Timely sweep for Cobbers

By Eric Peterson
The Forum
Three weeks ago Concordia would have found a way to lose a game like the one it played against Winona St. Mary's Monday. That was then. This is now.

The Cobbers didn't shoot the ball well (46 percent), leading scorer Daimen Crump was held to 11 points (he averages 21.6) and didn't take care of the ball (18 turnovers). (continued)

Concordia's Greg Dean, right, breaks up the dribble of Winona St. Mary's Max Hanson and causes a turnover during Monday night's men's college basketball game at the Cobber Fieldhouse. Forum photo by Bruce Crummy

Yet Concordia found the resolve to hold off the pesky Cardinals 63-61 in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball at the Cobber Fieldhouse.

"I think we would have given into frustration and fatigue," said Concordia coach Duane Siverson of the old Cobbers. "But we stayed focused on winning the game. That's the big difference ... our guys were not going to lose the game."

The new Cobbers have won seven of their last eight games to improve to 9-7 in the MIAC and 10-9 overall. Concordia is now tied for fourth place in the conference with Augsburg and St. Olaf for the last playoff spot. St. Mary's fell to 3-12 and 3-16.

"It was a battle" said Concordia guard Nick Guida, who paced the Cobbers with 13 points and 10 rebounds. "We knew it was going to be a battle going in."

Guida was fouled on a 3-point shot, which rimmed out, at the top of the key with 8:52 left in the game. The 6-foot-2 senior proceeded to hit all three of the free throws. This put Concordia up 57-38, its biggest lead of the game.

The Cobbers, however, were not out of the woods.

After Guida's free throws, St. Mary's embarked on an 18-3 run. The Cardinals' Matt Ginskey led the charge, scoring 10 points in that span, including 8-of-9 shooting from the free throw line. Ginskey finished with a game-high 18 points off the bench.

A free throw by Joe Bolduc cut the Cobbers' lead to 60-56 with 57 seconds remaining.

Concordia then ran down the shot clock and senior point guard Greg Dean was fouled with 24 seconds left. Dean made the first free throw to increase the Cobbers' lead, but missed the second.

Guida, however, came up big, corraling the offensive board before getting fouled and knocking down two free throws to put the game away.

"I got into the lane and the ball came off the rim hard," Guida said. "In practice, we have a drill where we get the rebound and come down strong I got fouled and stuck the free throws."

The Cardinals' J.B. Mathison hit a 35-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.

Siverson said Guida's inspirational play has been a key to the Concordia, which started the MIAC season 2-6, turnaround.

"Nick's the kind of guy every team needs to be successul," Siverson said. "He'll draw charges, get to loose balls and get offensive rebounds. He knows what his role is on the team."

ST. MARY'S (61): Mathison 3-7 0-0 9, Popp 1-5 0-0 2, Oleksyn 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 5-10 0-0 11, Geist 0-1 2-2 2, Bolduc 2-3 3-5 7, Ginskey 3-9 12-15 18, Hanson 3-5 6-7 12, Rankin 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 17-45 23-29 61.

CONCORDIA (63): Dean 2-5 2-4 6, Benson 3-3 0-0 6, Bishop 3-8 0-0 8, Guida 2-3 8-9 13, Crump 5-11 1-3 11, Gillhouse 6-11 0-1 12, Pearson 2-8 0-0 5, Klabo 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 24-52 11-17 63.

Halftime: Concordia 30, St. Mary's 19. Total fouls: St. Mary's 13, Concordia 24. Fouled out: Pearson. 3-point goals: St. Mary's 4-12 (Mathison 3-6, Popp 0-4, Williams 1-2), Concordia 4-8 (Bishop 2-4, Guida 1-1, Crump 0-1, Pearson 1-2). Rebounds: St. Mary's 27 (Ginskey 6), Concordia 34 (Guida 10). Steals: St. Mary's 7 (Ginskey 3), Concordia 11 (Dean 5). Assists: St. Mary's 10 (Geist 3), Concordia 17 (Pearson 5). Turnovers: St. Mary's 14, Concordia 18.

1996-97 Cobber Basketball