Thrilling Rally Falls One Point Short

Olivia Johnson (#22) and Greta Walsh go for the steal late in the fourth quarter in Concordia's thrilling game with Jamestown.
Olivia Johnson (#22) and Greta Walsh go for the steal late in the fourth quarter in Concordia's thrilling game with Jamestown.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (12/07/15)—Concordia staged a furious rally in the final two minutes against No.10-ranked Jamestown and nearly erased an 11-point deficit but wound up coming a single point short.

The Cobbers trailed 61-50 with 2:37 left to play and proceeded to go on an 11-1 run over the next 1:39 to cut the lead to a single point. Unfortunately Concordia could never take the lead in the final minute of play and lost 65-64.

The one-point loss is a sharp contrast from last year's game where the Cobbers lost by 13 in Jamestown.

Concordia (4-4) led for almost the entire first half and took an 11-point lead of their own with just over five minutes to play in the second quarter.

Jamestown (9-2), who was ranked 10th in the most recent NAIA Division II poll, scored eight of the final 10 points in the half and the Cobbers took a 35-30 lead into halftime.

The third quarter was all Jamestown. They scored the first six points of the period, went on a 5-0 run midway through the frame and outscored Concordia 16-8 in the 10 minutes of play.

The Jimmies looked to have put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter when they made four free throws, two lay-ups and a 3-pointer to start the final period and grabbed a 10-point lead at 57-47 with 5:42 remaining in regulation.

The lead was back to double figures when the Cobbers made one last charge. Junior Greta Walsh was the main scoring threat in the rally but it was a tough Concordia full court pressure defensie that wore down the Jimmies and forced a pair of huge turnovers.

Walsh kicked off the comeback with a lay-up. That was followed by a Jamestown miss from in close and Jenna Januschka cut the lead to seven with a make from under the hoop. Walsh then grabbed the ball out of a Jimmie player's hand and raced 40 feet to score on a lay-up to push the Cobbers within four points at 62-58.

A second turnover followed by a Walsh 3-pointer had the crowd on its feet and the score within a single point at 62-61.

Concordia took timeout after the successful long-range shot with 58-seconds left to play. Jamestown missed another shot coming out of the TO but the Cobbers weren't able to take the lead on the following possession and Jamestown connected on two free throws to push the lead back to three points at 64-61 with just under 20 seconds remaining.

Hannah Jeske hit a running off-balance shot from inside the lane that found the bottom of the net and Concordia once again trailed by only one at 64-63.

Concordia vs. Jamestown Highlights

The Cobbers then fouled quickly on the ensuing inbounds play. A Jamestown player was only able to make one free throw which set the stage for a dramatic last-second finish.

Concordia worked the ball into the right corner as the clock went under 1-second to play. A Cobber player flung the ball at the basket in a desperation shot for the winner from outside the arc. The shot came up way short but a Jimmie defender was whistled for a foul which put CC on the foul line for three free throws.   

Unfortunately the Cobbers were only able to make one of the three free throws and lost by a single point.

The third quarter, free throw shooting and turnover proved to be the difference in the game. All three difference makers had a margin of eight for the Cobbers. CC was never able to overcome the eight-point edge by the Jimmies in the third period of play and Concordia made eight fewer free throws in the 40 minutes. The Cobbers were 6-for-10 from the line while Jamestown went 14-for-18 (77.8%) from the charity stripe. Concordia recorded 21 turnovers in the game but was outscored by eight points in the "points off of turnovers" category.

The Cobbers held an edge in shooting from the floor, 3-point shooting and rebounds. Concordia outrebounded the Jimmies 36-29 for the game.    

Januschka recorded her seventh double-digit point total in the team's first eight games of the year. She finished with a game-high 18 points. Januschka also had 11 rebounds to post her second double-double of the season. She leads the Cobbers in scoring with a 15.6 ppg average. She is also second on the team in rebounding with an 8.1 rpg average.

Olivia Johnson
is usually known as a scorer and tough inside rebounder but on Monday she added the title of playmaker to the résumé. Johnson scored seven points and posted eight rebounds but also dished out a season-high five dimes.

Greta Walsh had a terrific night from the floor unfortunately she was jinxed at the free throw line and missed the first two foul shots of the season. Walsh entered the game having made 17 straight free throws, which was noted by the GameDay staff in the program, she then missed the first two free throws she attempted. Despite the two misses she still finished with 14 points. Walsh has now scored at least 10 points in five straight games and is 19-for-21 from the free throw line for the season. Walsh is second in the MIAC in free throw percentage at 90.5%.

Crystal Amundson
had her best game in maroon and gold. The junior transfer was 4-for-6 from the floor, scored nine points and hauled down five rebounds. Her point and rebound totals are season highs.

WHAT'S NEXT? Concordia will finish up the 2015 portion of its schedule with a pair of conference games. The Cobbers will play at St. Olaf on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 7:45 p.m. and then host Augsburg on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 3 p.m.