots from outside the arc. Bergeson was 3-for-4 from 3-point range while Fraase was 3-for-7.

Concordia will stay on the road in conference play. The Cobbers will finish off their MIAC schedule for the 2014 calendar year when they play at Hamline on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m.