The Concordian Sports March 8, 1996

Gusties prevail in first round 72-61

Running Cobbers' loss ends best season ever

by Vic Quick

For the first time in school history, the Cobber men's basketball team qualified for the NCAA Division III tournament. However, their stay was short as they were ousted by conference rival Gustavus by a score of 72-61.

The loss was especially painful since Concordia defeated the Gusties just five days earlier by a score of 47-43. The Cobbers also won their first round MIAC game over Carleton 83-71.

The Cobbers found themselves playing a friendly foe last Thursday night as they visited Gustavus Adolphus. Concordia's defense did a tremendous job of holding MIAC Player of the Week Scott Lauinger to just six points. However, while the inside game was stopped, the Gusties connected on 11 of 21 three-point attempts. Senior Bryan Christianson led Concordia by scoring 18 points. Junior Daimen Crump had 14 points while senior Jason Sorenson tossed in another 10.

The MIAC Championship game saw the same two teams compete. This time, Concordia came out on top by a score of 47-43. Concordia's defense and strong rebounding game gave them a 29-19 halftime lead. Concordia put the clamps on Lauinger in the first half. Lauginger's only two points of the half came on a jump shot at the buzzer.

Concordia held a 39-26 lead with 14:00 left. The Gusties then scored seven straight points from Lauinger to narrow the gap to 39-33. Concordia had trouble hanging on as senior Jessie William's three-pointer was their last field goal with just under 12 minutes left in the game. A bucket by Mike Hanzel with 5:00 left brought the Gusties to within one at 44-43.

Sorenson hit two free throws with 24 seconds left for the final margin. Both teams had a bad time shooting from the field. Concordia was 17 of 44 for 39 percent, and Gustavus was 17 of 51 for 33 percent. Crump led the way for the Cobbers with 15 points.

Although the Cobbers' season ended in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament, there were many moments great moments to look back on.

They grabbed their first ever MIAC conference championship and set a school record by posting 21 wins. The 39 wins in the past two seasons combined are the two best seasons in school history.

Individuals on the team also performed well. Crump's 21.9 points per game led the MIAC in scoring and his 529 points was the fifth highest total in team history.

Sorenson also had a tremendous season shooting the three-pointer (see bio above).

This is a season that will be remembered for years to come.

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