Cobber Men's Basketball |
Dec. 11, 1998 Concordian | Cobber Sports |
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Men's basketball loses to Augsburg
Through their first five games, the Running Cobber men's basketball team has faced four nationally ranked teams, and has been in every game. Although the team hasn't put all the pieces of the puzzle together yet, they team has used each game to grow and learn and have developed a competitive team, that has the potential to surprise many formidable opponents this year.
On Dec. 5 the Cobber Men's basketball team started conference play with a 95-83 loss to Augsburg, a team that many consider among the best in the country. The loss lowered Concordia's record to 2-3, while Augsburg improved to 4-1.
The Cobbers stayed in the game with Augsburg for nearly the entire first half, but a three-minute surge at the end of the half put the Auggies up 47 to 36 going into the break. In the second half, the Cobbers went on a run, closing the lead to 4 points with two minutes remaining, before Augsburg once again took control and cemented their victory. "It was a basketball game for the first 17 minutes," Siverson said. "It took us a while to feel comfortable knowing we could beat them. Once we did that, we could do whatever we wanted to do, but by then it was too late to win."
Siverson said that it took the team a while to accept the fact that they could beat a team that is arguably the best in the MIAC. When they stayed close to them in the first half, the players started pushing themselves too hard, and they lost control, he said.
Sophomore Mike Wrobel agreed. "We played a pretty good game as a team, but we got going a little too fast at times," he said. "The coach just told us to settle down and play our style of game that's when we came back. We got within two or three points with two minutes remaining. If we just cut down on the turnovers we would have definitely been all right and we could have come away with a big win at Augsburg, and they're probably the best team in the conference."
Wrobel had 16 points and seven rebounds in the loss. Junior Kermit Cooper had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and senior captain Brian Kesselring finished with a team high 25 points for Concordia. Augsburg was led by senior all-American Devean George's 34 points and 11 rebounds, both were game highs.
Junior Matt Anderson, who transferred to the team this year, said that the team's 26 turnovers were a direct result of anxiety, which led to the loss.
"The team got anxious," Anderson said. "We were going too fast and furious. We had some bad passes into the post, and took some bad shots. We played right into their hands. We tried to play too fast, and got our of control."
The Augsburg game brought up some important issues for the team, Siverson said. He said the team came away knowing some of their weaknesses and the things that they need to work on to improve. He said that the team has to work on three main goals before they can start winning the majority of their games. First they need to stay focused for the full 40 minutes in the game.
"We went in believing we were going to win, and left feeling like we should have won," Wrobel said. "But, we didn't execute like we were supposed to for the full 40 minutes. We had our bright spots and low spots."
Secondly, Siverson said the team needs to play aggressively, but within the rules of the game. The team depends on using an aggressive full-court press, which depends on staying out of foul trouble. Lastly, Siverson said the team needs to take care of the ball. Anderson said the Augsburg game was decided by turnovers. Concordia had 26 to Augsburg's 16. "Some of that is just inexperience. I didn't expect that to be an issue with us. If we had played a normal game like we did the last two or three games, we would have beat them. We were nervous and tight. It was almost like our first game."
Anderson said that the team knows they can play with anybody, but they need to go into every game willing to take control, instead of looking to catch up.
"We need to take better care of the ball, and play our style of basketball. Maybe we're not exactly sure what that is now, but we have to get comfortable."
If the team can improve on these three areas, Siverson said, they should be in the right mental state to be able to beat every team they face from here on out.
"I'd like to see us develop the attitude that no one is going to beat us. We just have to go out and execute. Play without distraction. If we can do that we can be a real special basketball team. Otherwise, if we let the teams dictate the style of play we'll win half and lose half." The team is well on their way to accomplishing their goals, Wrobel said. He said the team is willing to learn from their losses, and improve with each game.
"Team morale is great right now and we all believe that we have what
it takes to be a good team," Wrobel said. "It's just putting it together.
And that's what is being done right now, and the responsibility lies on
Women win 2nd conference game
The women's basketball team won its second straight MIAC game winning 82-66 against Carleton Wednesday night.
Concordia is 2-0 in the MIAc conference and 3-1 overall. Sophmore Brandi Myers connected on five of eight three pointers and had 10 rebounds.
In earlier action the women's basketball team won it's MIAC opener against Augsburg Saturday 85-53.
"I think we had a good game," junior Nikki Vetter said. " We improved on defense a lot. We got a lot of the kinks out."
After a slight mental lapse during the first five minutes of the game Concordia turned things around going on a 21-0 run to take control of the game.
"There were a lot of nervous kids early on," head coach Kathy Wall said. "However, we held Augsburg to three field goals in the first half. We need to keep the intensity for all 40 minutes." After the mental lapse Concordia dominated the first half leading 40-15 at halftime.
"We realized we could play a lot better than the first five minutes indicated," Vetter said.
Myers led the Cobbers with 18 points, four rebounds and four steals. Sophomore Jill Brown added 13 points to the Cobbers score. Wall was happy with the number of points the offense scored. "Every game we need at least 80 points for this style of offense," Wall said.
While the Cobbers did well on offense the team had 26 fouls and 24 turnovers.
"It's a problem that can be fixed," sophomore Sara Spears said. "We are young, but we know what we need to do."
In the second half Concordia scored another 40 points to finish off Augsburg.
The Cobbers face number one ranked St. Ben's Saturday at home. "We have four key things we must do well against St. Ben's," Wall said. "Our defense needs to be really strong. We need to rebound well also. Our post players must match up well against St. Ben's and we have to play all 40 minutes with a lot of intensity."
The team will be looking to upset St. Ben's Saturday. "We are a good
team that must play to our own abilities," Spears said. "We must push our
up-tempo game and have good defense."
Hockey splits with Bethel
The Cobbers' hockey team split two games against Bethel on Friday and Saturday. Concordia came back to win Friday 3-2 and lost 5-3 on Saturday. Concordia is 2-2 in the MIAC conference and 6-4 overall.
"So far we are ahead of last year's pace," head coach Steve Baumgartner said. "We are four wins away from equaling last year's total. I think we will hit that and surpass that."
In the first game Bethel jumped out to a 3-0 lead. However, the Cobbers came back and scored three goals in the second period to tie the game up at three apiece going into the third.
"I thought we played pretty well," Baumgartner said. "In the first 10 to 15 minutes we played as good as we could play. We scored our third goal and then they called a timeout and settled themselves down." Scoring for Concordia were senior Paul Bender who put in two goals and sophomore Nick Bourdon added one to finish the scoring for the Cobbers. The Cobbers just couldn't hold Bethel who scored two goals in the first two minutes of the third period.
Baumgartner while happy with the teams scoring hopes to do even better. "To improve our goal scoring we have to improve our power play," Baumgartner said. "It has kind of been a disappointment right now. We are just not finishing."
In earlier action the Cobbers were the team to jump out to a 3-0 lead Friday night. Bethel was able to close the gap to 3-2, but never got any further.
"We have made a lot of goalies look good so far," Baumgartner said. "Lots of goalies are making belly saves and to me those are very easy to make." Scoring for the Cobbers were freshman Brady Burgess, junior Mike Guertin and junior Rob Gramer.
"We are a blue-collar team and we have to understand that," Baumgartner
said. "We don't have the flashy guys that are going to score 30 to 40 goals
when you need them to get out and score a goal for you. We have guys that
will grind and grind and grind. We call it the lunch bucket group. You
know, put your hardhat on, the lunch bucket under the bench and go out
The Concordia swimming and diving team took third at the six team St. Mary's Invite on Saturday.
"We did really well with six people out," head coach Connie Kirchoffner said. "We had two girls sick, three in choir and one with a hurt shoulder. If we would have had a full roster we would have been a lot closer." Kirchoffner said it was fun to swim against two teams that they haven't swam against before, Luther and Simpson Colleges.
"I feel as a team we did very well," co-captain Janey Hill said." It was fun to see how we would do against St. Thomas who I feel we are pretty evenly matched with."
The team took their first trophy in the teams three-year history. The team did very well in the distance swimming. Sophomore Carrie Bunger came in first, Hill came in second and Meghan Davis took fifth.
First place finishes for the Cobbers were the 1650 Free, Bunger; 100 and 200 Breaststroke, sophomore Shana Letnes. Letnes also set a new pool records in both breaststroke events.
Second place finishes were 1650 Free, Hill; 200 Fly, sophomore Lacy Wallace; and 3-meter diving sophomore Heidi Rickert. In earlier action the swimming team took on the defending conference champions St. Ben's losing 163-78.
"It was a fast meet," Hill said. "There weakness was the distance events. It's hard to match up a sixth place team against a first place team." First place finishes were 1,000 Free, Hill; 500 Free, Bunger; and 100 Breast, Letnes.
"St. Ben's has a few more swimmers," Kirchoffner said. "We gave up a
lot of points because we were down swimmers."
Cobber westling defeats Dakota Wesleyan in duel meet
The wrestling team won it's first dual meet Friday night at the Dakota Wesleyan Dual in Mitchell, South Dakota 19-18.
According to head coach Doug Perry
a duel meet is different from tournaments because while you are out there
one on one it is also a team thing. In tournaments it is more of a individual
kind of thing. Perry said
"I think our kids wrestled hard down there," Perry said. "It was a long trip. It was almost like we got out of the bus and onto the mat." Winning for Concordia was freshman Aaron Swartz, freshman Zack Schroeder, freshman Ryan Smith, freshman Courtney Smith, senior Nathan Reiff and freshman Eric Patenaude.
"Smith wrestled very well," Perry said. "[Sophomore] Sean
Sjodin got hit with penalty points. It was kind of picky stuff, but
they called him on stuff like not having his knee on the line. He lost
three or four points
"Reiff came out of the blocks for the first time," Perry said. "He looked pretty good. He had a couple of nice take downs."
The Cobbers were behind 18-16 going into the last match which was the heavyweight class.
"Eric was behind by several points when Eric reversed his opponent and put him on his back for back points and the win."
Saturday the team travels to St. Cloud to compete in the St. Cloud tournament. This tournament is different than the other tournaments that the team has been to because they will keep score at the St. Cloud tournament while the other tournaments didn't keep a team score. Perry said that his team will really have to be focused to do well at this tournament.
"We talk about the match a lot," Perry said. "We talk about how crisp our moves have to be. You have to be in good position all the time. You also canUt make too many mistakes our you will get caught." According to Perry the team must believe in their abilities to do well in this tournament.
"If you don't think you are going to win nine times out of 10 you might
not because you have that little man in your head and your opponent
is also going against you."
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