Cobber defeat Bethel 65-59
by Colin Beltz
The Cobbers' women's basketball team had to work overtime Wednesday night, but lost a defensive grudge match 49-47 when junior Rayna Heard's last second three-point attempt bounced off the iron.
The Cobbers fall to 9-2 in the MIAC, 13-3 overall. They remain in second place to the undefeated St. Thomas team.
Concordia was outscored 15-5 to start the second half, but battled their way back to take a 45-44 lead. Holly Zollar, a junior, scored to give her a team-high 16 points.
The Tommies then brought the ball down the floor and one of their players was fouled and was sent to the free throw line.
After making the first attempt, the second try clanked off the iron to send the game into overtime tied 45-45.
The overtime started well as sophomore Leah Sonstelie scored her first points of the second half giving the Cobs a two-point edge.
After St.Thomas answered right back the defenses for both teams started pressuring the other, causing turnovers. St. Thomas had many chances on breakaways, but could not put the ball in the basket.
After two free throws by St. Thomas, the Cobbers had a few more chances, but a shot by junior Ann Mehrkens was blocked, and Heard's last shot didn't fall in.
After Zollar, Sonstelie was the only other Cobber with 10 points.
Even with Wednesday night's loss, Cobber head coach Kathy Wall, said she is pleased with her team.
"I think we feel good about where we are," said Wall. "I know we have a good team, but we can't be satisfied."
Before the Cobbers could worry about the Tommies, they had to beat Behel, who they were tied for second place in the MIAC.
In a tough game, the Cobbers won 65-59 as Concordia's inside play proved too formidable as they walked away with a 69-55 win.
Sonstelie led all scorers with 16 points and six rebounds. She made seven of eight shots from the field, in just 19 minutes of game action.
Tulibaski added 12 points in the game, and Mehrkens scored eight while collecting nine rebounds.
Schirm, who finished with 13 points connected on two three-pointers, helping the Cobbers keep pace with Bethel minutes into the game.
"Mindy was hot early," said Wall. "Bethel had to respect our outside shooting, and it left our inside game open".
That resulted in an 18-4. run during which five different Cobbers scored contributed resulting a 28-15 cushion. A late flury by Bethel, trimmed the lead to 36-30 at halftime.
After the break, the Cobbers attacked Bethel with their talented inside players. Mehrkens got loose inside for a basket, and Tulibaski scored two more. That was the story for the rest of the second half. They were so dominant, Concordia didn't attempt a three-point shot in the second half which made the game much more fierce under the basket.
"The game was really full of intensity," said Swenson. "It was very physical. But when we play Bethel, the games usually are."
On defense, the Cobbers played just as well holding Bethel to just 28 percent shooting from the field.
Next up for the Cobbers is a date with Gustavus here at 1 p.m. Saturday and a break until they play St. Ben's February 3.
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