NORTHFIELD, Minn. (2/10/18)---You'll have to excuse Concordia head coach Jessica Rahman if she wants to try and extend the regular season for a few more weeks. The Cobbers led wire-to-wire and beat Carleton 66-55 to earn their third win in the last five games.
Concordia's late-season success has them just outside the Top 6 teams in the conference for the playoff spots. The Cobbers are now 6-10 in league play which puts them in eighth place in the MIAC – one game behind the sixth, and final, playoff spot with two games to play in the regular season. CC is now 9-14 in all games.
The Cobbers set the tone for their latest win by scoring 22 points in the first quarter and going on a 13-2 run to finish the period. CC shot 56.3% (9-for-16) from the floor and made a trio of 3-pointers while the defense held Carleton to just four made field goals and a single shot from outside the arc.
The lone speed bump in the game for Concordia came in the second quarter when Carleton went on a 10-3 run to cut the lead to four points with under 30-seconds remaining in the half. A pair of Mira Ellefson free throws pushed the lead to six points at the half and then the Cobbers would outscore the Knights 12-5 in the first six minutes of the third period to push the lead to double figures and stop any chance of a comeback.
Concordia held a 17-11 advantage in the third period and then only trailed by a single point in the fourth to keep Carleton from going on a game-changing point streak.
The Cobbers finished the game by shooting 41.2% (21-for-51) from the floor and 47.1% (8-for-17) from outside the arc. CC excelled at the free throw line where they kept the lead at arm's length several times during the second half by successfully converting on their foul shots. Concordia went 16-for-18 (88.9%) from the free throw line in the game including 10-for-11 in the second half.
Carleton (7-18/4-12 MIAC) was held to under 36.0% from both the field and 3-point range. The Knights made 35.2% (19-for-54) of their attempts from the floor and 31.8% (7-for-22) of their long range chances.
Grace Wolhowe spearheaded the Concordia offensive attack. She scored 16 points in the second half – including 12 in the third quarter – and finished with a career-high 24 points. She went 8-for-9 from the free throw line and also had three rebounds.
Ellefson was three rebounds shy of a double-double. She had 10 points and seven rebounds and also recorded a game-high four assists.
Kirstin Simmons was six points shy of a double-double. She had a game-high 10 boards to go with four points.
STAT ADVANTAGE: The only real stat advantage in the game came under the rim where Concordia held a 34-27 edge in rebounds and a 22-18 advantage in points in the paint.
GOOD GRACE: Grace Wolhowe recorded her second 20-point scoring outing in the last three games for Concordia. She has scored at least 20 points in three games this season and CC is 2-1 in those games. Her 24 points against the Knights are the most by a Cobber player in a single game since Greta Walsh had 27 against Hamline last season.
SWELL SIXTIES: The 66 points scored by Concordia represents the fourth time in the 2018 calendar year that the Cobbers have scored 60 or more points in a game. CC is 3-1 in those games. Overall Concordia has put up at least 60 points in eight games and is 4-4.
WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will have a pair of games to make a final push for the playoffs. The Cobbers will play at Hamline on Wednesday, Feb. 14 and then return home to host St. Olaf on Saturday, Feb. 17 in the annual Senior Celebration game.