So Close

The Concordia bench watches senior Greta Walsh drive to the basket during the Cobbers' near upset over No.19-ranked Gustavus.
The Concordia bench watches senior Greta Walsh drive to the basket during the Cobbers' near upset over No.19-ranked Gustavus.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (1/25/17)--- Concordia made more field goals, more 3-point attempts, committed 11 fewer turnovers and outscored No.19-ranked Gustavus in the first and fourth quarters but couldn't come up with a game-tying basket in the final seconds of play and lost 61-59

The Cobbers led by as many as nine points in the first half and by seven points to start the second half over the nationally-ranked Gusties but a 16-2 run by GAC in a 6:20 span at the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth proved to be the decisive stretch in the game.

Even with the huge streak by Gustavus, Concordia still had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds. The Gusties missed half their free throws in the fourth quarter (9-for-18) which allowed the Cobbers the opportunity to come up with the possible game-tying shot.

CC inbounded the ball from inside its own offensive side of the court with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation. Sophomore Jamie Mentzer put up a 3-point attempt after the inbounds pass and the shot narrowly missed but the rebound kicked directly to a Cobber player who made a pass and the ensuing shot from close range just missed the target.

Mentzer played a huge role in the Cobbers' comeback in the final 2-minutes of play. CC trailed by six with 152 left and Mentzer made the next four points to give Concordia a chance at the buzzer.

Mentzer finished with a team-high 14 points and also added a team-high four assists.

Concordia built up a nine-point lead at 31-22 in the second quarter by outscoring Gustravus 19-12 in the first quarter and then making 5 of their first 9 shots in the second quarter including back-to-back 3-pointers from senior guard Greta Walsh.

The Cobbers would take a 33-26 lead into the second half and only trailed by four heading into the fourth period of play. The Gusties looked to put the game out of reach early in the final quarter when they extended the lead to eight points but clutch defense and a 3-pointer from Cassidy Rahman and layup by Mentzer cut the lead to three points and set the stage for the late-game dramatics.

Concordia went 25-for-63 (39.7%) from the field and 6-for-24 (25.0%) from 3-point range as compared to 19-for-39 (48.7%) from the floor and 4-for-10 (40.0%) from outside the arc for Gustavus.

The Cobbers only had 10 turnovers as opposed to 21 miscues for the Gusties.

The statistical advantage for GAC came at the free throw line and under the rim. Gustavus went to the foul line 21 more times and made 16 more free throws and outrebounded  Concordia 42-23.

The Cobbers had six players score more than six points in the game. Besides the 14 from Mentzer and 13 from Walsh; Grace Wolhowe added seven and Crystal Amundson, Jenna Januschka and Kirstin Simmons each added six.

MENTZER ON THE MEND: Jamie Mentzer played in the season opener but then didn't play again until the middle of January due to a lower leg injury. Since returning to the lineup she has average 8.0 points in her four games and her 14 points is a career high. Mentzer also had four assists against Gustavus which is also a career high.

FIELD GOAL FLURRY: The 25 made field goals is the second highest total of the season for the Cobbers. CC made 27 shot attempts in their 85-78 win over St. Catherine on Dec. 7.

TURNOVER TIP: Concordia only committed 10 turnovers against the Gusties which is a season low and fewest since Feb. 20 of last year when they only had seven miscues against Macalester. CC only had one game last year where they had 10 or fewer turnovers.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will look to keep their good play going when they travel to Northfield to take on St. Olaf on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1 p.m. The Oles have an identical 5-13/2-9 record as the Cobbers and are coming off a 67-44 loss against Bethel. St. Olaf beat Concordia 55-41 in the first meeting of the year between the two teams.