A Much-Needed Win In Winona

Senior Kevin Wolfe had a career-high 10 rebounds in the Cobbers' 67-64 win at St. Mary's.
Senior Kevin Wolfe had a career-high 10 rebounds in the Cobbers' 67-64 win at St. Mary's.

WINONA, Minn. (1/08/18)---Concordia led for 38:23 of the 40:00 in their game at St. Mary's as they held off the Cardinals down the stretch to post a much-needed 67-64 victory.

The Cobbers never trailed after the 18:23 of the first half as they snapped a five-game losing streak. Junior Collin Larson paced the Concordia offense by going 5-for-7 from the floor and finishing with a team-high 16 points. Senior Kevin Wolfe grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and also scored seven points to help CC earn their second conference road win of the year.

The Cobbers are now 4-8 in all games and 2-5 in league play.

Concordia led by as many as 10 points in the first half. They pushed the lead to double digits when Wolfe got free underneath and rolled in a layup midway through the period.

St. Mary's (1-11/0-7 MIAC) would chip away at the lead and get to within three at the break at 37-34.

The same pattern would be repeated in the second half as the Cobbers eased to an 11-point lead at the 10:51 mark before the Cardinals clawed their way back to within one point late in the contest. CC led by eight points at 63-55 with 4:20 left to play in regulation before SMU went on a 7-0 run to trim the margin to 63-62 with 2:44 to play.

The teams would trade missed scoring chances on the next two possessions before Austin Heins connected on a pair of free throws to give the Cobbers a three-point lead with just over 2-minutes to play.

The Cardinals would get to within one point at the 1:20 mark and then single free throw makes by Tommy Schyma and Larson would bring the final score to 67-64. St. Mary's had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but a contested 3-point shot never found the target and the Cobbers pulled away with the win.

The biggest advantage for the Cobbers came around the basket where Concordia held a 28-12 edge in points in the paint and a 40-27 margin on the glass.

Concordia shot 41.1% (23-for-56) from the floor and 43.8% (7-for-16) from outside the arc. St. Mary's had nearly identical shooting totals. They made 44.2% (23-for-52) of their shots from the field and 43.5% (10-for-23) of their attempts from 3-point range.

The Cobbers had five players with at least seven points and eight players with at least five points. Heins was second on the team in scoring behind Larson as he finished with 10 points and grabbed four rebounds.

Jacob Pazdernik went for eight points and six rebounds.

YEAR OF THE FREE THROW PART III: For the second straight game the Cobbers shot at least 70.0% from the free throw line. Concordia went 14-for-20 (70.0%) from the foul stripe vs. SMU which is the second highest single-game percentage this season. CC has now gone 29-for-41 (70.7%) from the free throw line since the calendar turned over to 2018. Concordia has also raised its season free throw percentage to 58.7% this year after floundering in the low 50-percent range for the first nine games of the year.

WOLFE WAYS: The 10 rebounds for Kevin Wolfe is a career high for the senior. His previous high rebound total was seven in the game at home vs. Bethel on Dec. 16. Wolfe is third on the team in rebounds with a 3.6 rebound/game average.  

WD40: Concordia has collected 40 or more rebounds in two conference games this season and they have won both. The Cobbers grabbed a season-high 46 boards against Macalester and won 73-47 and on Monday they hauled in 40 boards and won 67-64.        

3-POINT PONDERINGS: The Cobbers hit on seven 3-balls at St. Mary's. Their 43.8% shooting clip from long range was the fourth best of the season and highest in seven games. Concordia is shooting 39.3% from 3-point range this year which is third best in the MIAC.

WHAT'S NEXT: The remainder of the week brings a pair of tough MIAC home games for Concordia. The Cobbers will host defending league champion St. Thomas on Wednesday, Jan. 10 and then turn around and square off against Carleton on Saturday, Jan. 13.