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Gustavus fends off Cobbers women with stellar fourth quarter

Gustavus outscored Concordia by 13 points in the fourth quarter to help earn the MIAC road victory.

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Concordia's Makayla Anderson and Gustavus' Grace Benz fight for a rebound at Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum

MOORHEAD — The Concordia Cobbers went cold when it mattered most Wednesday night at Memorial Auditorium.

Gustavus scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to fend off the Cobbers and fuel a 65-51 victory in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women's basketball.

The Cobbers, who trailed by one point after three quarters against Gustavus, have lost four consecutive games. Concordia (7-12, 7-10 MIAC) has three games remaining in the regular season. The Gusties (16-4, 14-3) are among the top three teams in the MIAC. All teams make the conference tournament this season.

“To be right there in the fourth quarter with a top-three team in the league, it could be anyone’s night," said Concordia head coach Kim Wagers. “We’ve just got to finish games and play 40 minutes.”

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Concordia's Jennie Sem shoots against Gustavus at Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum

Concordia scored the final four points in the third quarter and cut the Gustavus lead to 45-44 after a Vanessa Kedl basket with 1 minute, 12 seconds to play in the third. That score carried into the final 10 minutes.

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“We played really well those first three quarters and were dialed in," Wagers said.

Sophomore guard Jennie Sem paced the Cobbers with 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the floor. Senior forward Mary Sem added 13 points, making 5 of 11 shots from the field. Jennie Sem liked the way the Cobbers played through three quarters.

“I think that we really paid attention to the scout as far as defending the personnel really well and were moving the ball on the offensive end, also," Jennie Sem said.

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Concordia's Mary Sem drives against Gustavus' Anna Sanders at Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum

The Cobbers went scoreless in the first five-plus minutes of the fourth quarter, while the Gusties rattled off 10 points. Junior guard Anna Sanders capped that rally with a 3-point shot for a 55-44 lead with a shade more than five minutes remaining.

“I think we were very stagnant on the offensive end and our transition defense went downhill," Jennie Sem said.

“Jennie and Mary were being super efficient," Wagers added. "We just probably needed to have a few kids step up and score the basketball.”

Gustavus outscored Concordia 20-7 in the fourth quarter as the Cobbers shot 17% (2 of 12) from the field over the final 10 minutes.

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Concordia's Taviahna Tanin celebrates her 3-point shot against Gustavus at Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum

The Cobbers started strong, building a nine-point lead in the opening quarter. Jennie Sem sparked an 11-2 run with a 3-pointer that gave Concordia a 5-4 lead with around eight minutes to play in the first quarter.

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Senior forward Taviahna Tanin capped the run with a 3-point shot that gave the Cobbers a 15-6 lead with 4:16 to play in the first quarter.

Gustavus rallied in the second quarter with a string of seven consecutive points to surge into the lead. Freshman guard Tatum Brostrom capped that rally with a layup that gave the Gusties a 28-23 lead with 2:30 to play in the first half.

Cobbers freshman Makayla Anderson grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds off the bench and also added four points and a steal.

“She’s just been playing out of her mind and she’s just a spitfire off the bench," Wagers said. "She gets our crew going and has a tremendous motor.”

GAC 15 33 45 65
CC 17 29 44 51
GAC (16-4, 14-3 MIAC): Kniefel 5-8 2-3 13, Baranick 5-8 2-2 14, Benz 3-7 0-0 6, Kawiecki 4-7 1-2 9, Sanders 2-10 2-2 8, Quick 0-1 0-0 0, Hauger 1-3 0-0 2, Schermann 0-0 0-0 0, Brostrom 1-2 0-1 2, Kelly 3-6 5-7 11. Totals 24-52 12-17 65.
CC (7-12, 7-10): Guler 0-3 0-0 0, J. Sem 5-8 4-5 15, Beseman 1-4 0-0 3, M. Sem 5-11 3-3 13, Beld 1-4 0-0 2, Tanin 1-1 0-0 3, Kedl 1-3 0-0 2, Kahler 3-13 0-0 7, Salmen 0-3 2-2 2, Anderson 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 19-55 9-10 51.

3-point goals: GAC 5-16 (Kniefel 1-3, Baranick 2-4, Sanders 2-7, Hauger 0-2), CC 4-24 (Guler 0-3, J. Sem 1-3, Beseman 1-4, M. Sem 0-2, Tanin 1-1, Kahler 1-8, Salmen 0-2, Anderson 0-1). Total fouls: GAC 13, CC 22. Rebounds: GAC 32 (Benz 11), CC 28 (Anderson 10). Assists: GAC 11 (Kniefel 2, Hauger 2), CC 10 (M. Sem 3). Turnovers: GAC 12, CC 16.

Related Topics: WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
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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