MOORHEAD, Minn. (1/23/15) --- Strengthened by a career-high 17 points from junior Crystal Amundson, Concordia won the dual between teams with identical records in a critical MIAC match-up.
The Cobbers narrowly outshot and outrebounded Bethel to hold on for a 64-60 victory. The win gives CC the season sweep over the Royals and extends their overall win streak to three games.
Concordia now 11-6 overall and 7-3 in the MIAC and stays locked in a tie for third place in the league standings. Bethel falls behind the Cobbers by a game and is now 10-7 in all games 6-4 in conference play.
The main statistical categories in the game were almost dead even. CC shot 46.2% (24-of-52) compared to BU's 41.3% (19-of-46). Concordia outrebounded the Royals 33-29 but lost the turnover battle 16-15.
The two benches also each managed to chip in 26 points.
The Royals got off to a quick start, as they held their largest lead with 7:19 to play in the first quarter. The Cobbers weathered the storm and jumped into the lead down the stretch and eventually lead by seven points with 7:43 to play in the last quarter.
Concordia was forced to play catch-up with BU as the Royals scored the first seven points of the game. Jenna Januschka connected on a 3-pointer and Amundson started her career afternoon by scoring on a pair of inside hoops to tie the game at 7-7.
Jamie Mentzer dished out three assists and had a layup as Concordia went on a 15-8 run to end the first quarter and square it at 15-15.
Amundson knocked down a wing 3-pointer and Janushcka scored inside to start the second quarter for the Cobbers.
The teams exchanged baskets for the entire second quarter and it ended how it started for the Cobbers with a basket by Amundson. The teams went into halftime all knotted at 32-32.
Amundson's previous career high coming into the game was nine points, and she tallied 11 alone in the first half en route to her career-high 17 points.
Bethel's Kalli Zimmermann got off to a quick start out of the break. She scored the first six points for BU and gave the Royals a 38-34 lead with 7:54 on the clock.
Olivia Johnson hit a shot from the wing and hit two free throws to make it 49-44.
Januschka and Amundson ended the quarter by each draining a pair of free throws to make the score 53-50 heading into the final quarter.
Concordia would need to distance themselves from the Royals early and Johnson provided just that. She kissed one off the glass then hit a teardrop on the baseline to make it 57-50 with 7:43 to play.
Greta Walsh had a of scoop layup on the left side that kept the Cobber lead at seven points with five minutes to play but Bethel would not go away.
Walsh would scoop another up-and-in moments later that made it 63-58.
A Bethel player hit a pair of free throws to make it 63-60 with 2:49 remaining. The Royals would come up short on a pair of quick possessions while the Cobbers next two trips down the floor featured extended shot clocks thanks to Januschka and Johnson coming up with offensive rebounds.
With 30-seconds left, Januschka hit the front-end of the bonus to make it a four-point game, which proved to be enough to hold off the Royals.
Crystal Amundson has been adjusting this season to her new team and school. Amundson, a transfer student, came in with a career high of nine points, but breached that in the first half by scoring 11 points. She went 7-for-8 from the floor in the game and also added three boards and a steal. Amundson also connected on only her second 3-pointer of the season. She is now 2-for-4 from outside the arc.
A ROYAL SWEEP
Concordia has now swept Bethel in three of the past four seasons. Last year the teams only played one game which CC prevailed 68-56 at home. The Cobbers have now beaten the Royals six straight times at home. The last time Bu prevailed in Moorhead came in the second half of the 2010-11 season.
Concordia will have a couple days off before hosting St. Olaf on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7:45 p.m. Coming off a 65-54 loss to St. Ben's, the Oles stand at 10-7 overall and 5-5 in MIAC Play The Cobbers beat the Oles 50-41 back on Dec. 9.