Cobber Men's Basketball |
Dec. 3, 1999 Concordian | Cobber Sports |
| Men's Hockey | Women's Hockey | Women's Basketball | Men's Basketball | Wrestling | Top |
Men's basketball leaps out to a surprising debut
Concordia’s men's basketball team is showing potential to be a leader in the MIAC Conference this year. In their first three games, the team has managed to astound and surprise teams with their confidence in play. The Cobbers feature a 2-1 record; far better than last years rocky start, according to sophomore center Jeff Ubben.
"Last year we got off to a rough start," Ubben said. "This year we played more as a team."
The opening two games against North Dakota State University and Moorhead State University left Concordia basketball lovers with nothing to be ashamed of. With both games going into over time, it is easy to see that the Cobbers will not give up a win easily.
"Our overall team defense has been the key to our victories," Ubben said.
In the season opener, the Cobbers faced the NDSU Bison knowing Concordia had not won a game against their team since 1986-87 season. In front of 1,741 screaming fans the Cobbers challenged the Bisons' lead, taking the game into overtime.
The two teams grappled back and forth in overtime, but Ubben gave Concordia their final lead. Concordia sealed the game with a free throw from Robb Flint creating a 69-67 victory for the Cobbers.
"Obviously the win over NDSU gave us a lot of confidence going into the season," Ubben said. "The confidence makes us a good team."
In their second match of the season, again close to home, the Cobbers took the Moorhead State University Dragons into overtime. It was a close game throughout, with Concordia only trailing by one point at halftime 22-21. The second half the continued as a four point game. Jon Hager sunk a three pointer to tie up the score at 56-56, pushing the game into overtime. The Cobbers fought hard through the overtime, but fell short 62-59. The game was still a confidence booster.
More recently, the Cobbers won out in a match up against the Valley City State College 79-73 Tuesday. Concordia dominated the court throughout most of the game. Senior forward Joe Ford led the Cobbers with 21 points, junior Nick Killoran added 14 points, plus 6 assists and 5 steals. The Cobbers continued to lead through the game and won the game. Ubben attributed the win to balanced scoring offensively and great rebounding.
"It was more of a fast paced game," Ubben said. "We gave up a lot more points, we've been keeping teams down to around 60-65 points."
The men's team is looking forward to their MIAC opener tomorrow against Augsburg College. With their confident start, Concordia has a lot of potential to be a leader in the MIAC conference.
"We're looking forward to the conference part of the season," Ubben said. "We'll need the offense to run more smoothly and get a good combination of inside and outside scoring."
Women's basketball off to strong start
Concordia's women's basketball team beat University of Wisconsin-River Falls Saturday in overtime 66-60 improving its overall record to 2-1. The team is coming off a somewhat disappointing season last year finishing fifth in the MIAC. Last year, head coach Kathy Wall installed a new run and gun type offense which replaced the half court offense Wall previously ran. With a year of experience the team hope to continue to improve the offense.
“Shooting could be down because we are still getting used to it [run and gun offense],” senior Nikki Vetter said. “We are getting more disciplined. Now if we don't have a good shot we try to work the ball around a little more instead of taking wild shots like last year. This year we stop and set it up.”
After a tough loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps the Cobbers looked to rebound against River Falls, but had trouble early on.
Wall thought that, while the game appeared to be an defensive battle, the Cobber's defense still has a lot of room for improvement; however, she saw improvement making free throws, which she attributed to the victory. Concordia made 30 of 39 free throws attempts.
The team which was fairly young last year has a lot more experience this year which helps the younger players as they develop their game. “I try to teach them a lot of discipline, there is a lot of transition both offensively and defensively between high school and college ball,” junior Brandi Myers said. “Overall just thinking what you have to do on the court is a big step. everyone wants to be there and the coach expects more than a high school coach would.”
While Concordia has several returning starters, the team is still looking for that right combination to rebound the ball inside. The Cobber's were out rebounded 59-45.
“I don't think not having a big player to rebound has really effected us,” Myers said. “We all are crashing the boards. You don't need to be tall to be rebound, but you do have to have position on the other player.”
Concordia's junior Sarah Jacobson a key member from last year's team has been out with an injury. However Jacobson should be healthy for Saturday's game against Augsburg.
“I think that she will help with the depth of the wing position,” Wall said. “She adds a lot to the perimeter.”
The Cobbers started out slow, getting good inside penetration, but they were not able to score often against River Falls.
“I thought for the most part they took very good shots, and a lot of them were in and out,” Wall said. “They just weren't falling. I will be more concerned if it happens again and again.”
The team held a slight lead at the half 34-32, but couldn't keep it after River Falls came back to take the lead in the second half. With just under five minutes remaining Concordia got its composure back despite shooting only 17 percent from the field in the second half to tie the game up 54-54.
The Cobbers had a last second chance to win, but the shot missed the basket, setting up overtime. In overtime, Concordia started to hit its target, and squeaked by River Falls.
The team had a good chance to assess where they are at and where they would like to go as the MIAC season gets under way this weekend.
“We won the game so we did some good things,” Vetter said. “We learned
a lot about our defense. We learned how to help inside when they have good
inside position. We need to work on containing our own girls so our teammates
don't have to help out as much. Our shooting percentage wasn't that good,
but we won and that says something about the other things we are doing
The Concordia men's hockey team has started their season on a winning note with a 4-1-1 overall record and a first place 4-0-0 MIAC record. Most recently the Cobbers faced NCHA opponents UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stevens Point, finishing with their first tie and loss of the season, 3-3 and 5-2, respectively.
The Cobbers are looking to uphold their undefeated MIAC record as they travel to St. Olaf this weekend.
Head coach Steve Baumgartner said the team should be able to take two victories from the Oles.
“The matchup favors us,” Baumgartner said. “Practice has gone very well, and we have the hunger.”
St. Olaf has scored a total of 20 goals in their past two games.
“We have to take away their offenive power and play our tkind of game. Their competition wasn’t that great, but scoring that many goals gives you confidence.”
The puck drops tonight at 7 and tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Women's hockey to face off against conference leader
Women's hockey ready to take on top-ranked Augsburg. The Concordia Women's hockey team will be going against Augsburg this Friday and Saturday in Minneapolis. After losing to and winning over River Falls in the same weekend, the women are now at 5-1 for the year.
Women's hockey at the varsity level at Augsburg is now in its fifth year.
According to Concordia Women's hockey coach Deb Lien, Augsburg looks to be one of the top teams in the conference. "Leadership and experience carry them a long ways," said Lien. "We will definitely see where we're at in the conference after this weekend."
The roster may be slightly weak this weekend as four or five players
are injured. Lien said that the injuries will impact the game although
the goalies are injury free and strong as ever.
Wrestlers grapple with holiday layoffs
It has been over a week-and-a-half since the Cobbers Wrestlers last took to the mat. Nov. 20, the Cobbers sent six participants to the Augsburg open, allowing one last chance for competition before the long Thanksgiving break.
This time of year is about family, food, and finals. Layoffs such as Thanksgiving and Christmas break can be murder on a team trying to work itself into physical and mental shape. Staying on track over the holidays, especially for wrestlers, is very much an exercise in dedication and will-power.
“The guys are already very much prepared and ready to wrestle,” says Sophomore Zack Schroeder. “The layoffs can get in the way.” According to Schroeder, one of the biggest challenges of the season is combating laziness and keeping in shape. While they are back home, celebrating with their families, members of the wrestling team are encouraged to practice with their High School teams over Christmas break.
Not only does this extra practice maintain levels of skill and endurance, but also acts to combat the second biggest challenge of the holiday season, lots and lots of food.
With the temptation of Grandma’s lumpy potatos staring you in the eye night after night, it’s important for the wrestler to act with some restraint at the dinner table. After all, each member of the team is asked to fill a certain weight slot, and to come back from break filling a whole new one is asking a lot of your team and yourself.
While sloth and gluttony are challenges for the most part yet to come, the immediate challenge of the season is in managing time and energy, especially with finals just around the corner.
The demands of December no-doubt take a toll on all of us, and for any athlete, practice at this time of year provides just another obstacle to good grades and sound mind.
“It’s really tough to get everyone on the same page,” says Schroeder. “Dealing with homework can make it tough to get to practices on time, which makes it difficult to stay in wrestling shape.”
For all its joys, the Holiday season definitely presents us with its fair share of obstacles. Defeating these obstacles is an issue of will-power and dedication, something which a lot of us wish for but ultimately lack. For the Cobber wrestler, it is a necessity.
The Cobbers next meet is first annual Cobber
Invitiational, starting tomorrow at 8:00 a.m.
No Concordian story this week. Check recent results and upcoming events.