Men's basketball: Cobbers roll to another upset of MIAC contender
Concordia's win over Macalester on Wednesday was its second in three days over a team near the top of the conference standings.
MOORHEAD — Concordia has languished near the bottom of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings this season but the Cobbers have proven twice this week they not only can hang right with the league's upper echelon they can beat them, as well.
Matthew Johnson scored 22 points and the Cobbers again made good use of their trips to the free throw line in an 83-78 win over Macalester on Wednesday at the Memorial Auditorium.
It was the Cobbers' second win over a league contender in three days. Concordia's 81-76 win over second place St. John's on Monday put a halt to a string of seven losses in eight games that included five straight losses. The Cobbers lost those seven games by an average of just five points per game.
On Wednesday, Concordia bested a Macalester team that entered the game tied with the Johnnies in second behind conference-leader Carleton. The Scots started Concordia's five-game losing streak with a 60-56 win on Jan. 16 in St. Paul.
It was a good turn of fortunes for a Cobbers team that entered the week a half game out of the MIAC cellar. Concordia now is 6-10 in the MIAC and 8-13 overall. Macalester fell to 9-6 in the league and 13-7 overall.
The Cobbers took a 29-15 lead over the Scots midway through the first half and bumped the lead to 15 points with 2:44 to play before halftime. But the Scots closed the half with an 11-2 run that shaved the Cobbers' lead to 36-30 at the break.
Macalester continued to close the gap and took a 44-43 lead on a Coby Gold layup with 14:17 to play. But the Cobbers put together an 11-2 run of their own for a 54-46 lead with less than 11 minutes left.
The Scots got the lead down to five points with less than a minute to play but the Cobbers hit 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch to close it out.
The Cobbers shot 44 percent from the floor, including 9 of 28 from 3-point range. They made good on 18 of 23 free throws after going 25 of 25 against St. John's on Monday. They had 17 assists on 28 makes — the Scots had just five assists — and Concordia held a 43-26 rebounding advantage.
Johnson registered a double-double with 11 rebounds and he also had four assists. Rowan Nelson had 18 points and eight rebounds, Zach Jackson had 13 points and eight boards, and Jackson Jangula had 12 points and six assists. Dylan Inniger had 11 points off the bench.
Caleb Williams led the Scots with 39 points and he grabbed eight rebounds. Gold finished with 20 points and six rebounds.
The Cobbers play next at Gustavus at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, in St. Peter, Minn.