Team Second-Half Strikes Again

Sophomore Jackson Jangula drives to the basket during the second half of the Cobbers' game with Gustavus. Jangula had a team-high 13 points.
Sophomore Jackson Jangula drives to the basket during the second half of the Cobbers' game with Gustavus. Jangula had a team-high 13 points.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (2/27/21)---Concordia is turning into one of the best second-half teams in the country. Unfortunately for the Cobbers, it's due to trying to recover after a series of first-half stumbles. For the third straight game, Concordia gave up a big run in the first half but then outworked and outplayed Gustavus in the second period and fell just short at the buzzer.

The Cobbers gave up a 21-2 run in the first half but then outscored the Gusties 48-40 in the final 20 minutes of play and lost 78-69. Concordia has given up runs of 23-0, 27-6 and 21-2 in the first half of their last three games but has outscored their opponents by a combined total of 115-109 in the second half as they search for their first win of the year.

Concordia was led by a pair of underclassmen guards on Saturday. Sophomore Jackson Jangula and freshman Talon Hoffer both put up 13 points on the afternoon. Jangula scored most of his points by beating defenders off the dribble and getting to the rack while Hoffer was 3-for-6 from outside the arc. Hoffer also came away with five rebounds. Senior Jacob Fredrickson paced CC on the glass as he grabbed six boards.

GAME RECAP: Concordia scored the first four points of the game and led for most of the first 8-minutes of the game. Saturday's Six Flags MIAC moment started at the 9:05 mark. With the game tied at 11-11, Gustavus connected on a layup to take its biggest lead of the day at 13-11. The rollercoaster then went full speed down the track and didn't find the bottom until Concordia trailed 32-13 with 3:17 left in the first half. Concordia was able to find open looks on offense during the 21-2 stretch but went 0-for-10 from the floor and had a pair of turnovers.

Concordia would cut the deficit to 17 points at 38-21 at the break and then go on a 22-14 streak to start the second half. That streak cut the margin into single digits at 52-43 and gave Concordia the momentum in the game. The Cobbers were able to trim the deficit to as few as six points and had a chance to make it even more of a game as they had possession of the ball with 4-minutes remaining but couldn't get all the way back.

The game was put out of reach with a 5-0 run by the Gusties over a span of 1:25 that turned a back-and-forth 6-point game into an 11-point comfortable margin with under 2-minutes to play.                    

A TALE OF TWO HALVES: Concordia shot 21.2% (7-for-33) from the floor and 14.3% (2-for-14) from 3-point distance in the first half. Gustavus countered with a 50.0% (15-for-30) mark from the floor and a 20% (2-for-10) clip from outside the arc.

The Cobbers pushed both of their shooting totals over the 50-percent mark in the second half. They were 18-for-34 (52.9%) from the field and 7-for-13 (53.8%) from outside the arc. Gustavus had similar numbers at 15-for-27 (55.6%) from the field and 4-for-9 (44.4%) from long range.

LAND OF THE GIANTS: Another big difference in the game came from Gustavus' size advantage. The Gusties starting 5 went 6-0, 6-3, 6-4, 6-6 and 6-7 as compared to 5-9, 6-0, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 for Concordia. That height edge led to a 44-22 margin in rebounding for the game. GAC also held a 40-26 edge in points in the paint.
DIAL UP THE DEFENSE: Despite giving up a decided height advantage, Concordia was able to use their quickness and work ethic to pressure the Gustavus offense into a high number of turnovers. CC forced 17 miscues in the game which is the most by an opponent this season. The Cobbers only committed six turnovers for the game which is the fewest of the season and lowest total for a game since they had four turnovers against Hamline on Jan. 9, 2019.        

RYAN MAKES IT RAIN: Sophomore forward Ryan Slette had the highest offensive output of his career. He entered the game with a total of five points in the first three games of the year and nearly doubled that on Saturday. He went 3-for-4 from outside the arc and finished with a career-high nine points.   

HOFFER HEATS UP: Talon Hoffer has put up double-digit point totals in each of the past two games. He had 12 points on Wednesday at Hamline and then upped that by one with his 13-point effort against the Gusties. The two games have pushed his season average to 7.5 ppg.

DOUBLE-DIGIT DAVID: Junior David Birkeland had his third double-digit scoring performance of the year. He was 3-for-9 from the floor, 4-for-6 from the line and finished with 10 points. Birkeland leads the team in scoring with a 11.5 ppg average.    

UP NEXT: Concordia will finish off the abbreviated season with three games next week. The Cobbers will play at St. John's on Monday, Mar. 1 in their final home game of the year and then return home to host Hamline on Wednesday, Mar. 3 and St. Mary's on Saturday, Mar. 6.


RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap is sponsored by Bell Bank. Bell Bank has been a gracious supporter of Cobber athletics for many years. It doesn't matter if you have a small-time portfolio like CobberSID or a big-time bank account like Director of Golf Operations Joe Christianson, Bell Bank makes every customer feel like a million bucks. You can even get your own Cobber credit card with Bell Bank.