Sem's 34 Isn't The Answer vs. Hamline

Sophomore Mary Sem goes up for two of her career-high 34 points among four Hamline defenders in the Cobbers' game with the Pipers.
Sophomore Mary Sem goes up for two of her career-high 34 points among four Hamline defenders in the Cobbers' game with the Pipers.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (2/03/20)—Each time Concordia came up with an answer, Hamline found a new question. The Cobbers continually put together point streaks to grab the lead over the Pipers but Hamline was able to respond each time and Concordia fell 72-69 in a game that was made up due to a winter storm on Jan. 18.

The loss overshadows one of the top point-scoring games in Cobber program history. Sophomore Mary Sem used her lightning-quick first step in the post and finished with a career-high 34 points. Her 34-point game marks only the fifth time in school history a player has scored more than 33 points in a game. Sem ties with three other players with the second-highest single game point total. All-American JoDee Bock holds the school's all-time single-game record with 37 points which came in a game in 1983.  

The loss ends a 3-game home win streak for the Cobbers and drops their conference record to 6-8 on the season. CC is now in a tie for the sixth, and final, spot in the race for the MIAC playoffs. Concordia is now 8-11 in all games.

Hamline wins for the third straight game and strengthens their hold on fifth place in the league standings with a 9-5 record. The Pipers earned their 14th overall win and are now 14-5 in all games.

Turnovers and missed shots around the basket hurt the Cobbers in the first half. Concordia committed 13 turnovers in the first half and shot 32.2% from the floor but had several layup attempts fall off the mark as they were able to come up with seven offensive rebounds and get inside the Piper defense.

The second half was spent trying to take a lead only to have Hamline come up with clutch possession and after clutch possession.

The Cobbers trailed by five at the halftime break before Hamline extended the lead to eight points halfway through the third period. CC got the lead down to five points before Hamline ralli9ed and finished the quarter on an 11-5 run to take a 56-45 lead after three periods.

Concordia then spent the first 6:30 of the final quarter whittling the lead down to four points by outscoring HU 13-6.

Hamline then scored the next three points before Concordia countered with a 4-0 run to trim the lead to three points at 65-62 with 1:33 to play.

The Pipers made a jumper on their next possession to answer CC's run and push the lead to five points. The Cobbers answered with a pair of free throws from Sem and the deficit was back to three points.

Hamline once again responded with a made jumper on their next possession and the lead was back to five with 1:14 remaining.

The scenario would play out four more times until the Pipers took their final 3-point lead with 8-seconds remaining to play. The Cobbers grabbed the rebound off a missed free throw but couldn't get a clear shot off from outside the arc and dropped the 3-point decision.

Sem dropped her 34 points and didn't have a single 3-point field goal in the game. She went 12-for-18 from the field and 10-for-11 from the free throw line. Sem also had four rebounds and three assists.

Concordia couldn't find their shooting touch from outside in the first half as they went 1-for-8 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes of play.

The Cobbers finished by connecting on 5 of their 20 (25.0%) attempts from distance. CC shot 39.1% (25-for-64) from the floor and 87.5% (14-for-16) from the foul stripe.

Hamline was successful on 40.0% (26-for-65) of their shots from the floor and went 8-for-21 (38.1%) from 3-point range. HU was 12-for-17 (70.6%) from the free throw line including making 4-of-5 in the final 1:30 of play.

Concordia held a decisive 47-25 edge in rebounds. The 47 rebounds are the second most in a game this season (48 vs. Augsburg/Nov. 23).

The Cobbers finished the game by turning the ball over 20 points which led to Hamline having a 16-6 advantage in points off of miscues.

As expected with Sem having a 34-point night, Concordia only had one other player finish in double figures in scoring. Autumn Thompson made four of the Cobbers' five made 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. She also had a game-high four assists.

CC had a pair of players with double-digit rebound totals. Elizabeth Birkemeyer and Bailee Larson both had 10 boards in the game.                   

INSIDE STAT INFO: Concordia's 22-rebound advantage in the game is the second-highest of the season. They had 26 more rebounds in the season-opening win over Minn.-Morris. The down side of this "ISI" is that it was the first time all season that the Cobbers have had a double-digit rebound advantage and lost. CC is now 6-1 for the year when they outrebound their opponent by at least 10.

34-POINT CLUB: Mary Sem is the fourth player in school history to put up 34 points in a game. The last time a CC player had 34 points was in 2009 when All-American Jenna Freudenberg dropped 34 on St. Ben's on Feb. 7. The other 34-point games belong to former head coach Jessica (Beachy) Rahman (Dec. 12, 1985 and Rachel Gaugert on Jan. 30, 1976. Of the four, only Freudenberg was aided by the 3-point shot as she made three 3-pointers in her 34-point outing.    

NIFTY FIFTY: The four made 3-pointers for Autumn Thompson gives her 50 for the season. She becomes only the ninth player in program history to reach the 50 3-point milestone. Cathy Johnson owns the program record with 71 made 3-pointers. She put up that impressive record in 1991. Current Cobber assistant coach Alley Fisher is second on the all-time list. She knocked down 58 long balls in 2015.

Thompson is currently tied for the MIAC lead in 3-pointers made in all games. She also has 24 3-pointers in conference play which leads all MIAC players.          
UP NEXT: Concordia step into the fire in their next game. The Cobbers will travel to Arden Hills to take on No.5-ranked Bethel on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7:45 p.m. The Royals are unbeaten on the year and own a 19-0 overall record and have a 14-0 mark in league play.