A Record-Setting Four OT Win

Sophomore Bailee Larson fights for position during the first half of the Cobbers epic four overtime win over St. Catherine.
Sophomore Bailee Larson fights for position during the first half of the Cobbers epic four overtime win over St. Catherine.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (2/15/20)---Concordia and St. Catherine staged an "instant classic" that was befitting of two teams playing for their playoff lives.

The Wildcats overcame a 19-point deficit in the second quarter and the Cobbers returned the favor by rallying from a 7-point deficit in the second overtime. The game was ultimately decided behind the arc as St. Catherine used the 3-point shot to stay in the game early and then Concordia used the long-range basket to win the game late.

When the dust settled in a game that featured every plot twist and conceivable point scenario, the Cobbers survived in four overtime and posted a 94-85 win in the longest game in Cobber history. The only other multiple overtime contest for Concordia came in 1994 at home against Macalester.

The win levels the Cobbers with the Wildcats for the sixth, and final, playoff spot in the conference tournament with two games remaining in the regular season. Concordia and St. Catherine have identical 8-10 marks in league play and are only one game behind fifth-place Hamline who is 9-9. CC is now 10-13 overall while SCU slides to 11-12.  

In the end the teams combined to take 152 shots, attempt 57 shots from the arc, take 59 free throws and combine for 92 rebounds. And yes, those are all single-game records.

Not a single person in the audience could have guessed that they were about to witness history when Concordia bolted to a 19-point lead in the second quarter behind a 22-0 run.

St. Catherine would then change their defense and stymie the Cobbers for the final six minutes of the half. The Wildcats were able to cut the lead all the way to three points at 34-31 at the halftime break.

Concordia remained in front in the third quarter and eased the margin to as many as seven points before St. Catherine responded with a 4-0 streak to close out the quarter and keep it a 3-point game at 45-42.

The Cobbers once again pushed the lead to seven points midway through the fourth quarter only to have the Wildcats go on a 5-0 run in the final 50-seconds to send the game into the first OT at 59-59.

The first overtime was very pedestrian compared to the other three with neither team having more than a 2-point lead and the 5-minute session only saw a combined total of eight points scored.

The game went from tension-filled to "you can't be serious" in the second OT period. St. Catherine scored the first seven points of the overtime and rolled to a 70-63 lead with 3-minutes remaining.

The Cobbers still couldn't cut into the deficit in a significant way and the Wildcats held a 6-point lead at 72-66 with 1:20 left. What happened next will go down in the lore of Cobber basketball.

Mary Sem connected on a pair of free throws to start the rally. Vanessa Kedl would then step in front of a cross-court pass, race the length of the court and lay in a basket to cut the lead to two points at 72-70 with 24-seconds remaining.
The Wildcats would connect on one of their two free throws after a Cobber foul. Autumn Thompson then trimmed the lead to a single point at 73-72 with 11 ticks left. Concordia was forced to foul and when St. Catherine made both free throws it looked like the Cobbers were destined to come up short.

CC then inbounded the ball just inside the half line. They were able to rotate the ball around the top of the arc and Thompson kicked the ball to freshman Emily Beseman who was two feet away from her defender in the right corner. Beseman was able to catch the ball and then go up for the shot while her defender closed out the space. With a hand in her face, Beseman calmly drained the game-tying 3-pointer with 1-second left in the OT.

The third overtime was almost a carbon copy of the first. Neither team held more than a 3-point point lead, the Cobbers were able to score the final three points in the period and sent the game into the epic fourth extra session tied at 80-80.

Concordia then stole the Wildcats' blueprint from the second OT by bolting to a 7-point lead by scoring eight of the first nine points. Unlike St. Catherine in the second OT, the Cobbers continued to widen their lead and pushed the margin to double digits with 45-seconds remaining.

The Wildcats made one last run and cut the lead to seven points at 92-85 with 32-second to play – and everyone in the building was expecting another miraculous comeback.

Concordia would finally put the game away by converting a pair of free throws in the final second of play.

The Cobbers shot a solid 45.6% (31-for-68) for the game while the Wildcats connected on 34.5% (29-for-84) of their attempts from the floor. Concordia went 8-for-23 (34.8%) from outside the arc while St. Catherine, who entered the game shooting 29.0% from 3-point range made a season-high 12 shots from outside the arc and shot 35.3% (12-for-34).

The Cobbers also shot 70.6% (24-for-34) from the free throw line. SCU was 15-for-25 (60.0%) from the foul stripe.

The Cobbers were able to get the ball inside off the pass, or dribble, for much of the game and outscored the Wildcats 38-22 in points in the paint. CC held a slight 47-45 edge in rebounds.

Concordia had five players finish with at least 10 points and was led by Thompson who had a career-high 26 points and played an incredible 57 minutes – the most of any player in the game.

Beseman and Sem had 17 points each and both played over 40 minutes. Beseman was only 2-for-11 from outside the arc but stepped up when CC needed it most at the end of the second OT. Sem was 7-for-10 from the floor and also added 10 rebounds to record the first double-double of her career.

Junior Elizabeth Birkemeyer went for 16 points and a team-high 12 rebounds to post her second straight double-double.

Junior guard Rachel Hoernemann was 4-for-7 from the field and finished with 10 points.

GETTING CLOSER: Autumn Thompson went 4-for-9 from outside the arc on Saturday and upped her season total to 62 made 3-pointers. That total is the second most in a single season in school history. She needs nine more 3-pointers to tie the school record of 71 set by Cathy Johnson in 1991.

UP NEXT: The 2-game race to the playoffs starts on Wednesday, Feb. 19 when the Cobbers host Macalester. Concordia will then close out the regular season with a road game at fifth-place Hamline. The Scots are 1-22 on the season and are 0-18 in conference play.