St. John's rallies late to knock off Concordia

MOORHEAD - St. John's junior Joe Risinger sank a floating 5-footer that helped end seven years of frustration for the Johnnies at Memorial Auditorium.

Concordia’s Scott Flotterud dunks against St. John’s Tyler Weiss on Wednesday at Memorial Auditorium in Moorhead. David Samson / The Forum

MOORHEAD – St. John’s junior Joe Risinger sank a floating 5-footer that helped end seven years of frustration for the Johnnies at Memorial Auditorium.

That clutch shot came in the final minute and helped lift St. John’s to a 73-68 road victory against the Cobbers on Wednesday in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball.

“It’s really nice to come up here and get a win,” said Risinger, who finished with 11 points.

Before Wednesday’s victory, St. John’s (10-7, 8-4 MIAC) hadn’t won at Concordia since January 2007. The Cobbers (10-7, 6-6) had their seven-game home winning streak against the Johnnies ended.

“They made plays,” Cobbers head coach Rich Glas said of the Johnnies. “When they needed to get a basket there at the end, they made plays.”


Concordia led for most of the second half and built a 67-64 lead after junior Tom Fraase scored off an offensive rebound with 3 minutes, 23 seconds remaining. St. John’s countered by scoring nine of the game’s final 10 points. Risinger scored five points during that stretch. The 6-foot-6 forward sank a 3-pointer that gave the Johnnies a 69-67 lead with 2:26 remaining. They never trailed after that shot.

Risinger later swished his 5-foot runner that gave the Johnnies a 71-68 lead with 34 seconds remaining.

“It was a hard angle at the glass, so I tried to get it over the big man, and it went in,” Risinger said.

In the final 15 seconds, the Cobbers had 3-point attempts from Jordan Bolger (who tied a career high with 24 points) and Fraase rim out before the Johnnies secured the rebound. St. John’s junior guard Alex Schmitt sank two foul shots with six seconds remaining for the final margin.

“We need to match them, and we had a couple that didn’t go in for us, and that was the ballgame,” Glas said.

St. John’s trailed for most of the game, despite shooting 66 percent (23 of 35) from the field. The Cobbers played from the lead for the first 14-plus minutes of the second half.

“For the most part, we really executed well,” Glas said. “They’re a very good offensive team. They just kept making shots.”

The Cobbers played their first game without starting forward Brady Syverson. The 6-foot-6 junior was sidelined with an upper-body injury that is expected to keep him out for the rest of the season. Syverson averaged 7.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in 16 games.


“That takes your depth,” Glas said of losing Syverson for the season. “That’s another guy that can score for us. When you lost a starter that is going to impact your team, but we had guys that stepped up.”

ST. JOHN’S (10-7, 8-4 MIAC): Maslonkowski 3-5 2-2 8, Weiss 1-2 1-1 3, Schmitt 7-8 6-7 21, Kuck 1-2 3-5 6, Risinger 4-5 2-4 11, Wollin 0-1 3-4 3, Hujdurovic 2-3 2-2 7, Strom 1-3 2-3 5, Hentges 1-1 0-0 2, Peterson 3-5 1-1 7. Totals 23-35 22-29 73.

CONCORDIA (10-7, 6-6): Bolger 8-12 8-9 24, Flotterud 3-6 0-0 6, Rude 0-3 0-0 0, Fraase 3-9 0-0 7, Giese 7-14 0-0 18, Bergeson 2-7 0-0 5, Deutsch 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 2-3 0-0 6, Kinny 0-1 0-0 0, Zimmer 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 25-56 10-11 58.

Half: CC 40, SJU 37. 3-point goals: SJU 5-6 (Schmitt 1-1, Kuck 1-2, Risinger 1-1, Hujdurovic 1-1, Strom 1-1), CC 8-26 (Bolger 0-1, Rude 0-2, Fraase 1-5, Giese 4-10, Bergeson 1-4, Nelson 2-3, Kinny 0-1). Total fouls: SJU 18, CC 17. Rebounds: SJU 22 (Maslonkowski 6), CC 25 (Bolger 9). Assists: SJU 5 (Schmitt 2), CC 10 (Fraase 3). Steals: SJU 7 (Maslonkowski 2, Peterson 2), CC 4 (Bolger 2, Fraase 2). Turnovers: SJU 15 (Kuck 5), CC 10 (Fraase 3, Giese 3). A-556.


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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