ST. PAUL, Minn. (2/06/21)--- Concordia proved one of the oldest sports old clichés in the book - "the biggest growth for a team is from the first game to the second." On Wednesday, the Cobbers stumbled out of the gate, couldn't hit from the outside and lost a non-conference game at St. Ben's. On Saturday, CC showed signs of their late-season form from 2020 and went down to the wire with St. Thomas. The Cobbers outscored the Tommies 33-30 in the second half but couldn't come up with a key defensive rebound in the final 15-seconds of play and lost 63-58.
GAME RECAP: On Wednesday, Concordia was outscored 18-11 in the first quarter and could never recover. On Saturday, the Cobbers held a 19-12 advantage after 10 minutes of play but was then done in by a tough second quarter. CC held a 6-point lead at 25-19 with 5:25 to play in the first half but then watched as UST scored the final 14 points of the half to take a 33-25 lead into the break. During the decisive stretch, the Cobbers went 0-for-8 from the floor and committed three turnovers.
Despite the second-quarter stumble, the Cobbers still had a chance to win the game in the end. Concordia came out of halftime and outscored UST 19-13 to only trail 46-44 heading into the final period of play. CC took a brief 51-50 lead when Emily Beseman converted the second of her two free throws with 6:10 left in the game. The game would go back-and-forth for the next six minutes. Concordia stayed within three points and the game featured three tie scores in the final minutes of play. Concordia trailed 59-58 after Autumn Thompson made a free throw with 14-seconds to play. CC was able to foul quickly on the inbounds play which led to a pair of free throws. St. Thomas guard Katelyn Staley made the first foul shot but then missed the second. The Cobbers weren't able to corral the rebound and Staley was able to collect the game-winning board. CC fouled immediately and the next UST shooter also connected on 1-of-2 free throws to give the Tommies a 61-58 lead. Concordia's chance to tie the game ended on a turnover and UST made two more free throws to bring the final margin o five points.
BETTER BESEMAN: Sophomore Emily Beseman had a tough first game on Wednesday but then rebounded to put up a game-high 25 points. She was 5-for-16 from the floor but went 12-for-13 from the foul line. Her 25 points is two shy of a career high and the fourth 20-point game of her career. Beseman was the only CC player with more than nine points in the game.
ISAMAN EYES IT UP: Sophomore Kaylie Isaman came off the bench and put up nine points in 19 minutes of play. The Pelican Rapids product went 3-for-4 from long range and also came away with two rebounds.
QUEEN OF THE BOARDS: Junior Mary Sem tied a career-high for rebounds as she grabbed 10 boards in the game. She led all players on the glass and is now averaging a team-best 7.5 rpg this year.
FREE THROWS ADD UP: One of the differences in the game came at the free throw line where UST went 23-for-32 as compared to 14-for-16 for CC.
3-POINTERS ALMOST ADD UP: The Cobbers were almost able to take advantage of their huge outside shooting advantage to come away with the road win. Concordia made eight 3-pointers and went 8-for-26 (30.8%). The Tommies were ice cold from distance and connected on only a pair of three balls. They went 2-for-10 in the first half, 0-for-10 in the second half and shot 10.0% for the game.
STAT STUFF: Two other deciding factors in the game came from turnovers and points in the paint. CC committed six more miscues which led to an 18-8 edge for UST in points off of turnovers. The Tommies also enjoyed a 30-20 advantage in points in the paint.
UP NEXT: Concordia will have their home opener on Wednesday, Feb. 10 when they host St. Ben's at 7 p.m. The Cobbers lost to the Bennies in a non-conference game in the season opener. CSB is now 2-0 on the year after posting a 70-56 win over Hamline on Saturday.
RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Red River Trails. Red River Tails has been the official bus company of the Cobbers for decades. They carried Concordia down to St. Paul on Saturday and came through with another safe trip down-and-back.