COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (1/04/16)--- Wednesday night just marked another chapter in the Collegeville sagas.
For the fourth time in the past five seasons, Concordia's game at St. John's was decided by three points or less. And for once the Cobbers came out on top.
The game was decided in the final 30 seconds of play. The Johnnies battled back from a 10-point second half deficit to take the lead on "and 1" with just 14 seconds remaining. Zach Kinny did his best Steph Curry impersonation as he buried a triple with .02 of a second on the clock to give Concordia a wild 74-73 win.
Concordia wins for the fourth time in the past five games and improves to 6-4 and 3-2 in MIAC play. The Johnnies drop to 7-3 and are now tied with CC at 3-2 in conference games.
The two teams are in a three-way tie with Augsburg for fourth in the conference.
Nelson had 10 points to go along with five rebounds and a couple dimes in the opening 20 minutes.
The pair's performance helped negate Johnnies' big man Tyler Weiss who had 13 points and four boards in the opening 20 minutes of play.
SJU came out of the break firing and connecting from distance. Fargo native, and Shanley product, Patrick Strom knocked down a pair of trifectas on consecutive trips down the floor but a high school teammate of the sharpshooter kept the Johnnies at bay.
Dylan Alderman,who won a state championship with Strom at Fargo Shanley in 2013 alongside North Dakota State standout A.J. Jacobson,accounted for six of the team's first 10 points of the half. The other CC points came from the inside hoops of Austin Heins as the pair countered the St. John's run.
The Johnnies made it 48-44 at the 15:10 mark but Concordia went on a 9-3 run over the next 4:30 and built a 10-point advantage with just over 10 minutes to play.
A pair of free throws and another Strom long ball kept SJU around but Nelson hit a pair of elbow jumpers and Heins converted on a pair of free throws to keep the lead at seven.
Heins scored inside again with 2:46 remaining to push the lead to 70-62 before David Stokman came alive for the Johnnies.
The sophomore guard had a pair of old fashioned three-point plays on two of three trips down the floor followed by a layup to make it a 71-70 game with 30 seconds left.
St. John's got a big basket from their leading scorer when they needed it most. Weiss went to the middle of the lane and spun back baseline to draw the foul with the bucket.
He then converted the old fashioned three-point play to make it 73-71 with 14 seconds remaining.
With the shot clock off, Concordia called timeout and drew up a play, but the setup broke down and Kinny improvised with the contested pull-up three at the top of the key.
The senior from Litchfield found nothing but net after his 24-foot cast dropped through to give the Cobbs the win.
Kinny's big shot gave him eight points and overall stat line was very balanced. He wound up with 10 rebounds, six assists and a pair of swats to highlight his stellar night in Collegeville.
Nelson paced CC with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, while Alderman added 18 for Concordia.
Heins also chipped in with 13 points for his third straight game in double digit scoring.
Concordia narrowly outshot the Johnnies 48.3% (28-of-58) to 43.6% (24-of-55). The Cobbers outrebounded St. John's 38-29 and points in the paint were even between the teams at 24-24.
COLLEGEVILLE WOES – Entering Wednesday Concordia had won just six of the 53 games played in Collegeville since the 1964-65 season. SJU had won nine of the last 10 meetings in Sexton Arena and four of the last five overall before the Cobbers 74-73 win.
GOING OUT ON TOP – Head coach Rich Glas has had limited success at Sexton Arena in his nine-year career at Concordia having won just once at St. John's – a 70-67 win in 2013 with his most successful team at Concordia. That squad went 18-8 and finished second in the MIAC regular season standings.
DOWN TO THE WIRE – Concordia's last three games have all been decided in the waning minutes. The last three contests have been decided by an average of 3.0 points with the Cobbers being 2-1 in those games.
THE INFAMOUS FLU GAME – Perhaps not as dramatic as Michael Jordan's, but Dylan Alderman's performance through illness tonight was just what the doctor ordered. He finished with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists while guiding the Cobbers through a hectic final four minutes. Alderman has been in double figures in nine of 10 games this season – with the lone single-digit scoring output being the first game of the season at Minn.-Morris when he managed to score just four points. Since then, he has averaged 15.9 points per contest.
WHAT'S NEXT? The Cobbers' three-game road trip to start 2017 makes one final pit stop at Hutton Arena on the campus of Hamline University as Concordia takes on the Pipers on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. Hamline is currently 7-4 overall and sits in a tie for second with St. Thomas for second place in the conference after their 60-58 win over St. Olaf on Wednesday.