Wake-Up Call Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive

Freshman Emily Beseman connects on one of her game-high 12 free throws in the Cobbers' win over Macalester. She was 12-for-12 from the line and finished with a game-high 17 points.
Freshman Emily Beseman connects on one of her game-high 12 free throws in the Cobbers' win over Macalester. She was 12-for-12 from the line and finished with a game-high 17 points.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (2/19/20)---Concordia slumbered through three quarters of play, picked up the wake-up call in the fourth and out-scored Macalester down the stretch to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Cobbers were clinging to a slim 41-40 lead over the Scots after the first 30 minutes of play but then rolled to a 23-8 advantage in the fourth quarter and posted a 64-48 victory in a "must win" situation to stay in the race for one of the final two spots in the MIAC tournament.

The win is the third straight for Concordia and pushes them into a 3-way tie for fifth place in the league standings. The Cobbers are now 9-10 in conference play as they battle for one of the six spots in the postseason. CC is tied with Hamline and St. Catherine with one game remaining in the regular season as two of the three teams will claim an MIAC playoff spot. Concordia is now 11-13 in all games.

Concordia struggled to get free of Macalester in the free quarters of play. The Scots led for most of the first period but then a 9-0 run at the end of the opening quarter gave CC a 14-11 lead. The Cobbers would up the lead to six points midway through the second quarter but the Scots responded with a 10-5 stretch to only go into the halftime break down by three points.

The Cobbers once again threatened to break the game open in the third when they scored eight of the first 13 points and led 39-33. Macalester once again refused to let the lead grow any farther and outscored CC 5-0 in the final 2:33 of the period.

Leading 41-40 with 10 minutes to play and clinging to hopes of making the playoffs, the Cobbers answered the call by outscoring the Scots 19-2 in the first 8:47 of the final frame.

Concordia did most of their damage in the final 10 minutes of play at the free throw line where they went 12-for-12. The Scots didn't attempt a free throw in the fourth quarter and the Cobbers knocked down two more field goals in the period.

Freshman Emily Beseman led the way for the Cobbers in the fourth quarter. She was 4-for-4 from the free throw line, made the only CC 3-pointer in the quarter and put up seven points - one shy of the team total for Macalester.

Beseman used the 7-point fourth to finish the game with 17 points which led all players. She was a perfect 12-for-12 from the foul stripe in the game. Beseman also had a game-high nine rebounds.

As a team, Concordia went 21-for-22 (95.5%) from the free throw line in the game. Macalester only got to the foul line six times and went 4-for-6. The 95.5% shooting mark from the line for CC is a season high.

The Cobbers shot 39.2% (20-for-51) for the game as compared to 30.2% (19-for-63) for Macalester. CC  tied a season low in conference play by only making three shots from outside the arc (3-for-16, 18.8%). The Scots were 6-for-17 (35.3%) on long range shots.

Sophomore guard Autumn Thompson was the only other Cobber player with more than eight points in the game. She was 4-for-9 from the floor and had 12 points. It is the 10th time in the last 12 games she has scored at least 10 points.

Junior Elizabeth Birkemeyer grabbed four rebounds in the fourth quarter alone and had eight boards for the game.

Mary Sem had eight points and four rebounds and Vanessa Kedl also added eight points and grabbed five boards.  

INSIDE STAT INFO: The 21 made free throws by Concordia marks the third straight game that the Cobbers have made at least 20 foul shots in a game. CC only had one 20-made free throw game in their first 21 contests of the year.

3-POINT UPDATE: Autumn Thompson made a pair of 3-pointers in the game which jumped her season total to 64. That mark is second best in a single season in school history. The program record is 71 set by Cathy Johnson in 1991.              
UP NEXT: Concordia has turned the 20-game conference season into a 1-game schedule. The Cobbers last game of the regular-season is against Hamline is one of the two other teams tied for fifth place in the league standings. The playoff scenario is simple for Concordia – win and they are in. A victory would clinch a postseason for the Cobbers.

The Cobbers and Pipers will square off on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. in historic Sutton Arena in St. Paul.