Momentum Swings Late In The Quarter

Momentum Swings Late In The Quarter

WINONA, Minn. (1/13/16)—A trio of shots in the final seconds of the first three quarters proved to be big momentum breakers in Concordia's 61-55 loss at league-leading St. Mary's.

The Cardinals made a basket in the final seconds of the first quarter, another as time expired in the first half to take a 28-23 lead into the break and then came up with a last-second shot in the third period to grab an 11-point lead heading into the final quarter. All three field goals made huge swings in the course of the game and forced the Cobbers to chase the Cardinals in the final 20 minutes of play.

The loss is the second straight for Concordia who falls to 8-6 overall and 4-3 in the MIAC. St. Mary's remains unbeaten in conference play at 7-0 and improves to 11-1 in all games.

The first quarter featured three ties and neither team was able to get more than a 3-point lead during the first 10 minutes of play.

Concordia earned the first 3-point lead when junior Greta Walsh knocked down one of her three long-range shots on the night. St. Mary's would erase the lead over the next two minutes before Crystal Amundson gave CC its second 3-point advantage with a layup at 2:50.

The Cardinals hit the first of their three big shots as time was winding down in the first period. The made 3-pointer tied the game at 14-14 and kept SMU close as CC would start the second period on a 7-2 run.

Olivia Johnson canned a 3-pointer and then Hannah Jeske connected on a jumper before Amundson made a layup at 6:17 which staked Concordia to its biggest lead of the game at 21-16.

The Cobbers would score only two more points for the rest of the quarter and St. Mary's would finish the half on a 12-2 run. It looked like Concordia would escape the period by trailing by just three points but then an offensive rebound and a put-back gave the Cardinals a 28-23 at halftime.

Concordia scored the first six points of the second half but then struggled for the remainder of the third quarter. CC was outscored 21-9 in the final 6:49 and was never able to recover.

The Cobbers trailed by nine heading into the final quarter and were able to make a run to get to within four points but then missed field goals on the offensive end cost Concordia. CC was 3-for-9 in the final five minutes of play and committed three turnovers during that time.

Concordia shot 36.5% (23-for-63) for the game from the floor and connected on 27.8% (5-for-18) of their shots from outside the arc. St. Mary's made 41.2% (21-for-51) of their attempts from the field and 28.6% (4-for-14) of their 3-point shots.

Junior guard Greta Walsh was the focus of the Cobber offense as she scored a career-high 23 points and put up 23 field goal attempts. The 23 shot attempts is the most by a Cobber player since 2012 when Tricia Sorensen put up 24 shots in a game against Minn.-Morris on Nov. 15. Walsh's previous career hig was 21 points which came in her freshman season against Carleton on Feb. 10, 2014.

Senior Olivia Johnson grabbed six rebounds against the Cardinals and now has 498 for her career. She needs two more to become the 17th player in program history to reach the 500-rebound plateau. Johnson was held under 10 points for the second straight game as she finished with seven points. Johnson has scored in double figures in nine times this season and CC is 7-2 in those games.

For the second straight game Concordia was outscored in the second quarter. The Cardinals held a 14-9 edge in the second period of play. The Cobbers have outscored their opponents in three of the four quarters this season. The only quarter where opponents have an advantage? The second quarter. CC has been outscored by a combined total of 218-198 in the second period.

Concordia will look to put an end to its two-game losing streak when they play at Macalester on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 3 p.m. The game is the third of a three-game road swing. The Scots dropped a 70-36 decision at St. Olaf on Wednesday. Macalester is 6-7 overall and 2-5 in conference play. The Scots are 3-3 at home this season.