A Trio of Game-Changing Plays Leads To Win

Brandon Giese goes over the top to grab the loose ball while Aaron Zimmer dives on the ground to try and get the tie up.
Brandon Giese goes over the top to grab the loose ball while Aaron Zimmer dives on the ground to try and get the tie up.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (1/21/15)—The play-by-play sheet will show that the key to Concordia's 58-48 win over Carleton was a 13-0 run for the Cobbers at the start of the second half. However, fans at the game know that the turning point was a desperation 3-point buzzer-beater at the end of the first half that cut the Knights lead to a single point entering the break.

Brandon Giese
's step-back fall away 3-point basket as time expired in the first half gave Concordia a huge momentum lift and set the stage for the second-half run early in the second period.           

The 10-point win for the Cobbers ends a two-game losing streak and, more importantly, pushes Concordia ahead of Carleton in the MIAC standings and into a tie for sixth place. CC is now 9-6 overall and back to .500 in the MIAC at 5-5. Carleton falls to 7-8 in all games and 4-6 in league play.

While Giese's long-range buzzer beater ignited the second-half comeback, a pair of dunks by Jordan Bolger and Scott Flotterud during the 13-0 run poured a full can of gasoline on the Cobbers' second-half bonfire. 

The teams traded the lead four times in the first 3:28 of the second half and then a steal by Ryan Rude led to a dunk by Bolger on the other end of the floor. Carleton quieted the flames for a short time by scoring on the next possession but then 3-pointers by Rude and Brett Bergeson set the stage for Flotterud's end-to-end throw down. Flotterud, the Cobbers' big man, stepped in front of cross-court pass at the top of the key and then raced the length of the court before rising above the rim and "throwing it down big fella." Another Carleton turnover and a Bolger jumper gave Concordia the first double-digit lead of the game at 43-32 with 13:27 to play in regulation.

Concordia vs. Carleton Highlights - Jan. 21, 2015

The Cobbers eventually fanned the lead to 15 points and only allowed Carleton to douse the lead to under eight points in the final 30 seconds pf play.

Concordia shot 42.9% (21-for-49) from the floor for the game and 33.3% (4-for-12 from the 3-point range. A cold shooting touch from the outside cost Carleton. The Knights made only one basket from outside the arc for the game. They went 1-for-7 (14.3%) from 3-point range and connected on 48.7% (19-for-29) of their attempts from the field.

One of the key stats came from miscues. Concordia forced 16 Knight turnovers and only coughed the ball up six times. That led to 10 more shots from the floor in the game and a 25-12 advantage in points off of turnovers.

Bolger returned to his double-digit scoring ways. Two nights after having a 13-game double-digit scoring streak come to an end, Bolger went 8-for-17 from the floor and finished with 18 points. The 17 attempted shots is a career high for Bolger and the most by any CC player since Giese hoisted up 17 vs. Crown on Dec. 31, 2013.

Giese and Brady Syverson also factored in double figures for the Cobbers. Giese was 4-for-8 from the floor, 2-for-4 from 3-point range and had 12 points. Syverson was 4-for-7 from the floor and added 11 points to go along with a team-high five rebounds. Both players also had a game-high three steals each.

Next up for Concordia is Hamline. The Cobbers will continue with its five-game home stand when they host the Pipers on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. as part of the annual Buck Day celebration.