Fourth Quarter Ends Playoff Hopes

Sophomore Autumn Thompson made four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 21 points in the Cobbers season finale at Hamline.
Sophomore Autumn Thompson made four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 21 points in the Cobbers season finale at Hamline.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (2/22/20)---The fourth quarter was unkind to Concordia and their hopes at making the MIAC playoffs. The Cobbers led Hamline by six points after three quarters of play but were outscored by nine in the final period and lost 79-76 in St. Paul.

Concordia battled back from a 29-21 deficit after one period of play to take a 60-54 lead with 10 minutes left in the battle for the last playoff spot in the MIAC tournament. The Pipers proceeded to go on an 18-5 run in a span of 6:43, shoot 53.8% (8-for-15) from the floor in the last quarter and make five of their final seven free throws to come away with the victory in the "playoff before the playoff" game.

The loss finishes the Cobbers' season and gives them an 11-14 overall record for the year. Concordia ended the MIAC season with a 9-11 mark which was good for a tie for sixth place in the league standings. CC lost out on the tie-breaker to St. Catherine who was also tied for sixth place.

Concordia held the statistical edge in field goals made (28-24), 3-pointers made (10-9), rebounds (36-35) and points in the paint (30-26) but those small margins couldn't make up for the Pipers' big advantage from the free throw line. The Cobbers got into foul trouble early and Hamline used that to come away with a 12-point margin in free throws made. HU also held a 33-12 edge in free throws attempted.

The Cobbers outscored Hamline 39-25 in the middle two periods of play but the bookend quarters told the opposite story with the Pipers gaining a 54-37 edge. Concordia's best period of play was the third quarter when they knocked down four 3-pointers, shot 66.7% (8-for-12) from the field and turned a 42-38 halftime deficit into a 60-54 third quarter lead.

Concordia had three players finish with at least 15 points and two of those made four 3-pointers each. Sophomore Autumn Thompson led the way with a game-high 21 points and was 4-for-11 from outside the arc while freshman Emily Beseman went 4-for-5 from long range and finished with 17 points. Thompson also added seven rebounds to the cause.

Mary Sem was able to get free in the lane the entire game and had 15 points and grabbed six boards.            

Elizabeth Birkemeyer grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and sophomore Taviahna Tanin dished out a game-high five assists which is also a career high total.

AND THE FINAL TOTAL IS? Autumn Thompson added four more 3-pointers to her season total and ended the year by making 68 shots from outside the arc. That mark is only three away from the school record of 71 set by Cathy Johnson in 1991. Thompson finished the year with a 13.3 ppg average. That total is up from her freshman year where she averaged 5.9 ppg.

AND THE FINAL TOTAL IS? II: Sophomore Mary Sem led the team in scoring with a 14.1 ppg average. Last she averaged 4.5 ppg. The last player to average over 14.0 ppg for the Cobbers was Greta Walsh who averaged 16.0 points in the 2017 season.

AND THE FINAL TOTAL IS? III: It was a dead heat for the rebound title. Both junior Elizabeth Birkemeyer and sophomore Bailee Larson ended the year with a 5.8 rpg average, The tie-breaker goes to Birkemeyer who had one more total rebound (145-144).