WINONA, Minn. (12/3/16) --- Even Floyd Mayweather would have been entertained by Saturday's conference tilt between Concordia and St. Mary's.
Saturday's game turned into a middleweight title bout that featured back-and-forth punches from both teams that ultimately resulted in St. Mary's winning via the knockout 60-56.
The Cardinals took a majority of the punches thrown as CC led for 29:27 of the contest – but SMU threw the upper right hook in the last 60 seconds as they grabbed the lead late and were saved by the bell.
The game featured 13 punches (lead changes) and seven clinches (ties).
The Cardinals led 9-8 at the 2:09 of the first quarter but the Cobbers held no more than a seven-point lead throughout the next 20 minutes.
SMU regained the lead at the 1:55 point of the third quarter on a baseline jumper that made it 40-38 but a Grace Wolhowe 3-pointer on the ensuing trip put the Cobbs back on top.
Two possessions later it was Wolhowe who scored again to help CC take a 45-43 advantage heading into the final 10 minutes.
St. Mary's came out and canned a triple on the first possession of the fourth quarter to jump ahead 46-45 but a Greta Walsh old-fashioned 3-point play on Concordia's next trip down the floor set the stage for a heavyweight bout that would feature back-and-forth punches for the last quarter.
The final period alone featured five lead changes and four ties but Concordia was on the wrong side of the quarter flip.
Alexa Huisman found her way to the free throw line and tied the game at 56-56 with 2:16 and CC would not put the ball through the basket in the contest's final minutes.
The Cobbers missed five shots from the floor and had two pivotal turnovers in the waning moments that proved costly. SMU grabbed the lead for good with 36 seconds left, then converted on double-bonus free throws with eight seconds to take a 60-56 lead with eight ticks remaining – their largest lead of the afternoon.
Concordia missed a pair of long balls on the final possession as the Cardinals held on for the win.
St. Mary's shot 45.1% (23-of-51) compared to Concordia's 36.2% (21-of-58) shooting percentage. The Cardinals outrebounded the Cobbs 39-31 and assisted on two more baskets than CC.
Huisman paced SMU with a game-high 20 points while Sam Jones chipped in with 16.
Jenna Januschka wound up with 18 points to lead Concordia while Walsh had 14 and Wolhowe added 10 for the Cobbers.
MONEY MAYWEATHER – Januschka's 18 points was a season-high for the St. Cloud Cathedral product. She has scored 15 points or more in four straight games and is averaging 16.75 points over that stretch. The senior averaged just 10.5 points per game in the first four games of the season.
TURNOVER BATTLE WON: Concordia committed a season-low 12 turnovers in the game. The Cobbers also forced St. Mary's into 18 miscues. The plus-six margin is also a season best.
WHAT'S NEXT? Concordia will return to practice on Sunday in prep for a non-conference game at Valley City State on Monday, December 5th. The Vikings are currently 9-3 and 4-2 on their home court.