Cobbers women off to best start in 2 decades, remain near top of MIAC standings

The Concordia women's basketball team has won seven consecutive games and are in the heat of the MIAC championship race.

Concordia sophomore forward Greta Tollefson, left, works around two Bethel defenders Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, at Memorial Auditorium.
Sophie Schaumann / Concordia Sports Information

MOORHEAD — The Concordia Cobbers have positioned themselves in the thick of the conference championship race with a few weeks remaining in the regular season after a decisive home victory Saturday afternoon.

The Cobbers cruised to a 67-45 victory against the Bethel Royals in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women's basketball at Memorial Auditorium.

Concordia (15-3, 12-3 MIAC) have won seven consecutive games and are one game out of first place in the MIAC standings with seven games remaining on its regular-season schedule. The Cobbers are alone in second place after their 22-point victory against the Royals. Concordia is off to its best start since the 2000-2001 season.

“Every win is fun, but to solidify that we’re right there in the top and Bethel beat us the first time so we wanted to prove that we could beat a team like that," said Cobbers head coach Kim Wagers.

Concordia and Bethel (11-7, 11-4) were tied for second place behind Gustavus heading into Saturday's game. The Royals earned a 55-48 home victory against the Cobbers in early December.


“Every conference game is important for us," said sophomore Greta Tollefson, who had 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench. “We knew we had to come out and we had to play our best game today because they were coming to play a good game.”

Concordia guard Emily Beseman (20) races up the court against the Bethel Royals on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, at Memorial Auditorium.
Sophie Schaumann / Concordia Sports Information

The Cobbers, who led by as many as 14 points in the first half, continued to separate in the third quarter. Concordia used a 16-4 run to push its lead to 20-plus points. Concordia sophomore guard Carlee Sieben had nine points during that surge.

Sieben sank a 3-pointer for a 41-24 lead with 3 minutes, 59 seconds to play in the third quarter. Tollefson capped the surge with a driving basket for a 46-24 lead with 2:50 remaining in the third.

“Carlee hit some big shots and we were sharing the ball," said Tollefson, from Pelican Rapids, Minn.
The Cobbers outscored the Royals 21-12 in the third quarter, including Sieben's nine points on 3-for-3 shooting from the floor.

The Cobbers scored the game's first eight points and never trailed. Sophomore forward Makayla Anderson capped the early surge with a basket from close range that gave Concordia an 8-0 lead with 7:06 remaining in the first quarter.

Tollefson had a strong first half, scoring 11 points off the bench. The Cobbers took a 28-13 lead after the 5-foot-9 Tollefson sank a free throw with 2:09 to play in the second quarter.

“She’s a kid that doesn’t shy away from contact and is kind of our power," Wagers said. "She provided a lot of strength and she created a lot of fouls because she was powering it up and creating a physical presence.”

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Concordia carried a 30-18 lead into halftime, shooting 42% (8 of 19) from the floor. Bethel shot 21% (6 of 28) from the field in the opening 20 minutes.


The Cobbers play five of their final seven games in the regular season at home. Concordia has a key game at league-leading Gustavus on Feb. 8. The Cobbers defeated Gustavus 64-63 on Nov. 26 at Memorial Auditorium.

“I’m excited that we’re at home a ton," Wagers said of the stretch run. “We’re really good when we can be at home.”

Tollefson said the team fed off a loud home crowd against the Royals, including an enthusiastic student section.

“It’s awesome playing in here when it’s packed and people are loud," Tollefson said. "It fuels you even more. It gives you more energy.”

BU 8 18 30 45
CC 17 30 51 67

BETHEL (11-7, 11-4 MIAC): Cox 2-5 1-2 5, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Nuest 2-12 0-0 5, Garfield 2-7 3-4 7, Schultz 0-1 0-0 0, Duininck 2-8 0-0 4, Earney 1-3 0-0 3, Schmitz 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 1-2 2-2 5, Hagstrom 2-4 0-2 4, Penke 3-5 0-2 7, Boyd 0-0 0-0 0, Glander 1-6 3-4 5. Totals 16-55 9-16 45.

CONCORDIA (15-3, 12-3): Sieben 4-6 2-2 12, Beseman 4-6 2-3 13, Anderson 2-4 0-0 4, Beld 2-3 1-3 6, Kahler 1-6 3-4 5, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0, Guler 0-0 2-2 2, Nygaard 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan 0-1 0-0 0, Safranski 0-1 0-0 0, Isaman 0-0 0-0 0, Sem 0-1 0-0 0, Tollefson 4-8 6-9 15, Watt 1-1 0-0 2, Halvorson 0-0 0-0 0, Musland 3-5 2-2 8. Totals 21-43 18-25 67.

3-point goals: BU 4-24 (Cox 0-2, Williams 0-1, Nuest 1-7, Garfield 0-2, Duininck 0-4, Earney 1-3, Johnson 1-1, Penke 1-2, Glander 0-2), CC 7-12 (Sieben 2-3, Beseman 3-3, Beld 1-1, Kahler 0-3, Tollefson 1-2). Total fouls: BU 22, CC 18. Rebounds: BU 29 (Garfield 6), CC 37 (Tollefson 8). Assists: BU 5 (Williams 3), CC 15 (Anderson 3). Turnovers: BU 14, CC 18.

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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