Concordian Sports
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The Concordian  - December 8, 2000 

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Dec. 8, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
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Men's basketball benefits from change in atmosphere
Joe Albert, The Concordian

The Concordia men’s basketball team lost its season opener to the Dragons on Nov. 18, in the midst of cold and of snow. But last week they traveled to Redlands, CA to participate in the Lee Fulmer Tournament, and the change in climate brought a change in results. 

There the Cobbers posted three wins en route to winning the tournament, and watched as senior guard Joe Snowden poured in 42 points in the championship game. Snowden’s performance, in just his fourth game as a Cobber, notched his name in the top three of Concordia history for points scored in a single game. Junior center Jeff Ubben believes that the other teams may have overlooked the team from Minnesota, which worked to their advantage. “We beat three very good teams,” he said. “Many teams were surprised we won the tournament.”

In their first game of the tournament, on Thursday, Nov. 30, the Cobbers were matched up with Chapman (CA). “They were undefeated and probably the best team in the tournament,” said Ubben.

Concordia had nine players play double-figure minutes, and four of those nine also scored                double-figure points. Ubben led the Cobbers in scoring with a game-high of 20. He also grabbed nine rebounds. The Cobbers beat Chapman in double overtime by a final score of 80-77. The score was 34-31 in favor of Chapman at halftime, and the teams stayed close the rest of the half. Concordia found itself down by two with less than a second left in regulation, when Ubben hit a clutch
basket and tied the score at 64-64 to send the game into overtime. Both teams scored five in the extra session and went into a second overtime, where Concordia outscored Chapman 11-8 to clinch the victory. Junior forward Mike Syverson scored 15 points and grabbed 8 rebounds for the Cobbers. Also in double digits for Concordia were Snowden with 14,and junior guard Robb Flint with 10. Senior guard Nick Killoran dished out a game-high seven assists.

In the Friday game, Concordia met the University of Redlands Bulldogs. The Cobbers were down 27-26 at the midway point, and down by as many as six in the second half. But the Cobbers  outscored the Bulldogs 49-35 in the second half to win the game by a final count of 75-62. “There was a big crowd there and they were really against us,” said Ubben. “The crowd was really talking a lot of trash and we used that to fire us up. Then we put them away.”

Senior Stefan Swiat stepped up for the Cobbers when they needed him most. Ubben was forced to the bench in the middle of the second half after picking up his fourth foul, but the Cobbers didn’t miss a beat. Swiat poured in an important 12 points from his low post position to help Concordia gain the lead for good. Snowden led the Cobbers with 23 points, hitting 5 of 8 three-point shots. Also in double-figures were Syverson and Flint. The Cobbers carried a two-game winning streak into the championship game against Willamette (OR) on Saturday. In a game that took four overtime sessions to decide, the Cobbers won in the waning seconds of the fourth session 109-107. “We started the game in a press to take them out of their game,” said Killoran of Concordia’s defensive strategy. “We utilized our depth.”

The game was knotted at 33 going at halftime, and the Cobbers found themselves eight points in the hole at the nine minute mark of the second half. But Concordia surged to the lead with an 11-0 run, keyed by two three-pointers by Snowden and a pair of baskets from the hand of Swiat.
“After that, the game was just back and forth,” said Killoran.

Time ran out in regulation with the score knotted at 61-61. Down two with just seven seconds to go in the first overtime, Swiat again stepped up for the Cobbers, this time grabbing an offensive
rebound. He was fouled on the ensuing shot and made both free throws to again tie the game. Two more overtime sessions ended in ties, sending the game into its fourth overtime. With just 1.9 seconds remaining on the clock, sophomore forward Chris Thomas found himself at the free throw line with the game tied at 107. Thomas sank both free throws to give the Cobbers the victory and the tournament championship. Free throws, it turned out, were one of the keys to the game for Concordia. Including the free throws by Swiat at the close of the first overtime, and the free throws by Thomas to win the game, the Cobbers went 25 of 27 from the stripe.

Snowden set a career-high for points with his offensive outburst. He also sank eight of 15 from behind the three-point arc. Swiat also game up big again, scoring 18 points. “We rode Joe’s 42 and Stefan’s 18 to victory,” said Killoran. In addition to Snowden and Swiat, Ubben scored 14 and Flint netted 11. “We’ve got a good combination of inside and outside scoring,” said Ubben. “We’ve really been playing well all around.” 

The Cobbers are now 3-1 overall, and competed in their first MIAC game Wednesday at Augsburg. Results were not available when this issue went to press.

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Dec. 8, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
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Female cagers suffer first loss
Kara Murray, The Concordian

Inconsistent shooting and foul troubles plagued the Cobbers in their 71-56 loss to UW-River Falls on Tuesday. “We didn’t really come ready to play,” said senior guard Steph Losch. “Once we got down, we couldn’t get back in it.”

The game was decided at the free-throw line. River Falls sunk 25 of 39 free throws in the game, as four of Concordia’s five starters fouled out of the game. “The refs were calling lots of fouls,” Losch noted, “so we couldn’t play as aggressive as usual.”

The Cobbers were only 8 of 30 from the field in the first half, leading to a 31-24 halftime deficit.  They shot a more respectable 10 of 28 in the second half, but were outscored again 40-32. Senior guard Brandi Myers led all Cobber scorers with 15 points, and senior forward Sara Spears added 8 points and 8 rebounds. Four Falcons scored in double figures for 54 of the team’s 71 points. Turnovers were also key to the game’s outcome. Concordia committed a season high 24 turnovers while River Falls had only six in the second half. “We are working to come in mentally ready to play,” Losch said in reference to their upcoming games. “We need to play our style of basketball.”

Both teams entered undefeated. The Cobbers are now 2-1 overall. Concordia next concentrates on St. Olaf, tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium.

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Hockey squads pick up victories
Kim Thronson, The Concordian

The Concordia men’s and women’s hockey teams combined for three conference victories over Bethel last weekend, with the men holding their first place position and the women earning their first MIAC victory of the season.

The men’s team swept Bethel in two games, winning 5-3 and 3-2. The wins bring the Cobbers record to 5-2-1 overall and 5-0-1 in the MIAC. “Anytime you can go into somebody else’s building and get all the points, you’re doing something right,” head coach Steve Baumgartner said.

The Cobbers were led by senior Mike Gast who scored three goals and senior goalie Bryan Howard who added 85 saves for the weekend. The wins keep the Cobbers at the top of the conference, a goal that Baumgartner said is most important to his team this season. The team also has another goal: to be ranked in the top 10 in the national poll. Concordia has fluctuated between 11th and 14th, but two wins against University of Wisconsin-Stout and University of Wisconsin-River Falls this weekend will help with the national ranking, according to Baumgartner. River Falls is currently leading the NCHA and Stout is tied for second place, so the games will be tough. “We’re going to have to play hard against them,” he said. “Our goal is to go out and get both games.”  He added that he is proud of how his team has improved this season. “Our biggest improvement is our discipline,” he said. “We’re not taking the ridiculous penalties we took earlier in the season.”

The men’s team plays at home tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m.

The women’s team split two games with Bethel last weekend, losing the first game 3-0 but winning the second game 6-2. The split brings the Cobbers record to 3-5 overall and 1-5 in the conference.
“We should’ve had two wins this weekend,” head coach Deb Lien said. “We outplayed them both games, but couldn’t put the puck in the net.” 

Bethel was undefeated prior to the loss to the Cobbers, but Lien said this is misleading. “The teams they have played are not to the top quality of the teams we’ve played so far,” she said.

The Cobbers were led by sophomore Jennie Berger who had two goals and an assist. Sophomore goalie Shyla Wilson added 47 saves.  Lien also noted the play of sophomore Annie Knierim who scored a goal for the Cobbers. With a couple different players out, Knierim had to step up and make some plays. “I think Annie felt a little pressure to come through,” Lien said. “She’s really stepped up.”

This weekend the Cobbers will travel to St. Thomas to play the undefeated Tommies. They are currently leading the MIAC, and Lien said they are one of the toughest teams in the conference. The Cobbers, however, are still looking to sweep and to improve their position in the conference standings.
“Our goal is to finish in the top four in the conference,” she said.

The MIAC race is a close one this year, with several teams tied at 3-1. Lien said this could be an interesting weekend because many of the teams that are tied are playing each other. The women’s team plays tomorrow and Sunday at 3 p.m.

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Season looks promising for Cobber swimmers
Eric Morrow, The Concordian

When Concordia swim coach Julie Lucier decided to change her coaching philosophy this year and focus more on technique, she wondered how long it would take to see her team improve. Well, she’s got her answer. Not long at all.

The team has bought into the new style, helping them get off to a quick start. At the St. Mary’s Invite last Saturday, the Cobbers posted thirty “personal best” times on their way to a third place finish, half a point behind second place St. Thomas.“If we work on executing the new techniques to perfection, we are going to achieve some new found success,” Lucier said.

The person who has seen the most success so far is senior Shana Letnes. After qualifying for Div. III nationals in the breaststroke the last two years, Letnes has catapulted to the top of the ranks this season. At the University of Minnesota meet earlier this year, she swam a 1:06:09 in the 100-yard breaststroke, the fastest time in Div. III this year. “I never would have guessed it,” Letnes said. “It’s a shock to swim this fast this early.”

The time also earned her a trip to the US Open swim meet in Auburn, Alabama. So while the rest of her teammates were competing at St. Mary’s, Letnes was taking on the best in the nation, including Olympic champion Megan Quann. While she failed to qualify for finals, Letnes said that it was definitely worth the experience. “It was really exciting to compete against some of the best swimmers in the world,” Letnes said.

Letnes success has also rubbed off on her teammates. “It’s been unparralled in boosting the moral of the team,” Lucier said.

At the St. Mary’s meet, the Cobbers were led by senior Carrie Bunger, who won both the 1650-yard and the 500-yard freestyle. In the 1650, Bunger won in a time of 19:10:54, setting a pool record in the process. The Cobbers were also paced by Erika Miles and Andrea Ross, who won the 100-yard butterfly and the 1-meter diving competition, respectively. “I’m anxious for the end of the season to see what we can accomplish,” Lucier said.

The Cobbers next competition is tonight at 5, in town at the rival Dragons.

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Dec. 8, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports
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There is no article this week.