Long Distance Rally Falls Just Short

Sophomore Amber Lingen dribbles the ball to the basket during the Cobbers' home opener with Valley City St. She finished with a career-high 22 points.
Sophomore Amber Lingen dribbles the ball to the basket during the Cobbers' home opener with Valley City St. She finished with a career-high 22 points.

STORY LINE: Concordia cut a 12-point deficit all the way down to three points in the final minute of play but then turned the ball over and lost 74-69 to Valley City in the Cobbers' home opener. Concordia trailed by double digits for most of the second half but then caught fire down the stretch and almost pulled off the come-from-behind victory.

RECORDS: Concordia continues to alternate wins and losses on the season. After falling in their season opener, the Cobbers prevailed in the second game before dropping their third to the Vikings. The Cobbers are now 1-2 on the season. Valley City ends its 2-game losing skid and is now 3-4 on the year.

AMBER ALERT: Concordia sophomore guard Amber Lingen caught fire in the fourth quarter and scored 11 straight points to bring the Cobbers back from a 12-point deficit. Lingen started her tear by hitting a 3-pointer with just over 3:00 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Her first trey cut the deficit from 12 points at 68-56 to nine points at 68-59. Lingen then connected on a jump shot on the next CC possession before hitting two straight long distance shots to get the Cobbers within three at 72-69.

Lingen finished the game by going 6-for-9 from outside the arc and putting up a career-high 22 points. Her previous career high was nine points which she recorded on three occasions last year. Lingen's 22 points helped her move into double digits in points per game this year. She is now averaging  10.7 ppg in the first three games of the year.   

DOUBLE DEUCE X TWO: Cobber junior Mira Ellefson matched Lingen's point total in the game as she also recorded a career-high 22 points. Ellefson went 3-for-6 from outside the arc and 7-for-11 from the floor. Her previous career high was 17 points against Wis.-River Falls last season.  Ellefson is now tied for the team lead in points per game. Both her and Grace Wolhowe are averaging 14.7 ppg.

SECOND QUARTER STUMBLE: Concordia outscored Valley City 64-59 in the first, third and fourth quarters combined. The one problem is that the Cobbers stumbled through the second quarter and were outscored 15-5. CC held a 43-36 edge in the second half but shot just 22.2 (2-for-9) from the floor and 20.0% (1-for-5) from outside the arc in the second period of play. The second quarter has been costly in both CC losses this year. They were outscored 23-18 in the opener against Calvin.

LONG RANGE FINDERS: Concordia went 11-for-28 (39.3%) from outside the arc vs. the Vikings. All three numbers are season highs for the Cobbers. CC made at least 11 long range shots in four games last year and went 4-0 in those contests.

FREE THROW FINESSE: Concordia didn't miss a free throw against Valley City State. The Cobbers went 12-for-12 from the foul line and are now shooting 82.5% from the stripe. The last time Concordia didn't miss a free throw with at least 10 foul attempts in a game was during the 2016 season when they went 15-for-15 against Augsburg on Dec. 12.

UP NEXT: Concordia will have a 12-day break for the Thanksgiving holiday and will return to action when they play at St. Benedict in a non-conference on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. The Bennies are 1-0 on the year.