Steady Improvement Continues in 2020

Sophomore Mary Sem posts up a St. Thomas player during the second half of the Cobbers' first game of 2020. Sem tied her career-high with 25 points.
Sophomore Mary Sem posts up a St. Thomas player during the second half of the Cobbers' first game of 2020. Sem tied her career-high with 25 points.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (1/04/20)---Concordia showed steady signs of improvement in each game in 2019 and the trend continued in the first game of 2020 as the Cobbers battled No.17-ranked St. Thomas to the final buzzer before finally losing 67-64.

The opening game of the calendar year was close throughout the 40 minutes of play with neither team holding more than a 7-point lead. The game featured 12 tie scores and seven lead changes.

The outcome was decided in the final 2:42 of play. The Cobbers tied the game for the 12th time when freshman Emily Beseman nailed a 3-pointer with 3:34 to play in the fourth quarter.

The Tommies got a layup on their next possession to take a 2-point lead at 61-59 with 2:42 to play. Concordia then missed on a 3-pointer and a layup before UST widened the gap to four points on a layup with 41-seconds to play.

Concordia guard Autumn Thompson was able to drive to the basket and convert a layup to narrow the margin to two points with 21-seconds left. The Cobbers then fouled a Tommie player who only made one free throw. CC turned the ball over on its next possession and fell behind by three points at 64-61 on a made Tommie free throw with 19-seconds remaining.

The Cobbers were unable to convert on their next trip down the floor and once again had to foul a St. Thomas player with less than 10-seconds left. UST would make one foul shot to push the lead to 65-61 but then CC quickly pushed the ball up the court and Thompson did her best Steph Curry impression by stepping back and draining a 3-pointer from just inside the sideline with only 2-seconds remaining to get CC within one point at 67-64.

Concordia fouled quickly on the inbounds play but St. Thomas was able to seal the game by making the final two free throws.

The biggest stat advantage came around the basket where the Tommies held a 36-28 edge in rebounds and a 32-24 margin in points in the paint.

The Cobbers shot 37.5% (21-for-66) from the floor and 31.6% (6-for-19) from outside the arc. St. Thomas connected on 39.3% (24-for-61) of their shots from the floor and 25.0% (7-for-28) of their attempts from long range.

Concordia only committed nine turnovers which is the fewest this season. UST also had nine miscues in the game.     

Sophomore Mary Sem led all players with 25 points. The 25 points ties a career high and marks the second straight game, and fourth overall, that she has scored at least 20 points. She leads the team in scoring with a 16.2 ppg average. Sem also tied for the team lead with five rebounds.

Beseman and Thompson also scored in double digits. Beseman had 13 points while Thompson finished with 10. Thompson also had a team-high three assists.

Elizabeth Birkemeyer and Vanessa Kedl also had five rebounds to lead CC.   

UP NEXT: Concordia will look to continue their season-long improvement when they play at Macalester on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 7:15 p.m. The Scots are 1-10 in all games and 0-6 in the MIAC. They dropped a 65-57 decision at Carleton on Saturday.     

Saturday recaps sponsored by Bufffalo Wild Wings: Grab your friends and get to B-Dubs on Sunday nights for College Nights at 9 p.m. 50% off 1 food item with ID and $3 apps at the Buffalo Wild Wings located on Hwy 10 in Moorhead.