New players lead Cobber women to victory
By Eric Peterson
The Forum
It was a night for new faces for Concordia Wednesday at Concordia's Memorial Auditorium. Three players who didn't play for the Cobbers a year ago led the team to a come-from-behind victory.

St. Benedict transfer Heidi Schwichtenberg and freshmen Sara Spears and Sarah Jacobson combined for 47 points to lift Concordia over Gustavus 69-63 in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women's basektball.

The Cobbers improved to 11-5 overall and 9-4 in the conference, keeping their postseason hopes alive. Gustavus fell to 11-5 and 9-4. A loss by Concordia likely would have spoiled the team's playoff hopes.

"We have nine games left and every game is really important," said Concordia coach Kathy Wall. "But that's the way it should be; that's why this is a great league. This was a big game. We needed this and the kids came through."

After Gustavus' Katie Hansen made two free throws for a 55-47 lead with 6:01 left in the game, the Gusties appeared to have control.

But that's when Concordia found its range offensively, closing the game on a 22-8 surge. Spears started the comeback, netting a three-point play with 4:36 left. Jacobson also played a key role in the run, hitting a 3-pointer from the left wing.

Jacobson's three came with 3 minutes to play and put the Cobbers ahead 58-57, their first lead of the game, but one they wouldn't relinquish.

"We just knew we had to come back and play our hardest to get into the game," said Spears of the decisive run. "We did what we needed to do in the end."

Wall was impressed with the play of her two freshmen. Spears finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Jacobson added 16 points and four assists.

"Jacobson is doing a great job," Wall said. "As a freshman, we put her in a tough spot at point guard. And Spears missed the last two days of practice with a bad ankle and came out and played well. But it's expected, this is the second time around (the MIAC)."

Schwichtenberg, who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, closed the deal for the Cobbers. The 5-foot-9 junior scored 11 of her points in the last 4:10 of the contest, including 6-of-6 shooting from the free-throw line in the last 35 seconds.

"I had to step up and be a leader," Schwichtenberg said. "I'd been struggling with my shooting. This feels good. It will give me a lot of confidence the rest of the season."

Sara Schonrock led the Gusties with a game-high 22 points and added nine rebounds (six offensive) and five steals. Schonrock scored 17 points in the second half but it wasn't enough.

"It's (Schonrock's) hustle and the team feeds off that," Wall said. "It seems like she ran down every offensive rebound. She had a great game, but somebody always does. We did a good job of containing their other players."

GUSTAVUS (11-5 overall, 9-4 MIAC): Sheila Schonrock 3-4 0-3 7, Sara Schonrock 8-16 3-4 22, Behnken 0-1 0-0 0, Wold 5-13 0-0 12, Horgan 3-6 0-0 7, Reed 0-1 0-0 0, Larson 2-5 1-1 5, Hansen 3-9 2-2 8, Stolp 0-1 2-6 2. Totals 24-56 8-15 63.

CONCORDIA (11-5, 9-4): Kragerud 0-3 0-0 0, Myers 0-2 0-0 0, Vetter 1-6 2-2 4, Jacobson 5-10 4-6 16, Schwichtenberg 4-8 6-6 15, Backer 0-1 0-1 0, Karli 3-8 0-0 6, Spears 4-6 8-10 16, Walla 4-5 0-0 8, Sonstelie 1-9 2-2 3. Totals 22-58 22-27 69.

Halftime: GAC 32, CC 27. 3-point goals: GAC 7-19 (Sheila Schonrock 1-2, Sara Schonrock 3-6, Behnken 0-1, Wold 2-7, Horgan 1-2, Larson 0-1), CC 3-14 (Kragerud 0-1, Myers 0-1, Vetter 0-2, Jacobson 2-4, Schwichtenberg 1-4, Backer 0-1, Sonstelie 0-1). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: GAC 35 (Sara Schonrock 9, Wold 9), CC 41 (Sonstelie 10). Steals: GAC 12 (Sara Schonrock 5), CC 9 (Vetter 2). Assists: GAC 9 (Sheila Schonrock 5), CC 16 (Jacobson 4). Total fouls: GAC 23, CC 16. Turnovers: GAC 22, CC 16. A-n/a.