Dec. 13, 1996
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Men's Basketball : MIAC Proving to be Tough
Wednesday's game featured the rematch of last year's MIAC championship game. Concordia got off to a strong start, leading 19-9 after a three-pointer by senior forward Daimen Crump , forcing Gustavus to call a time out. However, by halftime the Gusties made a comeback, leading 36-33 going into the half.
"After we got a lead up, we kind of got hesitant. We didn't do the things we needed to do to keep the lead," said junior center Brett Klabo.
The second half was controlled mostly by Gustavus, but Concordia was able to bring the score within seven points late in the second half.
"We played well at times, but we had some moments during the game when we weren't doing what we were supposed to ," said senior forward Kevin Pearson. "We allowed Gustavus to get into the game. To put it simply, they played better than we did."
The Cobbers were led in scoring by Crump, who had 20 points. Senior guard Cornelius Bishop was also at the top with 14 points, including two first-half three-pointers. Pearson helped out with 12 points and six assists. Concordia shot just under 50 percent from the field, hitting 29 of 56 shots.
Gustavus' edge was its ability to shoot three-pointers, finishing the game with 10 of 20 shots completed.
"We got up by ten early, but then Gustavus fought back and established the lead. That was the difference in the game, " said head coach Duane Siverson.
On Saturday, the Cobbers were tied with St. John's 24-24 at the half. Crump had 20 points, Pearson scored 21 points and six assists and Klabo chipped in with 12 points.
With the loss, the team is 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the MIAC as it takes on Carleton tomorrow.
Women's Basketball: Wins Give Basketball Enthusiasm
"Our game was not easy by any means, and Gustavus was one of the bottom teams. It makes you think. If one of the bottom teams is so hard, what are the other teams going to be like?" said senior forward Holly Zollar.
Playing here on Wednesday, the Cobbers opened up scoring in the first half and stayed strong throughout the game. The Cobbers led 39-27 at half-time and kept Gustavus on the run during the rest of the game.
Leading the Cobbers in scoring were junior post Leah Sonstelie, senior guard Mindy Schrim and Zollar. Schrim completed six of 12 field goal attempts while Sonstelie and Zollar were six for 10. The Cobbers defeated Gustavus 71-53.
As a team, Concordia completed 50.8 percent of field goal attempts. The Cobbers were stronger in the first half than the second, completing more field goals and three-point shots than in the second half.
Prior to that, on Dec. 7, the Cobbers began their MIAC play with a 66-69 road win over St. Benedict's.
"This first conference win gives us a lot of confidence because we know it is going to be a strong conference this year," said head coach Kathy Wall.
Leading the Cobbers again in scoring were Sonstelie with 19 points and Schrim with 14 points. At halftime the Cobbers lead St. Ben's 38-24 and maintained the lead throughout the second half.
"The first half I thought we came out hard, " said Wall. "We lost a little bit of our patience in the second half, however."
From the field, the Cobbers made 27 of 51 attempted shots for a shooting percentage of 53 percent. However, Concordia had more turnovers than St. Ben's, giving up the ball 24 times to their 15.
"Overall, we played well for our first MIAC game, St. Ben's is a tough place to play and I am proud of the team," Wall said.
According to the team, the MIAC looks to be more solid this year than last. There are more teams able to secure spots in the upper half of the conference. Wall mentioned St. Thomas, Bethel, St. Ben's, Gustavus and St. Olaf as some of the top teams in the conference.
Concordia is confident, however, that it will also be a contender for top rankings.
"We want a good conference to get a good region rank," Wall said.
Men's Hockey : Cobbers, St. Olaf split Hockey Wins
Oles versus Cobbers.
It doesn't sound like a thrilling series, but those who attended last weekend's series between St. Olaf and Concordia were treated to two exciting hockey games.
Friday night's game saw the Cobbers win, 5-2.
In that game, the Cobbers jumped ahead when sophomore defenseman Ryan Kortan scored a controversial goal with 37 seconds left in the second period.
The controversy erupted when St. Olaf contended the goal had been moved before the shot was scored, but after about a ten minute delay, the goal was ruled good.
"That goal just spurred us on from that point. I actually thought that we'd score more," head coach Steve Baumgartner said.
Sophomore forward Brock Blikre, who scored twice in Friday's game, agreed with Baumgartner.
"That goal gave us the confidence," Blikre said.
However, the tables quickly turned on the Concordia hockey team during Saturday's game.
"We thought we had it locked up, but the intensity wasn't there, " freshman center Ken Putt said.
Saturday afternoon's game went down to the wire with both teams fighting hard for a win. In an attempt to tie the game, Concordia pulled goalie Peter Hamilton with just seconds left and went to a six man offense.
Still, the Cobbers were unalbe to rally and lost, 8-7.
"Eight goals is too many in any league," Baumgartner said.
During Saturday's match Concordia was up 5-4 with 7:26 left in the second period, but the Oles rallied for four unanswered goals, leaving the score 5-8.
"We needed to stay closer than 5-8," Baumgartner said, "When we had the lead, we simply relaxed."
According to Baumgartner, three of the four breakaway goals scored by St. Olaf in Saturday's match took place during line switches.
"Those were definitely rookie mistakes," Baumgartner said, "We had a breakdown."
Overall, Baumgartner said he was pleased with the progress of the team and its goal to maintain an average of 6 goals per game.
However, this week's games between Concordia and powerhouses Bemidji State and the University of Minnesota-Crookston have been cancelled because both Concordia goalies Peter Hamilton and Chris "Truckstop" Horgen are out with mononucleosis.
The team plans to recuperate until after Christmas and then start gearing up for the second half of the season.
"We have to work more on defense. How are we supposed to win when they take 22 shots and score eight times?" said Putt.
Despite the injuries, this year's hockey team has a new look for this season, according to Baumgartner.
"We've gotten bigger and more intense; our character is starting to come around," Baumgartner said.
According to Blikre, the team is working together, a thing that hasn't always happened in the past.
"It's definitely a differendt feel than last year," Blikre said.
Wrestling : Cobber Wrestlers Bring Home Wins
After four years of growth and building, the Concordia wrestling team is finally getting some of the respect it's fought so hard to attain.
A relatively new team, the wrestlers plan to continue establishing themselves as a power.
"We're going to be a team [that], as the season goes on, is going to improve with each meet," head coach Doug Perry said.
Last Saturday in the Dakota Wesleyan Dual Tournament, Concordia won, 27-16. Wins in that meet included sophomore Jeremy Hernandez, 118 lbs (18-7); junior Shawn Nicholas, 134 lbs (10-2); junior Colby Marich, 150 lbs (13-3); freshman Ryan Machado, 158 lbs (fall); and sophomore Nathan Reiff, 177 lbs (6-2). Heavyweight freshman Phil Brandstetter was also given a win because he had no competitor, referred to as an open win.
"We improved a lot. We were definitely more aggressive," junior Shawn Nicholas said.
In the Moorhead State University dual meet, Hernandez (15-7) and senior Kevin Jackson, 143 lbs, (5-4) both had wins in a 35-7 loss to Moorhead State.
One of the key factors for Hernandez's and Jackson's wins against the crosstown rival was the heavy crowd participation.
"Usually there are not a lot of people there, but this time it was different-the crowd really helped us," Jackson said.
For Perry, the wins and losses are not as important now as the ability of the team to continue to show signs of improving and sharpening mental intensity.
"All these things are intangible, but they are the things we must work on," Perry said. "When it gets tough, your have to dig a little deeper to make yourself the stronger one."
To help improve mental intensity, grapplers perform a wide variety of hypothetical scenarios and conditioning exercises during practice-more than normal, according to Perry.
"Being a champion means overcoming your opponent physically and mentally," Perry said.
Through the extra practice and running, the team can reach the next level of excellence, Perry believes.
"We need to take that next step up," Perry said.
The wrestling team will get a chance to take that next step Friday, when it participates in the Itasca Dual in Itasca, MN.
"It'll be good to see how we stand against them [MSU], but this time it will be a different story-we can beat them," Jackson said.
Injuries may factor into the meet more so now than earlier in the season. Knee and shoulder problems and an outbreak of shingles and other viral infections have sidelined or slowed some members of the team.
"We just have to work our way through these things," Perry said.
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