MOORHEAD, Minn. (12/12/15)—For the 2015-16 Cobbers it has usually been the second half that has been the deciding factor. On Saturday it turned out to be the second quarter.
Concordia outscored Augsburg 16-8 in the second quarter and rode that advantage to a 52-48 victory. The win is the second straight for the Cobbers and the third in the first four games of the conference season. CC is now 3-1 in the MIAC and tied for second place in the league standings.
The Cobbers enter the holiday break at 6-4 overall and have a 5-2 record since the end of November.
While the usual suspects had big games it was the play of freshman guard Jamie Mentzer that swung the game in Concordia's favor. Mentzer had scored 12 points in the team's previous four games and put up a career-high 10 points against the Auggies. She scored the final five points of the third quarter and then canned a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter to give CC a 10-point lead at 40-30.
While Mentzer was the unsung hero of the day it was junior Jenna Januschka who continued her trend team-leading scoring trend. Januschka was 4-for-9 from the field but a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line and finished with 17 points. She was 6-for-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter including 4-for-4 in the final 1:01 of play when Augsburg was trying to cut the lead to under four points.
Augsburg took control of the game in the first quarter as they led for the entire 10-minute period. Concordia's first lead of the game came at the 8:02 mark of the decisive second quarter. It was a traditional 3-point that gave the Cobbers the lead for good. Januschka made a layup and was fouled. She then made one of her nine free throws and CC was up 13-10. Those three points were a part of an 8-0 run to start the period.
The Cobbers took a six-point lead at 24-18 into the half and then stretched it to 10 points in the first two minutes of the third quarter.
Augsburg made one final run at Concordia in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter. But the Cobbers made six straight free throws to seal the victory.
Concordia finished the game by shooting a perfect 15-for-15 from the free throw line. The Cobbers only had two players head to the foul stripe. Besides the nine good tries from Januschka, senior Olivia Johnson was 6-for-6.
Concordia vs. Augsburg Highlights
The hot shooting from the free throw line was in contrast to the shooting from outside the arc. Concordia shot 18.8% (3-for-16) from outside the arc.
Besides Januschka and Mentzer, Johnson was the third member of the Cobbers who had 10 or more points. She finished with 10 points and also had eight rebounds.
Concordia held an opponent to under 50 points for the second straight game. It's the first time since the first time since the 2014 season that CC has pulled off that feat. Unfortunately for Augsburg they were also a part of the back-to=back 40-point games. Concordia held the Auggies to 40 points on Feb. 3, 2014 and then gave up only 49 to St. Olaf in the very next game.
Jamie Mentzer became only the second Cobber other than Januschka, Johnson or Greta Walsh to score in double figures in a single game. Sophomore guard Cassidy Rahman scored 10 points in the season opener against Wis.-Superior.
CHAIRWOMAN OF THE BOARDS
Since today would have been Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday we find it only appropriate to salute the Chairman of the Board by paying tribute to the Chairwoman of the Boards. Olivia Johnson grabbed eight rebounds vs. the Auggies and now has four straight eight-or-more rebound games. Johnson currently leads the MIAC in total rebounds and defensive rebounds.
She now has 470 career rebounds and needs only 30 to join the 500-rebound club.
Today's tweet of the day was turned in by head coach Jessica Rahman who praised her team's resilience after a tough two-week period.
Concordia will now have a three-week break for the holidays before returning to action on Saturday, Jan. 2 when they play Buena Vista at St. Benedict. The Beavers are 4-4 on the season and have played a pair of MIAC opponents in their first eight games of the year.