Concordia used a 24-15 finishing run to beat No.21-ranked Gustavus 75-65. The victory is the first for the Cobbers over the Gusties since Feb. 11, 2015.
The Cobbers played a full 40 minutes – relying on different players and weapons to defeat nationally-ranked Gustavus.
Sophomore Autumn Thompson led the charge for the Cobbers in the first quarter with the 3-ball. Her first 3-pointer came at the 5:15 mark in the first which gave the Cobbers a 5-4 lead - their first of the game.
Gustavus then took control of the quarter, including a 6-0 run that put the Gusties up 12-7 with 1:26 left in the quarter. Sophomore Avery Sundeen then hit a layup to limit the deficit to 12-9.
Momentum shifted when Thompson drained her second 3-pointer with 46-seconds left in the quarter to tie the game at 12. The Cobbers didn't look back and held on to the lead for the rest of the game.
While the first quarter was neck and neck, the Cobbers dominated the Gusties in the second quarter. CC was able to outscore Gustavus 19-11 and took a 31-23 led into the break. The 3-point shot was again the bread and butter for the Cobbers. Concordia scored 15 of their 19 points in the quarter from beyond the arc. Thompson added to her nightly total of 12 points by hitting two more long-range shots in the second period. Sundeen, Bailee Larson, Rachel Hoernemann and Elizabeth Birkemeyer each added a 3-pointer of their own to give the Cobbers the 8-point halftime lead.
Despite a dominant second quarter, Gustavus crept back into the game in the third quarter. The Gusties scored the first four points in the half to cut the lead to four points at 31-27.
But for every attack the Gusties had, the Cobbers had an answer.
Much of that was due to the monster second half put up by sophomore Mary Sem. Sem tallied a team-high 20 points on the night - 18 of which came in the second half. The Fargo native was rock-solid, shooting 63.6% (7-for-11) on field goals and went 6-for-8 at the free throw line.
Gustavus made their final push for the lead at the start of the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer from the wing brought the Gusties to within one point at 51-50 with 8:23 left in the quarter.
The Cobbers then showed the ice in their veins by going on the 24-15 closing stretch. The streak started with another 3-pointer from Thompson at the 7:31 mark. Birkemeyer followed with a jump shot, free throw, and lay up to put the Cobbers up 59-53. Sem then tallied 11 of her 13 four quarter points to seal the win for the Cobbers.
Concordia shot 44.6% (25-for-56) from the field for the game which was almost 12 percentage points better than Gustavus who shot 32.8% (20-for-61). The 3-point numbers were nearly identical with the Cobbers going 8-for-27 (29.6%) and the Gusties shooting 9-for-27 (33.3%) from outside the arc.
INSIDE AWARENESS: Led by Mary Sem, Concordia held a 32-18 edge in points in the paint. CC also came away with a 41-29 advantage in rebounds. The 41 rebounds marks the fifth time this year that the Cobbers had at least 40 boards in a game. CC is now 3-2 when they reach the 40-rebound mark in a game. Bailee Larson had a game-high nine rebounds and was one of four CC players with at least six rebounds in the game.
TEAM EFFORT: Scoring wasn't the only high for the Cobbers in their historic victory over Gustavus. Freshman Vanessa Kedl tallied six rebounds on the night, three of which came in the fourth quarter. Kedl also racked up two steals on the night.
FREE THROWS WIN GAME: The Cobbers were stellar at the free throw line on the night. CC shot 85.0% (17-for-20) from the foul line. The Cobbers were 13-for-16 on free throws in the second half and 9-for-10 in the fourth quarter.
FREE THROWS PART II: Freshman Emily Beseman was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line and has now made 18 straight shots from the foul line. Beseman is shooting 82.0% (41-for-50) from the free throw line this year which is fourth best in the MIAC.
SOLE CONTROL: The Cobbers have now won two of their last three games and improve to 6-8 on the season. CC is 4-5 in the MIAC standings which puts them in sole ownership of the sixth spot in the conference standings.
UP NEXT: The Cobbers hope to build off of their win when they host Hamline on Saturday. Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. The Pipers are 11-3 overall, 6-3 in MIAC and one spot ahead of CC in the league standings.
CONCORDIA vs. GUSTAVUS HIGHLIGHTS: