Cobbers explode early, then cruise

By Eric Peterson
The Forum
If the Cobber Fieldhouse looked dim in the first half of Concordia's men's basketball game Saturday, there was a good explanation. The Cobbers shot the lights out.

Concordia hit 59 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes on its way to a 85-64 victory over Carleton in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.

The Cobbers put on an offensive show in the first half. They scored 57 points, including 7-of-10 shooting from 3-point range.

"We got good looks at the basket, that was the key," said Concordia forward Kevin Pearson, who scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half. "It was a lot of fun. It was the best half of basketball we've played all year."

Guard Cornelius Bishop and forward Daimen Crump also hit double figures in the first half, scoring 13 and 10 respectively.

"I'm not sure if we could have played much better," said Concordia coach Duane Siverson.

Concordia opened the game on a 18-4 run. Pearson highlighted the run, scoring seven points on two lay-ups and a 3-pointer. Senior Nick Guida capped the run with a 3-pointer. Guida's trifecta came with 15:02 left in the first half.

A Bishop lay-up with 9:31 until halftime put the Cobbers up 36-15, its biggest lead of the half.

Josh Wilhelm tried to keep the Knights close. The 6-foot-8 sophomore forward scored 21 points in the first half. Despite Wilhelm's effort, Carleton trailed 57-37 at the break.

Wilhelm was held scoreless in the second half.

"It feels good to get a victory," said Bishop, who had a game-high 22 points. "We had a good shooting night; the whole team was shooting well. It was a total team effort."

Crump continued to keep Concordia rolling at the start of the second half. The 6-foot-3 senior scored the Cobbers' first 10 points of the second half.

Crump's offensive surge was highlighted by a sweeping one-handed layup that put Concordia up 65-43 with 16:07 remaining in the game. Crump finished with 20 points.

"How you play in the first five minutes of a half usually dictates the outcome of the game," Siverson said. "I told the team (at halftime) to keep the same intensity and make sure we didn't have a letdown."

The victory avenges Concordia's 31-point loss at Carleton earlier this season. The Cobbers fell 95-64 in the game played at Northfield, Minn., Dec. 14. Pearson said it played a part in tonight's performance.

"Anytime you get beat by 30 you want to prove that that wasn't your real team the first time you played," Pearson said. "We want to prove to ourselves in the second half of the season that we're a much better team than we showed in the first half."

Concordia has now won four of its last five conference games. The Cobbers improve to 6-7 in the MIAC and 7-9 overall with the victory. Carleton falls to 8-5 and 9-8.

CARLETON (64): Moersch 1-2 0-0 2, Boger 4-7 0-0 9, Busch 0-0 0-0 0, Richardson 1-2 0-0 3, Remington 1-3 0-0 3, Tompkins 0-1 0-0 0, Ferch 1-11 0-0 3, Lovrien 4-12 0-0 11, Retzlaff 5-10 2-2 12, Wilhelm 8-16 5-5 21, Bauer 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 25-74 7-9 64.

CONCORDIA (85): Dean 1-5 0-0 2, Benson 0-0 2-2 2, Wishart 0-0 0-0 0, Bishop 8-17 1-1 22, Guida 3-9 0-0 7, Kjesbo 0-0 0-1 0, Crump 9-18 2-2 20, Gillhouse 6-10 0-0 13, Pearson 5-9 0-0 13, Kesselrig 0-0 0-0 0, Brett Klabo 3-6 0-2 6. Totals 35-74 5-8 85.

Halftime: Concordia 57, Carleton 37. Total fouls: Concordia 11, Carleton 10. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: Concordia 10-17 (Bishop 5-7, Guida 1-1, Crump 0-2, Gillhouse 1-1, Pearson 3-6), Carleton 7-23 (Boger 1-2, Richardson 1-1, Remington 1-3, Ferch 1-7, Lovrien 3-8, Wilhelm 0-2). Rebounds: Concordia 45 (Dean 9). Carleton 31 (Wilhelm 9). Assists: Concordia 17 (Dean 7). Carleton 7 (Boger 2, Wilhelm 2). Turnovers: Concordia 17, Carleton 16.