Lots Of Drama In Season Opener

Senior Austin Nelson had a career-high 28 points in the Cobbers' season opener at Minn.-Morris.
Senior Austin Nelson had a career-high 28 points in the Cobbers' season opener at Minn.-Morris.

MORRIS, Minn. (11/15/16)--- The second half was unkind to Concordia in their season opener at Minn.-Morris.

After scoring 43 points in the first 20 minutes of play and taking a seven-point lead into the break, the Cobbers shot just 25.9% (7-for-27) from the floor and 19.0% (4-for-21) from 3-point range and lost 71-70 to the Cougars.

The game had its dramatic moments especially down the stretch of regulation. The game was tied twice and there were two lead changes in the final 2:50 of play. The most dramatic moment came at the end of the second half with Concordia trailing 71-68 and trying to connect on a game-tying 3-point field goal. The Cobbers missed their initial shot at the tying basket and then after a scramble the ball popped out to senior Austin Nelson who was standing behind the arc. Nelson quickly grabbed the ball and heaved it towards the basket as time was about to expire. A Morris defender came out to challenge the shot and in the process knocked Nelson to the ground and the foul sent Nelson to the free throw line with 2-seconds left on the clock.

Nelson proceeded to make his first two foul shots to bring the score to 71-70 but then had his third shot bounce off the rim and rattle out instead of dropping in to tie the game.

Nelson was the main reason the team was so close in the final moments of the second half. He finished with 28 points and was 7-for-15 from outside the arc. He was also 9-for-17 from the field and grabbed six rebounds.

Concordia junior center Austin Heins was the only other CC player in double figures in scoring. He went 6-for-8 from the floor and finished with 12 points. He also recorded a game-high seven rebounds.

The Cobbers had their shooting shoes on during the first half. They went 7-for-14 (50.0%) from 3-point range and made 64.3% (18-for-28) of their attempts from the field. Their biggest lead of the game came for Concordia at the 4:23 mark of the first period when senior guard Dylan Alderman drove the lane for a layup to put CC up 13 at 40-27.

The Cougars would outscore the Cobbers 9-3 for the remainder of the first half and then went on a 9-0 run to start the second half to grab a 45-43 lead with 15:56 left in the period.

Nelson hit a pair of 3-pointers in the next 1:30 of play but after that no other Concordia made a field goal in the second half until the 9:40 mark when Zach Kinny made a jumper.

Neither team would hold more than a three-point lead for the final 17:35 of the game.

The two biggest statistical differences in the game came on the free throw line and in the turnover department. Concordia was 9-for-13 from the foul line while Morris doubled those totals and went 18-for-26. The Cobbers committed 16 miscues as opposed to six for the Cougars and Morris turned the 16 CC turnovers into 21 points.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Both Austin Nelson and Austin Heins both had career-high point totals in the opener. Nelson had 28 points which bettered his previous high of 21 set last year vs. North Central. Heins had 14 points and his previous high point total was 10 set on two occasions last year. Heins' seven rebounds against Morris are also a career high.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will host its home opener on Saturday, Nov. 19 when they square off against Crown at 7 p.m. The Cobbers beat the Knights 97-64 last year.