Cobber Men's Basketball |
Jan. 15, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports |
| Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball | Men's Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Women's Hockey |
Men's Basketball loses to St. Olaf at home
The Running Cobber men's basketball team outplayed the St. Olaf Olies for the majority of the game Saturday night but fell short in the final minutes by a score of 77-72.
Fresh off their 72-71 victory over MIAC leader St. Thomas, the Cobbers (4-8, 2-6) looked to use their momentum to upset the Olies (7-4,4-3). However, according to head coach Duane Siverson, the team underestimated their opponent, and started the game slowly.
"I told the guys on Sunday not to rest on their laurels," Siverson, said "and that's exactly what they did going in."
Concordia's only lead of the game came early in the half when the team was up 10-9. Minutes later, a 9-1 run put the Olies up by 8 points, 21-13. St. Olaf expanded their lead to as many as 15 points before Concordia brought out their full-court defensive press, half was 33-38 in favor of St. Olaf.
"We didn't come out right away with the intensity that we need to play with," said sophomore forward Mike Wrobel. "It took us a while to get rolling, and once we did, we had already dug ourselves a hole that we couldn't get out of."
The Cobbers kept up their defensive pressure at the beginning of the second half, and continued to erode the Olie's lead. Concordia capitalized on turnovers and fought back to within one point of St. Olaf, 47- 48, on a fade away jumper by senior captain Brian Kesselring from the middle of the lane. The team again survived a run by the Olies and fought back to tie the game at 67 on another jumper by Kesselring. Kesselring led all scorers with 21 points. A Kermit Cooper lay-up with a minute and a half remaining tied the game again at 69. Cooper was second in the game in scoring with 18 points.
Momentum shifted again, as St. Olaf capitalized on Concordia's fouls, scoring six of their final eight points from the free throw line. The Cobbers only managed one basket after that, making the final score 77-72.
There was little doubt that Concordia's full-court press rattled St. Olaf after each made basket starting halfway through the first half, the Cobbers played smothering zone defense for the entire length of the court, forcing St. Olaf into bad passes and careless shots. The Cobbers forced a total of 21 turnovers, 17 of them from steals. Cooper's game-high six steals were two more than St Olaf's entire team total. The Cobbers controlled the ball well, only turning the ball over eight times.
Despite the strong play for most of the game, the team was not satisfied with their performance.
"We lost," Wrobel said. "We came in on our home floor expecting
a win, and we didn't get the
Shooting percentage was the deciding factor of the game, St. Olaf shot 52 percent from the field and 83 percent from the line, while Concordia only made 40 percent of their field goals and 60 percent of their free throws. According to freshman guard Mark Tuchscherer, the press is only implemented after made baskets. Concordia wasn't consistent enough on offense to bring out the press more often.
"That was the big difference," Tuchscherer said. "They couldn't miss,
and we didn't shoot the ball well. Our shots just weren't falling. We just
have to keep playing and get over the hump here. We've been in close games
all year, but we haven't been able to put them away."
Offensive explosion sparks women's basketball rout of St. Olaf
After having their three-game winning streak snapped by unbeaten St, Thomas, the Cobber women's basketball team took sole possession of fourth place in the MIAC with a thirty-point rout of St. Olaf. Halfway through their season, the Cobber's are 7-4 over-all and 5-2 in the MIAC. They are only one game behind Gustavus for third place in the conference.
Five players scored in double digits as Concordia's fast-paced offense outscored the Olies 104-74.
The Cobbers were led by freshman center Jaime Olson's game-high 17 points, 14 of which came in the first half, and junior point guard Nikki Vetter's eight rebounds and eight assists, both game highs, to go along with 10 points.
"Nikki Vetter had an extremely good game," said head coach Kathy Wall "Everything started with her,and she did an incredible job."
Also, sophomore guard Sara Spears was named the MIAC player of the week on Wednesday. Spears averaged 15.7 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 59 percent from the field in her three previous games. Spears had 16 points against St. Olaf.
The Olies trailed for nearly the entire game, only tying the score at 15 and 19 early in the first half, before an 8-2 Cobber run put them out of reach for good. After that point the Olies were never closer than five points to the Cobbers and were down by over ten points for the majority of the game.
"We just kept running," said Olson. "We knew they were getting tired. We have a deep bench, so we knew that if we play hard for four minutes we have a sub coming in."
Concordia extended their lead to as many as 16 points in the first half; however, St. Olaf was still within striking distance at the end of the half, trailing 48-35.
In the second half, the Cobbers continued their high intensity offensive attack. A barrage of three point baskets put them up by 20 points with ten minutes left in the game. Concordia shot almost 70 percent, hitting nine of 13 from beyond the arc.
The Cobbers reached the 100 point mark with a lay-up by sophomore Jill Brown with one minute remaining in the game. The last time the team scored over 100 points was during the 1992-93 season. The team's 25 assists were a season high, as well.
"It was fun to see 100 points on the scoreboard," said freshman guard Mandy Berggren. "Our offense has been struggling, so it's nice to put up that many points."
Despite the lopsided victory, the team is not totally satisfied with their performance.
"Our defense was a step slow," Wall said. "St. Olaf had 35 free throws and 26 offensive rehounds. We just can't allow that. We need to put our offense and defense together. If you don't contain your girl, then everyone is out of place. We have to control the penetration and take control of the game."
Concordia's victory puts them in position for a playoff spot. Ultimately, the deciding factor will be how the team fares in upcoming games against St. Ben's and St. Thomas.
"We are right where we want to be," said Vetter. "We lost to Ben's by
6 and Thomas by 4. We know we can beat them."
Men's hockey team dominates again
The Concordia men's hockey team clenched a two game series against the Hamline Pipers with a 9-0 shutout Friday followed by an impressive 9-2 victory Saturday to improve to 5-3 in the MIAC and 9-5 on the season.
The Cobbers opened the game Saturday with a goal by junior defenseman Guy Clairmont at 11:30, quickly followed by a goal by sophomore wing Mike Gast at 11:13. The puck stayed on the Piper's ice for the vast majority of the first period where Hamline's goalie, sophomore Brian Maxwell, fought to block the Cobbers 28 shots on goal. At 6:07, junior Derek Selch scored for the Cobbers increasing their lead to 3-0. Junior Jason Dimatteo scored at 3:11 to rack up another goal for Concordia, followed by junior Bryan Knutson who scored with 13 seconds left in the period to give the Cobbers a commanding 5-0 lead.
Even after being off the ice for three weeks, the Cobbers came back ready to play.
"Timing came back quicker than expected after being off for three weeks," head coach Steve Baumgartner said. "They played hard, and I was happy with their effort."
The Cobbers opened the second period with a quick goal by Gast. Hamline followed with their first goal of the series by senior Don Bzdok. With 5:09 left in the second period, Clairmont scored again for the Cobbers with an assist from junior Ken Putt. The second period ended with a 7-1 Concordia lead.
Dimatteo opened the third period with his second goal of the game coming at 9:02. Defense for both teams was strong until junior Travis Rybchniski scored the Cobbers final goal at 0:59. Hamline answered with 33 seconds left in the game with a goal by sophomore Cohn Mackenzie.
Friday's game against the Piper's proved to be an even easier feat for the Cobbers as they came out strong with goals by junior Brent Kuehne, Gast, Knutson, and senior Brock Blilcre. The Cobbers continued to dominate as senior Paul Thacker added another goal in the second period. The third period opened with two goals by Putt and additional goals scored by sophomore Eric Nilsen and junior Mike Guertin to clairn the Cobbers 9-0 shutout.
This week the Cobbers head south to Huntsville to take on the University of Alabama in a two-game series Friday and Saturday. Baumgartner is looking forward to seeing his team face Huntsville, which has won two straight Division Two titles.
"We need to play well defensively to win. The bottom line is,
we want to keep improving. We need to tighten up defensively against a
team like Huntsville," Baumgarmer said.
Shana Letnes qualifies for Division III national meet
Members of the Women's Swimming and Diving team came up golden at the Gold Country Invitational Swimming and Diving Meet at the University of Minnesota on Jan. 9.
Even though the team finished tenth out of 13 teams, individual members set team records and sophomore Shana Letnes qualified in two events for the Division III Nationals.
Letnes placed third in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:06.99, fourth in the 200 breaststroke 2:27.59 and 14th in the 200 IM 2:22.05. She set new team records in all three events. She qualified for nationals in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events.
Letnes qualified the 100 breaststroke by over two seconds "which is a lot," Letnes said. "I'm really excited," Letnes said. "I've kind of been waiting for this since I was 15."
Letnes is currently ranked 7th in the NCAA in the 100 breaststroke and 13th in the 200 breaststroke.
"I'm really excited for her," said coach Connie Kirchoffner. "She's been training really hard. Her technique is a lot better. We also changed our weight training program which has helped."
"Janey Hill did really well. She took off over 40 seconds from her time," Kirchoffner said.
The team wiil compete next at the St. Benedict's and St. John's Invitational this weekend. The MIAC Conference meet is Feb. 18-20.
"We're only a third-year team," Kirchoffner said. "There are quite
a few bigger teams to compete with. Last year we placed sixth in the MIAC,
this year we're hoping to place fifth."
No Story this week.
Women's hockey club wins consecutive games
The Cobber women's hockey club racked up their second and third wins in team history with consecutive victories over Bethel on Friday and Hamline on Saturday.
Freshman center Christine Kleven starred for Concordia in both games, scoring eight points over the weekend. Kleven had a hat-trick and an assist in each game. Senior wing Steph Hall scored two goals and had one assist in the Cobbers 8-4 victory over Bethel and two goals in the teams 14-0 shutout of Hamline. Freshman goalie Kathy Braun stopped 15 shots against Bethel and seven against Hamline.
The club improved their inaugural year record to 3-4. Hamline and Bethel, also in their first seasons, each dropped to 0-1.
The club becomes an official varsity "team" when they begin to play as a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the 2000-01 season.
The Cobbers defeated Iowa State 11-1 earlier this season for the first victory in their history.
Leading the team this year are freshman Sandra Johansson, who was named MIAC player of the week of December 8, with 13 goals and 6 assists.
The club will look to even their record when they travel to Bethel for their next game on Jan. 22.