Jan. 11, 1997
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Men's Basketball : Oles prove tough for basketball team
Vic Quick 1/11/97
Stopping a two-game winning streak, St. Olaf handed Concordia men‚s basketball a 78-73 loss here on Wednesday night.
The Cobbers now stand at 2-4 in the MIAC and 3-6 overall. "They [St. Olaf] executed well and made their free throws down the stretch," said senior forward Daimen Crump. "This was a tough loss. We had the momentum, but broke down defensively."
Road wins during the break helped Concordia improve its conference standing. Defeating both St. Mary‚s and Macalester, the Cobbers scored their first conference wins and began to move up in the MIAC.
"I think the reason for our slow start was the fact that we started with three of our top four conference teams and we weren‚t playing at the top of our game," said head coach Duane Siverson. Against St. Mary‚s on Jan. 4, the Cobbers won 85-75.
The win over Macalester on Jan. 6 was stronger, giving the Cobbers a 78-56 victory. Crump led the way for Concordia against Macalester with 23 points. Siverson was pleased with the team‚s performance against Macalester, but felt that play against St. Mary‚s was sloppy. Overall, though, he is pleased with the wins. "I think the difference in our team is that we play intense defense for about 40 minutes; we were patient on offense and got better shots," said Siverson.
Women‚s hoops win three in a row
"We hold our own destiny. Everything just takes care of itself because we focus on what we need to do as a team," said head coach Kathy Wall. On Dec. 14 at Carleton, the Cobbers dominated the Knights, bringing home a 72-39 victory.
Defense gave Concordia the edge in this game, holding Carleton to a 22 percent shooting percentage from the field. The Cobbers shot at about 50 percent, sinking 32 of 63 field goals. Freshman guard Steffi Backer led the Cobbers in scoring, bringing in 15 points. Senior forward Holly Zollar also contributed to the victory, scoring 13 points an six rebounds.
After the holidays, Concordia took on St. Mary‚s in Winona on Jan. 4 and came home with a 77-47 win. Again defense kept the game alive, holding St. Mary‚s to a 30 percent shooting percentage. "Whenever our offense struggles, our defense gets really intense and consistent," said Wall.
In this game, junior center Leah Sonstelie led the Cobbers in scoring, with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Senior forward Ann Mehrkens followed Sonstelie with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Cobbers remained undefeated in the conference with a Jan. 6 win over Macalester. The Cobbers have been performing well on the road, winning all four conference games. Next week, the Cobbers play at St. Thomas and host Hamline. Concordia needs to play well in order to stay on top. "We have two to three games a week, so we must always respect the other teams and be ready to put 110 percent out on the floor," said Wall.
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