Moorhead State women win close one
By Eric Peterson
The Forum 11/26/97
Moorhead Stateís Kari Tuton only scored three points in the Dragonsí game against Concordia Tuesday at the Cobbersí fieldhouse. They couldnít have come at a better time.

The senior from Dilworth, Minn., hit three free throws with 16 seconds remaining to lift Moorhead State to a 44-43 triumph in non-conference college womenís basketball.

"Iím still shaking," Tuton said. "Iíve never been so nervous. But I had total support of my teammates. They were all smiling at me. They knew I could do it."

Tutonís game-winning free throws capped a tough shooting night. The 5-foot-6 guard missed all six of her shots from the field.

"I couldnít throw the ball in the ocean," Tuton said. "But thatís fine with me; a win is a win. I donít care how we do it."

The Dragons improved to 1-4 overall, while the Cobbers fell to 1-1. Moorhead State won despite no Dragons scored in double digits.

"Weíre still trying to figure out each other," said Concordia coach Kathy Wall. "This is only our second game and it was their fifth. I think that made a difference down the stretch."

Concordia grabbed a 43-41 lead with 34 seconds left in the game after senior Leah Sonstelie hit a pair of free throws. Sonstelieís foul shots capped a 5-0 Cobbersí surge.

Moorhead State proceeded to run down the clock and worked the ball to Tuton on the deep left wing behind the 3-point arc. Tuton let fly and her shot was off the mark. But Concordiaís Steffi Backer ran into Tuton and was called for a foul.

"We did exactly what we wanted to do," said Concordia coach Kathy Wall of the final defensive set. "They took the shot we wanted them to take. We just didnít finish it."

After Tutonís foul shots, Concordia had one more chance to either win the game or send it into overtime. But Moorhead Stateís Kristin Engeldorf stepped in front of a Nikki Vetter pass with five seconds remaining, stealing the ball and sealing the victory.

"We got the ball to the right people when we needed to," said Moorhead State coach Jean Roise. "We didnít panic."

Moorhead State held a 19-17 lead at halftime as both teams struggled from the field. Concordia shot 19 percent (5 of 26) from the field in the first half, while Moorhead State shot 30 percent (8 of 27). The Dragons and Cobbers turned the ball over a combined 24 times in the first 20 minutes of play.

"I think itís a confidence thing with us right now," Roise said of the Dragonsí offensive struggles. "And weíre being very impatient."

Wall said her team needs to play with more fire on the offensive end.

"I think we played pretty good defense," Wall said. "We were really aggressive. I wish some of that would carry over to the offensive end."

Concordia started slowly, going without a basket for the first seven minutes of the game. But Moorhead State couldnít capitalize, scoring only four points in that span.

The Dragons, however, did build a 9-2 lead with 11:30 left in the first half after a three-point play Engeldorf.

The Cobbers answered Moorhead Stateís surge with a 12-3 run of their own. Backerís 15-foot jumper from the left wing staked Concordia to a 14-12 advantage with five minutes remaining in the half.

"I didnít expect it to be such a struggle because we are a more experienced team," Roise said. "But itís a rival."

See Full Box Score | 1997-98 Cobber Women's Basketball |

MOORHEAD STATE (44): Sogge 3-4 0-0 6, Klemz 2-7 1-2 7, Wilson 0-3 0-0 0, Vecker 0-3 0-1 0, Brosseau 3-6 3-5 9, Schmidt 0-1 0-0 0, Engeldorf 4-8 1-2 9, Hutton 1-3 0-0 2, Tuton 0-6 3-4 3, Stangl 3-9 2-2 8, Asher 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 16-54 10-16 44.

CONCORDIA (43): Kragerud 0-3 0-0 0, Myers 0-3 0-0 0, Vetter 1-2 2-4 4, Jacobson 3-6 3-4 10, Schwichtenberg 0-2 2-3 2, Backer 2-4 0-0 5, Karli 3-7 0-0 6, Spears 1-6 3-4 5, Sonstelie 3-17 5-6 11. Totals 13-49 15-21 43.

Halftime: Moorhead State 19, Concordia 17. Total fouls: Moorhead State 16, Concordia 16. Fouled out: Stangl. 3-point goals: Jacobson, Backer, Klemz 2. Rebounds: Moorhead State 38 (Spears 11), Concordia 44 (Brosseau 8). Steals: Moorhead State 11 (Jacobson 3), Concordia 12 (Klemz 4, Engledorf 4). Assists: Moorhead State 12 (Jacobson 3), Concordia 11 (Klemz 4). Turnovers: Moorhead State 19 (Backer 5), Concordia 24 (Engledorf 8).

See Full Box Score | 1997-98 Cobber Women's Basketball |