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Cobbers big man Wolfe has career game in home loss against Bethel

Concordia's Kevin Wolfe drives to the basket against Bethel's Jack Jenson at Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.David Samson / The Forum1 / 2
Concordia's Jacob Pazdernik attempts to get past Bethel's Andrew Mattern at Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.David Samson / The Forum2 / 2

MOORHEAD—Concordia senior Kevin Wolfe had a career-best offensive performance Saturday afternoon at Memorial Auditorium, scoring 25 points.

Wolfe's effort, however, wasn't enough to vault the Cobbers to the win. The Bethel Royals scored 48 points in the second half to pull away and earn a 90-78 victory in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball before 372 fans.

"We have to play two halves. We have to be a complete team," said Cobbers first-year head coach Grant Hemmingsen. "I think we showed glimpses of who we can be. We can score the basketball, we just have to defend the ball at the end of the day."

The Cobbers (3-5, 1-3 MIAC) have lost five of their past six games after starting the season with two consecutive wins.

"We've got to have more pride," Wolfe said. "We got outworked today, bottom line. This is a really competitive league, the MIAC. ... We're a young team, we're still figuring it out."

Wolfe shot 92 percent (11 of 12) from the field, scoring 13 points in the first half and 12 in the second. The 6-foot-8 forward also grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

"That's his third game in a row that he's been consistent," Hemmingsen said. "We found a weakness and gave him the basketball. He's capable of doing that a lot. ... He's found success on the court. He's just one of those guys. If he gets one bucket, it leads to more because he has such athleticism and finesse down there."

Bethel took over after halftime, scoring 12 of the first 17 points in the second half. Royals sophomore Jack Jenson fueled that rally, scoring the first 10 Bethel points in that rally. All of those points came off drives to the basket. Cal Pesola capped that surge with another drive to the hoop that gave Bethel a 54-45 lead with 16 minutes 28 seconds to play in the second half.

"We just couldn't defend the ball. We need to," Hemmingsen said. "You've got to guard the basketball when you are on the ball and we didn't and they got a lot of layups because of it."

The 6-foot-1 Jenson scored 16 of his team-high 21 points in the second half. He was 7-for-8 from the floor after halftime and also grabbed a team-high five rebounds.

The Royals shot 65 percent (17 of 26) from the field in the second half, outscoring the Cobbers by 10 points over the final 20 minutes. Concordia trailed 42-40 at halftime before the Royals got hot on offense.

"Coach takes a lot of pride in defense and that's frustrating when they keep getting easy layups like that," Wolfe said. "When a team scores 90 points, it's going to be real difficult to win the game. We've got to take more pride on the defensive end."

BETHEL (7-2, 3-2 MIAC): Magnuson 6-9 4-6 17, Tusler 3-5 4-4 10, Ambriz 5-13 1-3 13, Jenson 9-13 3-5 21, Kingland1-1 0-0 3, Urbanus 2-3 0-0 4, Dearring 3-6 2-2 9, Barker 0-0 0-0 0, Carver-Bagley 0-0 0-0 0, Whalen 0-1 0-0 0, Fort 0-0 0-0 0, Hanson 2-3 3-4 7, Mattern 2-2 2-3 6. Totals 33-56 19-27 90.

CONCORDIA (3-5, 1-3): Pazdernik 7-12 1-1 15, Davis 2-4 0-0 5, Heins 0-3 2-2 2, Larson 2-3 3-4 8, Schyma 4-5 1-3 10, Rund 0-3 0-0 0, Urie 2-3 0-0 5, Veit 3-3 2-3 8, Friesz 0-1 0-0 0, Holen 0-0 0-0 0, Wolfe 11-12 3-8 25. Totals 31-49 12-21 78.

Half: BU 42, CC 40. 3-point goals: BU 5-18 (Magnuson 1-2, Tusler 0-1, Ambriz 2-8, Jenson 0-1, Kingland 1-1, Urbanus 0-1, Dearring 1-3, Whalen 0-1), CC 4-10 (Pazdernik 0-2, Davis 1-1, Larson 1-1, Schyma 1-1, Rund 0-3, Urie 1-1, Friesz 0-1). Total fouls: BU 19, CC 24. Technical foul: Dearring. Rebounds: BU 24 (Jenson 5), CC 27 (Wolfe 7). Assists: BU 13 (Tusler 4), CC 18 (Pazdernik 4). Steals: BU 10 (Tusler 4), CC 5 (Pazdernik 2, Veit 2). Turnovers: BU 8 (Tusler 2, Whalen 2), CC 17 (Davis 4, Schyma 4). A--372.

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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