Team Second-Half Succeeds At St. Olaf

Team Second-Half Succeeds At St. Olaf

MOORHEAD, Minn. (12/9/15) ---Concordia is quickly earning the reputation as a team that saves its best for the last half. The Cobbers outscored St. Olaf 32-15 in the final two quarters of play and beat St. Olaf 50-41.

The Oles entered the game unbeaten in MIAC play and are now tied with the Cobbers at 2-1 in the conference standings. CC is 5-4 overall.

Concordia has now outscored its opponents in the second half of play in all but two games this season and both times the Cobbers lost. CC has also outscored its foes by a combined margin of 314-259 this year.     

Greta Walsh, Jenna Januschka and Olivia Johnson combined for 39 of the 50 points for the Cobbers but is Johnson who had the monster night as she scored 15 points and had a career-high 16 rebounds. Walsh and Januschka both chipped in with 12 points.

Concordia pulled out to a quick 9-5 lead in the first quarter. Hannah Jeske finished through contact and converted the 3-point play and the Walsh drilled a triple to help the Cobbers to the early lead. 

Crystal Amundson swished a wing jumper a few minutes later that gave the Cobbers a 12-8 lead after the first quarter. 

St. Olaf woke up in the second quarter. Betsey Daly connected and then Zoe Hansen on an 8-0 run by herself to push the Oles ahead 16-12. 

Hansen wasn't done yet. A few minutes later she buried a long ball that gave her 11 points in the quarter alone and made it 24-14 St. Olaf with 3:39 to play in the first half. 

Johnson scored her first basket of the game with 1:45 to play in the half which turned out to be the final points by either team in the half and CC went into the break trailing 26-18. 

Johnson came out of the recess on a mission. She hit a jumper just seconds in to the third quarter then knocked down a trifecta on the ensuing trip down the floor. Minutes later she drew a foul and hit a pair of free throws that made it 31-27 St. Olaf. 

After getting fouled on an attempt from three, Johnson knocked down two of the three attempts from the line to bring the Cobbers within two points. Jamie Mentzer tied the game moments later at 33-33 with 3:17 to play in the third quarter. 

The Oles were stingy on defense for the remainder of the period but the Cobbers upped the ante on that effort on their defensive end. 

St. Olaf did not score for a stretch of 6:59 sandwiched between the third and fourth quarters. The drought was ended when Makenna Ash scored with 8:44 to play in the game which cut the Cobber lead to 37-35. 

The trio of Walsh, Johnson and Januschka scored all 15 of Concordia's points in the final quarter. Januschka scored eight of her 12 points in the final period of play which helped Concordia ease to the nine-point victory. 

The gritty Cobbers surrendered just 41 points to the Oles, the fewest amount of points they have given up all season. The last time Concordia gave up fewer than 41 points was a year ago when they managed to hold St. Scholastica to 37 points. 

Concordia held St. Olaf to 30.2% shooting (16-for-53) and outrebounded the Oles 42-36. 

Jenna Januschka, Greta Walsh and Olivia Johnson have combined for 66.87% of the team's overall scoring this season. Januschka leads the tea in scoring with a 15.2 ppg average. Walsh is second at 14.1 ppg and Johnson is averaging 13.7 points per game. Johnson has the third highest season point total as well at 123 points. The fourth highest point getter on the team sits at 41 points. The three have accounted for over 60% of the team's scoring in all but two games this season. In those two games they still accounted for over half of the Cobber's scoring output. 

Olivia Johnson played like a woman possessed against the Oles. She led the team in scoring with 15 points - the sixth game she has scored in double figures this season. She also pulled down a career-high 16 boards. St. Olaf's Makenna Ash posted the next highest rebound total in the game with eight. 

Concordia will play its second home game of the week on Saturday, Dec. 12 when they host Augsburg at 3 p.m.. The last time the Auggies came to Moorhead they escaped with a 56-50 win in the quarterfinal of last season's conference tournament. The two teams share identical 5-4 records, but Augsburg is in the midst of a three-game skid and stands 0-3 in MIAC play.